Monday, May 9, 2011

Diary Entry 80: Saigon, Sunday Night, 24 October 1965

                                                                                                  Sunday Night, 24 October 1965

Spent 2 days at Qui Nhon watching the Korean Division arrive.  Was unimpressed with port operations there.  Units looked shoddy, acted lazy.  [Clark is referring to the U.S. Army 394th Transportation Battalion (Terminal Service), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Emery.]  We will have to do something about Qui Nhon.  Flew into An Khe one morning to see the Special Forces camp there and to take in a load of PX supplies.  The young captain in charge of the team there was so overcome at the attention that he gave me a Tommy Gun [.45 caliber Thompson submachine gun] in appreciation.  Also flew into and out of Bong Son to watch evacuation of civilians from that area in midst of an attack.

After leaving Qui Nhon, dropped in to Tuy Hoa to survey the beach there for a port and went wading into the South China Sea to measure depths for beach operations.  Then visited Nha Trang for a couple of hours and took a chopper to Dong Ba Thien to see the 101st Airborne Brigade and another chopper to Cam Ranh Bay to see the 10th TC Battalion.  Cam Ranh looked good---outstanding unit and outstanding commander.  Was very impressed with what I saw.  [Clark is referring to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Gentleman, the commander of the U.S. Army 10th Transportation Battalion (Terminal Service).]

Choppered back to Nha Trang and caught a plane for Saigon late last night.  Tired and irritable from a cold but otherwise okay.  Have blown my nose so much it looks like

Forced myself to get up and go eat breakfast this a.m. but came right back and stayed in bed until supper when I had to force myself to get up again.  Saw Ralph Detherow and Captain (Dr.) John Pallin from Leavenworth at Qui Nhon.

Ban Me Thuot, where we stopped on our first landing, was interesting.  It is up in the hills, very pretty, and the advisors live in the former Emperor Bao Dai’s hunting lodge. Magnificent!  Left my camera in the airplane, so didn’t get any pictures.  That calls for a return trip as they have a cute little bear there.  He’s very friendly and am sorry I missed getting pictures.

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