Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Diary Entry 99: Saigon, Saturday Night, 11 December 1965

                                                                    Saturday Night, 11 December 1965

Have been busy working night and day to get the barge contract signed and sealed so that we can eventually get MACV out of the mess we are in at ports in Vietnam. I’ve briefed don’t know how many wheels in the last 2 weeks. Had a few anxious moments: At one point the contractor refused to sign the agreement because he did not like some of the terms. After Mr. Niederman (the lawyer from Washington) and I rewrote parts of the agreement to suit the contractor, then the Contracting Officer, Vice Admiral [Glynn] Donoho refused to sign it. Then we had to go around in circles to convince him that MACV would never get out of trouble if we didn’t get this help. I’m telling you it has been a rat race.

Vice Admiral Glynn R. Donaho, Commander, U.S. Military Sea Transport Service, 1965.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

However, the contract is now signed and needed equipment and people are on the way. I think General Crowley is real pleased at the way I steered this project through the jungles of administrative bureaucracy. He reassigned me to new duties as Special Assistant to the J-4. I am to work on special projects that he considers critical, the first of which is getting this barge operation going.

Mr. Niederman, the lawyer, leaves tomorrow morning to go back to Washington and gets ready to negotiate the price of the contract as well as other conditions. There may be some small reward for all my work in this. I may be called back to the States on temporary duty to assist in negotiating the final contract. And General Crowley said if that happens I can take a few days leave and visit at home. Sure hope I get to go; and if I don’t will be greatly disappointed.

[Lieutenant Colonel] Grady [Cole] came back (Thursday? I believe) and he came down to the room and woke me up. We talked for a while and he looks real good. He said the evacuation really scared him because he thought maybe the cancer had come back. Jo Ann [his wife] came out to Hawaii to see him for 10 days. He will be leaving here in about 2 months to rotate home. Has orders for Washington and will be assigned to OPO (Personnel Operations).

I put up the Xmas Tree and the decorations last night. It makes me kind of get in the spirit of things even though the weather is hot and the Buddhists don’t recognize Xmas. Reckon all the pretty decorations are up in Montgomery [Alabama] now.

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