Wednesday, June 8, 2011

From The Editor: MACV and Operation Christmas Star, December 1965

U.S. Army Staff Film Report 66-2B, December 1965.  Footage of Operation Christmas Star.

On 20 December, Clark wrote in his diary, "People in the US are just too generous. Operation Xmas Star is in full swing now and honest to goodness we are just covered up with packages at Tan Son Nhut. Don’t know what the Transportation Division is going to do to get all of them delivered to units up-country by Xmas Day. Operation Christmas Star is in addition to the usual mail traffic (6,000,000 lbs. so far this month). Somehow or other the Americans will figure out a way to get it where it belongs."

During November and December 1965, American citizens and civic organizations indicated their support by sending tons of Christmas mail and gifts to U.S. servicemen in South Vietnam.  MACV initiated a massive airlift nicknamed "Operation Christmas Star."  MACV postal facilities handled 6,429,216 pounds of incoming mail in November and December.  U.S. personnel, including Clark, received more than 1,500,000 letters and 100,000 packages.  General William C. Westmoreland, the MACV commander, said that although it posed "an additional burden on our internal logistics system. . .it was exceptionally worthwhile." [1]


[1] MACV Command History, 1965, p. 274:  Letter, General Westmoreland, 4 January 1966, Subject:  Michigan Christmas.

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