6 Jul: Running behind. I've got to go back to base camp and take care of the promotions and Courts Martial. Every time I leave the base there's some inspection team or panic about the police. We've got to move our rear area. The Division Headquarters is going to take over our area- we'll have to build a new one. We'll have 21 troops on detail for at least a month to erect buildings for the Battalion. Got a toothache. Hope they have a dentist in Dong Tam. Sinus bothering me too- don't know which is worse.
7 Jul: Got a 24 hr delay. Plans changing so fast it's hard to keep up with them. We should move out tomorrow morning for a 2 or 3 week mission. The way things change- could be back in one day. New BN CO took command today. The CO has to go to a meeting tonight to get the word on his SOP's. We'll probably be playing games for a week or two. The Change of Command Parade was a real blast- changed about every 5 minutes. Finally ended up with 52 men in ranks. All the Generals we're there , made speeches, and everyone seemed pleased with it. Iím including an Article about Gleason. He got hit with a booby trap last week. Not bad, but everyone is excited about it.
8 Jul: I'm a mess. The dentist had to chisel my tooth out. They don't have fancy equipment here so he did it the hard way. Courts Martial started yesterday. One of my troops got 90 days in the stockade. He was lucky. We thought he'd get 6 months, at least. Got one being tried tomorrow for AWOL and another the next day for refusing to go to the field. Hope that will be it. We never had a Court Martial problem while we were at the Fort. Regan came back yesterday. Has a one month delay from MACV assignment. He sure doesn't want to go. We got 4 VC this morning. It's the first we've caught so far. The others turned out to be phonies. We got 2 new Tiger Scouts in and they got them for us. They don't like the VC and know all their tricks. They can spot an ambush or booby trap from a long way off. Some of them make friends with the troops and don't associate with the Vietnamese.Getting tired of living out of a bag. Emptied it out today and it was mostly dirt.
10 Jul: Another bad day. We're in a big shoot out in the field. I've got 2 KIA and 2 WIA but don't know who they are. They're too far out to monitor on the radio and too busy with the battle to call back the Admin Info. They've been at it since 1400 yesterday. I guess we've finally cornered a big force. They shot down the Colonels chopper last night. He's the best BN CO we had in a long time- due for DEROS in August. I'm trying to get my things together to join them tonight if it's not over by then
12 Jul: Busy. We're on another big sweep. We have all 3 platoons out and another unit coming in to take over the base camp. I'm moving out in a few minutes.
14 Jul: Another bad day. We we're at it most of the night. It started just before dark and lasted all night long. It is getting to be a nightly affair. We were supposed to be off for maintenance, but the Riverine got into a fight and we're on alert to go help them out. C Company moves first. They may wrap it up before we get called out.Police bad on post today. 2 NCO's got into a fight over who was responsible- one of them got his teeth knocked out. Don't know how well we'll handle that. I have to go back for a First Sgts call tomorrow,. Probably a waste of time. I'm trying to get back to Dong Tam, but something keeps popping up at the last minute.
15 Jul: I'm grounded at Moore waiting for a ride back to Lambert. While I was at the meeting they sent my truck to Dong Tam for supplies. Trying to hitch a ride. Don't look like I'll get one. Take a break in place and take time to write. Not sleeping good. Fire missions going all night. When I finally get to sleep the bugs wake me up. We spray but it doesn't do much good. We got 6 VC last night. We keep having problems in this one area with snipers and mines.We think it's one or two small groups causing all the trouble. It we can hit them a few times they may move out. One o the dog handlers was KIA last night. They had to kill the dog to move the body.The scout dogs are vicious. No one gets near them when the handler is not with them. Had the whole day off yesterday. On alert for an operation this afternoon. They say we should get 2 days off on the 18th for the Division 's anniversary.
16 Jul: Back in Dong Tam tonight. The tumblers in the safe broke and the troops needed their money. I know how to crack one but couldn't find a big enough drill. Got it open after breaking a drill and 1/2 hours work. When I got the lock repaired, it was too late to go back to the unit. My jeep has a bad rear wheel I have to get fixed before I go back. Seems like everything is breaking today. My CO is leaving on the 25th and my XO has been called up for a briefing as Generals Aide. He doesn't want to go. He's due to take over the unit. Looks like I'll be getting new bosses and I 'm just getting used to the old ones. Getting a lot of my wounded troops back this week. Sure need them. Have trouble fielding 20 men per platoon.
18 Jul: We're on stand down for the Divisions 50th Anniversary. Nothing for the troops to do. The CO went back to Dong Tam today to try to catch up on paperwork. Supposed to have a big meal tomorrow with speeches and bands playing. The VC will probably start something to get us out in the field. The Division CP is supposed to move to Don Tam next week. May be easier to get my work done then. Working on awards today.
21 Jul: Made a good catch yesterday. Got a very important VC and some good equipment. The ARVN CO was here the other day. We're going to start working together. May catch the VC faster that way. His troops know the area and the civilians. They can flush them out and we can run them down. Sounds easy- probably be a hard job. We're alerted for another mission tomorrow.
22 Jul: The VC have a big build up down here. We've been in contact 3 days. We got mortared last night and took a few casualties. I've been working all morning on the reports and paperwork. Got to police the area and repair the damage this afternoon. The new CO is here. I have to brief him.
25 Jul: We got into a big booby trap yesterday and took 8 casualties. We've been averaging 5 a day for the past 3 days. Hope we get over this run of bad luck soon. Supposed to start getting replacements today. We can use them. The new CO officially took over today. He took charge yesterday but wanted a change of command ceremony.With the fight we're in had to put it off till today.I had to go back to Dong Tam. The AG clerks are trying to do my job. Silly way to do things. They don't know anything about a rifle company.
26 Jul: Writing by candlelight. We don't have a generator. Kind of hard on the eyes. Got word today that we'll be moving again. Probably before the end of the month. We're going to move into Dong Tam. Good setup for troops there.Barracks, PX's, Clubs and swimming pool. We'll probably spend too much time in the field to enjoy it. I'm not making plans. They change their minds every other day. The old CO and XO left yesterday. Sure hated to go.The Colonel came down and we had a ceremony. Pretty good. Kept us out of the field for a day anyway.
28 Jul: All set to start moving back to Dong Tam tomorrow. We've sent details to get the area ready for us. The ARVN's are supposed to take over our sector of the road and help us clear out. They'll take all our construction material.Looks like another case of mass confusion. They don't have enough boats for us yet so we'll probably work out of Dong Tam. Should be able to shower back there anyway. The troops are a little dirty. I think the VC can smell us. That's why we don't sneak up on too many. We got 10 day before yesterday. They said there's a whole VC battalion in the area trying to blow up the road. We're putting out extra patrols to guard the road and bridges. The mess sergeant says he has to move out at noon tomorrow. I have not been in my orderly room over 20 minutes in the past month. Hope my clerk has been keeping up with the paperwork. He's been know to ghost when I'm gone.
Click here for August 1968 Notes