2 Jun: Many of the troops have got sick. In the hospital and on quarters. The medics say it is caused by mosquito bites. I've got at least 25 people sick. Just got a warning order to move again. Be moving farther south. Wont take place for a month or so. Wont even have time to finish the place here before we move again. I've got over a platoon with no place to sleep. They got soaking wet last night. Everything they own was outside and we had a hard rain. Trying to find enough material for them to build a hootch today. Still trying to get an orderly room. We have two Generals coming here today. We'll have to stop work and police the area for them. That's the trouble with the Army- too much eyewash (wasted time) My nicks and scratches from Saigon were from glass, barbed wire and foreign objects. I hit the ground hard and got bruised and some minor cuts. Almost got hit by a chunk from a bomb yesterday. Scared about 20 troops but didn't hit anyone.
9 Jun: I've been on the road all week. We're moving again around the 14th of June. Had a little excitement passing through Saigon. Was not in a fight but got shot at passing through. A real mess here. While I was gone, the company closed in from the fort and went right into the field. I don't even know my assigned strength right now. Just found out that the IG is supposed to inspect us tomorrow. He wasn't scheduled to hit us- only Headquarters and B Company. Have to work most of the night to get ready.
10 Jun: Everybody is all shook up trying to make plans for us to move day after tomorrow. The IG did not show up at our company after all. The move is going to be a mess. Don't know where we're going and probably wont be told until we get there. Going by DEROS date me and Regan are due to take R &R. Can't have 2 senior NCOs gone at one time and I don't want to be gone with the move coming up. The CO is moving to Brigade. I should be here for the Change Of Commanders. That's the bad side of being a "wheel".I can't leave the company for any time at all without having a big mess. Hard to plan- Don't know if we'll move by chopper or truck.
12 Jun: Started the move. All the platoons went by chopper. We outloaded their personal baggage yesterday. I only had 6 men left, so I took off my shirt and helped load. I didn't realize I am so far out of shape. Got some sore muscles today that I forgot I had. We get 6 more trucks today. We have to be finished by Friday. I'm enclosing a picture of Gleason. He plays bit parts in movies.
16 Jun: I've been on the road four days this week. I'm at Dong Tam now. Wont be here long. We're supposed to go on the boats with the Riverine Force. I'll be staying about 25 K's north of here at FSB Lambert. It's right off Rt 4 about 12 K's west of My Tho. A Lot of VC down there. Had contact every time we go out. They don't mortar much though and they can't shoot straight. Shot from less than 100 yards twice and didn't hit anybody. Not hard core NVA like they have in Long An. They move in small groups and harass more than fight. They blow up the road, snipe at vehicles and set up ambushes. The villagers around here charge outrageous prices for everything. We'll put everything off limits if we cant get honest prices. Had 7 little kids hit the other morning. 2 were KIA and 3 were hit bad. I hate to see the kids hurt, they're too young to know what's happening.
18 Jun: Were guarding Route 4 to keep it open We've had shoot-outs all night for the past two nights. Most of the civilians here are VC. They take pot shots at us every day. We have trouble getting authority to fire artillery so we get in fire fights all the time. They blew a crater in the road the other night while we were having a shoot-out. Going to be a hard job here. I've got my clerk and mailman at Dong Tam and everything else up front. Makes it hard to keep up with the paperwork. Finally found my clothes today. We're on a 30 minute alert for an operation.
20 Jun: Up all last night. Charlie is supposed to overrun the camp. we were on 100% alert. He finally showed up at 0830 this morning and we clobbered him good. Don't think he;ll try that again. We didn't take any casualties in our company. Only had 3 minor wounds on the post. The only bad hit was the refrigerator. A round went completely through it on the back of a truck before it exploded-tore up the motor and made a mess of the milk. I've got to go to Dong Tam tomorrow and catch up on paperwork. Charlie mines the road there every night an snipes at vehicles. I've been shook up twice on the road. There's brass and ammo boxes all over the post. An incoming round blew motor oil all over the place. We just got word the General will be here at 1300 to look the place over. We have to keep our battlefield clean. What a laugh. It will be all messed up again within an hour.
22 Jun: We shot Charlie so bad the other day that they haven't been back around the base. Guess they we're just checking us out. We're doing a lot of building and patrolling. The troops are out most of the time. We have contact every time we go out. A lot of VC here. Starting to quiet them down some. Regan got orders to go to MACV. Moving out today. The last E7 there was wounded twice in one month. Hope he fares better.
23 Jun: On the road most of the day. A young soldier refused to go out. After he saw all the wheels, I had to take him back to Dong Tam to process Courts Martial Charges. My clerk can't keep up with everything in the orderly room. A lot of paperwork is trash, but it has to be processed. Regan is all shook up because he'll lose R&R. He has to be at Bearcat on the 27th and has a 16 day school to attend. Had some excitement at Lambert while I was away,. They caught a VC dressed as a scout who's been sneaking into the chow line. While they we're working on him., got some sniper fire again. Just a few rounds.but the troops we're telling me all kinds of war stories when I got back. I travel with my rifle on full automatic, at the ready on the road here. CPT Stuart got his orders today to attend the Advanced Course. He sure was happy about that. We haven't had any casualties in the past 4 days. We were taking 2 or 3 a day when we first got here- some have already returned to duty. We operate day and night. The troops are starting to get sore feet and skin rashes because of wearing wet boots and clothes so much. We're supposed to take at least 4 hours per day and let them dry out. Been too busy to do that since we got here.
25 Jun: While I was back to Dong Tam for a meeting, one of the troops playing with a pistol wounded a civilian in the arm.Later on, our Tiger Scouts and a couple of MP's got into a shoot-out that left an interpreter dead, one Tiger Scout and Both MP's seriously wounded. The Battalion Commander came down and put everything Off Limits. There were about 50 civilians in the area at the time of the shooting. After the shooting when the dustoff ship came in, two other ARVN's tried to kill the MP that started the shooting. They're all carrying their weapons all the time now- looking for him. There's more excitement ahead when they catch him. We expect a whole bunch of wheels down tomorrow to investigate. We cant stop the Vietnamese from fighting each other. Still don't have enough living area. trying to build. Stay in the field so much that we don't have time for work.
29 Jun: It's rained all day for the past 3 days. We've been chosen as a model base and have had all kinds of wheels out here. The General has been here 3 times trying to put on a show for the big General. He never calls ahead- just swoops down and lands. Battalion is so shook up, they moved a Major down to supervise us. We had to arrange a funeral for a girl who was shot, and we're trying to arbitrate the costs. Had a temple blown up during the last attack and the Priests want an exorbitant cost for it. Got 3 Courts Marshal pending. Have to sleep in our uniforms with our boots on. I've got the whole company in a building about the size of my basement at home. Our scout that was wounded will die if we don't get him to a US Hospital. He's in a Vietnamese Hospital in My Tho.
Click here for July 1968 Notes