4 May: Still trying to catch up enough to get to An Nhut Tan. Got 21 troops trying to go on R&R. Thought that would happen. Had trouble getting men to go for the past 3 months. Told them they can't all go at the same time. We may luck out and get more allocations. Celebrated my birthday by going to sleep early. The phone rings at all hours. I think PSG Klump must have stayed up to answer it.
5 May: Got orders in for 20 replacements and 14 attached personnel. Been working all day on the Morning Report. Almost time for the resupply.
6 May: Had the hardest rain I've ever seen. Wind blew so hard it came through the cracks in a wooden wall. My bed and the whole room was soaked. The troops are back out again chasing Charlie. He's starting to show of again since the peace talks are ready to start. We expected it so we're ready. The Fort hasn't received any incoming mortars since 1 Feb. They claimed a VC Platoon was on the island last night but nobody saw them. I think it was a rumor. Getting tired of walking in the mud. We're having to put the fort back together. A Chinook came in to pick up some generators and blew off the roofs, knocked over latrines, and showers and made a big mess. It's happened twice last week. He's coming back to bring some generators . He'll probably blow down what we rebuild.
8 May: Bad day. We're on an immediate move alert to go to Saigon. They've got a VC Battalion boxed in and we're going in to flush them out., Sure are working over the VC this week. We're shooting over 200 a day around Saigon and Hue. I think they're trying to scare us for propaganda at the Paris Peace Talks. If they keep it up, we'll Zap them, out of action before the talks start. Bad headache. The doc gave me some Darvon. Could be I need glasses.Got a troop in the Second platoon that got divorce papers in the mail yesterday. Seems kind of foul to send divorce papers into the combat zone. Got an AWOL to process
9 May: We've got a big battle going in Saigon. We've clobbered one Battalion and located another. Been on the pad 24 hours trying to get in. I've got 11 replacements to take in and have to check on the casualties. Know we're bound to have some. We've had heavy contact for the past two days. I've got two bandoleers and a LAW Rocket I carry for self defense in case I get cornered. I should get out this evening- probably be gone 2 -3 days. I guess Charlie is trying to impress us for the peace talks. He's going to lose at least two battalions in our area. That might take some of the fight out of him.
15 May: A week to remember. We just got back from Saigon. You probably won't get to read the story about the Saigon Battle. The newspapers are playing it down because of the peace talks, but they say it was the biggest battle of the war. The VC did not have any plans to pull out so we destroyed the part of the city they were in and wiped out 3 units. We got their Battalion Commander on the last day and presented his pistol to the Deputy Ambassador. The fight started on 8 may. From then until the night of the 13th we were in heavy contact. I lost 6 KIA and 28 to the hospital- got 20 walking wounded. They hit us with every kind of weapon imaginable. PSG Jackson was killed. Lost one Sergeant, Townsend, who was only here 4 days. Regan got shook up but he's OK. We really tore up the VC though. We got one POW alive who said there was only 35 left in his company out of 250 that came to Saigon.We captured lots of weapons and equipment. They're having a big parade for us at Bearcat on the 20th. We earned 12 Silver Stars and 19 Bronze stars. For the first time I 've been out, I got flat scared. Didn't mind the battle. Had a couple of close calls. On the way back I hitched a ride with a recon ship who was looking for enemy that was left. He flew all the way back about 15 Feet above ground at 105 knots. Never been so shook up in my life. I don't think I'll hitch a ride with recon again.We are all back at the fort resting up.
16 May: Busy day. I'm working on the awards for the dead and the heroes. Moving personnel effects, hometown news releases, the MRU roster and DEROS Roster for October, R&R's for July and Leaves. In addition to that, I have to reorganize the cooks, find 2 volunteers for the Killer Squad in Rach Kien, post up the beer fund and try to get 200 cases in tonight. My desk is a mess and I'm running around issuing orders like a mad man. Hope I can catch up and calm down by tonight.. I don't even have time to stop and think about what I'm doing. It'll be like this for a week or so. My men are starting to filter back in from the hospitals. They'll be drifting in for the next couple of weeks. One man, Bischoff, had holes right through his helmet and a part in his hair that took 6 stitches to close. That's luck. We have 4 other men with holes in their helmets in the hospital who did not get hit in the head. We sure we're lucky. Counting the KIA's, we had less than a dozen hurt real bad. It was the VC Battalion form Long An Province that we shot up. Things are a lot more quiet around here, think we about finished them off. I doubt if they'll even report on it in the states with the peace talks going. Troops are ready to go again. After the war stories and rest, everyone is Gung Ho. We're going up to Can Giouc tomorrow to see if any Charlies got away. Should be a routine sweep.
17 May: Real noisy night. We got in a few hundred cases of beer and soda and PSG Cote bought some booze to celebrate his promotion. We let the troops relax and have a big party. First free time they've had time since I've been here. You'd never know we just had a big shootout. They sure had fun. We've got some good guitar players and some of the troops sang. A real riot. Had an awards ceremony to pass out some of the awards that came in. Before it was over, the troops we're alerted and moved out. The killed 5 VC and Captured 3 within an hour. One of the POW's is a Company Commander. That should slow the VC down. We are Op-Con to the mobile riverine force for the next few days. they moved in this morning. I didn't know they had so many boats, There's boats beached all around the island. They're in our area to keep Charlie off the rivers. We should be able to get rid of most of the VC in our area while the they're here. Charlie used to get away in boats when we chased him. The S1 at Rach Kien has my promotions all out of sequence. I wrote two letters and saw the IG to try to get it corrected. I try to promote everyone on time. Pay,promotion,passes, R&R and leave, is the biggest morale problem. Troops don't mind the field and shootouts as long as they get promoted and paid on time and R & R when it's due. I'm trying to send out some hospital baggage today.
21 May: We're moving back to Rach Kien. Got the word last night to start moving this morning. I had 2 platoons at An Nhut Tan and started moving before they got back. Every thing is moving by air. Already moved the equipment . They're tearing down the buildings now. I'm at Rach Kien with two platoons. Two are still at the fort. Got equipment scattered all over the place. Were moving into C Companies area and they haven't moved out yet. Trying to get in at the same time they get out. My orderly room is in an alley and my office is all boxed up. I have all kinds of promotions and 15 replacements due in. Play it by ear-do the most important first. Won't have much time to write until we finish the move.
22 May: Moving again. Charlie hit the fort last night with mortars and rockets. Had to send the mortars back in this morning. I'll go back tonight to help the CO organize the rest of the move. C Company has canceled their move and coming back to Rach Kien. Can't have two companies move into and area that will only hold one. What a mess. I can't set up the orderly room or supply until I find out where the troops will end up. I'll have to work out of the foot lockers and live out of a duffel bag for awhile. It'll be a month to remember. Division won't give us the trucks we need to move. We've hollered at battalion. No one seems to be able to get the trucks Now they say we'll have to police the whole fort and they'll come out and inspect it before we move out. Has a big laugh over that, but will have to police the area. Brigade and Battalion S-4, Discom Commander and the 9th Division G4, are supposed to look at the area today. We may get some trucks after they see how much equipment we have to move.
26 May: Way behind on work. Don't have enough bunkers or billets for my troops. Everytime I start in one area, I get called back to the other. On top of my other problems, I got a dud in yesterday who's been assigned for 3 months and has not performed any duty. He's so bad they gave him 3 Article 15's at Bearcat. As soon as he hit the unit, he starting talking to the IG. He's seen the Battalion Surgeon, IG's, and we sent him back to the 24rth Evac Hospital for an examination. He went AWOL from there yesterday. I got a call From Bearcat today, He's back there to see the IG again. I'm going to make a whole bunch of paperwork and put him in jail. He's a real problem. Rach Kien has a bad water shortage. They don't have enough water to shower. They haul drinking water in from Tan San Nyut by convoy three times a day. Still can't haul enough. Troops are mad about it. They had plenty of water at the fort. Hard to get used to not having enough water to clean up. Still working out of foot lockers. Won't be able to organize for at least a month. Got to get room for my troops and get organized before I settle the orderly room in. May even end up moving again. Don't think we'd be worse off no matter where we move.
27 May: Everything is still a mess. Still haven't closed out the fort and the wheels are hollering about that. Don't have enough space for the troops to live. Have so many commitments for guards, patrols and details that we don't have time to build anymore. There's a shortage of sand and sand bags so we cant complete the bunkers. I feel useless- so much to be done and nothing we can do right now.Sure got mad today. While I was checking out the barracks I found some bags and equipment of troops who had been hospitalized that should have already been sent to the states. I made everybody move everything out of all the barracks. Found about 20 bags that should been sent to supply. I got everybody mad before it was over. Rach Kien is either dusty or muddy- miserable either way. One week they got mortared 7 nights in a row.
30 May: Feel like I'm coming down with the flu. Got 20 men sick. 4 in the hospital and 8 on quarters. Some kind of a stomach virus. Medics don't know what it is. Got a movie star, Roy Gleason, in the unit. He plays baseball for the dodgers and has all kinds of pictures of him and Chuck Conners. He made Generals Orderly this week and showed me his pictures while he was getting ready to go to Bearcat. PSG Jackson's wife was German and he had a girl about 5. He was proud of her - had a lot of pictures. One squad was pinned down across the bridge and he volunteered to cross the bridge and get them out. He didn't have to go. He was on a medical appointment and hitched a ride to join the unit when he heard the company was in contact. Rach Kien got mortared last night. Broke my record. I said it never got mortared while I was here. Hit the village mainly- wounded 7 Vietnamese and killed 1. Feel sorry for them but that's better than the troops getting hit. I can't tell the friendly civilians from the enemy.
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