2 Mar: In the first of the month rush-trying to get everyone paid and they're spread all over the place. Lot of mistakes on the payroll. Got a bunch of promotion allocations.. Take about 2 days to see who's eligible. On top of that, we're going to exchange our rifles for a later model. We have to have everyone inventoried by 6 April. Trying to waterproof and get ready for the monsoons. Hurt my back sawing 2 x 4's.
4 Mar: I got stuck in Rach Kien and brought 6 replacements back with me. Rach Kien took about 100 rounds of mortar fire- hit about every building in town. The guy that did the stabbing did it at Vung Tau. That's across the bay about 12 miles. If the troops stay out overnight, I take in the re-supply and supper meal. Been out about 3 times. They don't stay out unless they make contact and can pin the VC down . I don't worry about the mortars. Either get away clean or never know what hit you. I think the biggest thing is being able to get to the bunker fast. I'm able to miss the barbed wire now and get in fast. Having 2 page Morning Reports-used to be only one page. I was going to send the clerk on R & R anyway. He puts in more hours than me. I was lucky to get him. He's from a rifle platoon, learns fast and doesnít make the same mistake twice.
6 Mar: I'm getting replacements that don't belong here, orders but no troops, promotion orders but no assignment orders, and lists of troops that are supposed to belong to me that I have never heard of. The orders are supposed to get here before the troops so I can promote them to PFC. and get copies to Finance for the payroll. Don't know if this mess will get straight in time to get them on the payroll or not. One of my replacements broke his ankle playing basketball at Bearcat and went to the hospital. Weird way of hospital entries. They're dropped off the Morning Report. Since these 2 never made it here, I'll have to think up some way to carry them. All I'm getting right now are mortarmen. I need Riflemen so I'll have to change their MOS and put them on the line. Probably have a lot of them going to the IG. The other companies have had IG inspections of the KP and Duty Rosters and such. My troops seem to be happy so far. Having to smoke fancy cigars this week (all the PX had). I wouldn't swap a bushel of them for a box of King Edwards. But, I'm lucky to be able to get any. Got a Platoon getting ready to move out for 3 weeks and a bunch of replacements due in. Tonight will be another rat race. Be glad when my clerk gets back.
7 Mar: Another bad day. Had to get one platoon moved out and pick up 6 troops on the Morning Report. Had to make an inventory report of starlight scopes and clear one man for DEROS. In the middle of that, an MP wanted to question 9 troops about a theft. Interrupted my whole afternoon. Had 2 AWOLs today- The same 2 involved with stealing the money. Enclosing a map of the area we normally operate in..
10 Mar: Had a busy day yesterday with silly questions and phone calls. While I was loaded down a Colonel with about 35 troops came in to check our records and made a madhouse out of the orderly room. Hope they don't come back for awhile. PSG Regan reported in for duty last night. He's the one that lived across the hall from us in Mainz. Say's his wife makes more money than he does. He talks far out sometimes so he may be pulling my leg. Be good to have someone to swap tales with. We kept everyone awake with our jump stories. He's still Gung Ho. He's not supposed to go out for 2 days but he moved out with the Platoon this morning. Got a pretty good fight started today. Charlie ambushed one of out recon vehicles and killed 3 men. We have about 30 of them cornered. We'll try to Zap them, if we can keep them cornered. I'll be moving out around supper time if the fight is still going on. Came at a good time. We we're already on choppers going to a different area. The troops took off and swooped in on Charlie before he could get away. I have to get the resupply and night kits ready to go. I sure carry a load when I go in. Takes 2 choppers to carry it.
11 Mar: Had to send my 2d Plt Sgt home on emergency leave. He's been worried because his wife is past due with a baby. Got a message around noon that she had a 6 Lb. boy and both are fine. I interrupted the TAC radio to get the message to him in the field. Everyone sure is excited. We had to pull him out of the field and ship him out last night. They had a special chopper bring him here and wait to take him to Bearcat. They only do that when someone is critical. Feel bad about that. All Jackson talked about for the last month was hoping the baby was a boy. Got 6 replacements due in today. Got one man being Courts Martialed here today. That should make my day a complete flop.
13 Mar: Last night started off with a bang. 5 choppers with supplies, chow, PX items, ammo and replacements. I put the replacements anywhere they would fit. They straggled in for 2 hours. The mess hall was still open at 2045. Generators broke so I don't have lights in the Orderly Room or barracks. I had to meet them in the dark and fumble around to find a place to sleep. 2 men going home today. Had to get up at first light to type their clearance papers and CER's so the CO could sign them before the unit moved out at 0745. A Hectic time. Troops messed up last night. One went to sleep on bunker guard, one left his post to go to a party and 7 got out of hand having the party. Been playing Perry Mason most of the morning trying to figure out who to charge with what. If my clerk doesnít make it back today I'll have to type the charges. The CO got back from R&R yesterday. Things starting to get back to normal. Regan is doing good. He's been in the field every day. He's going to take over the Second Platoon until Jackson gets back and move them to An Nyut Tan tomorrow for about a month. Got a new Mess Sergeant yesterday. The old one wasn't too swift. I'll have to spend a little time with the mess hall for a week or so.
15 Mar: My clerk got back last night. S1 messed up my promotion list so I have to redo it and have it in by tonight. Got 2 Aricle 15's to get out tonight and 1 flagging action. Had to send another platoon to An Nhut Tan today. Don't know how long they'll be gone. The other platoon will be there about a week. Makes it easy for us. We don't have enough troops left to go on a mission until some platoons come back. It is hot. I think I can stand the monsoon more than the sun.
16 Mar: Bad day. Our water barge broke into last night and part of it floated away. We can't find it. They brought another one out and it got caught under the pier at low tide and capsized so the water is no good. We wonít be able to wash or take a shower until we can get another barge in. Got 7 more troops in tonight. Too late to process them so I already have my work lined up for tomorrow. I'll have to deliver them to the platoons at An Nhut Tan. Probably take 2 days to get back. In the middle of this a Pay Officer came in to pay the troops who had complaints. Orderly room was a mess. Have to find another place for them to set up. Can't get anything done while they're here. Battalion seems to lose all my paperwork or make a mess out of it. They're either dumb or lazy. I'm getting a bad reputation as a hard head. The CO said the Colonel made a remark about me shaking up the Battalion Clerks. The XO's back at Bearcat now hand carrying paperwork we couldn't get though message center. Happiness today is Dr. Pepper. The PX got some in. Don't have any ice but I'm beginning to like it warm.
18 Mar: Get an average of 5 new men per day. I have to inprocess them, take them to the rifle range to test fire weapons and deliver them to the platoons. Be moving out to An Nyut Tan tonight. The last time I went all hell broke lose. Got transportation problems. They stopped the daily Chinook runs and use hueys as needed. Problem is when you need them, they're not available. Just received notification of the death of the father of one of our troops. Killed in an auto accident. That's the second bad news this week. Seems the highways are as dangerous as Vietnam. Getting sick again. Think it's the Malaria pill.
20 Mar: Just got back from An Nhut Tan. Had a terrible time getting home. When I was flying over the fort I noticed that the water barge is sinking. I checked out the Engineer who runs the pumps. He's not too swift. Can't get the pump started so he's watching the barge sink. I'm going to get this mess straightened out. The troops haven't had enough water to shower for 3 days. If the barge sinks, they wont have enough water to drink. The only way I can get anything done here is to do it myself. These rear echelon commandos don't have enough work to justify keeping them and they canít do that right.
21 Mar: I looked like a grease monkey by the time I finished working on the water pump. Had to take the carb apart to get it running. It hadn't been cleaned in about a year. After I got it going, I had to crawl out on the barge to get the hoses in the tanks. I got in saltwater up to my neck- sure is itchy. Got half the water out last night and finished it up this morning. Got sunburned and a mashed hand from the hatch cover. We managed to to salvage enough water for a couple of weeks and got the barge refloated. Maybe I can get my work done now the water problem is solved.
22 Mar: Terrible day. The battalion S-1 has a bunch of duds and we're having a feud. The BN XO got in it last night on the other side and really chewed me out. I enjoy a good fight ever so often. It keeps things exciting. Policed the whole area today. The Division and Battalion Commanders and the Sergeant Majors were supposed to inspect. They called and canceled at the last minute. We had fun and the place did need cleaning. The CO got shook up as usual. He gets excited every time he hears that someone who outranks him is coming. He's pretty good most of the time though. Trying to swap my Platoon at An Nhut Tan. Been trying to get choppers for a week. Hope we can get them back by Monday. They've been there over 2 weeks. Pretty crummy place. There's a river that runs right through the town and the troops have to take a ferry to go eat. My roommate got wounded yesterday-not really bad, he fell down on a nail. He says its the upper leg but the Captain says it's the lower butt. We'll really rib him when he gets back.
25 Mar: Busy yesterday. The General finally made it . The place was a madhouse. We had the Brigade and Battalion CO's about an hour before he arrived. Policed the area about 6 times. We put on a show for him. Everyone seemed happy when they left. Even the CO looked happy. I didn't have time for anything but police and eyewash. Have to work hard today to catch up. Finally got the Platoons swapped at An Nhut Tan. When we got the choppers the troops had to move out so fast they didn't have time to get their equipment picked up. I've got to send a supply man over to straighten out the mess. Troops have been setting on the pad all day waiting for an operation. Charlie has gone into hiding again. Nobody can figure what he's up to. Think he's regrouping for another big push. Haven't had a big one since 21 Feb. He's back to building booby traps again. Better than the big fights. We get to stay home at night.
26 Mar: Almost time for the monsoons. Getting hot and sticky. My clerks don't even wear shirts while working in the office. I don't try to keep them in uniform. It's too miserable. I have to wear mine to set an example-so I wear one and suffer. Been getting a lot of replacements. Almost have a full company again. Hope things keep running this smooth.
29 Mar: Just got back from An Nhut Tan. Gone overnight. Took 61/2 hours to get a chopper and then had to ride to Tan An and Ben Luc to get back. Pretty exciting at An Nhut Tan. Charlie hit us with a small probe. We fired the machine gun and mortar defcons. Sure was noisy. He took off after that. I think we shook each other up. We didn't know what they had and they found out what we had so the fight was over before it got started. I caught a 5 foot snake that shook up the CP. Tiger scout said if it bit someone they'd die. Feels good to be back at the Fort.
30 Mar: Everything has gone wrong today. Had 2 troublemakers come to the quartermaster laundry. Got smart with the XO, myself and then the CO. Ordered them off the island and they didn't go. Probably have to make Courts martial charges on them before its over. My First Platoon Sergeant got transferred to MACV. He has to move out tonight to attend the advisors school. Sure happened fast. The supply barge has been here for 2 days. He stuck the fork lift again so deep it'll take a crane to lift it out this time. The CO is mad about it. We'll have to unload about 20 tons by hand. It will take a couple of days of hard work.. My status report got messed up while I was gone. Having trouble with paperwork. With 2 platoons at An Nhut Tan , a real problem to get information to and from the troops. Don't want anyone to miss R&R while they're away from base.
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