Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday afternoon
10 Nov. 1969

I’m on the hot pad again, this time from 1200-1800! We flew last night and it really turned into a nightmare. We took off at 2140 for B-52 escort. We got back to Chu Lai about 2330, but the weather was bad, we were low on fuel, and the runway was closed because some guy had blown a tire on the runway. So we diverted to Danang and spent the night. Got to bed at 0200 and up at 0600! When we have the hot pad, it’s plenty hard to get enough sleep.

Today is the Marine Corps’ birthday. We’re having a ball tonight but I won’t get to stay for all of it because I have a 2000 brief for a TPQ! I said I wanted to fly when I came here, but I didn’t have in mind such inconvenient times.

Saw Don Mikulka in Danang. He is in the squadron up there that they tried to talk me into getting in! He’s been here nearly 2 weeks and hasn’t flown yet. I understand that John Allen went to Japan. He wanted to come to Vietnam real bad. But I imagine he’ll manage to have a good time up there!

I’ve lost count of how many points I have toward my air medal, but I think I have nineteen points. So I only need one more point to get my fourth ribbon. I’ve already earned combat action ribbon, Vietnam campaign ribbon, and of course, the national defense ribbon. And if I’m here six months I’ll earn another campaign ribbon for five ribbons. That’ll look a lot better than one ribbon!

Some consolation for having to be over here in this miserable place fighting this miserable war, thousands of miles from my loved ones!

Where I flew last night is classified “top secret”, the highest there is.

Photo - officer's club, Chu Lai

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