Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday night
1 Nov. 1969

Whew, I’m beat! I had a 0600 brief this morning for a CAS mission which turned out to be a TPQ. A TPQ is where a controller on the ground using a computer, directs you to the target and tells you when to drop your bombs. It’s really not much fun.

Then I had ODO from 1200-1500, then a 1530 brief for a BARCAP. [barrier combat air patrol] This mission is where we fly up off the coast of North Vietnam to protect the 7th Fleet from MIG attacks. MIGs are the fighters used by North Vietnam. Every minute of every day there are airplanes up there flying the BARCAP. Anyway I got back from that at 2000 and then had to go to the squadron party where we had a good meal, then everyone proceeded to get disgustingly drunk. One lieutenant who only has about three weeks left over here, got into a verbal fight with a major and really cause quite an embarrassing scene.

The movie tonight was Gone with the Wind, but after seeing it at that good theater in Lubbock, I didn’t much care to see it here.

We don’t use regular U.S. currency over here. We use “military payment certificates” or as we call it, funny money. It’s sort of like Mexican money except there are no coins, it’s all bills of varying sizes. A five cent bill is the smallest denomination, no pennies. Then ten cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, one dollar etc. A $20 bill is the largest denomination and it’s about the size of a regular dollar bill. They tell us not to carry our billfolds when we fly, because if we got shot down, the enemy could use information from the wallet. So we just carry our I.D., Geneva convention card, and a little money in case we have to divert because of bad weather.

I have eight points, now, toward my first air medal. Takes twenty. Maybe I’ll make it before the war’s over! Ha.

The radio reception is so bad inside these lousy hooches that I might as well not even have a radio! These things are made of corrugated steel and it’s just like driving under that cover they had at the Cherry Point service station.

I’m sure glad we’re not flying tomorrow. I can sleep late, hooray.

Oh, I was hoping to get mail today, but the mail didn’t get delivered down here!! The mail is flown down from Danang each afternoon and for some reason it didn’t come today. How’s that for building the morale of our “fighting boys in Vietnam”? It’s enough to make me cry, almost!

The rain slacked off today and we had a pretty, but hot, day.

Photo - the swamp at Chu Lai, enlisted housing in the distance

No comments:

Post a Comment