Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 January 1970

Saturday night
31 January 1970

I’ve had a very long and tiring day that began at 0530 this morning.  I flew 3 combat missions between then and 1500.

All I know about Jim is what Pat Skeldon said and he said he got that from John Bailey.  I did find out tonight that I had got bum scoop about Maj. G.  He’s not coming over.

 Maj. Heald is here now.  He got here today.  He doesn’t know what squadron he’ll be in yet.

 I also found out that Ted Lamb did, indeed, lose one of his eyes.  That accident happened back in October, I guess.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

30 January 1970

Friday night
30 January 1970

Just a quick note before I go fly my second hop today.

I was right about the weather turning bad!  It rained all night last night and most of the morning.   The temp also dropped about 20 degrees and the wind has been just awful all day.

I’ve had a craving all day for Ritz crackers and Fritos!!!  I sure would like to have some.  I have plenty of bean dip left, but nothing to eat with it.

I flew a TPQ earlier today and I’m flying escort tonight for an A-6.  Our take off time is 2205 and we’ll probably be back about 2330.  We had a flight this morning divert to Ubon because of bad weather, but I don’t expect to tonight, unless we get low on fuel.

Seems as though I might have been told wrong about Maj. G coming over here.  Pat Skeldon said he didn’t know anything about it.  But Col. Bushhaus is coming.

Friday, January 29, 2010

29 January 1970

Thursday night
29 January 1970

No mail today.  Seems like I’ve been getting mail about every other day.

I only flew once today.  It was another escort for a RF-4.  I really like these hops.  I guess that’s because they’re something new.

The movie tonight was another bad one!  Seems like the movies and food are worse than before I went to Okinawa.

I’ve been told that I might start working in operations in the next couple of weeks.  I haven’t been to happy with the job I’ve had.  O.J. works in ops, but since he’s going FAC, I’ll probably take his job.

I’ve finally begun some physical exercising.  I’m learning to play a game called handball.  It’s a fairly strenuous game and I hope to tone up my muscles.  I’m on a diet, to!  I’ve quit eating potatoes and gravy, ice cream, or other desserts.  I’ve just decided I’m going to get rid of some of this excess fat I’m carrying around.  I’ll not only look better, but I’ll feel better during the hot weather.

Looks as though we might be in for some bad weather.  It clouded up tonight and the wind shifted around to the north.  I hate to see the good flying weather go away.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

28 January 1970

Wednesday night
28 January 1970

The wind has been blowing today just like Lubbock in the summer time!!  Hot and blustery.

I flew twice today.  This morning I flew an escort mission.  We were escorting a RF-4 recon plane that was taking photos in Laos.  Our mission was to shoot at any antiaircraft guns that might shoot at the photo bird.  No guns shot at him, though, which didn’t upset me at all!!  This afternoon I flew a CAS hop.  Our BDA was 2 structures destroyed, 2 structures damaged, 2 bunkers destroyed, and 2 trails cut.

The movie tonight is an Elvis Presley flick which I just couldn’t take.  So I guess I’ll get to bed early tonight.

We’ve had no rain since I got back from Okinawa, for which I’m very grateful!!  I hope it never rains again.  I even like the hot weather we’ve been having!  I hope to work off some of this fat I’ve got around my middle!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

27 January 1970

27 January 1970

I was on the hot pad last night - so I’ll write now.  I flew one time yesterday - a pretty good flight.  We were escort for a TA-4 that was looking for targets of opportunity.

I forgot to mention it - we got rocketed here 2 days ago.  About 8 rockets hit inside the area here.  It was about 1030 and I was down at the hot pad at the time.  Most of the guys ran to the bunker.  I don’t know if I’m crazy, brave, or what, but I just went outside to see the excitement.  I haven’t been in a bunker yet!  Besides, the rats live in the bunkers and I’m more afraid of them.  As far as I know there was one Vietnamese killed by the rockets, and apparently no damage.

Today was our last day on the pad - hooray!  I flew twice this afternoon, a CAS and a TPQ.  Then I was off this evening and got to see the movie.  I didn’t get any letters today - just a Newsweek.

I watched the movie with Pat Skeldon.  He said his wife is living in Spokane, Washington.  John Bailey is the next RIO from 513 due to come over, followed by Stacy.  I can remember when all those guys checked into 513 and they didn’t know beans about flying.

Now that we’re off the pad, things should be a little more lax, and I can plan on getting plenty of sleep every day - I hope.

Monday, January 25, 2010

25 January 1970

Sunday night
25 January 1970

This has been a very long day.  I’ve been on the hot pad all day long, after having the duty all night.  In fact, I’m on 30 minute standby right now for the hot pad, but I do get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I was scrambled off the pad at 1600 for a real good CAS.  The target was a bunker complex and enemy troops.  We were given credit for 3 bunkers destroyed and 3 KBA (enemy killed by air).   This is my first confirmed KBA and I must say, it’s a funny feeling.  Those guys probably had wives!  But better them than me, I guess.

I have another roommate.  It’s Mike Breeding, the pilot I saw in Okinawa who came from 513.  He and I were in PLC together.  And now we’re roommates.  Small world.  Pat Skeldon is here also, but he is in another squadron.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24 January 1970

Saturday night
24 January 1970

I’m standing the duty again tonight!!  I really got the screws put to me but good.  I’m so peeved I won’t even try to tell about it.

Today has really been a long one.  I’ve been up since 0130 this morning and It’s nearly 2100 now!  Almost 20 hours and I probably won’t get to bed for another 2 - 3 hours!  I plan on getting some sleep tomorrow morning.  I still haven’t had to be on the hot pad though, and this is the second day.

I didn’t get any mail today.  I don’t have any particular news, really. I got my per diem check today and I got all I hoped for!  They even paid me for the money I had to pay to stay at the Kadena BOQ. 

Most of the guys didn’t think they would because we could have stayed at Camp Hansen for free.  In fact, I think I’m the only one who applied for that money.

23 January 1970

Friday afternoon
23 January 1970

I just got back from a CAS hop. 

This will be short because I’ve to go eat now, then an AOM at 1730, then to bed.  I have a 0145 brief tomorrow morning for a Barcap.  I’ll get back from that about 0630, then I have customs inspector all day tomorrow.  I probably will get the hot pad tomorrow night!!  The grind has started again! 

The weather is ideal for flying today.  I hope it stays that way.

20 January 1970

Tuesday afternoon
20 January 1970

I’m definitely leaving in the morning to go back to Chu Lai.  However, I’ve run into money troubles again and had to cash a $25.00 check.
We have to muster in the morning at 0350 at Camp Hague, one of the Marine Camps here.  So I’m checking out of the BOQ here at Kadena and moving to the Q at Camp Hague.

19 January 1970

Monday night
19 January 1970

I found out today that I’ll be going back to Chu Lai on Wednesday morning.  We’ll be flying back on a Continental flight - not bad, eh!  I should be back in Chu Lai the same day, I hope.  There is absolutely nothing to do here because of the strike.

I heard today that Ted Lamb, the Lt RIO who had his wife in Japan for 60 days, was hurt pretty bad in an accident at Cherry Point.  A bird hit the canopy of the airplane and broke the canopy and came inside!  The pilot’s face was cut up, but not seriously.  However, one of Ted’s eyes was hurt real bad and, I guess, they’re afraid he’ll lose his eye.  I heard this from an enlisted man I saw today who was in 513.  He’s on his way to Vietnam.  He also said that Col. Bushhaus and Maj. G are both on they’re way over here.  I hope I don’t see either one of them.

We spent most of today playing one card game or another all day long.  It’s been raining constantly and there is absolutely nothing to do.

Cpl. Moye, who worked for me in operations in 513, was the one who told me all the news about Cherry Point.

I’ve run out, again!

Monday, January 18, 2010

18 January 1970

Sunday night
18 January 1970

I’m still in Okinawa and it doesn’t look like I’ll be leaving here until Tuesday or Wednesday.  We can’t get a flight out any sooner than that.

We took the car back today, so we’re afoot now, but that doesn’t make any difference because we can’t go off base anyway.  The strike is under way and some of the Okinawans are just living on base during the strike.  I think we’ll continue to get maid service.  I wanted to go back to Chu Lai sooner.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

17 January 1970

Saturday night
17 January 1970

FAC school is finally over, and I have another impressive diploma to add to my collection!!  We had a 100 question test as a final, and I did fairly well, if I do say so.  I missed 14 questions.  The high man missed 10 and the low man missed 41!  The high man on the final was the same guy who was high on that first test they gave us.  And he’s a RIO.

There is another strike starting Monday, to last five days.  It’s a good thing the school is over and we’ll be leaving.  All leave and liberty has been cancelled for all military personnel in Okinawa!  Only people on official business can leave the base.

I don’t know why all these precautions are being taken, unless they are expecting trouble of some kind.  The schools have been closed until further notice also!  These people are really upset because we’re cutting back.

I really don’t have to much to write tonight, as nothing particular has happened.  We had a General present our diplomas, which was surprising, considering the relative unimportance of the school.  He was a Brigadier  General, and is the Assistant Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Division,  stationed here at Okinawa.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, 16 January 1970

Friday night
16 January 1970

I had a most frustrating day!  Nothing went right today.  We took off from Camp Hansen in a helicopter to fly up to what they call the northern training area, in the north part of the island.  About half way the helicopter lost one of its two engines and we had to make an emergency landing at the nearest heliport, which just happened to be an isolated Army Corps of Engineers construction site on top of a hill! 

We landed there, but couldn’t take off again, and they didn’t have another helicopter available to come pick us up!  This was about 0900.  We were stuck on this hill with it raining intermittently and the wind blowing and the temperature about 50 degree. 

The airplanes that were supposed to participate in the CAS demonstration came to this site and made several low passes just to kill time.  We ate lunch in the little snack bar they had there - all 45 of us - and finally about 1400 they got a UH-1E (Huey) to take us four at a time to the place we were supposed to be.  By the time we got there the whole CAS demonstration was ruined, so we just had a short map reading problem.  Then they finally got another chopper up there to bring us all back. 

The whole mess was just one big mistake after another.  We’ve learned two things in this school - artillery is very inaccurate, and helicopters are not very dependable!  Ha.  Of course it was raining practically all the time and we were walking in the mud all the time, so it was quite similar to Basic School.  I was smart however, and wore my long handle underwear and gloves so I didn’t get as cold as the other guys did.

I’ve been reading in the paper about the record cold spell in the states.

Tomorrow we take our final exam and get a certificate and a secondary MOS as FAC.  They say that no matter how bad we do on the exam, we still graduate!  Ha.  So, I haven’t even thought about preparing for it.  Frankly I could care less!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday night
15 January 1970

My nightly newsletter!  Ha.  Rained all day so we only spent about 1 ½ hours in the field doing a simple map reading problem.   The CAS exercise couldn’t be held because the weather was to bad for the planes.  We were off all afternoon. 

 Gen. Chapman was at Camp Hansen today for lunch.  The camp CO didn’t want us around in our jungle utilities so we ate lunch at another Marine camp to get us out of sight.  But, the General showed up himself wearing jungle utilities!!!  Almost so funny I thought about sending the story to Reader’s Digest!  We’ll try again tomorrow to do the CAS exercise.

I got paid today and sent a money order for $75.00.   It’s an American Express money order.  After I swore to never do business with that company I was forced to do so.  The post office doesn’t sell money orders as it is in the same building as the American Express Bank which is the bank on base.  So - to encourage people to use the bank, the post office doesn’t sell postal money orders.  How about that!

There is, of all things, a Mexican food restaurant here!  I ate dinner there tonight and the food was delicious!  Just about as good as the Mexican food back home.  Maybe it tasted so good because I’d had no Mexican for so long.

I finished taping my cassettes tonight, and I have 4 hours of real fine music. It’ll help break the monotony back at Chu Lai, having some music to listen to!!

We expect to leave here on Monday, although the school finishes on Saturday.  No one, including me, is very anxious to get back in country!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, 14 January 1970

Wednesday night
14 January 1970

Rain, rain, rain!!!  All day!  Tomorrow we are to be out in the field all day so I hope it clears up!

They have a real fine hobby shop here.  There is a ceramic section, jewel polishing, woodworking, leather tooling, painting, photography, and electronics.  The enclosed photo was made by me in the hobby shop.  I also made an 8 X 10, a 5 X 7, 2 3 X 5, and 4 billfold size - all the same pose for a total cost of about 20 cents.!!  O.J. took the picture on his camera and developed the negatives.  I then took the negative and made all these prints!

I also took my cassette recorder and recorded some of my blank cassettes in the electronics department.  They have many albums on tape and anyone can go in and record the tapes on their own tapes.  The hobby shop has several recorders for this purpose.  I just plugged my recorder right in to the big recorder.  I taped 2 hours of real fine music tonight and I’m going back tomorrow night and tape 2 more.

I suppose most bases have these hobby shops with all these facilities, but I’ve never taken benefit of it.  Maybe I should do that when I get to my new station.

Rumors - that MAG-15 in Japan is going to the states, MAG-12 (A-4s) is going to Japan, and one other MAG in country is going to the states!!  Rick Holt is in MAG 15 - but he wouldn’t go home because he’s been over here less than 9 months.  VMFA-542 is definitely leaving Danang, but all the new guys like Skip, Rick Hines, John Nelson will stay in country - probably coming down to Chu Lai.  The rumors are that all these groups that are moving will be doing so between now and April.  If I can stay in country until April and then go to Japan that would be about right.  However I wouldn’t mind if they decided to send me to El Toro or Hawaii!!!

I found out that Bob Burnes was definitely killed.  Seems the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and exploded before either one got out.  This was what happened to the plane from 122 that got shot down last month - but our crew was lucky!  War is hell. I guess this is the closest person to me to be killed in Vietnam.  Really makes you think about how lucky I’ve been so far!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, 13 January 1970

Tuesday morning
13 January 1970

Well, I let down last night and failed to write - I’ll write a quick note now.

Yesterday was a better day than most because we spent the whole day in the field.  We had a very fine artillery display in the afternoon - which convinced me that artillery is not nearly as good as aviation!

Rumors are flying fast and thick now about who is being pulled out of country.  Seems now that the word is that VMFA-542 and the A-4 squadrons at Chu Lai are being pulled out. As much as I would like to be out of country - looking at it realistically - the best thing would be for me to stay in country and hope to rotate to Japan at the end of 6 months.  That way I can save more money.  The only way I’d want to leave country before 6 months would be if I went back to the states or Hawaii.

The chances of my actually going FAC duty have been cut even more since the 26th Marine Regiment is being pulled out.  That’ll leave only two Marine regiments in country to go FAC with.

Looks like we’ll be leaving Okinawa on the 19th to head back in country.  The main bad thing about going back is having to fly those out of country missions!  Seems like they get more dangerous everyday.  But - that’s what we’re here for, unfortunately. I’ve never been to worried about it personally.

Tuesday night
13 January 1970

Another day - another dollar!  Things are still dragging by.  Today we finally got around to learning how to be a FAC.  Up ‘til now we’ve been studying everything else under the sun.

The instructor was a Major, a helicopter pilot who, as we found out, didn’t know beans about jets, or close air support.  We kept trying to point out to him that things were being done in-country in a different way than he was teaching - but he wouldn’t accept that!  He just said that we were doing everything wrong.  Finally all the students were so pissed off we just gave up.  In 30 minutes one instructor turned every student against the school.

Other than the above, I don’t know of another thing to say!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday night, 11 January 1970

Sunday night
11 January 1970

I just heard the worst news!  Apparently Bob Burnes was killed in Laos just recently.  I saw and talked to him on the first when I was in Danang.  The pilot was Maj. Robinson.  I also talked to him in Danang.  As far as I can find out, their plane was shot down and neither one got out of the plane!  I’m so stunned I just can’t think of anything else.  I keep thinking about his wife and baby and wondering how she’ll take it.

I spent all day with Rick.  We went bicycling around the base and saw some historic things and took a lot of pictures.  Rick is going to the Kobe beef restaurant tonight with some other guys.  He doesn’t know about Bob yet, so I guess I’ll tell him when he comes back to get his things here in my room.

Bob was growing a mustache and it really looked awful.  I just can’t believe he’s dead.  Maj. Robinson was an instructor at MAWTU at Cherry Point and was probably one of the finest pilots in the Marine Corps.

When I ate supper tonight I observed a couple and their two boys eating at the next table.  The boys looked about 6 and 4 and the little one was real cute and mischief looking.  I was eating my heart out and mentally kicking myself for not being in the Air Force!  It was such a happy family.  The little boy had a hot dog and ate all the wiener out of it!  He also had a big glass of chocolate milk and wouldn’t drink it all.

Links to Vietnam Memorial Wall 

Photos - Left - Major Larry Wayne Robinson, USMC, KIA in Laos, 5 January 1970
Right - 1/Lt. Robert Wayne Burnes, USMCR, KIA in Laos, 5 January 1970

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday night, 10 January 1970

Saturday night
10 January 1970

Guess who I ran into yesterday at Camp Hanson!  Rick Holt!!   He’s down here on some kind of an exchange deal where flyers come down from Japan to teach the grunts a little about aviation.  He’s been here for a week. 

After class this afternoon I went by and picked him up at the BOQ at Camp Hanson and brought him down to Kadena.  We spent sometime shopping and Rick bought 2 cameras!  Karen is working, so he’s got money to burn!  We went to the Kobe beef place and ate, then went to the movie and saw the “Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.

Karen was up at Japan with Rick for 2 weeks!  She spent Christmas and New Year’s with him and just left last Sunday.  It’s really hard to believe he was with his wife just 5 days ago.

I’ve been asking Rick about living accommodations around Iwakuni, and everything sounds real fine.  Rick says I can get a nice furnished apartment for about $80.00 a month near the base.   That sounds kind of high to me.  I would hope for something a little less.

Photo - my buddy, Rick Holt, playing with his new camera.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday night
9 January 1970

Tonight, for lack of anything else to do, I went to the show and saw a fairly good movie entitled The Magus, from the book of the same name.  It was one of those bewildering movies that leaves one wondering “what does it mean” - “what’s it all about”.  Then I decided  - does it have to mean anything at all.  When I was coming out some man ask me if I understood it.  I said “of course I did, didn’t he?”  You should have seen his face!  Ha.

After the movie I went to the o’club to get a coke.  When I ordered the coke, the bartender looked at me as though I was some kind of nut.  He asked if I wanted a straight coke and I said yes.  When he brought it back I tried to pay for it and he said no, it was on the house!  Ha. Some drunk standing at the bar also made some unintelligible remark!  Ha.

The strike by the Okinawans continued today.  It doesn’t seem to really hurt much.  The o’club at Camp Hanson has had all it’s waitresses both days.  However the strike has had a little more effect here at Kadena.  Most of the waitresses are on strike so they hired some high school girls to wait tables at the o’club.  We have to file thru the kitchen, buffet style, to get our food.  It’s funny how young these girls look!  We asked how old they were and one is a senior!  She looked about 15.

Would you believe it’s been raining every day since we’ve been here!  Today it really rained hard for awhile - but we were in class.  Tomorrow morning we are to be outside so I hope it clears up.

This cold weather has really ruined my skin!  My skin has returned to it’s winter state - dry, rough, chapped, and awful looking!!  I’ll be glad when I get back to Chu Lai so it’ll clear up.  Also, all my mail is piling up back at Chu Lai.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thursday night
8 January 1970

This week is sure dragging by!  It’s only Thursday and seems like it ought to be Friday.

When I was in Okinawa last time, the Okinawans were holding demonstrations against American forces in Okinawa.  They had several riots, in fact.  Well, now we’re cutting back our forces in Okinawa, and, as a result many Okinawans working for the military have been dismissed.  Now they are demonstrating against the dismissal of these workers!!  In fact, the natives have declared a strike for today and tomorrow, against all military bases here.  They have pickets outside all the gates and we don’t have our usual waitresses in the clubs, or maids in the BOQ.  These people really ire me!  First they want us to get out - then they’re mad when we leave!

We went to the finals of the Inter-Service boxing championship tonight.  All the services here in Okinawa were represented in this tournament.  And the Marines won the over-all championship!

Boy it was exciting.  That’s the first time I’ve gone to a real boxing match, and I really enjoyed it.  There were a couple of knockouts, and some very good boxing.

Some of the Marine officers stationed here permanently  with the Division, have their wives over here, for sixty days I guess.  These wives eat in the o’club at noon, and the sight of them makes me long for when I get to Japan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wednesday morning
7 January 1970

I’m sitting in one of the most boring classes I’ve ever seen.  It’s a communications class taught by a com officer (Major) who is awful!

This morning has been a long one, it seems because of dull classes.

There’s a new rumor going round that VMFA-542, the squadron in Danang, is going to be pulled out pretty soon.  I think it’s just a rumor - but who knows.  Don Mikulka, Rick Hines, and Skip Spindler are in 542.  Skip is here at FAC school also.  We have people here from Chu Lai, Danang, Okinawa, and Japan, for this school.

The instructors for this school came from San Diego just to teach this school.  They come out here every quarter to teach this school.  It’s kind of funny because we know more about what’s going on in-country than they do.  So, in a way, we teach them.

I’ve been reading the paper this morning about the Kennedy hearing, and I wonder just what will come of it.

Well this class is finally about over, and it’s lunch time, so I’ll write more later!

After lunch

Well, we’re back in class with the same instructor!  So I suppose I’ll get some sleep!  The instructor is telling us right now about how much this particular class has been criticized in the past!

Well, I have nothing else to write.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday night. 6 January 1970

Tuesday night
6 January 1970

Just a note tonight - as I’ve nothing to write!  Ha.  School is already getting boring! 

We had an “inventory” exam yesterday, just to see how bad we would do.  It was a test about the things we’re going to learn.  Out of 55 questions I missed 28!  But the best score was 26 missed and the worst was 42 missed!  They said when we took the test that the best scores would be about 50 %.  We’re learning a lot of things about artillery and naval gunfire along with CAS.

Didn’t get nearly 6 degrees last night.  The temp here this afternoon was 61 degrees - cold to me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday night, 5 January 1970

Monday night
5 January 1970

The end of another day has come!  One less day I am away from home.  One day closer to going home.

Our first day of class was okay.  Looks like this might be an interesting school.

I bought a cassette recorder today.  I also bought some blank cassettes on which I’ll record some music.  There are cassettes available with music already on them, but I haven’t been able to find any here.  I plan to leave the cassette recorder in the car when I get home and can play music as I drive.   It’s an outstanding recorder and the music is just as good quality as any good radio.  I put the mike in front of the radio here in the room and recorded some music.  It’s exactly what I wanted and I’m tickled pink!!!

Boy, it’s cold here!!  The wind is blowing from the north and is very chilly!  There’s a rumor that the temperature is to go down to 4 degrees tonight.  I sure hope not.  The weather is especially cold as I’m not used to cold weather having just come from Chu Lai.

One of the benefits in the BOQ here is free laundry service.  I just leave my dirty laundry on the bed in the morning and when I return at night, it’s all clean and folded.  The laundry I had done today is so clean and white I can’t even believe it’s mine!  All my stuff was so gray and filthy looking, that I’m going to have the stuff that was supposed to be clean, done tomorrow.

We’re watching TV tonight.  Right now Star Trek is on.  Since we only have the one station in English, we don’t have much choice.  This station is run by the Armed Forces Radio - Television Service.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, 4 January 1970

Sunday morning
4 January 1970

Didn’t write last night - so will write twice today!  We ate a most fantastic meal last night.  I ate Kobe beef, a special kind of beef that comes from Japan.  The meat is very tender and delicious.  Seems the cattle are fed a lot of beer which gives the meat its tenderness.

The tables in the restaurant are three sided things with a grill in the middle.  The chef stands on the fourth side and cooks (fries) the entire meal right in front of you.  There is no menu - they only serve this one meal. 

The first thing the chef cooks is a concoction of potatoes, onions, and bell peppers, all very highly seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and wine.  Then he cooks the meat, to your choice, seasoned the same way.  He cuts the meat in bite size chunks as he cooks it. 

Then comes spinach - which I passed up. Next is garlic bread and finally rice.  I did eat some of the rice, with soy bean sauce on it - and it wasn’t bad.  The rice was the only thing the chef didn’t cook. 

Before the meal we were served a tossed salad and soup.  Now here’s the topper - the whole meal, except the soup, was eaten with chop sticks!!  You should have seen me!  There wasn’t even a fork or knife in sight.  It was without a doubt one of the finest meals and experiences I’ve ever had in a restaurant. 

This whole meal is a Japanese custom apparently.  The place was so busy we had to wait for about two hours to eat.  Then it takes so long to eat because the food is cooked as you eat it.

We checked into the school yesterday.  The school is going to last until the 17th.  We (O.J. me and another guy) decided to rent a car and stay at the Kadena BOQ.  It’s about a 30 minute drive from the Q to the school, but it beats staying at the Q at Camp Hanson.

As I predicted, the money is really going!  Being out of country like this, a person wants to celebrate all the time, go places and enjoy himself!!

My address for emergency is Kadena BOQ, Bldg. 327, Rm 124, Kadena AFB, Okinawa.

Sunday night
4 January 1970

We didn’t do much today.  Just slept late then ate lunch, then watched TV and shopped this afternoon and tonight. 

Tomorrow we start school so I’ll have something to keep me busy all day.
It’s winter time, now, in Okinawa, and I didn’t have any kind of a jacket to wear.  So I bought a windbreaker yesterday.  I bought it out in town for only $3.50.  The cheapest ones in the PX were $6.95.  The jacket seems to be of good quality and worth more than I paid.

I also had to buy another pair of slacks as my old gray ones have just about had it.  Both pockets are completely worn out.  I bought that gray pair of slacks at Sears in Brunswick.  Of course, I was planning to buy clothes over here as I needed them.

I’ve been looking at cassette recorders here.  My roommate moved right before I left, so I’m thinking about buying a recorder of my own.  I’m pricing them to see if I’ll have enough money to buy one.  The best price I’ve found so far is $29.95 and that’s for a good brand.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2 January 1970

Friday Nite
2 Jan. 1970

Well, I got to Okinawa, finally!  We left Chu Lai yesterday morning and went to Danang.  But we couldn’t get a flight out of Danang until 1630 today and it’s a 5 hour flight to Okinawa.  So we finally got here late tonight. 

We are staying at the Kadena AFB BOQ tonight, a real nice place.  We have to report in tomorrow at 1300, but we still don’t know for sure just where the school is held or where we’ll be staying.

I ran into Hawk Cornetta tonight at the o’club.  He was at Basic School with me and is real small (smaller than me.)  I was surprised to see him.  No matter where I go I run into old friends.

The BOQ here is fantastic!!  These rooms have TVs, a refrigerator stocked with beer and soft drinks, wall to wall carpet, and even a clock radio.  These crews that live here are mostly B-52 crews who fly missions to Vietnam.  What a way to fight a war!  If I ever join the military again, it’ll be the Air Force.