Monday, July 26, 2010

26 July 1970

Sunday
26 July 1970

I’m on the all night hot pad tonight - and we got scrambled after dark - which is very unusual.  We dropped bombs and napalm, after dark, on a place where enemy had been sighted just before dark.  So I got two hops today.

Tomorrow I’ve got to get my shots for R&R.  I think I’ll probably have to get a couple of shots and a PPD (T.B. test).  Needless to say I’m not looking forward to these shots.  I’ve become so neurotic about shots that every time I get a shot, I break out in a cold sweat and feel like I’m going to pass out.  Bad, eh!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

25 July 1970

Saturday
25 July 1970

Today has been so long and tiring, that I’m more tired than I’ve been in a long time!!  I was woken up this morning at 0130 for a TPQ.  Then I had the morning hot pad and was scrambled two times.  Then I had ODO this afternoon, and then I had to write the schedule after dinner.  So - I’m pooped.  And I have to get up at 0500 tomorrow to go back on the hot pad.

I didn’t get any mail today, but I got three letters yesterday.

We had a very good dinner tonight.  Saturday is normally the night we have steak - but tonight they served “steamboat round.”  Very good roast beef.  One of our squadrons is leaving tomorrow for Danang so the group was having sort of a farewell party.  The squadron that is moving is an A-4 squadron and no one from the F-4 squadrons really care that they’re leaving.  Ha.

One week from today will be in Hawaii!!!  I can hardly sleep at night for thinking about R&R.  I just don’t know how I ever managed to put it off this long.  Now I know how people feel when they’re all pepped up for R&R and it gets put off for some reason.  If something happened now to cancel R&R I think I might go crazy!  I’m almost counting the hours!!!               

Saturday, July 24, 2010

24 July 1970

Friday
24 July 1970

Today I got 3 letters and some pictures.  I haven’t received any kind of confirmation, yet, on hotel reservations.  Perhaps I will soon.

Regardless of that, I probably won’t be able to get the reservations extended to cover the 31st of July at this late date.  But that is not problem!

I flew only once today - and that mission was to that fire support base I wrote about yesterday.  Only this time, there were no Americans there - they had all been pulled out and our target was the base itself.  Apparently the army had evacuated in a hurry and had left some supplies behind and they wanted us to destroy those supplies.  I suppose you could call that operation a small victory for the enemy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

23 July 1970

Thursday
23 July 1970

Nine days from now will be in Hawaii!  That’s a week from Sunday.  It’s really hard to believe that after such a long time, it’s just a few days from now!

I got another can of cookies today.  I sure do appreciate it.

I was on the hot pad this morning, and got scrambled twice.  Both times we went to the same place.  The army has a fire support base that is surrounded and in a lot trouble - so they’ve been running air strikes constantly.  I flew a mission there yesterday and the two today.  I’ve developed sort of a personal interest in that place by now.  Most of the people in our squadron have flown in support of that base and everyone is talking about it.

I’m reading a very good book right now - The Fixer.  I saw the movie some time ago.  The book won the Pulitzer Prize and is quite good.

Marv Stacy from 513 checked in here today.  Even while we’re planning to pull troops out of Vietnam, they’re still sending new people over.  It’s so ridiculous I can’t even believe it!!  Of course that’s the way it was when I came over.  Sure looks like this mess could last another few years, at the present rate. 

I went to the movie tonight for the first time since before I got sick.  It was “Gaily, Gaily” - and was very entertaining.  We had the usual trouble with the projector - or rather the projectionist!  After 9 months of this type movie going, it’ll sure be great to go to a decent movie house.  Perhaps will do that one evening while in Hawaii.

There are many things I really miss - driving, good hamburgers, bottled cokes and Dr. Peppers, malts, etc, etc, etc,.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

21 July 1970

Tuesday
21 July 1970

I have the all night ODO tonight, so I’m just relaxing and reading a good book.  There is nothing for me to do tonight except answer the phone.  You see, we have no missions at night anymore, unless we’re on the hot pad.  We used to fly at night all the time, back in December - Feb but that’s when we were bombing in Laos.

We go on the hot pad tomorrow, so the next 5 days will be bad - as always when we have the pad.

I’m feeling remarkably well, despite the 5 days I was sick.  I don’t even feel weak.  I didn’t eat much during those days, so I lost some weight, but I didn’t have any G.I. tract problems, so I wasn’t weakened as normal from sickness.

I now weigh a trim 160 pounds.  I’m unable to shed those love handles, however, - I guess they’re just to firmly attached to my waist.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

20 July 1970

Monday
20 July 1970

I’m out of the hospital!  I was discharged this morning, early.  My temperature had been down to normal all night, so I guess the doctor figured it was a good time to get me out of his hair!  Ha.

They never did figure out what was wrong with me, and they did absolutely nothing to cure my illness. I just got well by myself.  So, you see, I could have just stayed in my quarters for those three days and just sweat it out.

Of course - if it had been malaria - well! 


Life over here is just hour by hour because you never know what’ll happen to upset your plans.  Just like my getting sick almost upset R&R - and I could get sick again, I hope not!

I’m not flying tomorrow because I want to make sure I’m well.  Instead, I’ll stand ODO, and just rest some more, and then start flying the next day.   Although I’m unhappy with the war, I do see the reason we’re here.  I just don’t agree with the way it’s being fought.

Sounds as if you really enjoyed your trip to Oklahoma and you sure got to see a lot of people.  I suppose we will go up through there on our way to Cherry Point.  I suppose you’ve already figured out by now that my squadron was not the one which went to Japan.  That squadron was a reconnaissance squadron with special F-4’s and A-6’s.

Monday, July 19, 2010

19 July 1970

Sunday
19 July 1970

I’m going into my third night in the hospital - and my “friends” at the squadron haven’t been over since the first day - so I haven’t had any mail for 3 days.  I also haven’t had a chance to do anything about the R&R orders.

My doctor told me today that if my temperature continues to stay down, he’ll probably discharge me tomorrow.  I think he’s finally decided I don’t have malaria, but he doesn’t know what I do have.  My temperature hovers between 99 and 100.  Actually, I’d be relieved if they would find I have malaria and then we could get on with curing it.  I suppose he’ll give me some antibiotic to try to take care of what I have.

Actually, malaria is not that serious a disease, as I see it, and I would have a good excuse for not ever giving blood.  Ha.  At any rate, I hope I’m out of this place by tomorrow night.

Things haven’t been so bad since they stopped taking blood samples.  I haven’t been “stuck” since yesterday morning. 

All I think about is R&R!!!  I was scared silly when I got sick fearing that I wouldn’t get well in time.  Although I’m not “well” yet, things look much brighter than a few days ago!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

18 July 1970

18 July 1970
Saturday

I have before me my R&R orders.  The only thing they are lacking is my C.O.’s signature.  I hope to get this taken care of tomorrow.

I’m in the hospital right now, so I’m not getting around to freely! Ha.  Right now they think I might have malaria.  Back to the beginning.

The day after I sprained my ankle, I began running a high fever and having cold chills and a bad headache.  After two days of that, I went to the doctor (yesterday) and he couldn’t find out what was causing it.  So he sent me over to the U.S. Army’s 27th Surgical Hospital here at Chu Lai, and they immediately admitted me as a FUO (fever unknown origin).  For the first 24 hours they took blood samples every FOUR hours - and you know how I am about needles.

Well, my fever is staying down now, I have virtually no cold chills, and my headache is gone.  In fact I feel well enough to leave.  But, the doctor is to stubborn.  He wants to watch me some more.  So I’m about to spend my second night here.  At least the blood tests have stopped (unless my temp gets out of hand again).  The ward is air conditioned and is kept quite cool as practically everyone in here has malaria and are running high fevers.

This should not effect my R&R.  Even if I do have malaria, it can be cured in 5 - 10 days easy. 

They are taking my temperature right now.

Someone from the squadron should be over tonight to bring my mail, and I’ll have them see that the R&R orders get mailed off right away.

Well my temp was 100.2.  It’s really frustrating that we don’t know what’s causing it.  There are so many types of fever over here, and new ones turn up all the time.  I hope this isn’t one!  Ha.

Photo - Officers shower/toilet facility.

Friday, July 16, 2010

16 July 1970


Thursday
16 July 1970

I didn’t write anything last night because I was really feeling bad from my ankle which I badly sprained while playing handball.

I got two cans of cookies today!

I can’t think of a thing to write!  I haven’t flown for two days, and haven’t done anything else that matters.

I still haven’t got my R&R orders.  They are sent down from Group, and aren’t ready yet.

I got a check today for $1000.  I’m going to open a checking account at the American Express Bank we have here at Chu Lai.  As much as I hate that company, that’ll be the best way to have the money for R&R.


Photos - Udorn, Thailand

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

13 July 1970


Monday
13 July 1970

My R&R is approved!!  I’ll be arriving in Hawaii about noon on 1 August.  I don’t have the orders yet, but I’ll be getting them in a few days.  I’ll send off the hotel reservation request tomorrow.

All signs indicate that I will return to Hawaii sometime in late September where I’ll finish my 12 months.

I’ve already drawn $1,000 for R&R.  I still have $75.00 on the books, and that’s through the 15th of this month.  So I can probably save $600 by the time I leave Vietnam.

Today was another typical day.  I flew one mission today and we bombed some enemy bunkers.  I guess about 80% of our targets are bunkers.  You’d think that sooner or later we would destroy all those bunkers.

Photos from Udorn, Thailand

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

12 July 1970


Sunday
12 July 1970

Just a note tonight because I’m so tired I’m just going to collapse into bed.

I flew two hops today, the second one was also a four plane fly over during the change of command ceremony.  Every one who saw it said it was just great.  Of the eight people in the four planes, six  were lieutenants and two were captains.  Usually the Majors and Lt. Cols fly these fly overs.  So we were all very proud it was so good.

I still don’t have my orders for R&R.  But they should be here in the next 3 or 4 days.

Photos taken in Udorn, Thailand

11 July 1970


Saturday
11 July 1970

I have the duty tonight, and have been playing cards for the past four plus hours!

Tomorrow we’re having a change of command ceremony.  Our present CO., whom I’ve liked more than any CO I’ve ever had, is going to Wing Headquarters, and our present XO, (A Major) is going to become the CO.  He is my assigned pilot, so I get to fly more than any other RIO, because the he flies every day. 

I’m scheduled to fly two missions tomorrow.  I only flew once today, but didn’t mind.

I’ve learned to play Pinochle, a very interesting game.  It’s not a difficult game, but is sort of fun.  I guess I’ve learned how to play every kind of card game there is - except poker - since I’ve been over here.  What a great accomplishment!

I got cookies today, and they are already gone!  I shared them with the guys on the hot pad tonight.  The cookies were a little dry because they took so long getting here - but VERY good all the same!!

My present roommate, Eric Rooth, is leaving for the world tomorrow.  So he started celebrating last night by getting very drunk.  He brought some of his drunk buddies to our room where they proceeded to make a shambles of the place.  You just wouldn’t believe how wild people get when they are going home.  Eric kicked a hole in the wall, someone else threw a glass against the wall, Eric threw one of his cameras on the floor and stomped it into pieces.  Then they decided to try to turn over the wall lockers.  Fortunately they didn’t succeed.  Then they threw beer on everyone, then began a sword duel with some Thai swords Eric has.  After this they tried sticking the swords in the wall, and ruined one of the swords.  During all the shuffle, several of the guys cut themselves, so Eric wrote his personal call sign, “Hawk”, on the wall in blood, in large bold letters.

I can’t decide if I should try to clean up the room after he leaves tomorrow, or just move out!  Ha.

Photos taken in Udorn, Thailand

7 July 1970



Tuesday
7 July 1970

Today has been a typical day on the hot pad.  Long - boring - but still got two hops.  Of course I didn’t do anything else all day.

The movie tonight is one I’ve already seen (over here) and is not worth seeing again - I’ll spend the evening reading, I guess.

Haven’t played handball today, but am to tired for that now.

Can hardly wait for R&R.  Although I’ve waited 9 months - I’m very impatient now!  Ha.  It’s only a little over 3 weeks away!

I enjoyed my three day trip to Thailand, and saw a few sights of interest.  I took a number of pictures of a Buddhist monastery and church - hope they turn out good.  I bought that watch my brother wanted. He should have received it by now.  He can consider it a gift from me, for all the help that he has given you guys.   I can’t seem to spell my words very well tonight.  I’m a bit tired, but didn’t realize that tired.

We are not flying any missions in Cambodia, so you won’t need to worry about me getting shot down there.  About 99 percent of our missions are flown right here in I corps.  I got the letter without the stamp but didn’t have to pay any for it.  Thanks for the pictures.  They are very good and I see that everyone is looking well.

I now have National Defense medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Vietnamese Campaign Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, (no medal)   and nine Air Medals.

Photos take in Udorn, Thailand

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

6 July 1970


Monday
6 July 1970

John Haynes has just given me some booklets about R&R. 

I flew two missions today, and am to be on the hot pad all day tomorrow.

We’re having a “party” right now in my room.  My roommate popped some popcorn, and someone else brought some tuna, and sodas, so we’re enjoying ourselves (sort of).  Of course I’m having trouble writing this.

I am very anxious to get my orders for R&R.

Photos taken in Udorn, Thailand