Journal Entries for:
August 2, 1968
I received a letter from John Fitzgerald; he has made Sp/5.
I hear that Phillips and I are in line for some sort of medal (Bronze Star for service). I guess it will have to take the place of a promotion.
Tomorrow, we lose two radio operators. Headquarters will replace them with a couple of track drivers. Training them should be interesting. Even though we are required to be instructors, our KP duty is unaffected, and combined with radio watch can last for 24 hours.
I have moved back into the tent. Living with the big brass proved to be too unpleasant. I will take the added risk of being above ground, just to get some peace.
Today, all the men who came to Vietnam with the unit are leaving for home. I will miss them.
August 8, 1968
Home Sweet Home
I am very happy to be back in the tent. It is much cooler above ground and easier to sleep.
My radio shift has changed from alternating night duty to afternoons from 1200 to 1800 hours. I enjoy this shift much more, even if it is busier. After the first sergeant left, they assigned one of the platoon sergeants to do his job. Things are running smoother around here now. He is a welcomed change from what we had. (I do not pull KP anymore.) I went to see the "Doc" today about my rash. He thought it might be ringworm, and gave me a few pills to clear it up.
August 15, 1968
Now that I am on the day shift, I get up each morning at seven. I could sleep longer, but I like to get to the mess hall at seven-thirty for breakfast, before it closes .
The mornings are cool until 0900 hours. Soon after, the heat begins to soar. In this heat, I'll write a few letters, but rarely feel like doing anything else.
Yesterday, we put up the volleyball net. When the heat is not oppressive, we play a game or two. I only hope this activity will help alleviate the boredom.
I have a little more than two months left in country.
August 18, 1968
John Fitzgerald will be getting out of the Army sometime late this month to go back to school. I could have done the same, but I want to relax a little when I get home. When I do finally leave Vietnam, I will go to Fort Lewis, Washington for my separation from the service.
I applied for another R&R but the squadron has changed its policy on that deal. They denied my request.
I finally received a letter from Linda; she says she is getting married. Such is life!
When it rains the tent leaks like a sieve. I wonder what the monsoon season will do to our "holey tent."
August 22, 1968
Alex Phillips at LZ Baldy
Alex Phillips is very sick and may have Malaria. To get a diagnosis, he went about nine miles north of here to a field hospital near LZ Baldy . The doctor said he doesn’t think his case is too serious, and Alex should return in a few days.
New guns were just delivered to the artillery base nearby. I think they now have about six 155 mm Howitzers. It never fails, all I have to do is close my eyes and they open up.
I guess I can put up with it for the next fifty-seven days.
August 26, 1968
Recently, we made contact with what is believed to be the Second NVA Division. I do not have any details on the battle at this time.
As long as Alex remains in the hospital, I will be on duty almost twenty-four hours a day. It reminds me of my busy days on the NYSE.
News Report -(click for actual article)
Saigon- Fierce fighting between U.S. and North Vietnamese units flared again Wednesday afternoon in the coastal plains near Tam Ky. The toll of Communist soldiers killed in two days of hard battle soared to 300.
American military spokesmen Thursday said 208 Reds died Wednesday fleeing U.S. armor and air strikes. Originally, 77 Communists were reported killed during the morning fighting, and 92 were reported killed Tuesday.
U.S. losses Wednesday was only three killed and 18 wounded, bringing the total to four Americans dead and 51 wounded during the fighting.
Americal Div. tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantrymen reestablished contact with the elusive NVA regulars, believed to be from Hanoi's 2nd Div., at mid-afternoon Wednesday. The fighting four miles south of the Quang Tin province capital lasted until 6 PM.
Almost continuous air strikes bombed and strafed the Reds until they escaped again in the gathering dusk.
*After a midsummer "lull", activity picked up when the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry teamed up with elements of the 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 11th Brigade, and 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th to engage regulars of the 2nd NVA Division seven kilometers west of Tam Ky, August 25-27. 548 NVA soldiers were killed. (*Information Office, Americal Division)
August 27, 1968
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August 28, 1968
August 30, 1968
Alex is still in the hospital, so I am running the radio operation by myself. Getting the reports to headquarters on time is a nightmare. The Viet Cong are busy too, hitting us with rockets and mortars. I think they do this just to keep me on my toes.
Last night, a sniper took a couple of potshots at us. Every time the sniper shot, the men on guard duty returned fire with their 50-caliber machine guns, but they were unable to zap the guy. He shot at us sporadically all night long. It is nights like these that make it difficult to sleep.