But, for someone who wants the exact dates, I probably went to Sidney earlier in the month than I remember, and getting back about now.
The saga continues:
Vietnam Journal, 9 December 1968
Australia, here we come!
Mid-morning, and Joel and I fly out of the Soc Trang Army Air Field to Saigon on a C-7, Caribou. This flight is a far cry from the first one when I came down to the Delta for the first time. Remember the snarling dog in a crate? He, and his handler got off in Soc Trang, and I have not seen hide nor hair of him since!
In Saigon, Joel heads for Camp Alpha, to wait for a flight tomorrow morning. Me, in its infinite wisdom, the Army is having me go on up to Cam Ramh Bay, to fly from there tomorrow.
It's my first time in a C-123, the little brother of the C-130, and we lumber through the sky on north. Once at the Air Field, I take a bus over to a holding barracks, and am assigned a bunk up stairs. There are several bunks, 20 I think, up stairs, in a barracks with screens, but no windows. Four of us will be staying overnight. There isn't much time to sightsee, but we wander around the area. And, I see my first "shitter" as the troops are fond of calling them. Luckily, they aren't burning today.
After good evening chow, in a real mess hall, I found a club, and had a couple beers. Then it was on back to the barracks. It really seemed strange to be out of contact for awhile; almost like I was waiting for this all year. Strange, because in October I had a few days out of contact while on leave in Hong Kong. Maybe it's because I know when I come back next week, I'll be down to about three weeks to go before heading to Saigon, and that big freedom bird.
I hit the sack about 2200 hours, and it is cold! There are only sheets on the bed, and I went to the supply room to ask for a blanket. The supply sergeant laughed, and said they didn't issue blankets here because it wasn't cold enough. I don't knew what the temperature was, but it was colder than I had been for almost a year. In fact, I was shivering.
The guy wouldn't even issue me extra sheets, so I went back to the barracks, and pulled several mattress covers off the empty bunks, and made a spectacle of my self stuffing one inside the other, and me in the middle. A couple of guys laughed, but after a half-hearted "Fuck You," I went to sleep, all warm and toasty!
First day of R&R!