First Trip to Vietnam – 1967
I had some interest from my college students on my experience in Vietnam. I told them I would write ezines on my experiences in then the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). Before you started you Vietnam experience you had to get there. The two means of getting to RVN was to fly or go on a troop ship. By 1967 most RVN replacements such as me were flying to Vietnam on commercial planes contracted by the USAF Military Command.
I received my orders for Vietnam sometime in early June of 1967 while assigned to Fort Gordon, Georgia. I was given a set of military orders and about $360.00 in travel pay to get to Oakland Army Base, California. The Army referred to this as a Port Call. After processing out of Fort Gordon I went home on leave to my home in Delaware, Ohio. I think the Army rooked me out of the standard 30 days of leave.
Once my leave was up I caught a plane from Columbus, Ohio to San Francisco, California. This four hour flight seemed to only last about 10 minutes. This was the last time I would feel free for a long time. Once in San Francisco I caught a cab to Oakland and soon knew I was back in the Army. I was at this depot for about three days and what I remember about this place was all the confusion and moving from one billeting area to another. Finally the group I was assigned to was bused to Travis AFB, California. I boarded a Braniff contract airplane and off I go to Vietnam. The flight stopped in Hawaii, Clark AFB, Philippines, and then on to Saigon. My next article will explain the in processing procedure at the 90th Replacement Battalion in Long Binh, RVN.