Vietnam Story

I am writing a story about some of the things I did while a Seaman,E-3, on the U.S.S. Paul Revere June-December 1967. I have been looking for the name of the aircraft carrier for its part along these points of interest:
1.President Johnson asked me to visit the heads of state or whoever I wanted in the south-east asia region, the goal being better relations with them. I was assigned a helicopter from that aircraft carrier to transport me where I wanted to go(with pilot and copilot), which was all the way from Burma to Sydney and from the Taj Majah to New Guinea. From the age of 10,1957, I had been using a 4 handset telephone setup that President Eisenhower had the US State Department,them paying the phone bill,give me to be a sort of troubleshooter. The people that I visited in southeast asia using the helicopter were mostly friends already from my phone days.
2. One day, while waiting for that helicopter to be refueled on the aircraft carrier, an officer showed me some aircraft on the main deck of the F-series, him pointing to the bomb grabbers on the bottom. Only 6 or seven and only for bombs small in comparison to the “Rolling Thunder” bombs. I would later remember these F-series planes at a very good time later.
3. While delivering a message classified as “Secret” in the jungle/forest to US soldiers I met Ho Chi Minh who later introduced me to the leader/leaders of each Vietcong clan, first the 7 peaceful tribes and then the 3 troublemaker clans that the US had been fighting for years and the French before that. During the visit of the last of the troublemaking clans the trees and then the ground started to tremble. Ho Chi Minh said to me that it was a “Rolling Thunder” bombing raid coming and to follow him. He and I ran to the top of a hill about 3 or 4 miles from the clan village and said to watch from there, he left. I could see that the Vietcong clan had left the village and there was nobody there when the first bomb dropped 32 minutes after I saw the first trembling of the trees. The Vietcong people lived in the open without any kind of structure to keep the sound and vibration from them- in World War II the people of Tokyo and Germany were unaware of the coming planes because of the buildings- they could not hear their own fighters! When I returned to that bombed Vietcong area they were all back to their usual life like nothing happened.About $2 million had been spent with only a one day interruption in those Vietcong lives. That is when I remembered those F-series planes. I called for my ride to take me to the aircraft carrier where I explained to the admiral in person and a general by audio link about the waste of the Rolling Thunder raid. I said that the small F-series planes could come in at tree top level to put some real fear into them, with my knowledge of who to avoid, the Vietcong leaders who could change their clan to peaceful ways of making a living, like the 7 peaceful Vietcong clans. Both the admiral and the general then said to me that President Johnson had ordered them to do as I said. The general came to the carrier to watch me show the admiral and the staff me showing where 5 F-series could drop their bombs, one raid each day, for 7 days, to make those clan leaders submissive and peaceful. It worked- every dayI walked into the particular clan area that had just been bombed and found real misery. Not nice to see but in 8 days from the 1st raid all those clans were working for Ho Chi Mihn or similiar work- as he said he hoped when he asked me if I wanted meet the leaders of the Vietcong clans. Seven days after the 8th day President Johnson said to me that he had ordered all the soldiers out of the field and to their homes, except for some to protect Saigon(turned out to less than 1,000). 30 days after President Johnson told me only 912 were in Saigon and none elsewhere in southeast asia. I did receive some good-natured complaining from the normal replacement ship, the USS Piedmont about them being loaded up with soldiers and NO LIBERTY ANYWHERE because they had to turn around and go home! Damn their wives and families- they wanted to party! BUT, I did see some of the Piedmont crew shed some tears as those soldiers went onboard the Piedmont- they were happy to know that many thousands of soldiers would be going home safe and sound, not the usual bodybags.
Bobby Dias,
aka Kissing Bobby

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About Bobby Dias

Having a good life.
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