Cam Rhan, VN, 4 November 69 

Dear Mama,

I can't remember whether I said that I got the books or not so thanks again for sending them.

I went down to Phan Thiet yesterday on the chopper and got a lot of mail (had to get up at 0400 hrs and didn't get back until 7:30 pm) among which was a letter from Rick, who is going to be transferred (perhaps to here), one from Donna, 4 from you with the clippings, and a record from the organ people that looked like this (45 degree bend). I tried to straightened out but it broke. I am glad that I had the other ones send to you (this one was a gift because they didn't charge me anything but the crude mail service did it in).

I have located the main library and found it a good place to read, quiet and air-conditioned.

I am glad to hear the Erin got the deferment and that John T. got the pickup back and the record player is fixed but I didn't find any slip from Vera. Did it ever get into the letter? How much did it cost? I expect that a little rubber drive wheel got oil on it or just got old and hard and couldn't do its job any more.

I invited Chester to stop on his way through here (if he comes through here) and see me since almost everyone leaves country through here.

The B&W prints haven't arrived here yet. I hope they do sometime.

Thanks for Aleta's address.

I was waiting for a letter from Kathy. Did she get my last one I wonder?

The mail clerk said that suspicious looking letters may be opened by the Post Office? Whatever looks suspicious about a letter I don't know. Perhaps the pictures looked suspicious.

Thanks for the rundown on the slides. It will help till they get here. I shot a lot of the first slides at 1/200. F8 or 11, which you said was good. It was a very dark flag in the picture (a bright navy blue) that particular shade of green should show up in new rice fields but not much of any where else. The autumn leaves here don't change from green and don't even fall off and storms like the last one you saw just don't happen in Viet Nam.

I guess I will close for now.

God be with you,

Love John.

P.S. the cardboard mounts that Ted puts on the slides are temporary at best. I will mount the good ones in 2 x 2" sheets of glass which will hold the film flat and protect it.

P.P.S. When I was in Phan Thiet a 40 to 50 mile an hour wind came up and blew all day. Where the arm had Army had dozed all of the dune grass off to put the tents and such, the wind whipped up the sand into a real sand storm. The wind was eroding the sand so fast that when one fellow put down an army radio, the sand was blown from one side of it and in about 10 min. It toppled over.


Cam Rhan, VN, 12 November 69 

Dear Mama,

I just wrote Bro. Jolly a letter and ordered a bible and a Divine Plan for Donna's Christmas present. I am having them sent to you. Would you please wrap them in Christmas paper and then brown paper and send them to Donna? I will send 2 cards to go on the package soon so don't wrap them without the cards.

Yes, that verse that Chester quoted was a good one, but why the sudden concern? Even the longest journeys start one step at a time. Take each step and look around. If it was a good one, you will know it. I still don't know Donna very well. I will work toward that end first and then see how Christ fits in. If He doesn't fit in her life then she won't fill well in mine.

Rickey T. is 8 minutes by air from here. I have orders to go to Nha Trang when I get a chance. Perhaps day after tomorrow.

My job so far is escorting medical supplies to Phan Thiet and picking them up here. I also help get other supplies to Phan Thiet and related chores around here.

I got the film and have shot about 11 picture so far. Will shoot the rest soon and send it along. I am mailing another roll now. Don't get it confused with the good one. I will mark the good one. I haven't gotten any B&W prints yet. I guess someone though they needed them more than I did.

About the packages you have. Set one away as it is the twin of the first and wrap the other for Christmas. If you should need both, say on Christmas day, you may use both. I hope you get the projector before Christmas so you can use it then. Let me know when Erin gets the tape recorder. I still haven't gotten any word from the troy bank. Have you? I gather from the slip from Vern G. that the turntable just need a tune-up. After 3 or 4 years I guess is deserves one.

I hope things brighten up for Aleta and Fred soon.

Much Love,


PS. How did the pictures of the PACEX catalog come out?

Cam Rhan, VN, 20 November 69 

20 Nov. 69

Dear Mama,

I am here in the office where I can use the typewriter so I will write you a letter on it.

The latest thing that I have been doing was sitting around the airport in Phan Rang. I went to Phan Thiet to take down some supplies and the chopper had other things to do for the rest of the day so I booked myself on a flight to Cam Rahn the next day. The next day, the flight took off from Phan Thiet, flew a while and sat down on a strip at Phan Rang. The plane I took out of there didn't leave until 48 hours later. I did get a good look at the air base there which is very large. The whole thing might fit in a five mile square with 2 runways about 2 miles long.

I still haven't sent the film yet but I will try to do that today. There also will be a third roll that I shot of some people on the chopper coming (going) to Phan Thiet. I guess the best way to identify the roll that you sent to me is by what is on it. It will have a picture of a V.N. girl near the front and a picture or two near the end of some high contrast islands. Please write and tell me if it is any improvement.

I got a letter from Chester and Fred on the same day (today) in which they comment on being short. Chester has just 8 days left in the army and Fred has about 4 or 5 more. By the time you get this, I will have 5 months left but it seems like an eternity. Perhaps I will get that 60 day drop…!!! Rick also wrote and said he may be stationed in Cam Rahn so I may get to see him more often that I thought. I think I am going to be sent on an errand…so long.

21 Nov. 69

I was sent on that errand. Three of the fellows from the 1/50, two of them medics, were at the airport and need some transportation to the army base and a place to stay for the night. I went out and picked them up.

Today I am in Nah Trang with the fellow who drove the 5 ton truck to get some mess hall equipment for the 1/50. We haven't got it yet.

I haven't got much mail lately. I guess it's because of the change of address.

More later but I will get this into an envelope.

Much Love,


Cam Rhan Bay, VN, 22 November 69 

Dear Mama,

I think I have committed the cardinal sin, I forgot your birthday.

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!!

I don't know what to get or send. If the slide projector gets there before Christmas, you might consider it a kind of birthday present. Don and Ann's present to sounds like it was a very nice one.

Thank you for the descriptions of the weather at home. The weather here never does anything like that, even at its best.

The loan that you got from the Troy bank sounds like them. They are almost too good to be true. Speaking of the Troy bank, could you find out if they got my letter about deleting one payment and if they did what was the reply. I haven't heard anything and it's been a month and a half.

About the mail, when I was in Phan Thiet anyway, I picked up the mail that was there to avoid the delay of forwarding. When I am away they do send on what comes there. No B&W prints yet. I wrote Kathy about 7 or 8 days ago so I should be hearing from her soon.

Chester won't be through here so I guess I won't get to see him.

Coding letters was a good idea but it didn't seem to be getting any results. Have you missed any letters for sure? Things sound like they are going along smoothly there, especially for Karen.

I have thought lately of going to the bible house but I have come to no decisions about it.

Did the temple have a carpeted floor? It sounded like it should have, or wood. But I bet it had a concrete one. Anyway it does sound beautiful.

I got a package today with a nice pocketknife in it but it had no return address. I include it (the address) in here. Does it strike a bell with you?

May God be with you as he has with me,

Love John.

P.S. You spoke of a night filled with coincidence. It does look like that at first look from our side but I am sure God had it all planned in the smallest detail &emdash; and many more like it for you.

Love John.

Cam Rhan Bay, VN, 23 November 69 

Dear Mama,

I got this letter from Kathy today and also got a roll of film from Mary Kirkwood. When I went to the post office I mailed 3 rolls of film to you.

Not much has happened around here since yesterday except that I sang in the Chapel today. There are only 6 in the choir and no altos or sopranos &emdash; its fun though, and perhaps I will meet someone there who likes to talk about religion.

We, the U.S.O., had a free steak fry today with salad and cake. All was very good.

How do you like typed letters?

Any word on the tape recorder yet?

All for now.

Love, John


Phan Tiet, VN, 27 November 69 

Dear Mama,

I have been pulled back to Phan Tiet because they need medics and for other reasons too complex to putin a letter. This has resolved some things for me that had been bothering me in Cam Rhan Bay. I'll tell you when I get home.

I will be going to see Rick T. tomorrow and then to finance. You wont believe it, but, they paid me $380.00 too much. I wish it was a bonus of some sort, but, it is only a duplicate payment.

I got a service manual for the tape recorder and from what I can see in the manual, it will be a real pleasure to use. Be sure to keep me posted on how things go on getting it from the post office. Don't let it stay at the PO long or they may send it somewhere else. Be advised the package will be 60 pounds.

I got a letter from Diane S., I will send it when I answer it, that says her father is ill and some other things are going not too well.

You should have gotten the film by now. Just put the electronics parts and that slip of paper where I can find them.

I guess this is about all. I will be home in 4 months and days, God willing.

Mat God be with you,

Love, John

Cam Rhan Bay, VN, 30 November 69 

Dear Mama,

I am here in Cam Rhan Bay again, but, just for tonight. It looks like I will keep the money at least for a while. I went to finance and tried to give it back. So they looked in all their records and found nothing that said I should. The money is going in the bank and if they ever find something that says I should return it, I will.

Rick T. and I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning together, a welcome break from people who don't feel like I do. I took some pictures of him on Tri-X so you should be able to see him soon also.

Rick made me these labels on the computer he runs.

May God keep you and care for you,

Love, John