Hanoi Hannah

Saturday, June 8, 1968

My plan for getting seven hours sleep was successful.  Reb was putting the final touches on his pastries and had water simmering to make coffee.  He had a small transistor radio and was listening to “Hanoi Hannah.”  Her 30-minute broadcasts originated from North Vietnam and taunted American troops.  She wasn’t credible; it was just entertainment to us.  The broadcast included music of the times, “Where have all the Flowers Gone?” and other songs not played on Armed Forces Radio.  Her commentary was obviously a written script, reading the names of the fallen printed in “The Stars and Stripes.”  The radio signal was always weak and contained background static.  It was propaganda meant to demoralize us.

At 0600 Armed Forces Radio would begin with “Dawn Busters.”  The signature wake-up call was:  Gooood Moorning Vietnaaam!  The voices were always cheerful and informal, in a non-military format.  There were no commercial advertisements but instead, there were silly skits about:  how to clean your M-16 or strategies for not gagging on the very large weekly malaria pill.

The news of the day was “RFK had been shot and killed” after winning the Democratic Presidential Primary Election in California.  This news added to the craziness of the war and was far worse than anything Hanoi Hannah could broadcast.  Kennedy was not a favorite candidate with Marines because of his efforts to bring a peaceful end to the conflict.  The biggest fear was stopping the bombing of the North . . . we wanted their supply lines destroyed.  Having our election process disrupted was even worse.  Now, some troops were questioning why are we here?

Next Edition:  Sumo Returns

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