Another New CO

Captain Cavagnol with Lieutenant Braley – FDC Officer

Sunday, December 15, 1968

The transportation to church services on Hill 37 was assigned to Fernando.  He normally went to FLC when the road opened, and he would drop off the “churchgoers” on the way . . . no one showed up.  Sacrificing the free beer hour at the club to travel on a risky road was an unpopular option.  We used the extra time to nap in our hooch.

Reflecting on Chaplain Starling’s sermons, I admired his ability to relate the Bible stories to our activities in Vietnam.  Jesus was always “humping around the countryside,” holding Med-Caps and healing the poor along the way.  Lieutenant Commander Starling was a good leader.  He always made the young Marines smile and reminded them, “Jesus wore sandals while on patrol.”

The Admin truck returned with Captain Yost.  He would be the 5th CO since my arrival in January.  Lieutenant Westerfield was reassigned to Headquarters Battery as the S-3 officer.  There was no formal ceremony; it was a simple change of command with no fanfare.

At our weekly meeting in the Staff hooch, Top Culverhouse announced that Captain Yost planned to meet with each of us personally in the next few days.  Gunny Pavelcek was quiet and seemed uptight.  I wondered if he was still troubled about the “fragging” last Sunday night.  The meeting ended without the usual conversations and review of the battery status.  It was an uncomfortable feeling not having any direction.

Command Chronology – Kilo 4/11 – December 1968

Next Edition:  Spanish Franks

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