Page 488

Page 488 (1968: The Defining Year)



Much of the ensuing
unhappiness between MACV and III MAF revolved around the expectations
of the various commanders and their differing recollections of their
various meetings. This was especially true about the debate over the
communication net with the 1st Air Cavalry. While General Anderson remembered
emphasizing this matter, General Westmoreland denied that the subject
was ever brought up and fully anticipated that the Marines would have
provided liaison parties with the 1st Air Cavalry Division. In a letter
several years later. Major General Anderson recalled that General Cushman
accompanied General Westmoreland during the latter's visit to General
Tolson. According to Anderson, Cushman sensed the MACV commander's vexation
about the situation and "directed my personal immediate attention to
the issue." The wing commander then visited the 1st Air Cavalry with
his communications officer. He discovered that the Army division lacked
the technical ability to connect into the Marine aviation close-air-support
radio net. Anderson remembered "that we had a problem finding within
the wing assets" the necessary communication equipment to provide the
link. He recalled that it t(x>k about 24 to 48 hours to make the connection
and this was "unacceptable" to General Westmoreland. As far as the wing
commander was concerned, however, this resolved the problem and that
General Tolson told him a few days later that the Air Cavalry had no
complaint about the quality of its air support. Apparently, however,
the damage had been done. Westmoreland, obviously, had




Department of Defense (USMC) Photo A191509

Gen
William C. Westmoreland, ComUSMACV, walks with LtGen Robert E. Cushman,
CG, Ill MAF, on a formal visit to III MAF headquarters. The dispute
over single manager of air complicated relations between MACV and III
MAF during 1968.








Page 488 (1968: The Defining Year)