Letter - Larry D. Powell to Joann Mosby, 1966 September 7
Scope and Contents
This collection contains 27 letters sent to Joann Mosby from two men, Larry Powell and Andrew Johnson, serving overseas during the Vietnam War. The letters are dated 1966-1968.
The first group of letters from Lowell are written while he's stationed in Germany with Co. A 97th Signal Battalion as a telephone installer which he says "I sure don't know what they sent me over here for they need a telephone installer like another hole in the head. I have it pretty easy right now." He later said they changed his post to a switchboard operator while he says "isn't that a laugh." Lowell often writes about finding Europe boring and asking for transfers. 'Tm thinking about putting in for a transfer. I'll get sent to Vietnam if l do. It can't get any worse than Europe. This place just isn't what's happening!" Although Larry and Joann never met, he does sign all his letters "love ya" and some pages include drawings of hearts. In late 1966 Larry was promoted to Sergeant and his letters bear the new title in his address. He is shipped to Vietnam "Nom" in early 1967. In a letter before leaving Europe, he writes to Joann saying she probably won't want to talk to him anymore because he'll probably be "shipped home in a pine box.'' Although he says this he continues to write to Joann from Vietnam. He writes "I am in Nam now. I am at Bien Hoc about 22 miles from Saigon." He continues, "there is a big battle going on about forty miles from here. Operation Eden Junction or something like that." Later he says he'll "be in Vietnam about 363 days altogether." In his last letter he tells Joann "the VC haven't been giving us any rest lately."
Joann also received letters from PFC Andrew Johnson, who often signs his letters as "Andy," who was stationed "about 30 northwest of Saigon the name of the town is Chi Chi." In his early letters he writes about jungle training which he writes "is to show us how the Viet Cong go about killing us, etc." He says of the Viet Cong, "when you hear about all these tricks you get pretty afraid. Because they are getting smarter every day." In one letter Johnson writes, "Vietnam is far from paradise ... [it] is a very hot country. Today it was 110 and will soon be I 30." Johnson tells Joann about girls he's interested in, seeing a Rob Hope USO show, and adjusting to life in Vietnam. He's wary about having to go to the "Iron Triangle" region as many people he works with have been sent there. 'There is a good chance of me going to the "Iron Triangle" or the "Ho Bo Woods." The Ho Bo Woods is just as dangerous as the Iron Triangle. But if I go there I will feel safe because all of you back there are hoping that I make it home safe." Towards the end of his letters Johnson discusses Operation Junction City, which he was involved in. It was an "82-day military operation" and one of the largest airborne operations of the war.
- 1966 September 7
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From the Collection: .21 Linear Feet (1 Half-Hollinger box)
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
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