315. Telegram From the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Sharp) to the Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (Westmoreland)1

150351Z. Personal for Gen Westmoreland from Sharp. Security of US resources in SVN.

I know you share my concern over the vulnerability to possible VC attack of heavy concentrations of recently deployed US aircraft on airfields such as Bien Hoa, Tan Son Nhut and Danang. I am particularly concerned about the possibility of mortar attacks from locations difficult to secure. VC reaction to Pierce Arrow operation may well single out these and other vital US resources for reprisal, from which they would derive tremendous psychological advantage. This would be in addition to the substantial loss we would sustain from successful attacks of any type.
I am sure that you will impress upon RVN necessity for all possible security measures.2
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 319, HQDA Message Center, Reel 11885. Secret; Limdis.
  2. On August 16, Westmoreland replied that the possibility of attacks on the airfields was “fully recognized.” After describing the actions taken unilaterally and with the Vietnamese, Westmoreland concluded:

    “I believe we have explored all defense possibilities and have organized our resources to the best to meet the potential threat. This matter will continue to be given my personal attention.” (MAC JOO 8214; ibid., Reel 11888)