66. Diary Entry by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer)1

0811 Telecon/In—from General Vogt (Secure)—Subject: I told John that I was unhappy that Weyand had talked directly to HAK instead of bringing his troubles up to me.2 He said that he was in a strait jacket and that Gayler was a disaster; we have got to keep those things in the family. Lavelle has given us such a bad name back here and lowered the confidence in the military to the extent that we can not handle anything more on that line.3 Vogt tried to explain Weyand’s reaction to Gayler’s message talking about 225 sorties, and I said it was 275. At any event we went on at length about this problem and I was letting him know that I was very unhappy about the way Weyand went about talking to HAK. I asked him about the comment that Vogt had said he had uncovered a truck park or tank park and it took him a week to get validation. He said yes, that they had missed a validated target by some 400 meters and uncovered a major tank training facility and could not seem to get the authority from CINCPAC to hit it. I do not know why he even asked for authority when he had already hit it. Probably the intelligence section of CINCPAC bogged it down somewhere, John said. I said if you would have asked me I would have cleared it for you in about 2 seconds. John said that Gayler told Weyand and him that neither one of them could talk to me direct, that they had to go through him. John begged off and said it was not him that did it, it was Fred and Abrams. Vogt was not involved in any of the briefings or meetings. We discussed the fact that Westmoreland unfortunately taught the SVN that they had to have air support to fight and now we have to live with it. John complained about the requirement to put 48 sorties up north and in fact he complained in general about his aircraft being tired and just every problem that he could think of. We went over some of the sortie rates that the Air Force, Marines and Navy are flying and there [Page 294] are ample sorties down there, far over 700 sorties available. I also brought up the point about some Air Force briefers telling Haig that the Navy is afraid to go up to the NE railline, etc. John said that he was very unhappy about that statement and did not feel at all that it was true. In any event I think John understood my position. (Attached)

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Moorer Diary, July 1970–July 1974. Top Secret. This diary entry summarizes a telephone conversation between Moorer and Vogt at 8:11 a.m. Admiral Moorer was in Washington; General Vogt was in Saigon.
  2. According to the attached transcript of this telephone conversation, Moorer said to Vogt: “HAK shouldn’t issue orders three echelons down in the field. If he is going to be a Field Marshal he should talk to me. I can make Gayler do anything.”
  3. General John D. Lavelle, Vogt’s predecessor as Deputy Commander for Air at MACV, had been relieved of command in early April, shortly after the Easter Offensive began. Between November 1971 and March 1972, he had authorized commanders and pilots in 28 instances to hit North Vietnamese airfields and radar sites in contravention of the rules of engagement and then to falsify records of these protective reaction strikes.