Capt. John Darracott, Adjutant of MAG-16

08-27-99    Colonel Haywood Smith, the Group Commander, prior to his MAG-16 tour had served for 4 plus years as a military aide to President Johnson.  For some reason the Colonel thought his White House days carried over to Vietnam with him.  When President Johnson wanted something he would just tell Col. Smith what it was and when he wanted it - Col. Smith made the phone calls, saying the President wants etc. etc. and magic would happen and the President's wishes happened.

One day the while serving as the Colonel's Adjutant, he called out from his office and asked me to get him the motion picture "Patton" for his hooch tonight.  Being a devoted Adjutant I called every Special Services Officer I knew and "Patton" was not even in country.  Frustrated after an afternoon on the phones trying to satisfy the Colonel's desires I had to go tell him the film was not in country.  "Darracott", he said, "when I was at the President's ranch in Texas and he wanted to see a film I would call Hollywood and they would fly it to the Ranch".   Becoming totally unglued and very upset because I could not perform I blurted out: "That's great Colonel, but this ain't the Goddam Ranch and you are not the President'"

I realized what I had said - dead silence - waiting for the wrath of Haywood to fall on my head or even orders to the grunts to be effective immediately - but the Colonel came out of his office laughing and said, "Darracott, you're OK  let's go to the club and get a beer".  I was born again with those words!!!

It was a pleasure working for a man of his talents.

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