Oral History Interview with Charles Billo

Oral History Interview with Charles Billo
Narrator (written)
Charles Billo
Narrator First Name
Narrator Last Name
Chileta Dim
Charles G. Billo. Attended Bronxville Schools, Brown University Class of 1964. Billo applied to Navy Office Candidate School, but went to Columbia Business School. Class of 1967, rather than enrolling in OCS. At Columbia Business School Billo also joined Columbia University’s School of International Affairs [now Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs]. He discusses changing views towards the war while in Graduate School, and then his process of being drafted in 1967. Billo was assigned to the CORDS [Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support] program, and was trained in Washington, D.C. He arrived in Vietnam in 1969 as an economic reporting officer, with joint responsibility to the embassy in Saigon and the deputy for CORDS in IV Corps. He was then transferred to Can Tho in June of 1969, where he surveyed rice usage and consumption, and dealt with U.S. imports of it. After leaving in 1970, at the age of 27, Billo was then reassigned, still in the Foreign Service, to a post in Milan, Italy. He met his wife there, and they were married in June of 1973. He discusses some anecdotes about his time in Saigon, his fears and his reflections on his time. He also discusses the military and government’s handling of the war, and how it has affected (or has not affected) current military conflicts. Billo discusses with frequent emotion his experiences and encounters in Vietnam, and reflects on the larger political theater at the time.
Date of Interview
August 14, 2015
Military Service
Civil/Government Service
Dartmouth History
Political Participation
Upper Valley Resident
Rauner ID
Interview Audio Source (MP3)
Interview Transcript Source (PDF)