|The President's Daily Diary: December 23, 1967|
On December 23, 1967, the President's day began at the Royal Thailand Air Force Base at Korat, Thailand. He had traveled to Thailand the previous day after attending memorial services for Prime Minister Harold Holt in Melbourne, Australia. After awarding decorations to eight soldiers at the Air Force Base, the President flew to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, where he addressed Senior Unit Commanders, visited wounded soldiers, reviewed troops, awarded decorations to a number of men, and addressed the troops. Following the address, Johnson awarded the Oak Leaf Custer to General William Westmoreland, and Distinguished Service Medals to General Creighton Abrams, Lt. General Bruce Palmer, Jr., General William Momyer, Lt. General Robert Cushman, Rear Admiral Kenneth L. Veth, and Vice Admiral William F. Bringle. The President awarded Medals of Freedom to Ellsworth Bunker, Eugene Locke, and Robert Komer. Following the awards, the President flew to Karachi, Pakistan, and met with President Mohammed Ayub Khan at the airport. President Johnson next flew to Rome, Italy, where he met with President Guiseppe Saragat of Italy, Prime Minister Aldo Moro, and Foreign Minister Amintore Fanfani at "Castel Porziano." From there, the President went by helicopter to Vatican City where he met privately with Pope Paul VI in the Pope's private office. After his meeting with the Pope, Johnson again boarded AIR FORCE ONE for Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, and returned to the White House.