“The need for men and supplies for Vietnam overwhelmed the services’ ability to fly and ship…”

“The need for men and supplies for Vietnam overwhelmed the services’ ability to fly and ship them, particularly in the early years of the buildup. This made plenty of work for private ships working in the Military Sea Transportation Service, the merchant marine. When their ships were required for secret missions, their civilian crews needed security clearances. In San Francisco at Fort Mason, it was the job of Lieutenant (junior grade) Jim Spahr to do the footwork for the Office of Naval Intelligence and conduct the necessary background checks.
         Usually, this meant little more than looking in to the crews’ police records. Barring some serious crime, approval was routine. IT was while looking into such records, however, that Spahr began running across police accounts of individuals who had been observed at a ‘known homosexual gathering place.’ Under regulations, this meant the crewman could not be cleared for work: He might be queer and a security risk. To keep the government’s business, the shipping company must fire the crewman.”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 49.