vietnam war: us army

Today we had another mass cal [casualty]… I worked in post-op tonight and found out it was a convoy that was attacked. My patients saw what they thought were ARVN soldiers standing by the side of the road but when they came upon them, they opened fire. They said the VC were crawling everywhere. That’s the way it is over here. You just don’t know who or where your enemies are. We lost one in the OR but the rest are doing okay.
           But would you believe after what they went through we had two red alerts tonight. Put mattresses on those we couldn’t move and got the others on the floor under the beds. No peace. No sleep.
           Know you’ll remember all these men in your prayers.
— 

Capt. Bobbie (MacLean) Fry in a letter home to her parents dated 21 May 1967. She served in the Army Nurse Corps, and the events above occurred when she was stationed with the 7th Surgical Hospital at Black Horse Base Camp, 11th Armored Cavalry.

Source: Letters from Vietnam edited by Bill Adler

After being captured by Vietnamese soldiers in 1965, Admiral Jeremiah Denton Jr. became a prisoner of war for almost 8 years. In 1966, his captors forced him to participate in a televised North American press conference where he secretly communicated by the use of Morse Code that American soldiers were being tortured. Denton repeatedly blinked his eyes during the interview to spell out the word “T-O-R-T-U-R-E”. The US Navy saw his signal, and began an operation to rescue Denton and some 50 other prisoners. Denton’s genius can be seen in the full video below:

cannibalistic-midget  asked:

Hal Moore died my man

Lt. Gen. Harold Gregory “Hal” Moore, Jr. passed away on February 10, 2017, a few days short of his 95th birthday. 

He was the first of West Point class 1945 to be promoted to brigadier, major, and lieutenant general. He served in the military from 1945 to 1977. He served in Japan after WWII, until 1948. He made over 300 parachute jumps in the 82nd Airborne Division, 150 of which were in the Airborne Test Section with experimental parachutes.

He commanded a mortar company during the Korean War, because he was due for promotion to major – but the 7th Division’s commanding general had put a hold on any promotions without command of a company in combat. In 1954, he returned to West Point and was an instructor in infantry tactics, teaching then-cadet Norman Schwarzkopf, who called him one of his heroes, and cites Moore as the reason he chose the infantry branch. (Schwarzkopf led the UN coalition during OPERATION: DESERT STORM.) 

In 1964, now a lieutenant colonel, Moore completed the course of study at the Naval War College, earning a master’s degree in International Relations from my alma mater, George Washington University. He was transferred to Fort Benning and took command of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry, 11th Air Assault Division. In July they were redesignated the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and deployed to Vietnam in September.

On November 14, 1965, he led the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the 3rd Brigade, into the Battle of la Drang. encircled by the enemy with no clear landing zone that would allow them to leave, Moore persevered despited being significantly outnumbered by the NVA and VC – who would go on to defeat the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry only a few miles away a day later. He was nicknamed ‘Yellow Hair’ due to his blond hair by his troops, as a homage to General Custer – who, as a lieutenant colnel, commanded the same 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn just a century before. Though casualties were higher for the other parts of the battle of la Drang, Moore’s troops suffered 79 killed and 121 wounded. 634 NVA and VC bodies were found in the vicinity, with an estimated 1,215 killed by artillery and airstrikes in the area. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part of the battle, promoted to colonel, and took over command of the 3rd Brigade. 

In 1968, he was assigned by the Army to Harvard University to complete his M.A in international relations. On August 31, he was promoted to brigadier general, and then to major general in 1970. His assignment at the time was as assistant chief of staff of the Eighth Army in South Korea. He was charged by General Michaelis of the 7th ID to clean up a major drug abuse and racial strife problem. Moore established leadership schools for both officers and NCOs, and institted an ‘equal opportunity policy.’ He backed it up with punishments to those who discriminated based on race, ethnicity, or creed. 

In 1974 he was appointed deputy chief of staff for personnel, his last assignment. He dealt with army recruiting issues after the draft was terminated, as well as the drawdown of forces after the end of the Vietnam War. His next assignment was to become Commanding General, US Army Japan, but he retired instead. He left the Army on August 1, 1977, after 32 years of active service.

In 1992 Moore wrote We Were Soldiers Once… And Young with co-author Joseph L. Galloway. The book was adapted into the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, by Mel Gibson. It remains my absolute favorite Vietnam War movie.

Moore and Joseph L. Galloway have written another book together, a follow-up to their first collaboration. We Are Soldiers Still; A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam was published in 2008.

Here he is putting out the flag that his son, Col. David Moore, sent home from Afghanistan. Rest in peace, sir.

During Operation “Bushmaster”, a member of Company “L” (Ranger), 75th Infantry, wearing camouflage makeup sits alone with his thoughts while waiting to participate in an assault mission against North Vietnamese Army forces in Vietnam in August of 1971. Photo by SP4 John L. Hennesey, 221st Sig Co.

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U.S. Army Captain Robert Bacon leading a patrol in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. 1964.

Col. Bobby Bacon, then a captain, was featured on the June 12, 1964 cover of LIFE magazine. The photo, taken by Larry Burrows, shows Bacon leading a group of South Vietnamese soldiers through rice fields in the Mekong Delta. Bacon served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Among his decorations are the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with two valor devices. Bacon was stationed at Fort Jackson from 1976 through 1983.

He graduated West Point with a bachelor’s of science in communications in 1956, and was a classmate of Norman Schwarzkopf. He is now retired and living in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

©Larry Burrows: Vietnam photos
©Susanne Kappler: Current photo

**The soldier in the 6th photo is not Capt. Robert Bacon. When I find his name, I’ll add it. The source where I found the photos identified him as Capt. Bacon. Thank you for the correction @remythejester!

Lam Thi Dep was a Viet Cong soldier who fought in the Vietnam War. The above photo of her was taken in 1972 in Soc Trang Province when she was 18 years old. Large numbers of North Vietnamese women like Lam Thi Dep fought for the Viet Cong and photos like this were often taken for propaganda purposes.

She is seen carrying an American M16 rifle. US-supplied South Vietnamese garrisons often gave these weapons to the Viet Cong as a gift, in exchange for being spared from their attacks.

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Women from the first all-female honor flight in the United Sates watch a Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Sept. 22, 2015, in Arlington, Va. There were 75 female veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War in attendance, as well as 75 escorts, who were also female veterans or active-duty military.

(U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/released)

Roger Holder of the 11th ACR, 1967.

Holder was seriously wounded when a landmine hit his M113 APC. Later, after serving time for marijuana possession, he went AWOL. Then, in 1972, he hijacked a plane with his girlfriend.

From Wikipedia:

June 2, 1972: Western Airlines Flight 701 from Los Angeles to Seattle was hijacked by Willie Roger Holder, a Vietnam War veteran, and his girlfriend Catherine Marie Kerkow. The hijackers claimed they had a bomb in an attaché case and demanded $500,000 and that Angela Davis, who was then on trial, be freed. After allowing half the passengers to get off in San Francisco and the other half to get off in New York on a re-fueling stop, they flew on to Algeria, where they were granted political asylum, joining the International Section of the Black Panther Party. It was and still remains the longest-distance hijacking in American history. Later, $488,000 of the ransom money was returned to American officials.

The story of the hijacking is chronicled in Brendan Koerner’s book The Skies Belong to Us.