Photos US Forces

James Hidalgo of Uvalde, Texas, who fell in 1967. He was 24 years old. Today is his birthday. He is remembered by his son:

"The father I never knew. You were so young, yet you fought for our country. Although I never knew you, I will always love you. You died when I was 7 mos. old. I don't even know if you got the picture my mother sent you of me. You will always be on my mind."

James is remembered on Panel 32E, Line 10 of The Wall

SP4 Michael Ferreira, left, Dallas, Tex., and SP4 David Booker, Geneva, Indiana, keep close watch during their guard duty tour on the Dak To perimeter with their M14 weapons in Vietnam on June 11, 1969. American defenders have beaten off enemy attacks in the area on 24 of the last 31 nights

Marine Corporal Tommy A. Okura, 21 (Auburn, Washington), a member of Mobile Training Team 1, accompanies Vietnamese Combat Youth members on a patrol outside the training compound. Okura and a squad of Marines from Chu Lai’s 1st Combined Action Group headquartered at the Marine Air Base, Chu Lai, train the Vietnamese to protect their homes (official USMC photo by 1st Lieutenant Joe Collins)."

Description and photos sourced from the Jonathan F. Abel Collection (COLL/3611) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division.

Peanut Butter Fudge

On rare occasions while I was in Vietnam a package from home arrived in the mail. The care package was usually filled with goodies and other items unavailable in the far-flung military bases, especially those far from the major population centers of Saigon and Danang.

Whenever a care package arrived it was an occasion for joy and excitement. The guys gathered around and wat...ched in anticipation to see what goodies might be in that box. Sharing was expected. To fail to do so was a major breach of etiquette and subjected the recipient of such largess to resentment and ridicule.

One day while I was stationed in Danang as the Naval Investigative Service Office Representative, the mail brought a gift from Mom. My mother was an excellent cook and one of my favorite treats that she made for me when I was a child was peanut butter fudge. When I opened that package in the privacy of my office, I was delighted to see an unexpected treat – peanut butter fudge.

Although I could have taken the box into the outer office and shared with the guys, avarice and selfishness overcame my normally generous soul. Well, it was my favorite candy and it was from my Mom, after all. I took one piece and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I put the box with the remainder in the top drawer of my desk to savor at a later time.

Frequent visitors to our quarters in Vietnam were rodents and other vermin. They got into everything and it was hard to find any way to keep them out of our food and other hidden-away goodies. My desk, it turned out, was not a secure storage place.

Next day, when I opened the drawer to have a piece of that delicious peanut butter fudge, I found to my dismay that a rat had helped himself to a generous portion of my hoarded treat. He had even walked all over and nibbled on the pieces he didn’t eat and left his little black “calling cards” behind.

It served me right for being so selfish. I was so ashamed of my childish behavior that I never told any of the guys what had happened. To this day I can’t have a piece of fudge without remembering that incident. I guess you could say that I got my “just deserts.”

One in 1,000: Marine Corporal William D. Ward (Church Hill, Tennessee) takes a breather during one of his 1,000 helicopter combat missions while his Sea Knight aircraft is refueled at Vandegrift Combat Base. Ward, a crew chief of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 [HMM-262], reached this mark in less than six months (official USMC photo by Corporal Mike Servais)."

Original description and photograph sourced from the Jonathan Abel Collection (COLL/3611), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections.

In many parts of the world the water buffalo is one of the most prized possessions you can have. They can provide transportation, substitute for a tractor and even give milk. They are valued and cared for. They were commonly seen in Vietnam and in all of Southeast Asia.

One day I was speeding up the Cua Viet River in my Captain’s motor boat toward Dong Ha when I saw a young boy in a rice paddy... near the north bank. He was waving his arms and shouting ‘laide, laide, come here come here.’ He was desperately trying to get my attention.

Meanwhile he was beating a water buffalo with a stick. The Buffalo paid him no mind as she was in the midst of giving birth.

Ever cautious of the possibility of a Viet Cong trick to lure me close enough to attack me, I hurried on my way to Dong Ha.

I don’t know if the birth was successful, thus giving the family two buffaloes or whether the boy got some help with his task. I didn’t linger to find out. I just wanted to get away from there as quickly as possible.

CAPTAIN Herman Hughes, US Navy, Retired
Vietnam 1968-69

A rifle squad of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division stop to examine a PRT-4 radio transmitter and PRR-9 receiver. All wear the black scarf, unique to the First of the Second. Photo taken: August 1967

US Navy Hospital Corpsman Theodore Rutkowski uses his stethoscope to detect signs of Viet Cong guerrillas tunneling beneath the besieged Khe Sanh Combat Base during the Vietnam War; Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam, March of 1968
Wreckage of a U.S. Air Force B-52, shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired by the North Vietnamese army on December 1972. Hanoi, Vietnam.

B-52D (aircraft number 56-0608) with the call sign “Rose 01” which is the aircraft that crashed into the small water body in the neighborhood of Ba Đình in Hanoi due to a SAM missile hit. Two of the crewmen were killed as a result of the missile strike with the remaining four captured (released 101 days later). The wreckage stands as a memorial to their courage for maintaining formation in the three-plane cell of their wave as it was the cell which provided the best protection against the missiles ascending to intercept them.
General William Westmoreland, commander of Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) talks with troops of 1st Infantry Division at their positions near Bien Hoa in Vietnam, in 1965.

US Army M42 Duster self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, Quang Tri, South Vietnam, April 1967

A U.S. Navy seaman fires twin machine guns of a PBR (Patrol Boat River) into the free-fire zone on the shoreline along the Mekong Delta southwest of Saigon, February 1969.
USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) refuels an unnamed Fletcher-class destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin, April 1966
Red Garcia poses with an M-14 while stationed at An Hoa, Vietnam, ca. 1971-1972.

Original caption and photograph sourced from the Red Garcia Collection (COLL/5065), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

"In the Field: A Kit Carson Scout, working with a 3d Marine Division
patrol near Cam Lo, points out the site of a possible Viet Cong ambush. As a member of the Viet Cong, he had waged guerilla warfare in that same area prior to rallying to the government earlier this year 1969

"1969 Two Scouts, former Viet Cong patrol leaders, help pinpoint suspected enemy activity for the executive officer of Force Logistic Command’s Provisional Rifle Company, 2d Lieutenant The command reaction and security force employs the two to assist in combating enemy activity in the villages, hamlets, and refugee areas northwest of Da Nang


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