Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Birthday U. S. Coast Guard!

Today is the Coast Guard’s 220th birthday, and the Vietnam Center and Archive staff have put together a small exhibit commemorating this occasion.  Happy 220th Coast Guard!

Happy Birthday US Coast Guard Online Exhibit

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday U.S. Army

Today is the Army’s 235th birthday!  The Vietnam Center and Archive staff want to wish the Army and all its people a very happy day.  We have put together a small exhibit commemorating this occasion.  Please click here to view the display.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Online Exhibit

Photo of Released Political Prisoner with fellow ARVN (FVPPA Collection)

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), a nationally recognized time to celebrate, acknowledge, and educate on the many achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the United States’ history, culture, and society. May was chosen as APAHM due to two important historical dates and events relating to the contributions of Asian and Pacific Americans to the U.S. taking place in May. First, May 7, 1843 is the date the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. arrived. Second, May 10, 1869 is when the transcontinental railroad was completed; many Chinese immigrants labored laying the tracks.

The Vietnam Center and Archive celebrates APAHM with our online exhibit featuring materials from our Vietnamese-American Heritage Project Collection, including links to materials and oral history interviews.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Online Exhibit

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fall of Saigon 35th Anniversary

Today is the 35th anniversary of Saigon’s fall to the North Vietnamese army.  On April 30th, 1975, the last Americans involved in the Vietnam War left Saigon in a dramatic helicopter airlift; images from this evacuation are still recognizable around the world today.  To commemorate this anniversary, the Vietnam Archive has created an online exhibit detailing the events leading up to the final tumultuous days of South Vietnam. 

South Vietnamese refugee comforted by red cross volunteers at a refugee camp set up at Elgin Air Force Base Florida, May 1975. Bryan Grigsby Collection

“April 30th, 1975: The Fall of Saigon” Online Exhibit

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Year of the Tiger!

The Vietnam Archive has created a new online exhibit called “Let’s Celebrate Tet”.  This exhibit is an exploration of the Tet holiday and its customs, history and traditions supplemented with photos and documents from our collection.  If you would like to learn about this unique holiday please visit our exhibits page or click on the exhibit title above. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Celebrating Black History Month

SFC Turner calling the second element to see if a sniper can be pinpointed which is just below the second element. Nui Coto 17 March 1969 1245 hrs.

February is Black History Month, and the Vietnam Center and Archive celebrates with our online exhibit highlighting and honoring the contributions and achievements of African-American veterans from the Vietnam War Era.  The exhibit will be accessable from our homepage for the month of February, or through our online exhibits page year-round.  Please enjoy!

Go to the Vietnam Center and Archive Black History Month Online Exhibit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aviation Month

November is Aviation Month!  To celebrate this occasion we have created a new exhibit that explores the duties and lives of the Dustoff crews.  This exhibit is available online and is accessable from this blog post or the home page.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marines!

USMC logo

Happy Birthday United States Marines!

On November 10th, 1775 the US Continental Congress created the Continental Marines to fight in the American Revolution and today the Marines celebrate their 234th birthday.  Congratulations!

The Vietnam Archive wishes to honor all Marines on their special day today.  Here are a few Marine related items from our collection.  Semper Fidelis.

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First wave-- Leatherneck helicopter of Marine Medium helicopter of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 and infantryman of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, are the first elements into the zine, November 20 during Operation Mead River, about eight miles southwest of Danang. More than 75 helicopters of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing lifted some 3,500 leathernecks into pre-designed zones in approximately two hours.

 
 
Operation Prairie III-- Marines of "A" Company, 1st Battalion, Ninth Marines, move through a stream in search of North Vietnamese soldiers during Operation Prairie III approximately three miles west of Cam Lo.

Operation Prairie III-- Marines of "A" Company, 1st Battalion, Ninth Marines, move through a stream in search of North Vietnamese soldiers during Operation Prairie III approximately three miles west of Cam Lo.

 
Marine Attack Squadron 311, Marine Air Group 12, Chu Lai, I Corps, Vietnam

Marine Attack Squadron 311, Marine Air Group 12, Chu Lai, I Corps, Vietnam

 
Mine Sweep-- A Marine mine sweep team of "A" Company, 3rd Engineer Battalion, checks a road west of Ca Lu for enemy Mines or dud rounds. This sweep, like many others in the Northern I Corps, is conducted each morning before traffic is permitted to use the road.

Mine Sweep-- A Marine mine sweep team of "A" Company, 3rd Engineer Battalion, checks a road west of Ca Lu for enemy Mines or dud rounds. This sweep, like many others in the Northern I Corps, is conducted each morning before traffic is permitted to use the road.

 
A US Marine carries a seriously wounded Vietnamese child from the ruins of a home in Hue. The provincial capital city was the target of violent VC attacks following the start of the Tet (Lunar new year).

A US Marine carries a seriously wounded Vietnamese child from the ruins of a home in Hue. The provincial capital city was the target of violent VC attacks following the start of the Tet (Lunar new year).

 
  
1st Marine Division patch

1st Marine Division patch

 
2nd Marine Division patch

2nd Marine Division patch

 
1st Marine Division shorts

1st Marine Division shorts

 
Moving Images
 
 
Film shot by R. J. Del Vecchio during his service as a Marine cameraman in Vietnam documents his own service and various aspects of the broader context of the war. Footage includes: Marine patrols, soldiers shaving and cleaning weapons, travel with sentry dogs, airlifted supplies.
 
 R. J. Del Vecchio Collection
 
Oral Histories
 
 
John C. Arick, originally from Washington, D.C., served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962 until 1992 and retired a Brigadier General. He is a 1962 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. John served two tours in Southeast Asia. During the first, from 1966 to 1967, he was stationed at the Ky Ha helicopter base north of Chu Lai with the Marine Observation Squadron (VMO) 6, Marine Air Group (MAG) 36, 1st Marine Air Wing (MAW) and was a UH-1E pilot flying fire support, escort, MedEvac, utility, and tactical air control missions. He took part in Operations HASTINGS, BEAVER CAGE, among others. During his second tour, from 1970 to 1971, John was first stationed near Marble Mountain Air Facility with the III Marine Amphibious Force (MAF) headquarters in the G-3 section, then with the 1st MAW at Danang in the G-3 section, and finally with the Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron (HML) 367 at Marble Mountain Air Facility. During his entire second tour, he flew the AH-1G Cobra with HML 367. In total, John flew in excess of 1,540 hours in Southeast Asia.
 
 
John Thomas “Tom” Esslinger, originally from Ephrata, Pennsylvannia served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 until 1970. Tom went to Vietnam in September 1967 and served with India Company and Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines, and operated out of Camp Evans. In December 1967, his unit was sent to Khe Sanh where it eventually occuppied Hill 881 South during the 77-day seige. After Khe Sanh, from April to July 1968, Tom, as CO of India Co., operated out of Quang Tri City and then west of Da Nang running various missions. In early August, he was made Assistant S-3 with the 3/26 Marines and served in that capacity until completing his 13-month tour in October 1968.
 
 
Coporal Walter Rupp recounts his experiences in Vietnam, including being wounded in a helicopter crash and by Viet Cong fire. Rupp received two Purpple Hearts and the Bronze Star.
 
 
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday U S Navy

Navy Seal

Happy Birthday United States Navy

The United States Navy was created on October 13, 1775 during the American Revolution.  Today the Navy celebrates its 234th birthday.  In order to celebrate this wonderful occasion the Vietnam Archive would like to present a few Navy items from our collections. 

Please enjoy the materials and help us to congratulate all of the Navy personnel past and present on their big day.

Commander U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam, A U.S. Navy River Patrol Boat Cruises slowly down a canal in the Mekong Delta of S. Vietnam. The 31 Foot craft Patrol the Waterways of the Mekong Delta and rung Sat Special Zone to prevent the Viet Cong from moving supplies by water. The PBRs are propelled by water jets and can travel in water less than a foot deep.
Commander U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam, A U.S. Navy River Patrol Boat Cruises slowly down a canal in the Mekong Delta of S. Vietnam. The 31 Foot craft Patrol the Waterways of the Mekong Delta and rung Sat Special Zone to prevent the Viet Cong from moving supplies by water. The PBRs are propelled by water jets and can travel in water less than a foot deep.
 
  
Aircraft carrier: F-4 Phantom, A-7 Corsair II, A-6 Intruder, and others.

Aircraft carrier: F-4 Phantom, A-7 Corsair II, A-6 Intruder, and others.

  
 
Four Navy F-4 Phantoms over a volcano.

Four Navy F-4 Phantoms over a volcano.

 
United States Navy VF-32 Tomcat Fighter Squadron patch.

United States Navy VF-32 Tomcat Fighter Squadron patch.

 
 
U.S. Navy summer flying coveralls with U.S. Naval Aviator identification patch that says CDR B.C. Rudy, Air Boss

U.S. Navy summer flying coveralls with U.S. Naval Aviator identification patch that says CDR B.C. Rudy, Air Boss

U.S. Navy flight helmet with boom mike, and oxygen mask attached. Commander B.C. Rudy marked on back of helmet. Red carrying bag also included

U.S. Navy flight helmet with boom mike, and oxygen mask attached. Commander B.C. Rudy marked on back of helmet. Red carrying bag also included

 
Moving Images
 
 
Biggest Ship in the U. S. Army is one of a Kind (Official Department of Defense motion picture film by the U. S. Army under the direction of the MACV Office of Information. Photography by SP5′s Sylvia, Morgan and Watson: Sound by Lt. Sheets.) The largest ship in the Army is the 4800 ton cargo vessel, John U. D. Page. The Page is 338 feet long, 65 feet in beam, and can carry up to 2000 tons of cargo. The Page’s official designation is BDL 1-X, which stands for Beach Discharge Lighter, Number One, Experimental. She’s one of a kind, and her ability to transport huge loads of ammunition and rolling stock on intra-coastal missions up and down the coast of Vietnam makes her an important part of the military effort there. For all her size, the Page can take on cargo or off-load on the beach. Currently, she loads at Cam Ranh Bay and sails from there to Phan Thiet, Phan Rang or Nha Trang, averaging one run every two days. Her eight warrant officers and 36 enlisted men live in the toadstool-like superstructure rising from her cargo deck. The quarters are roomy and air-conditioned, and assignments on the Page are coveted by all Army “sailors”. One of the more noteworthey characteristics of the big flat-bottomed ship is her maneuverability. She is powered by two giant “eggbeater” blades which can be set at various angles. They’re positioned side-by-side just aft of mid-ship. The resulting ability to thrust in any direction allows the ship to make a full circle within her own length. This design has been applied to some European vessels, but has never been used in the American Merchant Marine or the U. S. Navy.
 
Michael Sheets Collection
 
Oral History Interviews
 
 
Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Frances T. Shea Buckley served in the Nurse Corps, U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict. With the ranking of Rear Admiral, she has achieved the highest rank held by women of the U.S. Uniformed Services.
 
 
Dr. Robert Ordonez discusses his experiences as a Navy Corpsman in Vietnam.
 
 
(USN) Captain Frick was present aboard the USS Maddox during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. He served as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade and acted as Division Operations Officer. His duty station put Frick on the bridge, in CIC (Command Information Center) and the radio room. In his lengthy interview, Frick recounts his experience during the North Vietnamese attack on 2 August and the controversial events of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin. Frick discusses the role of the ships involved in the incident, orders received by the Maddox and speculates on the significance of the incident. The interview also involves the consequences of 34A ops (operations by the South Vietnamese Navy and Marines against North Vietnamese shore defenses, logistically supported by the US) and rebuts the accounts of others that claim the events of 4 August did not include an attack by the North Vietnamese Navy. Finally, Frick describes the effects the Tonkin incident had on his commanding officer’s career and comments on the “Rules of Engagement.”
Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Day in the Life of an American Soldier in Vietnam

As part of the ongoing 20th Anniversary celebration of the Vietnam Center and Archive, a photograph and artifact exhibit entitled “A Day in the Life of an American Soldier in Vietnam” is currently on display until mid December of this year.  Please visit the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Building on the Texas Tech University campus to experience elements of a typical day in the life of a US soldier during the Vietnam War.  Consisting of over 25 black and white photographs and a selected number of artifacts, this exhibit will provide the visitor with stimulating and descriptive highlights of our highly unique collection materials.  The exhibit is self guided and open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 5:00pm.  All of the staff at the Vietnam Center and Archive hope that you will join us in celebrating 20 years of success by stopping by to view this exhibit!

A Day in the Life of an American Soldier in Vietnam

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