Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Happy Birthday United States Air Force!!
On September 18, 1947 the US Air Force was officially created and today the Air Force turns 62. The Vietnam Center & Archive would like to wish the Air Force a very Happy Birthday, and to thank all the service men and women past and present for their service and sacrifice.
In honor of the Air Forces 62nd birthday, please enjoy a few Air Force items from the Vietnam Archive’s collections.
Thai Radar Controller 21 May 1969 U. S.-Thailand Radar Control Assures Tight Air Defense Around Udorn. As pilots wait in the ready rooms, the controllers scan their radar scopes when an unidentified aircraft comes along. The USAF 621st Tactical Control Squadron then scramble their supersonic F-102’s to meet the air craft. 1:58 min/sec
Michael Sheets Collection
Oral History Interviews
(USAF, CIA) James King Overman enlisted in the US Air Force at age 18, and after training as a mechanic he qualified for pilot training. He flew B-26 aircraft on patrols of the 38th Parallel in Korea 1954-55 and spent six years as an instructor in the Training Command at Randolph AFB. During 1965-67 he was assigned to the 817 Troop Carrier Squadron, Naha AB, Okinawa, with TDY postings to Da Nang and Ubon, Thailand. He flew ‘Blind Bat’ missions as a night forward air controller over the DMZ and North Vietnam. During 1970-71, as part of the 16th SOS, he flew nighttime interdiction missions over Laos and South Vietnam in AC-130 gunships, as well as High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) flights and a bombing mission over Cambodia. At his retirement from active duty in 1972 Jim was one of the most highly decorated Native American pilots in US Air Force history. During the 1970s and 1980s Jim flew on a contract basis for the Central Intelligence Agency, including evacuation flights from Phnom Penh, Da Nang, and Saigon in 1975.
(USAF) (POW) Congressman Sam Johnson served two tours with the USAF in Vietnam. During his first tour (1965-1966) he served at MACV headquarters in Saigon in the Emergency Action Center. During his second tour (1966-1973) he served in Ubon, Thailand, flying an F-4 on trail interdiction and bombing missions in Laos and North Vietnam. Congressman Johnson was shot down while flying over North Vietnam 1966 and he spent nearly seven years as a Prisoner of War; three of those years were spent in solitary confinement. Congressman Johnson is also author of, “Captive Warriors”, which details his POW experience.
To assist researchers studying the topic of agent orange during and after the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Center and Archive has produced a new subject guide highlighting agent orange related resources in both our digital and physical collections. The subject guide is divided by media type and subcategory, and includes links to the digital objects when available. This is the first in a series of subject guides that we will produce over the next year.
The Vietnam Center and Archive’s May 28th, 2008 opening ceremony of the Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association (FVPPA) Collection, donated by the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation (VAHF), was a great success. The Vietnam Center and Archive co-hosted the event, entitled “We Did Not Forget Those Left Behind,” with the VAHF. The ceremony marked the collection as fully processed and available to researchers. The Vietnam Center and Archive held the ceremony to raise awareness of the FVPPA collection and to thank those individuals and organizations who helped these Vietnamese refugees emigrate to the U.S.
Speakers at the event included: Dr. James Reckner, Executive Director, Institute for Modern Conflict, Diplomacy, and Reconciliation; Ms. Nancy Bui, President, Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation; Ms. Khuc Minh Tho, Founder and President, Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association; An Hoang Le, Humanitarian Operations Participant; Dr. Stephen F. Maxner, Director, the Vietnam Center and Archive; Mr. T. Kumar, Advocacy Director for Asia & Pacific, Amnesty International; Ms. Anna Mallett, Project Archivist, the Vietnam Center and Archive; Dr. William M. Marcy, Provost, Texas Tech University; and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deputy regional representative Thomas Albrecht was scheduled to speak, but had to cancel his flight and attendance due to events in East Africa, Kenya.
Distinguished guests at the May 28th Opening Ceremony included Khuc Minh Tho, T. Kumar of Amnesty International, Major General Dudley Faver, representatives of the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation, and Texas Tech University Provost William M. Marcy.
Awards were given from the VAHF to Dr. James Reckner, Dr. Stephen Maxner, Mary Saffell, and Ann Mallett. The Vietnam Center and Archive also presented an award to Ann Mallett.
Letters of written for the May 28th Opening Ceremony by Senator John McCain, Senator Bob Dole, President George H. W. Bush, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Robert L. Funseth (Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Acting Director of the Bureau for Refugee Programs) are posted on our website for researchers to read when they look the FVPPA collection. These letters, along with the FVPPA collection’s scope and content note, administrative history, finding aid, and names search database, may be viewed on the following webpage of the Vietnam Archive’s Virtual Archive: http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/vietnamarchive/fvppa/index.htm
-All photos are were taken by The Vietnam Center’s Victoria Lovelady