Vietnam - I am a Vietnam veteran who
served with the 8th Battalion, 4th Field Artillery from 1967 - 1968
in an area just south of the DMZ known as Dong Ha. I am a member of the 8th/4th veterans association whose website below provides information
about our Battalion history in Vietnam from 1967 through 1971.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Wall in Washington DC honors the fallen of the Vietnam War.
Relatives and friends leave letters, poems, and photographs there
and on this web site named The Virtual Wall ®. Click on the image of
the wall to be taken to the Virtual Wall website where one can
locate fallen veterans by name, city/state, wall panels, military
units, groups and battles, height of valor (medals), and POW/MIA
National Veteran’s Art Museum
Veteran’s Art Museum in Chicago has an unusual work of Art which you
may not have even known existed!
first enter the museum, they will hear a sound like wind chimes
coming from above them and their attention will be drawn upward 24
feet to the ceiling of the two-story high atrium.
The dog tags of
the more than 58,000 service men and women who died in the Vietnam
War, were hung from the ceiling of the National Vietnam Veterans Art
Museum in Chicago on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010.
sculpture, entitled Above & Beyond, was designed by Ned Broderick
and Richard Stein.
The thousands of
metal dog tags are suspended 24 feet in the air, 1 inch apart, from
fine lines that allow them to move and chime with shifting air
using a kiosk and laser pointer help visitors locate the exact dog
tag with the imprinted name of a lost friend or relative.
Monument dedicated to
Ft. Sill, OK
Veterans of the
8th Battalion, 4th Field Artillery traveled here from as far away as
Sydney, Australia, to witness the dedication of a monument
commemorating their years of service in Vietnam and the 27 soldiers
from the unit who died in action. The new monument occupies a
prominent position in Fort Sill’s Constitution Park, west of Condon
Road on the north side of Sheridan Road.
In his memorial
address, battalion commander in 1969-70, Maj. Gen. Ike Smith of
Washington, D.C. (Ret.), said he has a tremendous amount of respect
and gratitude to people like retired Col. Bill Kindt of Lawton, who
commanded the battalion during its infancy and helped it mature. He
also praised the committee that worked on the monument. “It was done
with dignity and respect, and it’s something we can all be proud
of,” Smith said. Cut from a quarry near Granite, the 9-foot granite
marker weighs 6,000 pounds and is set in a concrete foundation that
is 6 feet deep, according to retired Chief Warrant Officer Joe
Talley of Lawton. It was shipped to Georgia for engraving and
returned to Gragg Monument Co., Lawton, for emplacement at Fort
Thursday’s ceremony, the monument was flanked by 27 flags,
representing each soldier listed on the memorial, according to
retired Master Sgt. Larry Martin of Champaign, Ill., president of
the 8-4 FA Association. Smith dedicated the monument in their honor,
in the name of the 8th of the 4th. The names of the soldiers were
read by retired Lt. Col. Brian O’Neill of Sparta, N.J., who served
as 8-4 FA’s B Battery commander in 1968-1969. The names read were:
Orval L. Skirvin, James Allen Lowery, Arkie Junior Wright, Ralph
Anthony Lo Grasso, James Wilburn Wood, Harold Metcalf, Kenneth John
Greene, Freeman Bolen, Allen Lee Faler, Albert S. Chastain, Melvin
Eugene Clark, Christopher James Bell, Pedro DeHerrera, George
Washington Pierce, Forrest Hughy Hollifield, Larrie Cornelius Allen,
Melvin James Felton, Blake Dominic Whitney, Donald Gene Gibler,
James Byrd Foster Jr., Loyd Van McCarthy Jr., Johnny Gordon
Williamson, James Edward Tighe, Davis Junior Morgan, Stuart Marshall
Binkley, Rueben Thomas Aragon and Paul Trujillo
“On behalf of
the current and future soldiers here at Fort Sill and all
artillerymen around the world, we accept this fitting tribute being
presented to the installation in memorial to the 8th Battalion 4th
Field Artillery, and specifically to those soldiers who paid the
ultimate price for freedom while serving your battalion,” said Col.
Jeffrey Yaeger, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Field Artillery
Center and assistant commandant of the U.S. Army Field Artillery
School. Yaeger told the association that as their lineage is
remembered, it is important to remember that their children and
grandchildren are now picking up the challenge “to continue our
promises to the future.”
“You can take
great pride in the knowledge that those of you who served in the 8-4
have set an example to be emulated by today’s soldiers.”
Click on images to enlarge
Vietnam 1971 - 8th Battalion 4th Field Artillery
The M16A1 Rifle -
Operation And Preventive Maintenance
The U.S. Army teamed
up with cartoonist and graphic artist Will Eisner to produce teaching
tools for U.S. soldiers in a medium that they could easily understand.
The M16A1 Rifle: Operation and Preventive Maintenance, first printed in
1969, features a female narrator who instructs GIs on the proper care of
their AR-15 (military name M16A1) rifles—firearms notorious for jamming
and malfunctioning. More than a simple manual and step-by-step guide,
this unconventional yet important military document tried to appeal to
soldiers with suggestive chapter titles such as “How to Strip Your
Baby,” “What to Do in a Jam,” “Sweet 16,” and “All the Way with Négligé.”
A copy of the thirty-two-page booklet was issued to nearly every soldier
serving in Vietnam.
Click on image below to open entire manual.
A little history most people will never know.
Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall
"Carved on these walls is the story of
America , of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency,
and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream."
~President George Bush
SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including
those added in 2010.
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by
date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to
believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.
Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East
wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968),
then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the
earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in
1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming
full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side
and contained within the earth itself.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth ,
Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on
June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son,
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on
Sept. 7, 1965.
- There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.
- 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.
- 8,283 were just 19 years old.
- The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.
- 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.
- 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.
- One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.
- 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .
- 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .
- 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
- Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.
- 54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I
wonder why so many from one school.
- 8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.
- 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War;
153 of them are on the Wall.
- Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.
- West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation.
There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school
football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of
Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring
beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado
Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic
camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of
Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service
began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
- The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales
were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in
Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few
yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And
they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all
three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the
fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedys assassination. Jimmy died less
than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting
the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
- The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~
- The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415
casualties were incurred.
For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the
Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the
families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that
these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with
these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives,
sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.