February 12, 2016
In 1968 Gen. William C. Westmoreland (CG, United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam), requested the 82nd Airborne to repel the massive assault of the Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. President Johnson gave him only the 3rd Brigade – the cream of “America’s Guard of Honor”. The “Golden Brigade” was officially alerted for deployment on Monday, 12 February, 1968, at 1730 hours.
Dear Fellow Trooper,
Almost four decades ago, a bunch of us troopers served together in Vietnam as part of what has become known throughout the 82nd Airborne Division as The Golden Brigade. We got that name for the manner in which the troopers of the brigade performed their many tasks, from their jump into Vieques Island and their outstanding accomplishments in Detroit in 1967 to the flawless deployment and their heroic combat activity in 1968 and 1969. As the years have gone by, our famous unit has fought in Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq — in a manner that makes us all proud to say that we were once on that team.
Over the years, a small group of RVN (Republic of Vietnam) troopers have worked hard not only to keep the memory of The Golden Brigade alive but also to make sure our unit continues to participate in the many good things that are being done by the 82nd Airborne Division Association for those who need help. When we assemble a few times each year, our eyes fill with tears of pride as we salute those comrades who paid the full price in Vietnam, and as we shake hands with the young troopers who today proudly wear their newly won CIBs, CMBs, Bronze Stars, Purple Hearts and other decorations earned on the field of battle.
There is no substitute for the bond that is created among airborne troopers who have experienced the hardships of warfare. The bond cannot be seem be anyone else, but it is there. For that reason, I am contacting you today to invite you to come join us in maintaining that bond. It will not be long before you will be the senior airborne troopers, and the old timers like me, whose first war was in the 1940s, will be looking for men of The Golden Brigade to take the baton of leadership. We now have a member of our group on the association’s board of directors, and we have others in responsible positions in a number of group activities within the association.
What we need from you is your interest and support. As Rich O’Hare told me the other day, we need you to “hook up” with The Golden Brigade Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. The cost of the annual membership is only $20 and a life membership is only $100. This membership will be one of your most cherished possessions. The Paraglide, our Golden Brigade Chapter newsletter, and our Website will always be welcome, with its news about events beings planned and the accomplishments of your division. But, that’s not the most important thing. Your decision to maintain contact with the outfit with whom you fought in Vietnam will help us maintain that bond which we band of brothers wove more than four decades ago.
Stand up, and hook up.
Airborne, All the Way!!
Alexander R. Bolling, Jr.
Major General, USA (Ret)
CG of the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam
January 21, 2016
January 21, 1977
In his first act as president, Jimmy Carter pardons all Vietnam-era draft dodgers – pleasing amnesty groups, but angering veterans. The blanket pardon included hundreds of thousands who left the United States or failed to register with Selective Service. Military AWOL were not included in the pardon.
August 28, 2015
On 28 August 1968, B Co, C Co, and D Co saturated the North side of Hill 549. Of significance was the discovery of another hospital complex, numerous graves, and large quantities of weapons and munitions. Of primary interest, however, was the large quantity of documents, including maps and operations orders of past and present attacks on friendly forces and installations in the Hue-Phu Bai area.
Source: Combat After Action Report – Operation NEVADA Eagle [Unclassified 24 May 1995]
August 16, 2015
August 16th is “National AIRBORNE Day”.
Pray for all our troops but take a moment to remember our comrades.
Ed Martin, Feb68/Jan69
June 11, 2015
This website is no longer maintained.
For Chapter information visit www.goldenbrigade.org.
For finding buddies and participating in conversations and war stories with other Golden Brigade veterans, please join our Facebook group (we have over 400 members).
Pass the word – let’s get everyone involved!
All The Way!
Drop us a line just to check in and let everyone know that you’re still with us. Or, submit your “Looking For Buddies” message here. If you’re looking for a reply, be sure to include your email or phone number in the message if you want to be contacted. If you’re replying to a message, please try to add some details so we’ll know who the reply is meant for/the message that you are replying to.
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June 4, 2015
Col. Joseph Ross Franklin, PhD, USA (Ret), 84, of Pensacola, FL, died Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at home. Col. Franklin was born July 11, 1928 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended and graduated from U. S. Military Academy at West Point in 1950. Col. Franklin served in Korea, where he was wounded, and three tours of duty in Vietnam. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart, retiring from the U. S. Army after thirty years of service. Col. Franklin received his PhD in Foreign Relations from the American University. He was a member of the Legion of Valor and an active member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Franklin of Pensacola; son, Daniel Franklin of Pensacola; daughter, Jennifer Kellen and husband Joel of Corpus Christi, TX; granddaughter, Emmalee Noel Gough and sister, Dianne Payne. (more…)
June 2, 2015
John R. Shields of Kenilworth, N.J., passed away on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 with his loving family at his side, after a seven-year battle with cancer. He was 65 years old. Services for Mr. Shields were held on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at the Opacity Funeral Home, 511 Washington Ave., Kenilworth. Interment followed at Forest Green Memorial Cemetery in Morganville, N.J. Please visit www.opacityfuneralhome.com to sign his guest book and to leave a personal condolence to the family. Born in Summit, N.J., John previously resided in Edison, N.J., and Lakewood, N.J. John proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970. He served with C 1/508, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart, and other military commendations, leaving with the rank of sergeant. He worked 20-plus years at Lindeman Buick, and was also employed at Pine Belt Chevy and Elizabeth Olds. A diehard Mets fan, John also enjoyed woodworking and gifting his projects to family members. He loved his Corvette and motorcycles, warm weather and Pepsi, crosswords and dahlias. His family, friends, and neighbors will remember that he was always there to help anyone who asked. John is survived by his mother, Lena, and was predeceased by his father, Elton E. Shields. He is survived by his brothers, William (Bill), Elton and wife, Debbie, Frank and wife, Carol, and his sisters, Sue Swigunski, Annette and husband, Guy Haddix, Nancy Rademacher, and Joan and partner, Jackie. John is also survived by 16 nieces and nephews. To the best son and brother anyone could have asked for, Thank You and God Bless You always. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Disabled American Veterans, I.D. Harris Chapter 40, c/o Cmdr Robert House, 845 Inwood Road, Union, N.J. 07083 would be appreciated.
June 1, 2015
Bruce D. Eilers, 60, of Waterloo, formerly of Cedar Rapids, died Sunday, June 12, 2005 at his home. He was born June 7, 1945, in Cedar Falls, son of Charles and Barbara Schryver Eilers. He married Brenda Joyce Sindt Dec. 23, 1967, at St. John Lutheran Church in Keystone. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs. He received his B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa majoring in music education and minoring in sociology and economic, and later received his M.A. from UNI majoring in music.
Mr. Eilers was a string music educator, most recently at Waterloo West High School, retiring in 2004. He previously taught orchestra in the Cedar Rapids School District. Bruce was also conductor for the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area Youth Symphony Orchestra. He was an active judge and clinician for area contests and festivals. He served in the U.S. Army in C 1/505 3rd Brigade 82nd Airborne Division during Vietnam where he received a Purple Heart.
He was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, was on the Iowa High School Music Association (50th All State Festival Planning Committee), Iowa Music Educators Association – All State Orchestra Chair (1998-2003), and was former member of the Cedar Rapids Symphony and the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony. He was a member of the Superior Hawgs RAGBRAI Team. He was very active in life and this is just a small amount of his professional involvement. Bruce was recognized by Grinnell College receiving the Outstanding Iowa Teacher Award in 1998.
He is survived by his wife; a son, Aaron (fiancee Melissa McBride) of Cedar Rapids; a daughter, Rebecca Eilers of Woodbury, Minn.; his mother of Hastings, Minn.; and three brothers, Delos (Karen) of Cottage Grove, Minn., James (Sue) of Villa Park, Ill., and David of Cary, N.C. Preceded in death by: his father.
Services were held at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, with burial in Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery.
Carl Steven Coulthard Sr., 65, of Troy, N.C., passed away at his home on Aug. 2, 2013. He is survived by his wife of nearly 45 years, Marla Mangum Coulthard; one son, Carl Steven Coulthard Jr. of Hamlet, N.C., one daughter, Jacquelyn Colette Coulthard of Portland, Ore.; three grandchildren, Alex, Bailey and Chase Coulthard of Hamlet, N.C.; and three brothers, William Coulthard Jr. of Windham, Herb Coulthard of Homestead, Fla., and Robert Coulthard of Scarborough. Mr. Coulthard was born in New London, Conn., to the late William Coulthard and Mary Coulthard. He retired from the U.S. Army having served in the 101st Airborne Division and HHC 3rd Brigade 82nd Airborne Division with two tours of duty in Vietnam. Mr. Coulthard also served as the director of the American Red Cross in Richmond County and was the current host at Kings Mountain Point in the Uwharrie National Forest. A private memorial service was held. On-line condolences may be left atwww.phillipsfh.com.
May 31, 2015
November 15, 1969. Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division are briefed at Phu Loi on the details of their impending departure from Vietnam under President Nixon’s withdrawal plan. These men had just finished a combat patrol. Other members of the Division are standing by in Washington D.C. during the Vietnam Moratorium demonstration.
May 30, 2015
Operation Ranch Hand was a U.S. military operation during the Vietnam War, lasting from 1962 until 1971. Ranch Hand involved spraying an estimated 20 million U.S. gallons of defoliants and herbicides over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive the Viet Cong of food and vegetation cover. Areas of Laos and Cambodia were also sprayed to a lesser extent. Nearly 20,000 sorties were flown between 1961 and 1971. The Vietnamese government estimates that 400,000 people were killed or maimed and 500,000 children born with birth defects as a result of this spraying of what were called by the Americans ‘rainbow herbicides’.
The “Ranch Handers” motto was “Only you can prevent a forest” – a take on the popular U.S. Forest Service poster slogan of Smokey Bear. During the ten years of spraying, over 5 million acres of forest and 500,000 acres of crops were heavily damaged or destroyed. Around 20% of the forests of South Vietnam were sprayed at least once.
The herbicides were sprayed by the U.S. Air Force flying C-123s using the call sign “Hades”. The planes were fitted with specially developed spray tanks with a capacity of 1,000 U.S. gallons of herbicides. A plane sprayed a swath of land that was 80 meters wide and 10 miles long in about 4½ minutes, at a rate of about 3 U.S. gallons per acre. Sorties usually consisted of three to five airplanes flying side by side. 95% of the herbicides and defoliants used in the war were sprayed by the U.S. Air Force as part of Operation Ranch Hand. The remaining 5% were sprayed by the U.S. Chemical Corps, other military branches, and the Republic of Vietnam using hand sprayers, spray trucks, helicopters and boats, primarily around U.S. military installations.
Please click “Comments” (below Smokey’s picture) to read or post your experiences with Agent Orange.
Click on the links below to read/download the official documents.
The Air Force and Herbicides in Southeast Asia 1961-1971 Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force (AFD-100928-054)
Agent Orange Spray Map
VA – Agent Orange Exposure Conditions
Va – Agent Orange Compensation Guide
Chapter 13 – Agent Orange Claims Development
SP5 Ralph Mears is honored on Panel 23W, Row 22 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A native of Norfolk, VA, he was born on April 29, 1949, the son of Norfolk homicide detective Ralph J. Mears, Sr. Juddy was a member of the Tidewater Council Boy Scout Troop 44 and received his rank of Eagle on May 13, 1964. “Baby-San” was 21 years old when he was killed in action during a mortar attack on May 30, 1969 in the province of Hua Nghia while serving as Senior Medic with C 1/505th PIR.
Photo provided by Don McPhail
Photo Provided by Rick Talioaga
Photo provided by Gene Taylor
Life Magazine June 27, 1969
May 28, 2015
Hendrix’s Army records indicate he was discharged for “homosexual tendencies,” not a broken ankle as he had claimed publicly.
Jimi Hendrix might have stayed in the Army. He might have been sent to Vietnam. Instead, he pretended he was gay. And with that, he was discharged from the 101st Airborne in 1962, launching a musical career that would redefine the guitar, leave other rock heroes of the day speechless and culminate with his headlining performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969.
Hendrix’s subterfuge, contained in his military medical records, is revealed for the first time in Charles R. Cross’ new biography, “Room Full of Mirrors.” Publicly, Hendrix always claimed he was discharged after breaking his ankle on a parachute jump, but his medical records do not mention such an injury.
In regular visits to the base psychiatrist at Fort Campbell, Ky., in spring 1962, (more…)
May 24, 2015
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Golden Brigade members Paddy Barry, Rich O’Hare, and Don Thieme, and Museum staff James Hallis and John Aarsen, and others, 36 long-missing names were added to the memorial.
Carlton Walls is helped to the 82nd Airborne Division’s Vietnam War memorial by James Kiser. Veterans Walls, Kiser and Richard Davidson, who served with the Golden Brigade, laid a wreath at the memorial Wednesday at Fort Bragg. US Army photo by Maj. Fred Hair.
Click here to read the full Fayetteville Observer article.
My thoughts are with our Forever Young Troopers, veterans who have since joined them, and with all of my Golden Brigade friends and their loved ones.
Peace and God Bless You All – Airborne!
May 23, 2015
||Alexander John Jr
||Pervis B Jr
May 16, 2015
In Uniform and In Country
- Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation.
- 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era
(Aug. 5, 1964-May 7, 1975).
- 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war
(Aug 5, 1964 – March 28, 1973).
- 3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
- 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam
(Jan. 1, 1965 – March 28, 1973)
- Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
- Of the 2.6 million, between 1 – 1.6 million (40 – 60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
- 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
- Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968)
May 15, 2015
May 13, 2015
Fully illustrated and extremely interesting!
Thanks to Jim Littig for tihs!
May 12, 2015
Emmy-award winning 1987 documentary film featuring real-life letters written by American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines during the Vietnam War to their families and friends back home. Film footage and news coverage augment the first-person “narrative” by men and women who were there. Based on the book of the same name. (more…)
I served with the 82nd 2/505 in Vietnam beginning in April of 1968 through April 1969. Looking for buddies.
Originally submitted on 2014/11/14 at 5:54 pm
Looking for buddies from nam. I served in Recon 2/505 from Feb 68 to Feb 69. I’d like to contact as many as possible. Rosas, Rivera, Rosario, Vega, Montes, Cruz from Puerto Rico. Fayetteville, Scott, Lt.Alvarado, SSG Fountain, Price, Davis, Pena, SSG McConnell and anyone from Recon or the line companies we worked with, hey lets get in touch. I’ll be glad to hear from you.
email@example.com or, at ph# (956) 724-3976 in Laredo,Tx.