82nd Airborne Division (Vietnam) Golden Brigade – Vietnam 1968 – 1969

October 31, 2011


Category: All Messages,General Interest – Ron Yorkovich 10:23 pm

GO 43 (click to download 1.7 MB file)

WASHINGTON, DC, 12 August 1970 


The award of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm by the Republic of Vietnam to units of the United States Army listed below is confirmed.

The Cross of Gallantry with Palm has been awarded by the Government of the Republic of Vietnam for outstanding service during the period 6 October 1968 to 11 November 1969 to:

3D BRIGADE, 82D AIRBORNE DIVISION and its assigned and attached units:

Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division
1st Battalion, 505th Infantry, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division
2d Battalion, 505th Infantry, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division
1st Battalion, 508th Infantry, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division
82d Support Battalion, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division
2d Battalion, 321st Artillery
Company C, 307th Engineer Battalion
Troop B, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry
58th Signal Company
518th Military Intelligence Detachment
52d Chemical Detachment (For the period 6 October 1968 to 25 October 1969)
4th Public Information Detachment
Company O, 75th Infantry (For the period 1 February 1969 to 11 November 1969)
37th Infantry Platoon (For the period 30 January 1969 to 11 November 1969)

The citation reads as follows: (more…)

October 25, 2011

MPC (Military Payment Certificates)

Category: All Messages,Photos – Ron Yorkovich 12:00 am

October 18, 2011

MG Bolling Sevices

Category: All Messages,Taps – Ron Yorkovich 5:53 pm

Troopers: most of us earned our awards with the Golden Brigade under General Bolling’s watch. As a tribute to the General, please wear your decorations to his service.

Taps – “Doc” Thielemann 1949 – 2011

Category: All Messages,Taps – Ron Yorkovich 5:53 pm

Doc Thieleman was an A 2/505 Golden Brigade Combat Medic. John passed away October 11, 2011. He is survived by wife: Jenny; 3 Daughters: April Piper, Tammy King, and Alex Belcher; 3 brothers: Joseph D. Thielemann, Walter J. Dye and Robert E. Dye; 5 sisters: Jan Ruth France, Jane Brown, Mary Weaver, Elizabeth Battaglia and Ruth Payne; 6 grandchildren.

Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery on November 9, 2011 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Suncoast Hospice or the Pioneer Bible Translaters.

MG Bolling Passes On to a Better Place

Category: All Messages,Taps – Ron Yorkovich 3:19 pm

America Has Lost a National Treasure

It is with great sadness that we must report that MG Alexander R. Bolling, Jr. passed away this morning at 7:45 AM on Thursday, October 6, 2011 in Dallas ,  TX at 89 years of age.  He had been in hospice for several months.  The good news is that he passed away peacefully.

While funeral plans are not complete, he will be interred in historic Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg , VA sometime in November on a Saturday. His family has a mausoleum there and he will join his wife and many generations of his family in peace. A memorial service will be held at Christ & Grace Episcopal Church in Petersburg.

Our chapter will be well represented at his service and will assist the family in whatever is needed.  Bob Murrill, 1/508 is our chapter point man and coordinating with the family.  Carl Bludau is working with the Division for appropriate honors.

Condolences to the Bolling family should be sent to:

The Bolling Family
c/o Mr. Russ Bolling
317 North Heartz Road
Coppell ,  TX 75019

God Bless You Sir, Airborne All the Way!!!

Richard F. O’Hare on behalf of your Chapter

The General with “his boys”. LZ Bolling. GBC 42nd Reunion; Dallas, TX, 2010.
Click image to enlarge. Click on the new image to view full size.

The General is still Airborne, he has joined the Stick of Angels watching over our war fighters under the command of Saint Michael, the Patron Saint of Paratroopers. God Bless the General.


Paddy Barry ATW
“Fire-In-The Hole”

General Bolling has been my hero since my assignment to the Golden Brigade in July of 1968 – 2 weeks after my 18th birthday. I was a Leg – a replacement medic – but was never made to feel that I was an outsider. This was the culture that General Bolling instilled in “his boys”.  That assignment shaped what I have become today and, in turn, the type of persons that my children have become. Through the activities of the Chapter I often had the opportunity to meet with him. He always remained concerned about the well-being of his troopers and was genuinely interested in every one that he spoke with – he always found the time to make each of us all feel a little bit better.

I will miss him. And I will miss his leading the Chapter in singing “We’re All American”. This one’s for you, Sir. Troopers, turn up your speakers, please stand, and click: We’re All American. Join with the 82nd Chorus in song and read MG Bolling’s bio.

Peace be with you General – I know that you are now with the “Forever Young” troopers that you loved so much.

Ron Yorkovich
A 1/505

I was in country with the 1/101 as the Sig Company Commander when the BDE came in and need a Sig O. That began a wonderful association with Gen Bolling since I was on one of Carl Lloyd’s helos with him almost everyday on Fire Base visits. Confession time: we had just got the new KY28 crypto devices on the helos and I was trying to get the Gen to use it. He said he’d try it after we left FB Bastogne. We landed and the commo Sgt met us and asked about the device. I told him and we went our ways. On our return he asked how do you key it? I explained with a “gun” that was at REMF base camp. He said, oh, with the holes under the door? Ooops, opening that door zero’d the code and I had to tap dance about the KY28 not being usable. Now: who was that NCO? Confess :-)

And how many other had this happen…I think many: About 5 years later I was in the Pentagon and stopped by Gen Bolling’s office to seek an appointment. I expected to be given a time later in the week. I was in Class A uniform with an 82nd combat patch on the right sleeve. The General’s Executive Officer (a Colonel) saw the patch and shook his head and said wait. He muttered…good naturely: another 3rd Brigade guy (smilingly.) He went into the Gen Bolling’s office, during a meeting with other heavy dudes, and told him that a Captain Steve Johnson was in the outer office. The next thing I knew was a heavy voice yelling “Johnny, the best damned Signal Officer in the whole United States Army, get your ass in here and he bear hugged me and threw everyone else out.

RIP General. You defined leadership. Johnny. “10?

Steve Johnson

October 14, 2011

Update on Petersburg Facilities for MG Bolling’s Funeral

Category: Taps – Ron Yorkovich 2:38 pm


MG (Ret) Alexander R. Bolling, Jr. has passed to that “Great Dropzone in the Sky”.  With the loss of such a great man a part of all of us goes there as well.  His funeral will be Saturday, November 12, 2011 starting at 2 PM in Petersburg, VA.  Please see details below.

I visited the church, cemetery and hotel on Wednesday, October 12, 2011.  When I introduced myself, I indicated that I was only on a fact finding mission and not in a position of authority.  The following information is for those with responsibility for various parts of the send off for Gen Bolling so glean the information you need from the following.  It is believed to be accurate and certainly subject to change. Our duty is to support the family and not intrude on their privacy.

The Bolling Family Association will also participate but we don’t know the details as this is to be worked out.  This is a great opportunity to meet with the people that he has worked with to preserve their heritage.  Many don’t know that Gen Bolling wrote a book tracing their history all the way back toEngland in the 1600’s.  There is still a Bolling Hall there.

Vic Iannelli is the GBC man on the ground and he will coordinate our activities as directed by Russ Bolling, Gen Bolling’s son. Vic will need all the help he can get to arrange the Parish Hall prior to the service so lend your strong arms and volunteer.  We will also need to have guidon bearers for the final service at the Cemetary.

Church – Christ and Grace Episcopal Church,1545 South Sycamore Street. Exit 51 on I 95.  A beautiful old church founded in October, 1841 about 5 minutes off the interstate. Petersburg is about an hour south ofRichmond and the nearest airport and 3 hours south of DC depending upon traffic.  There will be an Episcopal Burial Service in the main sanctuary and a “get together” in the Parish Hall.

The Rector indicated that there would be no military ceremony in the sanctuary but ok in the parish hall which is attached to the church. At the get together there will be a couple of toasts, 2 brief speakers from the GBC as well as from the Bolling Family Association

Cemetery –BlandfordCemetery, Crater Road,Petersburg,VA – Founded 1735 – This is owned by the City ofPetersburg and is a very historic site.  It adjoins the Petersburg National Battlefield and is the final resting place of more than 30,000 Confederate soldiers.

The Bolling family has a beautiful mausoleum that Gen Bolling had restored several years ago.  It is about a 5 minute drive from the church. Parking is limited but the funeral director is familiar with this and will make sure that every vehicle is accommodated. We will have to carpool.

Rev Teschner would do an Episcopal Inurnment Service then the military part of the ceremony would take place.

There is ample room for the color guard, firing party and our guidon bearers.  They have no problem with firing parties and I am told the funeral director is familiar with the arrangements for this but we will need to check this out.  We will need GBC guidon bearers to participate.

Hotel – Holiday Inn – 401 East Roslyn Road, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 –  804-520-5880 – Exit 53 East north on I 95 – A very nice hotel about 5 minutes from Blandford Cemetery.  3 years old and well maintained.  Interestingly enough, it caters to the military at Fort Lee so they are very familiar with our needs.  The owners also control a Hampton Inn in next door and aHilton Garden several blocks away so there will be no problem with overflow. Update 08:17, 8 Nov 2011: no rooms are available at the Holifay Inn for 11/12 Nov.

They will comp the chapter a large room as a hospitality suite for Friday and Saturday.  They will set up tables and chairs. We can bring in our own refreshments, coolers etc. Dickie and I can handle this assignment. This room would be open to GBC and family members.  We’ll provide soft drinks, water, beer, wine and possibly some liquor as well as snacks.

This is not firmed up so stand by for more details. In any case we will have a place to gather.

There is a small restaurant and bar on site as well as numerous restaurants within a short distance. 

Flowers – Although Russ has asked for donations instead of flowers, we must have a wreath.  We can use the same center piece that we do for Veterans Day which is an 82nd patch with Golden above it andVietnam below.  I spoke with the floral designer and it turns out that her husband is a Vietnam Veteran.  She has guaranteed a beautiful wreath at a very reasonable cost to be delivered to the Church Parish hall.  We can then bring it to the Cemetery. Everyone I spoke to said they do a magnificent job.

About Petersburg, VA

Petersburg has many historic sites and buildings.  It has gotten a bad rap because of crime, as in most cities. It was the site of a pivotal battle that ultimately ended the Civil War.  Of particular interest is Centre Hill Mansion, built in 1823 by Robert Bolling IV, one of Gen Bolling’s ancestors. It is a short distance from the church and cemetery.

If you are a history buff, particularly Civil War, you may want to spend some extra time in the area.

Weather this time of Year

The fall weather is unpredictable. It could be absolutely beautiful or snowing. Especially for those coming from the south be prepared.  I would recommend a rain coat or top coat.

Things in Progress

  • Dickie Keaton and Rich O’Hare will take care of the hospitality suite and be down there on Friday afternoon to get it set up – help is needed
  • We will also bring the 15 unit guidons, Chapter flag, toasting glasses and contents
  • A rehearsal at the cemetery will be needed, probably on Sat AM. Those who will man guidons are requested to be there.  
  • We also have about 20 – 82nd car flags for the funeral procession from the church
  • The wreath has been ordered
  • The Division has committed full support. A color guard, firing party and bugler are on board. A number of high ranking officers from Division will be present. Unfortunately, the CG and many of our troopers are inAfghanistanso he will not be able to attend but he has lent his full support.
  • We don’t know how many or who the distinguished guests will be. In my opinion, which I am sure that Gen Bolling would agree with, we are all distinguished guests.

Return to Vietnam

Category: Photos – Ron Yorkovich 1:42 pm

October 13, 2011

Salute to General Bolling and the Men of the 3rd BDE 82nd ABN DIV Vietnam (comments updated 10/13/2011)

Category: All Messages,Flashback – Ron Yorkovich 12:00 am

Because I was there.


John Bell, III

Phu Bai 1968

I was assigned to the 82nd and became a photographer for the Public Information Office (PIO). On my second day, I was sent to the Ashau to photograph the troops receiving their pay. They had just taken over a NVA medical station in the jungle, commanded by Colonel Mot. I didn’t know if this was a publicity stunt or if Colonel Bolling was the real deal.

Colonel Bolling radioed and asked the troops what they would like for doing such a good job. They wanted ice cream. Within no time, I could hear the Chong, Chong, Chong, from the big blade of a Huey helicopter carrying a pallet of ice cream … strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. The troops got beaucoup gallons of ice cream, just as they had asked for.

Their hospitality to me was unmatched. They insisted that I partake of their bounty. When night came they asked me where I would be sleeping. I told them that I would be sleeping on the ground with my back against a big tree. They told me “No Way!” They told me that there were poisonous snakes and insects that hadn’t even been named that were just as
deadly. More than one troop offered me an extra hammock that they carried for a spare.

After about three days in the jungle with some of the greatest soldiers that I have ever met, I finally got back to headquarters. The PIO didn’t have any place to develop my film. The next day Colonel Bolling sent a driver who took me to a Marine Base located near Hue. I told them that I was a photographer for the 82nd Airborne with an important assignment. They
graciously turned their photo lab over to me. There is power in the name 82nd Airborne; it carries a lot of clout.


October 12, 2011

A 2/505 mini-reunion

Category: All Messages,Reunion – Ron Yorkovich 4:07 pm

Would there be any interest in a mini-reunion for A Co. 2/505, 3rd Bde 82nd Airborne in the NY, Mass., NJ, Penn., Conn area? I know some would like to go to the national reunions but distance may have been a problem.  Maybe a central location in the NY area may work out.  Just a thought.

John Johnas
COA, 2/505-3rd Bde. 82nd Abn.
17March69 to 19Nov69

October 11, 2011

MG Alexander Russell Bolling, Jr. Memorial Services

Category: All Messages,Taps – Ron Yorkovich 4:47 pm

ALEXANDER RUSSELL (“BUD”) BOLLING, JR., passed away on October 6, 2011.

He was born in Ft. McPherson, Georgia, on September 11, 1922, the son of the late Lt. General and Mrs. Alexander R. Bolling. Bud and his late wife, Fran, are survived by their: daughter, Kathryn Bolling Woodward; son and wife, Russ and Elaine Bolling; granddaughter and husband, Karen and Brian Ide; grandson and wife, Russ and Mackenzie Woodward; grandson and fiancée, Ryan Bolling and Glenda Romero; grandson, Tyler Bolling; granddaughter, Brooke Bolling; and great-grandchildren, Ethan and Lauren Ide. True to his sense of humor, he was known affectionately as “Uncle Bud” by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1940. Graduating in 1943, he crossed Utah Beach in France in the summer of 1944 in command of an infantry platoon. Wounded and captured in January 1945, he escaped the following March and joined the 84th Infantry Division, finishing the war on the Elbe River as a Rifle Company Commander. Following six months of occupation in Germany, he was returned to West Point to teach German. The subsequent 28 years were characterized by assignments that would prepare him for the highest public positions.

Fluent in German and Portuguese and conversant in French, he served twice in Brazil, once in Taiwan, and twice in Vietnam. His schooling included the United States Military Academy, the Infantry School (where he also served as a Tactics Instructor), the Command & General Staff College, and the Army War College. He served twice on the Army General Staff and led troops at every level of command commensurate with his rank. In 1968, while commanding the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, he was ordered to deploy immediately with his entire unit to Vietnam to counter the North Vietnamese Tet offensive. During this combat service, he was promoted to Brigadier General, only to receive another promotion to Major General in less than two years.  In 1973, after more than 30 years of service to his country, Bud retired and settled with his beloved wife in Dallas.

Never inactive, he immediately became an Executive with a K-Mart Corporation subsidiary and subsequently developed a computer service company for physicians, which entered the public arena in the 1980’s. In 1985, he retired again and devoted his time to writing and publishing, to his church, to service in several academic, philanthropic, and patriotic organizations, and to his family. Recognition of his accomplishments was manifold.

Military decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, two Silver Stars for gallantry in combat, three Bronze Stars for valor, 18 Air Medals, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge with Star, the U.S., Vietnamese, and Brazilian parachute badges, and a number of foreign decorations. Additionally, he received numerous awards for his civic service to the many communities with which he had been involved. Despite all of this, Bud always said that his only desire was described in a line from his West Point Alma Mater: “And when our work is done, our course on earth is run, may it be said “Well done!! Be thou at peace.”

The Memorial Service will commence at 2:00 pm. on Novvember 12, 2011. For Memorial and Inurnment Services information, contact J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home in Petersburg, VA at 804-733-8511 or go to http://www.jtmorriss.com/; search for Bolling, Alexander R. Jr. under Obituaries. (Directions to Memorial and Inurnment Services are included). In lieu of flowers, it is requested that a donation be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (http://www.lbda.org/).

Accomodations have been arranged at the Holiday Inn at Colonial Heights, VA.

Holiday Inn
401 East Roslyn Road
Colonial Heights, VA 23834

The hotel is setting up 3 block names for rooms: 1) for my immediate family, there is the Russ Bolling block.  Reservations have alread been made; 2) The Bolling Family Assoc. will be the block name for all non-military related attendees who call in; 3) The third block will be called The Golden Brigade for all military-related attendees calling in. Recommend that the hotel be contacted soon to block out a specific number of  rooms.  Special Hotel Rate: $99 + tax for room with 2 queen beds or a single room (king bed only).

All for now and thanks so much for all you have done for my dad.

Russ Bolling

October 6, 2011

COL Bolling Leads – All The Way!

Category: All Messages,Photos – Ron Yorkovich 3:00 am

Why We Wore Colored Shoulder Patches When Everyone Else Wore Subdued

Category: Photos – Ron Yorkovich 2:28 am

To quote General Bolling: “so the enemy would know exactly who was fighting them!”

October 5, 2011

Heroes Homecoming: Celebration of Vietnam Veterans is a Long Time Coming

Category: All Messages,Announcements – Ron Yorkovich 9:21 am

More than 40 years after the Vietnam War was in full swing, Fayetteville is welcoming home the veterans. Fort Bragg and Fayetteville will join forces from Nov. 4 to Nov. 13 to honor the men and women who served.

During the Vietnam era, an estimated 200,000 people came through basic training at Fort Bragg to prepare to fight in what turned out to be a controversial war. In those days, the troops and the town did not always have a good opinion of each other. For soldiers, the town was a place to let off steam before shipping off to a possible doom. For the town, the troops were short-timers sowing their wild oats.

There will be something for everyone. The Cape Fear Regional Theatre will present the musical “Miss Saigon.” Native Vietnamese will describe their own experiences, including communist imprisonment. Retired Gen. James J. Lindsay will share his perspective of several decades of observing the relationship.

Here is a partial list of performances, events and exhibits:

Nov. 3-20: “Miss Saigon” musical, Cape Fear Regional Theater, 1209 Hay St.

Nov. 4-13: “Voices of the Vietnam War,” Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. Exhibit will feature photography, video and artifacts from veterans.

Nov. 4-5: “Truth and Consequences,” poetry, music, play readings and interviews, 8 p.m., Gilbert Theater, 116 Green St.

Nov. 4-13: A Tribute to Local Vietnam War Veterans, Fayetteville Area Transportation & Local History Museum. Photographs and biographical panels of local Vietnam Veterans.

Nov. 4-13: Displays and exhibits of Special Forces in Southeast Asia. John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum on Fort Bragg.

Nov. 3-14: Exhibits on the 82nd Airborne Division’s “Golden Brigade,” which deployed to Vietnam, 82nd Airborne Museum, Ardennes Street, Fort Bragg.

Nov. 6-14: Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, parade field of Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Opening ceremony at 3 p.m. Nov. 6. The traveling wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington.

Nov. 7: Keynote Address, retired Gen. James J. Lindsay, Vietnam veteran. 7 p.m., Headquarters Library, 300 Maiden Lane.

Nov. 9: Chancellor’s Distinguished Speaker Series presents Dr. Sharon Raynor, author of “Breaking the Silence: The Unspoken Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans,” 7 p.m., Seabrook Auditorium, Fayetteville State University.

Nov. 10: Adrian Cronauer, the Air Force disc jockey portrayed by Robin Williams in “Good Morning, Vietnam.”


Thanks to Dickie Keaton for this contribution!

October 4, 2011

“Mr French” Pays Us a Visit – Add Your Comment

Category: Photos – Ron Yorkovich 7:36 am

October 3, 2011

Photo – Add Your Comment

Category: Photos – Ron Yorkovich 11:41 am

By the Numbers

Category: All Messages – Ron Yorkovich 11:06 am

For most 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 (only 1/3 of Vietnam veterans survive), haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.

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 names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized.

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.

  • 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall 
  • 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger
  • 33,103 were 18 years old
  • 8,283 were 19 years old
  • 2,415 casualties were incurred in May 1968 – the most for a single month
  • 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam
  • 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam
  • 711 West Virginians were killed – the most from any state
  • 245 were killed on January 31, 1968 – the most casualty deaths for a single day
  • 227 Golden Brigade troopers are honored on the Wall
  • 153 Medal of Honor recipients are on the Wall
  • 54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia
  • 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall
  • 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old
  • 8 women are on the Wall
  • 6 sons of Beallsville, Ohio, population 475, are on the Wall
  • 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old
  • 3 sets of fathers and sons are on the Wall
  • 1 soldier, PFC Dan Bullock, was 15 years old

For more info, including bios and medals of the fallen, visit http://www.virtualwall.org/iStates.htm

Thanks to Jim Littig and Dickie Keaton for their contribution to this post.

“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

October 2, 2011

Map – North Vietnam

Category: Maps – Ron Yorkovich 12:29 pm

Also includes Hue, Phu Bai, Ashau Valley, Khe Sanh, and Da Nang -and a village named ‘Ron’. Click on the image to open in a new window. Then click on the new image to view full size.

Lt Schneider’s Sign in Front of A Co 1/505 CP at Tan Son Nhut 1969

Category: Photos – Ron Yorkovich 9:00 am

October 1, 2011

After Action Reports (and other documents)

Category: All Messages – Ron Yorkovich 8:23 pm

Looking for after action reports for C co 1/505 3rd Bde in RVN.


Cliff Servetti

Quarterly After Action and Lessons Learned reports were only available (as far as I am aware) at the brigade level. Supplemental After Action reports were prepared after significant operations, such as Nevada Eagle and Carentan I. Are you looking for anything in particular? Does anyone have any documents to share?

Ron Yorkovich

Photo – Add Your Comment

Category: Photos – Ron Yorkovich 6:14 am