Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Republic of Vietnam Ordnance Insignia. Top: Shoulder patch, printed cotton.
Bottom: Qualification badge, silk woven in color (left); Qualification badge, hand embroidered in subdued (right). Circa 1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
The Ordnance Branch of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam oversaw the distribution, management, and procurement of armaments for the armed forces. Members of ordnance units underwent specialist training at the Ordnance Training Center near Tan Son Nhut. Trainees who qualified would be awarded the ordnance qualification badge that was worn above the right pocket. Variations of this badge included different colored variants in silk woven or printed cotton form as well as subdued and hand embroidered types. A metal version of the badge also existed. Those who completed courses at the Ordnance Training Center would either serve in units directly under the authority of the Ordnance Branch or as ordnance personnel in other branches of the armed forces.
Trainees at the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Ordnance Training Center
near Tan Son Nhut install a remote control detonating and disarming device
to disarm or destroy a simulated 105 MM round.
Note the ordnance qualification badge on the soldier at center.
Aside from managing ordnance supplies for the republic's armed forces, ordnance personnel were also required to handle captured enemy weapons and disarm them as needed in addition to defusing faulty ordnance. The work was highly dangerous, and many ordnance personnel fell casualty to armaments as they attempted to remove and disarm them long after the related combat engagements had ceased.
Republic of Vietnam Ordnance Officers of the 7th Ordnance Company of the 7th Division enjoy a break after a day's work in My Tho. The man second from left is identified as a "Captain Linh," commander of the 7th Ordnance Company. The American soldier is a member of the 61st Medical Detachment. 1967-8.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Pair of valor citations for Republic of Vietnam Sergeant Vũ Đình Du of the 5th Division,
circa July and September, 1965, RVNHS Archive.
These two valor citations pertaining to a Sergeant of the Republic of Vietnam 5th Division were recently acquired by RVNHS. The sergeant's name was Vũ Đình Du. The first of the two citations is for general merit and is dated July 28, 1965. The second citation is for bravery during an operation in Bình Dương Province on September 9, 1965, in which the sergeant successfully located and captured a three hundred meter enemy tunnel, which included hidden mines. He also took three enemy prisoners in the process. The citation is dated September 14, 1975.
Soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam 5th Division, circa mid-1960s.
Citation for merit for Republic of Vietnam Sergeant Vũ Đình Du of the 5th Division,
dated July 28, 1965, RVNHS Archive.
Citation for bravery for Republic of Vietnam Sergeant Vũ Đình Du of the 5th Division for the capture of an enemy position, material, and prisoners,
dated September 14, 1965, RVNHS Archive.
Both valor documents are signed by then 5th Division commander, (then colonel and later lieutenant general) Phạm Quốc Thuần. Citations of this type were awarded for exceptional efforts of bravery and service to a soldier's unit. These two citations represent the valor of many regular soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, and attest to their determination to observe their duty on behalf of their country.
Lieutenant General Phạm Quốc Thuần, signator of both valor documents.
Map showing the provinces of the Republic of Vietnam in 1967.
Bình Dương Province is located north of Saigon.
Soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam 5th Division, circa 1969.