1st Infantry Division

In 1965, the First Infantry Division was again selected to be the first division to deploy, when they went to Vietnam. The first unit to go from the Big Red One was the 2nd Brigade.

Advanced parties landed at Qui Nhon on June 23, 1965. The first soldier to set foot on Vietnamese soil was Pfc. Gerard Werster of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 7th Artillery.

The Big Red One's first operation began July 22, 1965, when Company B, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, conducted a search of the area around the base camp at Bien Hoa.

The main body of the Division began leaving Fort Riley, Kan, Sept. 15, 1965, under the command of Maj. Gen. Jonathan O. Seaman. Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware, also a Division commander, was killed in action Sept. 13, 1968. His helicopter was shot down by ground fire near Loc Ninh, north of Saigon.

The First Infantry Division launched a series of operations that were to completely disrupt enemy activity. The Division pushed into areas known by such names as the Trapezoid, Iron Triangle, Catcher's Mitt, Song Be Corridor, Saigon Corridor, and Highway 13, better known as Thunder Road.

For nearly five years, the First Infantry Division soldiers battled against an aggressive enemy. The enemy made expert use of the dense jungles and inaccessible countryside. The use of helicopters was one of the best means of countering the jungle and the lack of roads. The experience gained in resupply operations, medical evacuation and the tactics of the air mobile assault has been used in developing basic doctrine in these areas.

The First Infantry Division returned to Fort Riley in April 1970. Over 3,000 soldiers of the Big Red One died in action. Eleven Medals of Honor winners were added to the rolls.

The Big Red One's colors now carry the Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer, Embroidered Vietnam 1968, "The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer Embroidered Vietnam 1965-1968" "First Class Streamer Embroidered Vietnam 1965-1970"

1st Infantry Division

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