Feb 1968

TET offensive initiates additional troop buildup in Vietnam

March 1968

1st Brigade 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Ft. Carson, CO begins receiving troops buildup and training for deployment to Vietnam. Formation, Training & Deployment to Viet Nam April 1968 Civil Disturbance Training and deployment to Washington D.C. riot control; in the time frame of the end of March and the first of April. Pineapple: 
Barbara and I were out doing the Thanksgiving shopping tonight and while waiting for her to clear the checkout I went over to the book rack and picked up a book about Nam (surprise surprise). I always check them out to see what reference there is to the Cav (normally none at all). This one did make reference to the fact about the 5th Inf being send to Nam despite not being ready for combat operations (that is one reason we sat on the beach for so long). It seems that the Division had been wrapped up in riot control and were behind in their training and in the outfitting of equipment to be used in Nam. So it was held back until sometime in September before the whole unit was declared fit for duty. 

Coop According to “The Rise and Fall of an American Army” by Shelby Stanton (1985, Novato CA, Presidio books), the 5th I.D. (Mech) brought 1,072 armored vehicles with them. Once there, they received 140 APCs, 8 mortar carriers from Fort Hood and a total of 67 M48 tanks from Ft. Knox and the Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA. During the shakedown period, the division’s readiness was complicated by the September monsoons which temporarily isolated the division on the wrong side of the Cam Lo main bridge. But the day was saved by aerial resupply. Some elements of the division came into enemy contact in August, but the rest of the division actually entered the fight in October 1968. According to Stanton, the NVA on the DMZ now had to deal with armored formations and “mechanized momentum.” June 1968
Robert Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles.

Deployment of advance party for Quang Tri and Wunder Beach. Tent City built in the sands of Wunder Beach.

Photo of Wunder Beach Commemorative Patch made by locals  provided by Al Sacks

Deployment of advance party from Ft. Carson to Danang on C-141‘s.

Jim Mills arrives with advanced party that in Danang, and then flown to the Marine base at Quang Tri in C141’s. While awaiting the arrival of the main body elements we receive our in-country briefing from the 3rd Marine Div., fill sandbags, pull guard and learn how to burn shit.