|Date/Report Number ..091110.WMM09133.80 Item: VINTAGE WESTCLOX 1964 MILITARY VIETNAM SERVICE WRIST WATCH|
|Description of item: VINTAGE WESTCLOX 1964
MILITARY VIETNAM SERVICE WRISTATCH WITH A HIGH GRADE MANUAL WIND 17 JEWEL SEIKO 66B
MILITARY MOVEMENT. THE DIAL IS BLACK AND HAS STANDARD AND MILITARY NUMERAL AT EACH HOUR
AND IS SIGNED: WESTCLOX, 17 JEWELS. THE WATCH CASE HAS A BASE METAL BEZEL AND STAINLESS
STEEL SCREW DOWN CASE BACK THAT IS SIGNED: SIGNED WESTCLOX, WATERPROOF, SHOCK
RESISTANT,BASE METAL BEZEL, STAINLESS STEEL BACK, ANTIMAGNETIC AND ON THE INSIDE IS
SIGNED: NHA TRANG, 1965, BON ME THOUT, LIN1965, GHOST AND MEASURES 32MM X 41MM WITHOUT THE
CROWN. ATTACHED TO THE WATCH IS A G-20 NATO STYLE GREEN MILITARY NYLON WITH BRUSHED
KEEPERS STRAP.CONDITION IS EXCELLENT
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A BRIF HISTORY OF THE YEARS 1961-1965 WHEN THE FIRST US COMBAT FORCES IN VIETNAM WERE MAINLY SPECIAL FORCES - IE: GREEN BERETS
Before WWII , the French colonized Indochina.[Cambodia Laos Vietnam]. After the outbreak of WWII, the Japanese invaded Indochina but allowed the French to continue to Govern. In 1945 the Japanese, fearing US invasion, rounded up the French and the French "puppet government " and locked them up in what amounted to concentration camps. During this time, with US assistance, Vietnamese organized guerrilla units to harrase the Japanese.
At the conclusion of WWII -1945- the French moved back into Vietnam. which led to the French Indochina War --and eventually the halving of Vietnam into South Vietnam [Republic of Chochinchina], under French control, and North Vietnam, eventually under Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh Nationalists-- Communists.
With the defeat of China's Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Army in 1949 by the Chinese Communists, the US stepped up support for opposition groups through out Asia. When war breaks out in Korea in 1950, with China jumping in, the US stepped up support for the French in Vietnam fearing a domino effect.
When both China and Russia recognized Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Minh Nationalists defeated the French in 1954, the US with UN Support, assisted in the establishment of a government in South Vietnam. By 1959, US military support by way of cash, arms and advisers were stepped up. In fact, the first US casualties in Vietnam occurred in 1959 when two U.S. military advisers, Maj. Dale Buis and Sgt. Chester Ovnand, were killed by Viet Minh guerrillas at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam.
( SEARCH: DIEN BEN PHU. A HISTORIC INCREDIBLE STORY OF THE FRENCH SPECIAL FORCES & THE COMING OF AGE OF GENERAL GIAP AND THE VIET MINH )
U.S. SPECIAL FORCES & CIDG IN SOUTH VIETNAM:
( Civilian Irregular Defense Group )
In April of 1960, the 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces WWII Airborne was reconstituted.
The 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was officially activated in September of 1961 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, &, With the support of President Kennedy, RECEIVED PERMISSION TO WEAR THE GREEN BERET....
By 1962, elements of the 5th Special Forces Group began serving 6 month temporary tours of duty in Vietnam with a mission to advise and train the ARVN & ARVN SP -Vietnamese Special Forces, assist in building relationships with villagers, building schools, infirmaries, providing medical treatment, and creating Civilian Irregular Defense Groups in the villages and hamlets to combat the Viet Cong
[Viet Cong = guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam supported and directed by the North Vietnamese / "Viet Minh"- Viet Minh = Vietnam Independence League].
(To better understand what the mission was in 1962, Rent that famous 1968 movie " Green Beret " starring John Wayne with its hit Green Beret soundtrack).
While Vietnamese Villagers were recruited into CIDG's, the Special Forces began to recruit the largest minority group in Vietnam: the Montagnard.
(To better understand rent the 1979 movie "Apocalypse Now" Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. With Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen & Robert Duvall.
The Montagnard was not an individual TRIBE or SINGLE peoples, rather, it was a term loosely applied to over 100 separate tribes constituting up to one million indigenous primitive mountain people scattered throughout Indochina. They lived in a tribal society that centered their livelihood and way of life on the village and slash-and-burn agriculture; setting them apart from the Vietnamese who inhabited the lowlands.
Though there were unique differences amongst the Montagnard peoples and villages,
the Montagnards as a whole had an ingrained hatred for the Vietnamese and an
a historical desire to be independent and thus, they were more than likly candidates
for the US Special Forces.
During the French Indochina War, both sides, the French, and the Viet Minh, worked to win the Montagnards to their side because they occupied territory of strategic value to what had initially become an insurgency
[(French Indochina: Cambodia Laos Vietnam)- but the term Indochina originally included all areas that were influenced by Indian & Chinese Influance. IE: Cambodia Laos Vietnam Peninsular Malaysia Myanmar (Burma) Singapore & Thailand (Siam)]
In 1961, it was estimated that twenty-nine tribes with nearly 200,000 peoples of different cultural characteristic and linguistic patterns lived in villages within the borders of South Vietnam.
The first "TRIBE" to be approached to participate in the CIDG program were the Rhade. The Rhade, numbering around 100,000, were the most influential and strategically located of the Montagnard tribes in the highlands of Vietnam. Though the largest concentration of Rhade were centered around the village of Ban Me Thuot in Darlac Province, they also had villages in Quang Due, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa Provinces.
By April of 1962, a twelve-man U.S. Special Forces A detachment , with the assistance of the U.S. & Vietnamese Special Forces, incorporated forty Rhade villages into the CIDG ( Civilian Irregular Defense Group ) program.
By June of 1963, the U.S. Special Forces had trained close to 11,000 strike force and 40,000 hamlet militia from over 800 villages in border surveillance and mountain scout programs, which included ambushes, reconnaissance patrols, and combat patrols. With enough strike force troops, they switched from training to military operations against the Viet Cong..
By 1964, the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, with an authorized strength of 1,297, expanded their organization to face the new mission head on -- to seek out and destroy the Viet Cong. This direct confrontation required a change of troop commitment from a 6 montn temporary deployment to a one-year permanent change of station.
Before the massive commitment of U.S. conventional forces to South Vietnam in 1965/66, the U.S. Special Forces conducted counterinsurgency programs to destroy the Viet Cong, create secure environments and assist in establishing governmental control over the population--which included enlisting the Vietnam villagers active support of government's programs.
By 1965 full deployment was completed with the main operational base headquartered at Nha Trang, and operational units deployed throughout South Vietnam to 270 established and manned camps and locations. From these locations, the forces of the civilian irregular defense groups, including the Montagnards, as well as the regular units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam were trained and led.
Though the 5th Special Forces Group Airborne was one of the smallest units during the entire Vietnam War,it's soldiers were among the highest decorated -- which included seventeen Medal Medals of Honor,-- and gathered twenty campaign streamers to their Colors.