1st MIBARS In Vietnam!


Looking Back


Along the 1st MIBARS Line of March

During the War In Vietnam


What Say the Archives of the 

United States Army?

.

Photo Credit: MIV

Well, you can't call me Ishmael and you can't call me Stingo, but nevertheless, I have told a tale -- not about a great white whale or a survivor of World War II, but about a group of men who happenstance brought together in 1967 during the Vietnam War.  That part of this citizen-soldier's life is long over but, almost 50 years later, he can still be found standing beside signs of military significance, wherever he finds one.  At left, on the parking stand of "B" Detachment's operational area on the I Corps Compound in 1967, and at right, in September 2014, by the entry to the Flame of Hope POW/MIA Memorial Park, just outside of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Although there are many centers of military activity and war memorials across the country, the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area is especially rich in this respect.  Visit some day to see American military might and heritage on display.  Take the bus tour through Oceana -- closed now for the remainder of the year -- perhaps with the air base preparing for possible deployment to a far-flung location across the globe.   Feel the pride and envy well up as young men and women in F-18's and other modern aircraft snap and roar, all day long, back and forth above the hotels and across the beach to land on and launch from aircraft carriers cruising offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.  See the impressive sculptures of aviators throughout the years at the Naval Aviation Monument right at the Boardwalk.  

Hampton, Virginia: F4E 

Hampton, Virginia: Tail section of F4E showing missile detection radar sensors

Norfolk, Virginia: USS Wisconsin

Stroll the decks and climb the ladders of the retired battleship USS Wisconsin.  Duck-walk under a turret and pop your head up through a hatch to gain a feeling for the large ships that hurled 2,700 pound artillery shells overhead while some in Vietnam flew, blissfully unaware, up and down the coast of I Corps. 

 

Take a cruise tour along the Elizabeth River and the Hampton Roads Harbor and  marvel at the Naval shipyards with their aircraft carriers, submarines, guided missile cruisers, support vessels and even a hospital ship -- the USNS Comfort, one that may remind you of the Sanctuary or the Repose, at times anchored near Saigon or DaNang -- docked for maintenance.  Visit the Military Aviation Museum and walk among those lumbering airplanes from World War II,  including a nifty P-51 Mustang, an A-1 SkyRaider that may have dropped those 500-pound bombs in defense of the I Corps Compound during the Tet Offensive, and a Stinson L-5 that someone's Dad may have flown in over Europe to snap pictures of Wehrmacht tank deployments in 1944.  Then drive a few miles to Hampton and tour the Virginia Air and Space Center.  Re-acquaint yourself with that magnificent Fox Four Charlie -- in this case an improved Fox Four Echo -- suspended from the ceiling along with a familiar Huey helicopter.

Hampton Roads, Virginia: Aircraft carrier at the Naval Shipyards.

Virginia Beach, Virginia: Naval Aviation Monument.

Left: Neptune statue on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach, Virginia and, at Right, the USNS Comfort in the Naval shipyard at Hampton Roads.

The museums and active installations here and elsewhere remind us of the technological advances and industrial capabilities that we, as members of the Vietnam War generation, have been privileged to witness and benefit from during our lifetimes.   They also remind us that those who served in any service, in any conflict, are part of a great community of men and women who were -- and are -- dedicated to the protection of the people and national interests of our nation. 


The Presidential Unit Citation

The Meritorious Unit Citation

"The Presidential Unit Citation (PUC), originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the United States Armed Forces, and those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941 (the date of the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the start of American involvement in World War II). The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign.

Since its inception by Executive Order on 26 February 1942, retroactive to 7 December 1941, to 2008, the Presidential Unit Citation has been awarded in conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan.

The collective degree of valor (combat heroism) against an armed enemy by the unit nominated for the PUC is the same as that which would warrant award of the individual award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross. In some cases, one or more individuals within the unit may have also been awarded individual awards for their contribution to the actions for which their entire unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation."

"Units are awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for a minimum of six months of extraordinarily meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services during the time of military operations against an armed enemy taking place on or after 1 January 1944. It is not required that the service be in a combat zone, however it must be directly involved in the combat effort. CONUS and other units outside of the area of operation are excluded from this award. The unit receiving the award must have shown devotion and superior performance of extremely complex tasks that set their unit above and beyond other units under similar circumstances with similar missions. The degree of accomplishment required is equivalent to that which would justify award of the Legion of Merit to an individual. Rarely will a unit larger than a battalion meet the qualifications for award of this decoration.

Awards are made to units for services conducted during World War II if performed between 1 January 1944 and 15 September 1946. The Meritorious Unit Commendation was authorized for units and/or detachments of the United States military for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months in support of military operations. This service must relate to combat support activities and not be activities performed by senior headquarters, combat, or combat support units."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Unit_Citation_(United_States)

usmilitary.about.com/od/armymedals/ss/muc_2.htm


The Record of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) 

In the Vietnam War

The Following Campaign Participation Credit List,

Presidential Unit Citations Text, Meritorious Unit Citations Texts 

and Republic of Vietnam, Cross of Gallantry With Gold Star, Vietnam 1965-1971 Citation

Have Been Researched, Compiled, Transcribed and Provided By:

Gene Pianka, "B" Detachment, Imagery Interpretation Section, 1967-1968


Campaign Participation Credit

Vietnam Defense
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/Counteroffensive
Summer-Fall 1969
Winter-Spring 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII
Consolidation I
Consolidation II
Cease-Fire

Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org


Decorations

Presidential Unit Citation (United States Air Force Nominated), Southeast Asia 1966-1967
Meritorious Unit Commendation (United States Army Nominated), Vietnam 1965-1966
Meritorious Unit Commendation (United States Army Nominated), Vietnam 1965-1966
Meritorious Unit Commendation (United States Army Nominated), Vietnam 1965-1966
Meritorious Unit Commendation (United States Army Nominated), Vietnam 1967-1968
Meritorious Unit Commendation (United States Army Nominated), Vietnam 1970-1972
Republic of Vietnam, Cross of Gallantry With Gold Star, Vietnam 1965-1971

Campaign Participation Credits and Decorations Researched and Compiled by Gene Pianka, "B" Detachment, Imagery Interpretation Section, 1967-1968


Meritorious Unit Citation

The 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support)

"For exceptionally meritorious achievement in the performance of outstanding service:  The 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) distinguished itself in support of military operations in the Republic of Vietnam during the period December 1965 to August 1966.  The members of this unit demonstrated extraordinary initiative, perseverance and professional acumen in providing unexcelled photographic imagery interpretation and reproduction support to American and free world forces throughout the combat zone.  At a direct result of the battalion's assiduous efforts, the aerial tactical reconnaissance mission in Vietnam rapidly developed into an invaluable tool in the overall counterinsurgency struggle.  Despite critical shortages in supplies and personnel, combined with the oppressive environment, the members of the battalion consistently accomplished every assigned task.  Through selfless determination and long arduous hours, the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) overcame prodigious obstacles to ensure that the combat units in the field were provided with the finest aerial reconnaissance interpretation available.  Transportation problems created by hazardous road conditions were expeditiously solved by the judicious utilization of organic aviation resources in delivering vital aerial photography to requesting units.  The singular display of technical skill and unremitting resourcefulness exhibited by this unit has made invaluable contributions to the counterinsurgency effort in the Republic of Vietnam.  The exemplary performance and dedicated devotion to duty displayed by the members of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States."

Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org


Presidential Unit Citation

The 1st Military Intelligence Battalion, Air Reconnaissance Support, United States Army

Award of the Presidential Unit Citation (Air Force) to the following United States Army unit for the period 18 February 1966 to 30 June 1967, is confirmed in accordance with paragraph 194, AR 672-5-1:

"The 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support), United States Army, while attached to the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Pacific Air Forces, distinguished itself by extraordinary gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia from 18 February 1966 to 30 June 1967.  During this period, the members of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion provided reconnaissance information to component commandeers and higher headquarters on the strength, disposition, movement, and activity of friendly and hostile forces.  Operating under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions, members of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion accomplished their arduous missions in an outstanding manner.  Their exemplary performance made a major contribution to the United States Air Force tactical reconnaissance program in Southeast Asia.  The extraordinary heroism and professionalism consistently displayed by the members of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion reflect great credit upon them and upon the Armed Forces of the United States."

Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org


Meritorious Unit Citation

The 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) (Field A)

"For exceptionally meritorious achievement in the performance of outstanding service: the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) (Field A) distinguished itself in support of military operations in the Republic of Vietnam during the period 1 September 1966 to 31 July 1967.  The officers and men of the battalion demonstrated unrelenting perseverance and profound skill in providing superior intelligence support to United Sates and Free World Forces.  In order to amplify aerial reconnaissance support to meet additional requirements, they instituted and developed an intense education and training program, covering many phases of in-country aerial reconnaissance and resulting in increased unit imagery interpretation and reproduction.  With concern for precise and reliable intelligence, the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) (Field A) produced and published a Photographic and Infrared Imagery Key, greatly improving the imagery interpretation product and significantly reducing the cost of production.  In addition, negatives of the key and samples of tactical imagery were dispatched to CONUS [continental United States -- Site Administrator] agencies for use in training programs.  To further public relations with the Vietnamese people, the battalion has engaged in numerous Civic Action Programs, which included school additions, English language instruction and support of several orphanages.  By unselfish actions and desire for mission accomplishment, the unit has materially contributed to the counterinsurgency effort in the Republic of Vietnam.  The remarkable proficiency and devotion to duty displayed by the members of the he 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) (Field A) are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States."


Meritorious Unit Citation

1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support)

By direction of the Secretary of the Army, under the provisions of paragraph 203, AR 672-5-1, the Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded the following-named units of the United States Army for exceptionally meritorious achievement in the performance of outstanding service during the periods indicated:

The 1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) comprised of:

Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org

Headquarters and Headquarters Company
Detachment A
Detachment B
Detachment C
Detachment D
Detachment E (2 November 1967 to 31 December 1968)

"1st Military Intelligence Battalion (Air Reconnaissance Support) distinguished itself in support of military operations in the Republic of Vietnam during the period 1 August 1967 to 31 December 1968.  Through the application of rare foresight and sound management principles, coupled with a unique display of resourcefulness, the members of the battalion contributed decisively to the Allied war effort by providing timely and accurate intelligence to the field commanders.  Although its installations were seriously threatened by the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army during the 1968 TET Offensive, the battalion continued to provide valuable intelligence data without interruption.  The officers and men of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion expended vast amounts of time and energy in the development of numerous concepts and the adoption of advanced equipment to improve the quality of intelligence reports.  As a result of the battalion's action, the entire scope of the aerial reconnaissance effort in the theater was significantly improved and materially advanced.  Through their unrelenting perseverance, seemingly limitless capacity for work, and devotion to mission accomplishment, the battalion's members contributed immeasurably to the free world effort in the Republic of Vietnam.  The remarkable proficiency and devotion to duty displayed by the members of the 1st Military Intelligence Battalion are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect distinct credit upon them and upon the Armed Forces of the United States."


Meritorious Unit Citation

1st Military Intelligence Battalion

"By direction of the Secretary of the Army, under the provisions of paragraphs 194 and 203, AR 672-5-1, the meritorious Unit Commendation is confirmed for the following names units of the United States Army for exceptionally meritorious achievement in the performance of outstanding service during the periods indicated as awarded by cited authority"

Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org

1st Military Intelligence Battalion for the period 1 March 1970 to 27 April 1972 as announced in United States Army Vietnam General Orders 800, 1972.


Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross With Gold Star

1st Military Intelligence Battalion

"Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation.  The award of the Gallantry Cross Unit Citation by the Republic of Vietnam to the units listed below is confirmed:

With Gold Star for service from 23 December 1965 to 12 November 1971, 1st Military Intelligence Battalion"

Note: US military units were individually cited for award of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) Gallantry Cross; however, the Vietnamese Government issued the award to all units under the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV) during the period 8 February 1962 and 28 March 1973, and to the US Army - Vietnam (USARV) and its subordinate units for the period 20 July 1965 to 28 March 1973. This permits all personnel who served in Vietnam to wear the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.  The medal was awarded by the Vietnam government to individual military personnel who performed deeds of valor or displayed heroic conduct while fighting the enemy and were cited at the regiment, brigade, division, corps, or armed forces level.  The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross is a foreign government award and not issued by the US government.

Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org


Photo Credits: As Indicated Elsewhere On 1stmibarsinvietnam.org


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