1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) - 75th Support BattalionVietnam
The US Army has had quartermasters, Supply and logistics specialists, since its inception. The need for a quartermaster function was recognized as the Continental Army organized, with the appointment of the first Quartermaster-General in August 1775. The oldest combat service support branch in the Army, the Corps was formally established in 1818 as a professional Quartermaster Department.
All American conflicts, most notably the Civil War and the World Wars of the 20th Century have underscored the importance of logistics to battlefield success, even as the challenge has become more and more complex. Frequently, Army Quartermasters have to fight and provide support simultaneously; 33 members of the Corps have been awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in action. In recent years, many traditional quartermaster functions have come to reside in Support Battalions and higher echelon units, integrated with traditional Ordnance, Transportation and Medical roles.
Constituted in the Regular Army as the 75th Support Battalion assigned to the 5th Infantry Division was activated 20 April 1968 at Fort Carson, Colorado; inactivated 25 August 1971 at Fort Carson. Relieved from the 5th Infantry Division and assigned to the 194th Armored Brigade on 20 December 1975. Activated 21 January 1975 at Fort Polk, Louisiana, inactivated 29 June 1995 at Fort Polk.
"Support" is the logistics that is required to support all elements that makeup the requirements to insure that the missions goals are fulfilled with a lot of hard work behind it--work that is accomplished by the four companies that makeup the 75th Support Battalion to insure that the needs of the brigade were met without any delays.
Alpha Company - was the carrier unit for most of the administrative, personnel, causality branch and finance sections of the Brigade. In addition, sections such as the Inspector General, Information Office, Staff Judge Advocate, Post Office, Special Services, Re-enlistment and the Replacement Detachment were attached to Alpha Company, 75th Support Battalion. Once upon your arrival to the replacement depot, there you were given an orientation about the brigade, classes by the medics, introduced to bunker guard and other things that were pertinent to your survival before being assigned to your perspective units.
Below sign of all units that makeup the 1st Bde. 5th Infantry Division that was in front of the Replacement Detachment of Alpha Company, 75th Support Battalion.
Picture provided by Steve Johnson: One of many bunkers where we learned what was security and where we spent many hours on guard during our tour in Vietnam
Bravo Company - Medical service and a clinic were provided for the Brigade by the medics of Bravo Company. The medics also provide much of the medical service for Vietnamese people living in the province through frequent MEDCAPS. Having a battalion aid station, dispensary, and pharmacy with two or three medical wards where soldiers were treated for common non-life threatening illnesses’. Seriously ill patients were evacuated to the 18th surgical hospital in Quang tri.
B Company Med, 75th Support Battalion, ambulance at the entrance of 18th surgical hospital.
Charlie Company - Transportation and supply is the primary task of Charlie Company, although the company is also responsible for water, petroleum and a graves registration collecting point operations.
Picture Provided by Steve Johnson: Tom Nelson, Charlie Company 75th Support Battalion
Graves Registration - In the majority of cases, human remains were evacuated from the battlefield by helicopter and delivered to the collection point in a matter of hours, sometimes the remains had to be removed from the 18th Surgical hospital in Quang Tri or from other places of death to the collecting point. Receiving, processing, identifying, and last rites were given by the 1st Bde. 5th Infantry Division, Brigade Chaplain or at times by the 101st Airborne Chaplain, Col. Schneider, before evacuation of the remains from the collection point.
Northern I corps
18th Surgical Hospital, Quang Tri, RVN
Charlie Company 75th Support Battalion (Graves Registration)
Quang Tri, RVN 15th Aerial Port Squadron across road (QL 1) from the 18th Surgical Hospital. Charlie Company, 75th Support Battalion (Graves Registration) building below bottom right corner, windbreak left side of the collecting point.
Receiving, processing, identifying, and last rites were given by the 1st Bde.5th Infantry Division, Brigade Chaplain or at times by the 101st Airborne Chaplain, Col. Schneider before evacuation of the remains from the collection point.
Personal records from the 1st Bde.5th Infantry Division Causality Branch and personal effects collected from the deceased unit of assignment would be forwarded along with the remains within 24 hours after death to the US Army mortuary, escorted by Graves Registration personnel from Charlie Company, 75th Support Battalion, flown by military aircraft dispatched from the 15th Aerial port squadron, to the US Army mortuary 80th Group that was located in Da nang, where the remains were identified, embalmed and further evacuated to the United States or their native country for final disposition.
The 75th Support Battalion Graves registration assumed the responsibilities from the 3rd Marine Division, after their pullout from Quang Tri and the DMZ. The list of human remains, that was from the 1st Bde. 5th Infantry Division that has been reported was about 530 according to official records, but it also doesn’t include other deaths from other units who were conducting operations within I Corps. So the total deaths in or around I Corps is closer to 1,104 killed from 02 July 1968-31August 1971, in operations in or around Quang Tri. Another overview to take into account is that many remains went thought the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Phu Bai, USS Sanctuary and USS Repose. That would come under the area of responsibilities of the 101st Airborne, Graves registration in Phu Bai.
All Vietnamese remains that came into the possession of the collection points were immediately delivered to the local Quang Tri province hospital or the 1st ARVN Division graves registration collection point. As soon as they were determined to be North Vietnamese or Viet Cong., they were transferred to the custody of the Vietnamese, who sometimes refused to accept the remains. The normal reason given for refusal was that they did not have the capability to process the remains or a place to bury them.
Delta Company - Everything from office equipment to tanks you name it, you can bet it was repaired by the mechanics of Delta Company. The other major task of the company was stock control, which was run out of trailers. Where working with the old punch card supply system. That was the truly beginning of today highly innovated supply and warehousing end item locations tracking systems, which was a real knotty problem for any computerized system. Delta Company, 75th Support Battalion picture album
CW2 A. Craig, Chief of Armament Section
Humming motors, tracks turning road wheels from armored personal carriers (APC’s). Tanks and other road vehicles mechanics-working non-stop from portable maintains tents at LZ Sharon, prior to their re-locations to Quang tri Combat base. Replacing engines that were blown.
VTR prepares to tow an M-113 that needs help from the mechanics.
M-88 contact teams with vehicle track recovery (VTR) vehicles repairing down vehicles at Khe Sahn, Con Thien, and Mai Loc. July 1969, Delta Company along with elements from 1/11,1/61,1/77 and 5th Military Police detachment, commanded by Maj. Short, provost marshal office (PMO), 5th Infantry Divisions moved from LZ Sharon, to Quang Tri Combat base, that had been turned over to the responsibility to the 1st Bde.5th Infantry Division from the 3rd Marine Division. Where gear jamming, road transport drivers from Charlie Company 75th Support Battalion, kept the gears popping, wheels smoking and motors hopping. Hauling fuel and water, kept the flow for POL, water and cargo flowing to fire bases, C-2, A4, Dong ha and other areas in northern I Corp.
Whether it is the hum of a computer from an stock control clerk checking for a replacement part status, rumble of a truck moving supplies, or maybe noise of an adding machine processing a Red Devil's pay or the antiseptic smell of a hospital, it's one of the various support jobs to the line troops that the "We battalion provides.
The 75th Support Battalion was formed at Fort Carson for Provide" deployment with the 1st Brigade to Vietnam.
75th SUPPORT BATTALION
Constituted in the Regular Army as the 75th Support Battalion assigned to the 5th Infantry Division and activated 20 April 1968 at Fort Carson, Colorado; inactivated 25 August 1971 at Fort Carson. Relieved from the 5th Infantry Division and assigned to the 194th Armored Brigade on 20 December 1975. Activated 21 January 1975 at Fort Polk, Louisiana, inactivated 29 June 1995 at Fort Polk.
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Counteroffensive, Phase VII
Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Streamer embroidered VIETNAM 1971 (75th Support Battalion cited for period 8 Feb-30 Apr 1971; DAGO 42, 1972)
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class, Streamer embroidered VIET-NAM 1970 (75th Support Battalion cited for service on 30 Oct 1970; DAGO 51, 1971)
SHIELD: Per saltire buff and azure a lozenge throughout gules fimbriated argent bearing palewise to base a double-warded key of the last with a hexagonal bow voided with a roundel of the field.
CREST: On a wreath of colors (buff and azure) a caltrop proper between two circlets of rice or in front of and surmounting an anvil gules.
MOTTO: We Provide.
Buff and scarlet are the colors used for Support Battalions. The saltire is symbolic of general support and coordinated effort. The four points of the red diamond (which is also the device of the 5th Infantry Division) symbolize the logistical support of mobile in transit storage and distribution of class I, II, III and IV supplies while the key represents the control of those in class V. The inner hexagonal of the bow simulates a wrench and is used to allude to the maintenance aspects of the organization. The stylized circlets of rice together with the heraldic anvil, a symbol of support, and the caltrop, a weapon of war, allude to service in Vietnam.
The insignia is the shield and motto of the coat of arms.
RVN Gallantry Cross w/Palm--
08 Feb to 30 Apr 1971, DAGO 42, 72
RVN Civil Actions Honor Medal, FC
30 Oct 1970, DAGO 24, 72 (for Typhoon Kate)