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2/47th Infantry (Mech) Vietnam Shadow Box

Started by Laury Allison , Sep 25 2007 05:31 AM

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#1 Laury Allison

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 05:31 AM

Wanted to share a shadow box I put together last night for a friend of mine, Sgt Thomas L. Collins III. He was a member of C Company, 2nd Battalion (Mechanized), 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He was severely wounded on 18 March 1967 in the Mekong Delta. They were operating out of Bearcat at the time. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster.

It was a real honor to be asked to assemble this box for him....although I was a little nervous that I would mess something up. I am real pleased on how it turned out. The Bronze Star and Purple Heart are both named and are his orignal ones. The Good Conduct Medal is also original, but not named. His wife was going to give this to TL for Christmas, but after seeing how it turned out, knows that she can't wait until then. :rolleyes:

I can't wait to hear his reactions on the shadow box either! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Hope you enjoy this and would like to hear your comments. I know a good deal about this unit and when his squad was ambushed. My Dad was in HHC, 2/47th at the same time TL was wounded. I met TL and his wife a few years ago at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Laury

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#2 ehrentitle

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 08:50 AM

Very interesting, this was my first unit in the Army, C Co 2/47 Inf, 14 years later at Ft Lewis, WA. It's also the unit depected in the Vietnam scenes of Forest Gump. Kevin

#3 Laury Allison

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:51 AM

Very interesting, this was my first unit in the Army, C Co 2/47 Inf, 14 years later at Ft Lewis, WA. It's also the unit depected in the Vietnam scenes of Forest Gump. Kevin


I had forgot about Forest Gump being in C Co 2/47 Inf! :lol: Senator Chuck Hagel was a 2/47th member (I don't remember which company he was in though). The battalion is at Fort Benning, Georgia, now as a basic training unit. 3/47 Inf is also there. We have a reunion there every two years, with one coming up next May. It is alway a great time and I am looking forward to the next one.

They have quite a history. They received 8 Presidential Unit Citations during WWII and many other accomplishments during Vietnam.

Laury

#4 Laury Allison

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Posted 27 September 2007 - 11:59 PM

Here is another picture of the shadow box after it was put up in the veteran's home. I talked to him a couple of nights ago and he was very pleased with how it turned out. You can also see a picture of Sgt Collins in this one when he was in the Army (prior to going to Vietnam) and today.

Hope you enjoy this.

Laury

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#5 ItemCo16527

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 12:27 AM

That's a beautiful display, Laury. You did an excellent job! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#6 Laury Allison

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 12:31 AM

That's a beautiful display, Laury. You did an excellent job! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif



Thanks! I'll be going to a reunion of the 47th Infantry in a couple of weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is mostly the 'Nam-era guys, but we usually have 3 World War II vets attend as well. It's always a great time and they treat us great while we are there. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions are at Fort Benning and they roll out the red carpet for us! ;)

Laury

#7 ItemCo16527

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 01:56 AM

Thanks! I'll be going to a reunion of the 47th Infantry in a couple of weeks at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is mostly the 'Nam-era guys, but we usually have 3 World War II vets attend as well. It's always a great time and they treat us great while we are there. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions are at Fort Benning and they roll out the red carpet for us! ;)

Laury

That's really neat! You should post a thread about the reunion when you get back. And be sure to include pics! :)

I had no idea the 2/47th Infantry was still active. Learn something new every day! :D

Edited by ItemCo16527, 15 April 2008 - 02:01 AM.


#8 Mr-X

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 02:04 AM

I second it. Awsome job Laury. First class http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#9 Laury Allison

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 03:07 AM

Thanks guys....I appreciate the comments. I will try and remember to add some pictures when I get back. I've got a bunch from previous reunions...just gotta remember whick drive I stored them on. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

The 2/47 & 3/47 are basic training units now. I haven't been in the 3/47th HQ, but the 2/47th has very much embraced the battalion's past and history. They have a lot of great artifacts displayed in their headquarters building....captured VC flags, lots of great old pictures and the like. They dedicated each of the bays in the barracks to one of the battalion members from Vietnam. They have done a memorial plaque for each with the member's picture back then, a representation of their medals and a synopsis of what each of them did. If I remember right, there were eight of them done. Some of the soldiers honored were KIA, but many of them are still living and attend the reunions. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

There is a lot of history to soak in while down there....I try not to miss any of it, but that's tough because there is so much of it!!!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

Laury

#10 ehrentitle

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 06:07 PM

This brings back lots of memories. I started my Army career in C 2/47 in 1982 serving as a platoon leader, mortar platoon leader and company executive officer.

I became the Battalion Adjutant in 1984 and came across an obscure regulation that said that the lowest numbered combat arms battalion was entitled to the regimental colors and historical property. So I wrote to the Center of Military history requesting this property. Weeks later I received a reply that unit property had been found at the Pueblo Army Depot but the regimental colors were somewhere on Ft. Benning but couldn't be located.

Eventually a large box arrived from the depot and was mostly unit shooting and sports trophies. But there were several large binders of photos and memorabilia from Vietnam and immediate post war. What I found most interesting is that 2/47 was called the Panther Battalion in Vietnam and brought back its mascot, a live panther. Soldiers were "encouraged" to make donations at payday to fund the care and feeding of this beast.

Months later I get another letter from CMH saying that the original Regimental colors with campaign and unit citation streamers and national colors had been located hanging in a chapel on Benning. But there was a problem, the chapel was loath to give it up the colors and would we accept a newly produced set of colors that would only take 6-12 months to make! I told them no, that this was was part of the legacy of the unit and they duly wrestled the colors from the custody of a very upset chaplain and sent them to me forthwith. They were magnificent and held a place of honor in a case near the front entrance of the battalion.

#11 Laury Allison

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:12 PM

This brings back lots of memories. I started my Army career in C 2/47 in 1982 serving as a platoon leader, mortar platoon leader and company executive officer.

I became the Battalion Adjutant in 1984 and came across an obscure regulation that said that the lowest numbered combat arms battalion was entitled to the regimental colors and historical property. So I wrote to the Center of Military history requesting this property. Weeks later I received a reply that unit property had been found at the Pueblo Army Depot but the regimental colors were somewhere on Ft. Benning but couldn't be located.

Eventually a large box arrived from the depot and was mostly unit shooting and sports trophies. But there were several large binders of photos and memorabilia from Vietnam and immediate post war. What I found most interesting is that 2/47 was called the Panther Battalion in Vietnam and brought back its mascot, a live panther. Soldiers were "encouraged" to make donations at payday to fund the care and feeding of this beast.

Months later I get another letter from CMH saying that the original Regimental colors with campaign and unit citation streamers and national colors had been located hanging in a chapel on Benning. But there was a problem, the chapel was loath to give it up the colors and would we accept a newly produced set of colors that would only take 6-12 months to make! I told them no, that this was was part of the legacy of the unit and they duly wrestled the colors from the custody of a very upset chaplain and sent them to me forthwith. They were magnificent and held a place of honor in a case near the front entrance of the battalion.



Kevin,

That is very interesting. I knew the panther was the battalion mascot during those years. I believe it's use started even before they left Fort Riley. I haven't ever heard about bringing a live one back from Vietnam (or even having one), but I guess anything is possible. The 2-47th returned to the "Panther" mascot in 2002 in honor of the Vietnam-era guys.

There was a very large boa constrictor named "Houston", after the hometown of one of the GIs who "captured" it. They kept it in a foot locker and would go downtown about once a week and buy a live chicken to feed it. Captain Tomlinson, the B Company Commander arranged to have it sent back to the States. It was 14 feet long in 1967....and the last I heard it was still alive!!!! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif It was sent to the Wichita, Kansas, zoo. Captain Tomlinson was on the board of directors at the zoo. He was an Army Reservist who got activated and sent to Vietnam.

Speaking of the colors, here is a picture of the 47th Infantry Regimental colors. We were told that these were the original colors that went to Vietnam in January 1967. They found them (this time) in a warehouse at Anniston Army Depot.

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#12 Laury Allison

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:17 PM

Here is another picture of the 2/47th Infantry Regimental flag. This was taken at the Fort Benning Officer's Club during the Regimental Dinner.

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#13 Laury Allison

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:18 PM

This is the original HHC 2/47th guidon. The company letters came off at some point, but if you look at it up close, you can see where they were.

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#14 Laury Allison

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:29 PM

And you can't talk about the 2/47th and flags without showing this one. This one was captured during the TET Offensive in 1968. It has been displayed at all of the reunions so far. Most of the holes came from .50 caliber rounds....although a few of them may be due to age.

There was an excellent article about the 2/47th in the January 2008 issue Vietnam Magazine. Pretty wild reading it and knowing most of the folks named in the article.

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