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My favorite Special Forces portrait


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#1 Eric Queen

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:53 AM

One of my earliest memories as a kid is of going to the Salvation Army every week with my Dad to look for "military stuff". Every week I would go through the newly added piles of National Geographic's looking for anything related to the "green berets" (after seeing the John Wayne movie for the first time). 

 

One day, I found a NG from 1965 with a green beret on the cover. 

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#2 Eric Queen

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:54 AM

Inside were some cool color photos and the story centered on a SF Captain named Vernon Gillespie. 

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#3 Eric Queen

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:57 AM

Last year, a friend made it possible for me to obtain Gillespie's original portrait ID card which means the world to me because it is directly linked to those memories with my dad. Thanks Bob. 

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#4 Eric Queen

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:58 AM

Another photo of Gillespie. This time from LIFE magazine. 

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#5 sgtdorango

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 05:59 AM

Oh dang thats cool!.....mike

#6 vintageproductions

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Posted 06 June 2016 - 07:01 AM

Wait until he posts some of the other photos that came with it. Lot's of Who's Who of Special Forces in Vietnam.



#7 agate hunter

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:09 PM

Very nice photo.



#8 Mapman

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:57 AM

Nice cover. I helped National Geographic in 2000 or 2001 in June with the D-Day story by Tom Ballard: UNTOLD STORIES OF D-DAY. It "also" made the front cover. A tattered US Flag.

Just yesterday I was contacted by writer Marc Leepson. He just wrote a book about Barry Sadler. I had to have it, as I knew Barry. Marc found me. He's written 6 total books, as I looked him up on Google. I mailed him a check for $30.00. Barry was very interesting. Wrote the song, "The Green Berets". If you order the book, Tell him "Tim" of ww2dday.com told you about it!
Or you can send him an email: [email protected]

If you watch the movie closely, you will see that John Wayne doesn't hookup his Static-line, as he's the jumpmaster! Watch close. We laughed at Bragg, as we saw the movie. You would think after he portrayed Lt Col Ben Vandervort in "The Longest Day", he'd know more about jumping! Vandervoort has 2/505th PIR. His one stick of F-Company landed in the square at Ste Mere Eglise. John Steele got caught on the church, as did Ken Russell. But most never heard about him.

Also in the movie: Green Berets was Col. Welsch of the Airborne Dept at Ft Benning. Remember Joh Wayne yelling, "what are you"! And as the troops were running, "Airborne, All the Way". That was Col Welsch standing next to him, and a real Airborne training company. All the Vietnamese civilians they used: Military dependents from Ft Benning. At the end of the movie, Wayne give's the kid Peterson's (Jim Hutton) beret? Taken near the Benning airfield. You can see the old Pathfinder Course building in the background.

Again, if you email Marc for the book. Tell him I sent you!

Tim

#9 Mapman

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 06:16 AM

Cool pics of Gillespie. I see his branch was Air Defense Artillery. I had a couple guys in my unit. One was a German and one of the first advisors we sent to Nam. He came over here and a recruiter almost let him go out the door. He said, as he was about to,"hit the bricks". Do you speak any other languages other than German and English. When he said, "I speak some Vietnamese". The recruiter almost fell over! He then said, "You haven't been to Vietnam, have you"? And my buddy said, "yeah, I've been to Vietnam". Almost like a pre-class trip. He'd been in Nam with the French Foreign Legion! The recruiter quickly made a call. He was one of "several" advisors we sent over with "prior Nam experience".
I also had another interesting guy in my unit. He died a couple years ago: SFC Donald Wingrove was on the famous: Son Tay Raid.
Ever heard of that? The farthest north our troops ever got in Nam, above Hanoi. Wingrove got a Silver Star.

Tim

#10 doyler

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:40 AM

Cool pics of Gillespie. I see his branch was Air Defense Artillery. I had a couple guys in my unit. One was a German and one of the first advisors we sent to Nam. He came over here and a recruiter almost let him go out the door. He said, as he was about to,"hit the bricks". Do you speak any other languages other than German and English. When he said, "I speak some Vietnamese". The recruiter almost fell over! He then said, "You haven't been to Vietnam, have you"? And my buddy said, "yeah, I've been to Vietnam". Almost like a pre-class trip. He'd been in Nam with the French Foreign Legion! The recruiter quickly made a call. He was one of "several" advisors we sent over with "prior Nam experience".
I also had another interesting guy in my unit. He died a couple years ago: SFC Donald Wingrove was on the famous: Son Tay Raid.
Ever heard of that? The farthest north our troops ever got in Nam, above Hanoi. Wingrove got a Silver Star.

Tim

 

Great info and insights Tim.

 

I bet the German with Legion Service could tell some stories.

 

I knew a Raider...Pappie Kittlesen




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