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ARVN Ranger Advisor 1965

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The shirt.... OK, the original owner was not US...but he won the Silver Star.

 

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"One law for them, another one for us !"

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I can see any Rangers but good sample of diversty of units

 

Cheers Jerome

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Jerome,

 

the photo you posted in post #52 is the exact type of shot a fellow member was requesting in another thread ( Chris are you around?).

 

Great image.

 

The date for that photo is February 1968.

 

 

Here is a shirt i picked up almost exactly a year ago, it is a firm favourite of mine.

 

 

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Patrick.


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Hi ALL

 

Very nice shirt Andrei thumbsup.gif

This is the first time I see this picture. Terrific ! This captain ERDL jacket is a killer !


"One law for them, another one for us !"

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Hey Patrick, any info on your jacket ? drool2.gif


"One law for them, another one for us !"

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donation2016.gif

donation2015.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2012.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2007.gif

 

 

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Hello Spike,

 

he did.

 

 

Andrei, after some very kind help from a fellow forum member who is in contact with Mike Martin, the unit was identified as 2nd Corps (Red colour cloth) Mobile Assault Force (blue colour cloth).

The Unit was made up of former CIDG troops that were converted to BDQ.

 

 

Patrick.


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Hello Spike,

 

he did.

Andrei, after some very kind help from a fellow forum member who is in contact with Mike Martin, the unit was identified as 2nd Corps (Red colour cloth) Mobile Assault Force (blue colour cloth).

The Unit was made up of former CIDG troops that were converted to BDQ.

Patrick.

Sweet piece of ARVN Rangers History... twothumbup.gif


"One law for them, another one for us !"

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donation2016.gif

donation2015.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2012.gif

donation2011.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2007.gif

 

 

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Hi ALL

 

Very nice shirt Andrei thumbsup.gif

 

 

Ah,

Patrick is right, this is a great shot!!

Chris

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1. From 1971, the BDQ had, under High Command, the Mobile Command and the Border Command. The latter was the old SF/LLDB camps/units under "new management", while the former was the usual Ranger Bns.

 

Q: Was the unit represented by the shirt in Border Command? Or did CIDG personnel comprise this as a Mobile Command unit? When was the red/diagonal/blue tape worn? Did other Corps/Groups follow the same pattern?

 

2. Photo #55 very nicely shows something about how ARVNs wore their berets: the "Cock's Comb Style", with a pronounced ridge running fore-and-aft sort of centered on the top of the head. This style was very common to my experience with the SDND (Abn Div). My terminology is a translation from the VNese, as explained to me; I do not recall the VNese words.

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Hello,

 

Here is a photo of a shirt in my collection. The officer it belonged to served as an advisor to the 52nd ARVN Ranger BN from June 1969 until May 1970.

 

Jason

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Very nice shirt, Jason!

 

Heres a ARVN Ranger helmet I recently bought from snake36bravo. The pictures are ones he took. I couldnt take ones as good as his.

 

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Hi ALL

 

For sure not an Advisors in 65 but really outstanding shirt w00t.gif

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Here is a photo of a shirt in my collection.

 

Hi Jason,

 

as i have said in the past, that is a magnificent example, just stunning. I especially like the BDQ tab, it's crudity makes it very appealing if that makes sense.

 

 

Did other Corps/Groups follow the same pattern?

 

Hello Mr.Andrews,

 

there are some superb,period colour shots of this style of tape being worn, by an advisor to the ARVN 5th infantry division, circa 1968 in the Advisor book by Paul Miraldi. In that instance the tape is identified as being the headquarters colours.

 

 

 

Patrick.


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I think I once saw this shirt at Vintage Productions a while ago , it rings a bell .

P

Are you ready for the show !!!

o


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Are you ready for the show !!!

 

I am indeed, two days until i leave!

 

 

 

 

Patrick.


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Excellent photo; if my memory is correct that particular style of helmet camouflage was the sole preserve of TD 44 BDQ.

 

Right you are!!! according to Mike Martin, each Ranger Battalion had a different paint sceme, and only one unit never put the BDQ on the front,

paul

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George Massey, Lieutenant Colonel, retired from the U.S. Army in 1983 after 21 years of service. His tours of duty included three assignments to Germany, two tours of combat in Vietnam with the U.S. Special Forces (Green Beret), Vietnamese Ranger Command and various assignments in the U.S. to include the Unconventional Warfare School as Officer in charge of the Special Forces Officer Qualification Course and as a Professor of Military Science in Washington state. Lt. Colonel Massey attended the U.S. Army Ranger School, Airborne School, Unconventional Warfare School, Defense Language Institute twice (Czech and Vietnamese languages), and the Command and General Staff College. His awards include two Bronze Stars, Air Medal, Meritorious Service medal, Commendation medal, the Ranger Tab, Airborne Wings, and U.S. Special Forces Green Beret. Massey received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1962, and his masters degree from Vanderbilt University in 1974. He and his wife, Faye, have three grown children, five grandchildren, and currently reside in Knoxville, Tennessee where he is a Plant Manager.


"One law for them, another one for us !"

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The Tiger Lady by Mike Martin

 

Her exploits were legendary, even in the war torn region of Southeast Asia. She marched and fought with one of the most respected military units in Vietnam: the South Vietnamese 44th Ranger Battalion-"The Black Tigers." Madame Ho Thi Qu~, or "The Tiger Lady", had earned her reputation the hard way, and her fame had spread throughout South Vietnam.

 

Her husband, Major Nguyen Van Dan the commander of the 44th Rangers was also a warrior. He had been awarded almost every South Vietnamese military medal that was issued. His 44th Ranger Battalion had been awarded the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation, the first South Vietnamese unit to be so honored. It was during the beginning of the American troop build-up in an unconventional war that would take thousands of American lives before it drew to a close. It was a war where American advisors fought side-by-side with their Vietnamese counterparts, often dying in the process. It was a war where the field advisor spent as much time trying to understand the nature of the people, their culture, and his own existence, than he did his mission of containing Communist insurgency.

 

It was a war in which stories would emerge of great warriors and their performances on the field of battle; some apocryphal, some true. "The Tiger Lady", Madame Ho Thi Que, the colorful female warrior or the 44th Ranger Battalion, dressed in jungle fatigues and wearing her pearl handled .45 automatic.

 

The story of the Tiger Lady was just such a story, a courageous and remarkable woman and soldier. In 1965 the South Vietnamese people were shocked when they heard the news that Madame Ho Thi Que had been shot and killed by her husband, Major Nguyen Van Dan. Major Dan was quickly arrested and jailed in connection with the death of his wife. On May 5, 1966, after a quick trial, he was sentenced to serve one year in prison for the "murder." In court he had testified that Madame Que had attacked him with a knife when she had found him with a younger woman in the tiny village of Vi Thanh, a village often used by the 44th Ranger Battalion as a forward support base during their operations in the U-Minh Forest. He claimed to have shot her in self-defense, stating that "her jealousy was as fierce as her courage in combat." The prosecutor had countered that the Major hated his wife and had killed her because he thought her jealousy had ruined his career.

 

Other ranking South Vietnamese officers believed that Dan was distraught over the fact that he had been replaced as battalion commander of the 44th after the unit had suffered a disastrous defeat after being ambushed by two Viet Cong battalions. The rangers had lost 58 KIA and over 70 wounded, including all of the American advisors attached to the battalion. Shortly afterwards, while a full investigation was underway, he had been quietly transferred to a lesser

position as a security officer in another area of operations.

 

There was a general consensus among many of his fellow officers that the Saigon government had been looking for an excuse to relieve Major Dan. A great deal of resentment had arisen against him because of the many heralded victories of the 44th Ranger Battalion, the reputation of the Tiger Lady, and his own personal success. Like his wife, Nguyen Van Dan was a colorful figure. He had led his rangers on many successful combat operations, which made his fellow commanders pale in comparison. Wearing his maroon beret in place of a helmet, and armed

only with a .38 caliber revolver, he was an inspiration to his men. He carried a lacquered swagger stick which he used with dramatic flair in the heat of battle to exhort his rangers in the attack. But his success was not enough to protect him from the petty jealousies of his fellow officers. After the trial, Dan stated, "I accept the verdict. It was inevitable." He showed no remorse for the death of his wife and long time companion.

 

She often reverted to swearing, shouting, and sometimes even slapping the culprit to drive her point home. Known as "Big Sister" by the Vietnamese rangers who fought by her side, they remembered her for both her temper and her kindness. Many a ranger had felt her wrath when she caught them stealing a chicken or looting a villager's belongings. She often reverted to swearing, shouting, and sometimes even slapping the culprit to drive her point home. But at other times, her compassion and understanding were the soothing balm that comforted a wounded or dying soldier. She felt a deep sense of responsibility for all her ranger brothers. Caring for the wounded on the battlefield, or approaching stubborn government bureaucrats to insure that a dead ranger's family received the benefits due them, was as much a part of her personality as the open hate she harbored for the enemy. She would not hesitate to lend or give money to the wives and families of wounded or slain rangers to tide them over during their period of

grief. She felt their pain, sometimes shaving her head in a sign of mourning. She attended the customary burials conducted for the dead, and through her mask of grief watchers stated that they could see her determination to settle the score. She set the standards for morale and esprit de corps in the unit during her service with the rangers, and her reputation became legendary and inspired the rangers until the cease-fire in 1975.

 

After her death in mid-December 1965, one of her daughters came to Soc Trang (the home base of the 44th Ranger Battalion at the time), trying to collect some of the debts owed to her mother by a number of the rangers. The family was having a difficult time making ends meet with the mother gone, and the father in jail. Little is known of the Tiger Lady's childhood except that she lived for a time in the Imperial City of Hue. In the war against the French, she served as an intelligence agent for the Viet Minh until the latter part of 1953, just prior to the French disaster at Dien Bien Phu. During this period she met and married her husband, Nguyen Van Dan. When the two of them saw that the Communists were taking over the Viet Minh, and that they were determined to rule the nation, the couple left the movement. Within a year, Dan had joined the Vietnamese Army. Madame Que joined, too, rising to the rank of master sergeant during the remainder of the colonial period.

 

But her legend was built on her deeds on the battlefield with the Biet Dong Quan (Rangers) in the early sixties. She was often seen at the height of battle, moving forward under intense enemy fire to aid wounded rangers. The Tiger Lady led by example, almost always up front with the lead company. She often charged headlong across open rice paddies with the assaulting rangers, inspiring them to victory. Her courage and sincerity were never questioned. She stalked the battlefield armed only with a pearl handled Colt .45, wearing a helmet painted with black and yellow stripes and the black tiger head - the symbol of the 44th Vietnamese Ranger Battalion. The Viet Cong knew her well. Stories were told that they had named her "Madame Death." It was a reputation well earned and richly deserved, for she could be as dangerous as any combat soldier. She had seen war as few American would ever see it. She wore numerous medals testifying to her courage and her prowess in combat. Just a few months prior to her death, she had survived a ferocious battle with a guerrilla force estimated at a thousand strong. An American advisor was killed in that fight and another severely wounded. She came out without a scratch. The mystique and legend of the Tiger Lady continued to grow long after her untimely death. She was a warrior bigger than life and a heroine of unparalleled magnitude. Among the rangers and ranger advisors who served with her, her memory will never die.

 

 

P.S.

 

I had a opportunity to talk to Mike Martin and Buck Allen at our last BDQ Reunion held in Chattanooga Tennessee. Both Rangers confirmed what has been written about her. I also remember a article in either Look or Life Magazine about her, but have never been able to find it.

 

I met Major Dan in early 1967 when he took command of a infantry battalion of the 49th Infantry Regiment, 25th ARVN Division. I remember him as a striking individual...... a leader. His battalion and our battalion (34th Ranger Bn) would switch AO’s on a routine basis.

 

One evening a perfectly executed operation occurred when a V.C. unit came to the same hootch which we used for our headquarters and snatched the Major. While leading him away, Maj. Dan resisted completely and fully, realizing the propaganda value that could be gained from his capture. His resistance lead to his execution on the trail leading out of the village. I can only surmise that Maj. Dan was the target, due to the fact that the American advisors who occupied the same building were never searched for.


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