Jump to content

MG Keith L Ware Award, RVN 1970 CO Big Red One WWII MOH

Salvage Sailor

Recommended Posts

Salvage Sailor

This is an original Keith L. Ware award from the first annual Department of the Army awards for Journalism in 1970


The award was named after Major General Keith L. Ware, CG of the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. The 52-year-old General, who had joined the Army as a draftee in World War II, was the fourth American General killed in the Vietnam War. He had been in Vietnam about nine months at the time of his death. General Ware was the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division and was killed on September 13, 1968 as his command helicopter crashed in flames near the Cambodian border during the Vietnam War. Ware, the first Officers' Candidate School graduate to reach the rank of general and the highest-ranking officer killed during the Vietnam War, was an unassuming hero who went where the action was.

1st ID KEITH L WARE AWARD 001a.jpg

MG Keith L Ware 002.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor

People familiar with the name of Keith Ware usually are thinking Army Journalism or Communications. He also served with Audie Murphy in France during 1944 and 1945


Keith L. Ware MG USA http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/klware.htm


On April 22, 1945, Lt. Gen. A. M. Patch, Seventh Army Commander, conferred the Medal of Honor on five 3rd Division officers and men.

Left to right: Lt. Col. Keith L. Ware, Lt. John J. Tominac, T/Sgt. Russell E. Dunham, S/Sgt. Lucien Adams, and Pfc. Wilburn K. Ross.
(Photo Courtesy of the National Archives)


Major General Keith Lincoln Ware (1915-1968) was a smart, experienced, highly decorated, and well-respected combat officer. He began his military career as a 28-year old draftee graduating.jpg

Ware MOH 001.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor

I found this years ago in a scrap pile, dirty and rematted in a cheap GI frame

1st ID KEITH L WARE AWARD 003a.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor

But under the mat it was in fairly good condition. The award was put out by the 25th Infantry Division information office in 1970,

First Annual Award - Third Place in the "Field Radio Production" category

Signatures from Winant Sidle and Westmoreland


1st ID KEITH L WARE AWARD 004a.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor
Although Major General Ware's name never became synonymous with the Tet Offensive of 1968, it was he who organized and led the successful defense of Saigon - North Vietnam's brass ring.
The attacks began on January 31, corps commander Lieutenant General Frederick C. Weyland had been analyzing recent enemy troop movements and he anticipated the surprise, according to Keith W. Nolan in "The Battle for Saigon." Weyland ordered Ware to Saigon on February 1, after the coordinated Viet Cong attack reached even into the U.S. Embassy there. Forming Task Force Ware, the general assumed operational control of all American fighting units fighting in and around the South Vietnamese capital. Just like the patrol at Cleuire Rock Quarry and during the Battle of the Bulge, Ware wanted to be up front and see the situation first hand.
Under heavy fire several times himself, Ware calmly went about his business of clearing the enemy from the city. After 18 days of fighting, Ware dismantled his task force and let the South Vietnamese Army claim the honor of winning the battle.
After Tet, Ware took command of the 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One, and again he refused to command from the rear.



Major General Keith Ware presents Brigadier General William S. Coleman with awards 002.jpg

Major General Keith Ware presents Brigadier General William S. Coleman with awards..jpg

Major General Keith Ware presents Brigadier General William S. Coleman with awards.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor
On September 13, 1968, there was a lot of activity near An Loc and Ware decided to fly up there and get a handle on what was going on, David D. Hack, a former companion of Ware's said in a telephone interview recently from Akron, Ohio.
Hack was a Ranger sergeant in the 1st Infantry Division. After Hack was wounded in April 1968, Ware appointed him as his NCOIC of Protocol. "Basically, I protected his back - plain and simple", Hack said. Hack went everywhere with Ware, except on that Friday the 13th when a young lieutenant ordered Hack off the aircraft so he could take his seat.
The lieutenant told Hack the general wanted him to travel to An Loc with an armored unit. When Hack protested and told the officer he did not believe him, the lieutenant harshly ordered him off the aircraft.
Also on board the Huey helicopter was Command Sergeant Major Joseph Veneable, for whom Fort Hood's Veneable Village is named. The final passenger was King, the general's great white German Shepherd given to him by Long Range Recon Patrol members. King went everywhere with Ware. He died with him, too.
Hack said he believes the helicopter was hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade because the Huey exploded in mid-air. On his way to meet a commander that would never show, Hack earned a second Purple Heart when his vehicle was struck by an RPG.
Hack had many late night conversations with Ware, who he said was very pleasant and a true professional, but he never talked about himself - or Murphy.
Murphy never forgot Ware and considered him a good friend. He took the news report of Ware's death very hard. Murphy died just three years later in an airplane crash on May 28, 1971 in Virginia.




Original 1970 Keith L. Ware Award artwork and photo from which it was drawn

1st ID KEITH L WARE AWARD 006a.jpg


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cobra 6 Actual

A very small footnote to the above: the unit I served with (B Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, of the 1st Infantry Division) was ordered out to search for General Ware's helicopter after it was shot down. As I recall we were already in either An Loc or Loc Ninh -- at the time, both truly bad places -- when we were told to get back out into the boonies most ricky tik. I'm sure many other units were sent out as well.


Just before dark on that date we found the crash site and were ordered to secure it until morning. We were just dumb grunts and this was our Division's Commanding General. We were grim, saddened, angry ... all of those emotions were there.


Rest in peace, sir.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Salvage Sailor
HQ US Army, Vietnam
APO San Francisco
25 Oct 1968
1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.
Keith Lincoln Ware, Major General, Infantry
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division
Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date action: 12 & 13 September 1968
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Keith Lincoln Ware, Major General, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division. Major General Ware distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 12 and 13 September 1968 as the Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division during an operation in the vicinity of Loc Ninh. Elements of the division became heavily engaged with a reinforced North Vietnamese regiment. Although he knew the enemy was utilizing anti-aircraft weapons in the area, General Ware repeatedly directed his helicopter commander to fly at a minimum altitude so he could more effectively direct and coordinate his infantry units' fierce fight. On numerous occasions his ship received fire from the communists' anti-aircraft emplacements, but General Ware continued his low level flights, which gave him maximum control of his troops and the best observation of the North Vietnamese deployment. He was killed when the enemy fusillade directed at his craft hit the ship, causing it to crash and burn. General Ware's personal courage and leadership inspired his beleaguered men to ultimately gain a total victory over the aggressors. Major General Ware's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 9 July 1918.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salvage Sailor
The President of the United States
in the name of the Congress of the United States takes pride in presenting the
Lieutenant Colonel
United States Army
for service as set forth in the following
Commanding the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, attacking a strongly held enemy position on a hill near Sigolsheim, France, on 26 December 1944, found that 1 of his assault companies had been stopped and forced to dig in by a concentration of enemy artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire. The company had suffered casualties in attempting to take the hill. Realizing that his men must be inspired to new courage, Lt. Col. Ware went forward 150 yards beyond the most forward elements of his command, and for 2 hours reconnoitered the enemy positions, deliberately drawing fire upon himself which caused the enemy to disclose his dispositions. Returning to his company, he armed himself with an automatic rifle and boldly advanced upon the enemy, followed by 2 officers, 9 enlisted men, and a tank. Approaching an enemy machinegun, Lt. Col. Ware shot 2 German riflemen and fired tracers into the emplacement, indicating its position to his tank, which promptly knocked the gun out of action. Lt. Col. Ware turned his attention to a second machinegun, killing 2 of its supporting riflemen and forcing the others to surrender. The tank destroyed the gun. Having expended the ammunition for the automatic rifle, Lt. Col. Ware took up an Ml rifle, killed a German rifleman, and fired upon a third machinegun 50 yards away. His tank silenced the gun. Upon his approach to a fourth machinegun, its supporting riflemen surrendered and his tank disposed of the gun. During this action Lt. Col. Ware's small assault group was fully engaged in attacking enemy positions that were not receiving his direct and personal attention. Five of his party of 11 were casualties and Lt. Col. Ware was wounded but refused medical attention until this important hill position was cleared of the enemy and securely occupied by his command.


KLW 02.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...