Sunday, May 4, 2014

California X

Arguably the most unusual and well hidden memorial I have seen is in San Juan Capistrano. At the very dead end of a road that accesses a few industrial buildings and stores is the Dreadnaught Memorial. It honors a division of Tankers who served in 'Nam. The Marines introduced tanks to 'Nam and were so successful that the Army soon followed suit.

The following paragraph was copied from a web page about this group;

"While supporting the 1st Infantry Division, elements of the 2-34th Armor conducted search and destroy operations in the II Field Force Area. The Vietnamese rainy season had turned the ground into a problem for the Tankers. Thirty-four of the Battalion's tanks became mired causing their mission to be in jeopardy. Major General William E. DePuy, the 1st Division Commander, monitoring the situation from a helicopter, contacted Lieutenant Colonel Stailey, the 2-34th Armor commander, and asked "How many Tanks do you have stuck, Tanker?" Lieutenant Colonel Stailey responded with his situation report of 34 tanks mired. Major General DePuy then challenged Lieutenant Colonel Stailey to a case of beer that he could not get all his tanks recovered by nightfall. With determination and hard work, the tankers met this challenge and were on the move again (and thirsty) before dark with all 34 vehicles recovered. So impressed by their performance, Major General DePuy nicknamed the battalion "Dreadnaught," meaning they could do the impossible and feared nothing. From that point on, 2-34th Armor would be known as the "Dreadnaughts" and also become a familiar call sign throughout Vietnam as its tank companies would be parceled out to other units until the Battalion's departure."

You can read the complete page, here:

This is the only memorial , so far, that I have seen that honors "Tankers." Tanks had not been thought to be appropriate for Vietnam, but these guys proved the experts wrong, once again.

Next time, we will revisit Colorado, where I will actually be at the time. I hope to visit several more memorials in Colorado and in New Mexico on this trip. So, join me, as always, at 9:00am on the 9th of May.

To see additional posts and memorials from California, or any other state, click the state name on the left side of this page.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the hard work you do god bless you on your trips