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"D" Company Photographs
1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry


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The 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry had eliminated it's "D" Company sometime during 1963 or 1964 when it changed it's designation from 1st Armored Rifle Battalion, 50th Infantry to 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry. The Battalion maintained it's three rifle company ("A", "B", and "C") structure until directed by the 1st Cavalry Division to form a fourth rifle company in the fall of 1967. The Center of Military History, United States Army book series: "United States in Vietnam" provided the following insight into this reorganization.

"Westmoreland had expressed interest in a four-company structure as early as 1965, but the matter quickly became embroiled in manpower issues back in Washington. To provide the five thousand soldiers needed to man the extra companies, Secretary McNamara would have to exceed the administration's self-imposed troop ceiling in Vietnam, and this he was loath to do. Accordingly, many division commanders took the initiative in 1966 to form ad hoc fourth companies for their rifle battalions by pulling together soldiers from organic elements like reconnaissance, anti-tank, and mortar platoons; ground surveillance sections; and headquarters elements. However it was not until mid-1967...two years after Westmoreland had first made his request...that Washington formally authorized the four-company structure."
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Loaded for bear.
Men of 2nd Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Inf, on a combat assault over the mountains of Binh Dinh Province. The 1/50 usually had one company on CA and the rest on their primary mechanized role.
30K. Photo by Pete Tovar.

Barreling down Hwy I
2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Delta Co. right after a firefight. (L to R) Antilla, Selonia, Slazas (50) , Ordaz (Squad Leader), Helvie, Borges . Even after heavy combat troops of the 1/50 had a high esprit de corps and a good sense of humor.
26K. Photo by Pete Tovar.

CA into 505 Valley
Men of 2/D/1/50(M) disembark from a Chinook on a combat assault . LT Welch turned around to find everyone going out one side of the Chinook and dispersed them. Ordaz is running towards the camera, pants pockets bulging with maps.
30K. Photo by Pete Tovar.

Medic treating wounded POW
Delta Company Medic Pete Tovar treating wounded POW under the watchful eye of an M60 machine gun. Medics treated all casualties, regardless of nationality.

26K. Photo courtesy of Rigo Ordaz.

Bob Gold
Bob Gold, Mortar Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry.
9K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Waiting for Dustoff
Mike Craney looks after Gary Miller and Bob Gold of Co D, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry, as they await medical evacuation.

17K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Hmmm, pretty orange barrel
Troops of Delta Company's Mortar Platoon, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry liberate the perfect BBQ grill as they prepare for a picnic by the South China Sea.
9K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Jim Edwards and his ticket home
Jim Edwards of the Mortar Platoon, Company D, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry in March 1968 awaiting his lift home..
18K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Delta Company waiting... waiting...
(Front) Gold, Edwards, Hawkins
(Back) Craney, Pierce, Wright , Darrowich
(Background) Huya
18K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Life in the field
Field BBQ for 11C's of Co D, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry, which looked and tasted pretty good at the time. But like most good things in Nam, there was a price to pay that came later.
14K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

All in a day's work
Edwards, Higgans and Curtis of Delta Company's Mortars, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry taking a break on stand-down.
12K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Edwards and Bones
I'm sure there's a story here. Whatever you say, this is definitely NOT politically correct!

38K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

Never-ending Maintenance
Men of Delta Company, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Inf, leave no stone unturned looking for any possible maintenance or supply problem at LZ Uplift.
30K. Photo courtesy of Ray Sarlin.

Jim Edwards
Ready for the World!

18K. Photo courtesy of Jim Edwards.

1/50 had top quality equipment.
M151A1 SVC-6 (D Company CO) broken down between Phu My and LZ Uplift. Note the tight security posted.
12K. Photo courtesy of Ray Sarlin.

Overlooking LZ Uplift
Co D, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Inf, 3/4 ton truck on mountain overlooking LZ Uplift in June or July 1969 during "inspection".

26K. Photo courtesy of Ray Sarlin.

Aerial resupply at LZ Uplift
Sky Hook (CH-54) flying in replacement M113A1 APC for 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry. Note green smoke and other supplies on pad.
18K. Photo courtesy of Ray Sarlin.

High Echelon repairs
1/50(M) SVC-6 under repair. The problem was so severe that South Vietnamese specialists were called in.

18K. Photo courtesy of Ray Sarlin.

Does this man look happy?
One-digit midgit Medic SP5 Burchette of Delta Company during his going home party in an An Khe hootch in January 1969.
12K. Photo courtesy of Mark Hannan.

CH-54 setting APC down
Sky Hook (CH-54) setting down replacement 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry M113A1 at LZ Uplift .
12K. Photo courtesy of Ray Sarlin.

Getting ready for a MEDCAP
SP4 Mark Hannan, D Company, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry ready for a 1969 ambulance ride in the country with the Battalion Surgeon and others to provide medicat treatment to villagers in the An Khe area.
18K. Photo courtesy of Mark Hannan.

Only 11 months to go.
SP4 Davis, Donald E., MOS 91B20 (Medic), D Company, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry at An Khe in January 1969. Note the absence of snow in the Central Highlands that year.
18K. Photo courtesy of Mark Hannan.

Award ceremony, early 1969.
Major Woodall and CSM Pierce award medic Dan Schlecht the Purple Heart. This is unrelated to Dan's earlier photograph.
102K. Photo courtesy of Dan Schlecht.

The enemy in the rear, early 1969.
Medic Dan Schlecht treats (too cheerfully in my opinion) an anonymous hero with two 5cc shots of penicillin a day for three days, the standard treatment for gonorrhea until the Army switched to more enlightened massive doses of oral tetracycline later.
88K. Photo courtesy of Dan Schlecht.
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