Original U.S. Vietnam 196th Light Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division Officer’s Jungle Jacket with Incountry-Made Insignia
Original Item: Only One Available. An outstanding example of a uniform worn by an Infantry Captain who was a member of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal). The jacket is a standard 1970 Dated ripstop poplin Jacket, which features a mix of U.S. made and locally produced “Incountry” made insignia which was commonly sourced from Vietnamese sewing shops. The collar insignia is U.S. Made, along with the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist Wings, and name tapes. Vietnamese Incountry-made insignia includes the 23rd Infantry Division SSI (Shoulder Sleeve Insignia) and the196th Light Infantry Brigade Pocket Patch.
Vietnam Jungle Fatigues with original applied insignia are becoming incredibly hard to find at present. This particular jacket has the tell tale signs of having had the insignia applied for a long time, such as the bunching of material on the reverse of the patches inside the jacket. This undoubtedly was a Jacket which saw service in Vietnam then returned home with a veteran!
Jacket is marked in the collar “Medium-Regular”.
Collar to shoulder: 10”
Shoulder to sleeve: 18.5”
Shoulder to shoulder: 22”
Chest width: 22.5”
Waist width: 21.5”
Hip width: 23”
Front length: 30.5"
The Americal in Vietnam:
The Americal was reactivated in 1967 in Vietnam from elements already in Vietnam and newly-arrived units. Its precursor, a division-sized task force known as Task Force Oregon was created in Quang Ngai and Quang Tin provinces from the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division, the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, and the 196th Light Infantry Brigade (all separate brigades that deployed to Vietnam in 1966). Task Force Oregon operated in close cooperation with the 1st Marine Division in the I Corps Military Region. As more US Army units arrived in Vietnam the two divisional brigades were released back to their parent organizations and two arriving separate brigades were assigned to Task Force Oregon, which was in turn re-designated the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal). The Division was composed of the 11th, 196th, and 198th Light Infantry Brigades and divisional support units.
The Americal, in Vietnam, suffered an important defeat at the Battle of Kham Duc but gave a solid performance during TET, The Battle of LoGiang and the Battle of Nui Hoac Ridge (Hill 352). Platoon Sergeant Finnis McCleery was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valiant efforts on Hill 352. Sgt. Alan Allen was awarded the Silver Star for this same battle. Both men were members of A Co. 1/6 198th. 20 men from A Company were lost in the Battle of LoGiang on 8 February 1968. A Co. of the 198th was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for its heroic efforts in the Battle of LoGiang, 8 February 1968.
The 198th and 11th Brigades were withdrawn from Vietnam in November 1971, and the Division was inactivated. The 196th Brigade was reconstituted as a separate brigade and remained in Vietnam until 29 June 1972, the last major combat unit to be withdrawn. Its 3rd Battalion, 21st infantry (Gimlets) was the last U.S. maneuver battalion to leave Vietnam, on 23 August 1972.
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