Original U.S. Vietnam 5th Infantry Division (5th Mech.) Ranger Jungle Jacket with Incountry-Made Insignia
Original Item: Only One Available. An outstanding example of a uniform worn by a Infantry Major with U.S. and South Vietnamese Ranger Qualifications who was a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Division (aka “5th Mech”). The “5th Mech” was stationed in I Corps, just south of the DMZ separating North and South Vietnam. One of the smaller formations having served in Vietnam, only drawing one Battalion to serve incountry. For this reason alone, uniforms associated with the 5th Mech rarely come up for sale on the market.
The jacket is a standard 1969 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. The name tapes are Vietnamese Incountry-made, along with the 5th Infantry Division SSI (Shoulder Sleeve Insignia), 5th Division Pocket Patch, Ranger Qualification Scroll, and the Vietnamese Ranger (BDQ) Qualification badge.
Jacket is marked in the collar “Small-Regular”.
Collar to shoulder: 9.5”
Shoulder to sleeve: 22.5”
Shoulder to shoulder: 17”
Chest width: 19.5”
Waist width: 18.5”
Hip width: 20.5”
Front length: 31"
The 5th Mech. In Vietnam:
When the 1st Infantry Division deployed to South Vietnam in 1965, additional maneuver battalions were required; thus two infantry battalions from the 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, were relieved and assigned to "The Big Red One." In September 1965, the 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was moved, minus personnel, to Fort Carson, Colorado, and refilled there. The remaining personnel at Fort Devens formed the basis of the 196th Infantry Brigade.
By 1968 the division was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, as a mechanized formation.1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was dispatched to South Vietnam after the Tet Offensive to replace a U.S. Marine Corps unit. The brigade, consisting of one battalion each of infantry, mechanized infantry and armor, served there from July 1968 until 1971 defending the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone in northern Quảng Trị Province. Combat units included 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry; 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry (Mechanized); 1st Battalion, 77th Armor; A Troop, 4th Squadron, 12th Cavalry; and 5th Battalion, 4th Artillery, A Co. 7th Engineer BN.(Society of the Fifth Division) On 22 August 1971, the colors of 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division were cased and the brigade was inactivated at Fort Carson. Its final assignment was to III Corps, with the mission of reinforcing Europe if a general war was to break out there. In September 1969 the 4th Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was activated at Fort Carson, although, on the later return of 4th Infantry Division home from Vietnam in December 1970, the 4th Division replaced the 5th Division at Fort Carson, whereupon the 5th Division was inactivated.
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