Item:
ON11206

Original U.S. Vietnam War 1st Infantry Division Named Engraved Zippo - Dated 1967 - 1968

Regular price $250.00

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Lighters could be customized with regimental cyphers and engravings, and were purchased by soldiers returning home as a memento of their military service in the specific theater of operation.

This is an incredible vintage genuine ZIPPO brand lighter that was manufactured in 1967. This lighter is engraved on both sides. The front reads as follows:
WEBB and features a 1st Infantry Division insignia.

The reverse side of the lighter is an engraved with VIET-NAM 1967-68 and a I Field Force Insignia. This insignia was approved on 5 October 1966. At its center is a crusader’s sword—the “Sword of Freedom”—and its similarity to an Arabic numeral 1 recalls the unit motto of “First in Freedom” as well as the unit’s numerical designation, as does the single diagonal. In piercing and penetrating into the red area, the sword is a visual reference to the Force’s mission of probing and surveilling enemy territory and then driving opposing forces back.

Lighter appears to be in functional condition, though we have not added fluid. The underside of the lighter bears the ZIPPO logo and Bradford, PA and 7 hash marks or vertical lines which denotes the manufacture date as 1967.

A note on how to verify that this is an authentic VIETNAM era zippo lighter- To determine a ZIPPO's with correct date marks (before 1975) check the zippo date according to the dating card supplied by the zippo firm. For the years between 1966 and 1975 (Vietnam war ended in April 1975) the codes are: four vertical bars each side of the italicized zippo logo for 1966. Then the bars were removed alternatively first on the right and then on the left. So for 1967 four bars on the left and three on the right, three each side for 1968 and so one until 1973 last year with vertical bar coding. Lighters from 1973 have one bar on the left and nothing on the right. In 1974, the code marks turn to slashes; four slashes on each side of the italicized zippo logo and in 1975 only three slashes on the right part.

This particular lighter has four vertical bars on the left and three more on the right of the ZIPPO logo meaning it was manufactured in 1967!

I Field Force, Vietnam was a corps-level command of the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Activated on 15 March 1966, it was the successor to Task Force Alpha, a provisional corps command created 1 August 1965 (renamed Field Force Vietnam on 25 September) for temporary control of activities of U.S. Army ground combat units arriving in Vietnam.[1] I Field Force was a component of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) and had its headquarters at Nha Trang.

The 1st Infantry division fought in the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1970. Arriving in July 1965, the division began combat operations within two weeks. By the end of 1965 the division had participated in three major operations: Hump, Bushmaster 1 and Bushmaster II, under the command of MG Jonathan O. Seaman.

In 1966, the division took part in Operation Marauder, Operation Crimp II and Operation Rolling Stone, all in the early part of the year. In March, Major General William E. DePuy took command.[18] In June and July the division took part in the battles of Ap Tau O, Srok Dong and Minh Thanh Road. In November 1966, the division participated in Operation Attleboro.

1967 saw the division in Operation Cedar Falls, Operation Junction City, Operation Manhattan, Operation Billings, and Operation Shenandoah II. MG John H. Hay assumed command in February. On 17 June 1967, during Operation Billings, the division suffered 185 casualties, 35 killed and 150 wounded in the battle of Xom Bo II. Three months later on 17 October 1967, the 1st I.D suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Ong Thanh with 58 killed.

The division involved in the Tet Offensive of 1968, securing the massive Tan Son Nhut Air Base. In March, MG Keith L. Ware took command. That same month the division took part in Operation Quyet Thang ("Resolve to Win") and in April the division participated in the largest operation of the Vietnam War, Operation Toan Thang ("Certain Victory"). On 13 September, the division commander, MG Ware, was killed in action when his command helicopter was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire. MG Orwin C. Talbott moved up from his position of assistant division commander to assume command of the division.

In the first half of 1969, The Big Red One conducted reconnaissance-in-force and ambush operations, including a multi-divisional operation, Atlas Wedge. The last part of the year saw the division take part in Dong Tien ("Progress Together") operations. These operations were intended to assist South Vietnamese forces to take a more active role in combat. In August, MG A. E. Milloy took command of the 1st I.D. while the division took part in battles along National Highway 13, known as "Thunder Road" to the end of the year.

In January 1970 it was announced that the division would return to Fort Riley. The division officially departed South Vietnam on 7 April 1970, when the division commander Brigadier General John Q. Henion, left Bien Hoa Air Base and returned the colors to Fort Riley.[21] 11 members of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor. During its involvement in the Vietnam war, the division lost 6,146 killed in action, with a further 16,019 wounded. Twenty of its number were taken as prisoners-of-war.
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