Category: 1969

1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment soldiers resting, circa…

1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment soldiers resting, circa 1968-1969.

5/12th Infantry snipers, 1969.

5/12th Infantry snipers, 1969.

US Army Bell UH-1 Huey of the 61st Assault Helicopter Company,…

US Army Bell UH-1 Huey of the 61st Assault Helicopter Company, circa 1968.

“A USAF Douglas/On Mark B-26K Invader of the 609th Special…

“A USAF Douglas/On Mark B-26K Invader of the 609th Special Operations Squadron starting its engines at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, about 1969.” [Wiki]

Portland gay couple, survivors of Vietnam War, now find peace

Portland gay couple, survivors of Vietnam War, now find peace:

When the Army asked for medevac pilots for Vietnam, Norton volunteered, even as his commanding officer warned it was suicide. During the war, air ambulances rescued more than 900,000 military and civilian casualties, 97.5 percent of whom survived, according to the U.S. Army School of Aviation. The Hueys flew low, just above the jungle canopy, constantly exposed to enemy fire. Thirty-nine medevac crew members died and 210 were wounded over a two-year period.

“The progay but antiwar alignment would have repercussions for decades to come, particularly for…”

“The progay but antiwar alignment would have repercussions for decades to come, particularly for those Americans who were gay and chose to serve in the U.S. military. The gay movement was against all forms of oppression, but it wanted nothing to do with the anguish of gays in uniform. In late August 1969, a week after a land mine blew Leonard Matlovich apart, the radical You Committee of the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations meeting in Kansas City resolved, ‘The homophile movement must totally reject the insane war in Vietnam and refuse to encourage complicity in the war and support of the war machine, which may well be turned against us. We oppose any attempts by the movement to obtain security clearances for homosexuals since they contribute to the war machine.’”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 96.

“The orders were given to bring [Jerry] Rosanbalm home immediately and for his diplomatic passport to…”

“The orders were given to bring [Jerry] Rosanbalm home immediately and for his diplomatic passport to be seized in order to prevent him from traveling elsewhere. Two days after his arrest, handcuffed and escorted by two captains, Jerry boarded a train in Munich bound for Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, a jeep loaded with armed guards took him directly to a commercial jet on the airport tarmac. Armed guards walked him to his seat, with the rest of the plane gaping at the drama. Jerry would be met in New York City by more guards, they told him, and they left.
          Through the entire flight, Rosanbalm contemplated his uncertain future. Less than fourteen months after he had nearly died for his country in Vietnam, he was branded a traitor and faced jail time, not because of any evidence that he had done wrong but because it was assumed a homosexual was a Judas and that any homosexual contact with any citizen from behind the Iron Curtain entailed espionage. His record against Communists in Vietnam did not matter; his Purple Heart and his wounds did not matter. If they could not get him on the espionage charges, they would nail him for sodomy. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, that meant five years in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth.”

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military by Randy Shilts, page 89-90.

Capt. Jerry Rosanbalm of US Army Military Intelligence was seriously wounded during the 1968 Tet Offensive, nearly losing his arm. He did recover and was sent to Germany in 1969. He met Karel Rohan, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, and the two began a relationship. Army CID began investigating Rosanbalm as a homosexual which led to the above event.

One of the military’s arguments in maintaining the ban on gays and lesbians in the service was that gay service members would be vulnerable to blackmail. In Rosanbalm’s case, his relationship with a Czech national combined with his security clearance as part of military intelligence made CID more suspicious and more aggressive in their case.

US Army self propelled howitzer, circa 1969

US Army self propelled howitzer, circa 1969

Lt. Bud Vincent of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry…

Lt. Bud Vincent of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment wrote this sign to his wife asking to keep a kitten he found, circa 1969.

The sign reads:

Dear Helen,
As you can see I am a little Vietnamese kitten. Do you suppose your husband could keep me?
Sincerely,
[drawing of paw print]

From the source: Vietnamese Woman Medevac, 1969“Medevac:…

From the source:

Vietnamese Woman Medevac, 1969

“Medevac: 1st Marine Division Leathernecks get help from a villager as they carry a Vietnamese woman, injured by Viet Cong terrorists, to a waiting Marine helicopter 4 miles east of Hoa An (official USMC photo by Lance Corporal A. C. Prentiss).”

From the Jonathan F. Abel Collection (COLL/3611) at the Archives Branch, Marine Corps History Division

OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH