Items Left at The Wall

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cap, commemorative USS Buchanan (DDG-14) baseball

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 00711
  • Accession Date:2/12/1985
  • Item Summary:Non-military issue, commemorative U.S. Navy USS Buchanan (DDG-14) baseball cap. The U.S. Navy vessel call sign, "DDG-14" is embroidered upon the exterior surface of the cap crown, while the phrase, "SHORT" (most likely a reference [?] to a, "short-timer", a colloquial expression for a service member whose term of enlistment has nearly expired) is handwritten upon the under-surface of the cap brim. Launched on 11 May 1960 and commissioned 7 February 1962 the USS Buchanan was the thirteenth (13th) ship in the Charles F. Adams class of guided missile destroyers and the third (3rd) ship in the Navy to bear the name. In 1965, the USS Buchanan, along with three (3) other destroyers of Destroyer Division 152 (COMDESDIV 152), was regularly dispatched North of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at night on reconnaissance missions. These were the first (1st) U.S. Naval missions North of the DMZ since the Gulf of Tonkin Incidents of early August 1964. Last homeported in San Diego, California, the USS Buchanan was decommissioned on 1 October 1991 and stricken from the Navy list on 20 November 1992. The vessel was one of four (1 of 4) decommissioned ships that were sunk as targets during RIMPAC 2000. The sinking of the ships was conducted at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, North of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, and focused on honing weapons' firing skills and proficiency. Missile firing and torpedo firing exercises to sink the USS Buchanan started 13 June 2000. Three (3) Hellfire hits, three (3) Harpoon hits, and a twenty-four hundred pound (2,400 lb) laser-guided bomb hit were not enough to sink the ship. The job was finally done by two hundred pounds (200 lbs) of explosive charges set by an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team so that the USS Buchanan sank on 14 June 2000. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between November 1984 - February 1985. (Source: USS Buchanan (DDG 14)- www.navysite.de/dd/ddg14.htm)

set, Christmas ornament

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 00735
  • Accession Date:2/12/1985
  • Item Summary:Set of four (4) Christmas holiday ornaments dedicated to U.S. Army Sergeant (SGT) William Reed Stocks. Each of the four (4) ornaments is in the form of a miniature snow sled, and all bear handwritten messages of love, remembrance, and wishes for a Merry Christmas to SGT Stocks from members of his immediate family. The artifact set was left at The Wall by the family of SGT Stocks on the occasion of the Christmas holiday, December 25, 1984.

certificate & citation, U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal award


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 00731
  • Accession Date:2/12/1985
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: N/A
  • Item Summary:Military issue, U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal award certificate & citation housed inside an official document presentation binder and belonging to U.S. Air Force Sergeant (Sgt) Robert D. Roth, Jr. The medal citation notes, in part, that Sgt Roth, Jr. has received the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal for, "[...] meritorious service as a Cryptographic Maintenance Repairman, 1883rd Communications Squadron, Republic of Vietnam, from 23 April 1969 to 20 April 1970", as well as that, "The energetic application of his knowledge has played a significant role in contributing to the success of the United States Air Force mission in Southeast Asia." The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor, possibly Sgt Roth, Jr. himself [?], between November 1984 - February 1985.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00005
  • Record Component Qty:3
  • Item Description:MILITARY ISSUE, U.S AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATE & CITATION BELONGING TO U.S. AIR FORCE SERGEANT (SGT) ROBERT D. ROTH, JR. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A MILITARY ISSUE, U.S. AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATE & CITATION HOUSED INSIDE A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, GATEFOLD-STYLE DOCUMENT PRESENTATION BINDER BOUND WITH TEXTURED, BLUE VINYL AT THE EXTERIOR/INTERIOR OBJECT SURFACES. EMBOSSED IN SILVER INK UPON THE CENTER OF THE EXTERIOR, OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE (COVER) OF THE PRESENTATION BINDER IS A RAISED RELIEF REPRESENTATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE SERVICE SEAL BEARING THE PHRASES, "DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / MCMXLVII" EXECUTED IN ARCHED, RAISED, BLOCK SCRIPT & ROMAN NUMERALS. HOUSED AT THE INTERIOR, PROPER RIGHT-HAND SURFACE OF THE PRESENTATION BINDER (AND SECURED IN PLACE VIA FOUR (4) TRIANGULARLY SHAPED, BLUE VINYL DOCUMENT TABS) IS A MILITARY ISSUE, U.S. AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL AWARD CITATION. THE CITATION IS TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, UNLINED PAPER HOUSED BENEATH A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF CLEAR POLY-PLASTIC. AT THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE, THE AWARD CITATION BEARS AN AFFIXED, ADHESIVE, GOLD COLORED SEAL WITH SERRATED EDGES. THE SEAL IS CHARGED AT THE CENTER WITH AN EMBOSSED INSCRIPTION READING, "OFFICIAL" IN RAISED, BLOCK SCRIPT, AS WELL AS THE PHRASE, "HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH AIR FORCE" EXECUTED IN ARCHED, RAISED, BLOCK SCRIPT ALONG THE UPPER EDGE, AND THE CORRESPONDING PHRASE, "* U.S. AIR FORCE *" EXECUTED IN ARCHED, RAISED, BLOCK SCRIPT ALONG THE LOWER EDGE. THE AWARD CITATION CONSISTS OF THE HEADING, "CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF / THE AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL / TO / ROBERT D. ROTH, JR." TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT FOLLOWED BY A ONE (1) PARAGRAPH, FOUR (4) LINE NARRATIVE TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS NOTING, IN PART, THAT SGT ROTH, JR., "[...] DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF BY MERITORIOUS SERVICE AS A CRYPTOGRAPHIC MAINTENANCE REPAIRMAN, 1883RD COMMUNICATIONS SQUADRON, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM, FROM 23 APRIL 1969 TO 20 APRIL 1970", AS WELL AS THAT, "THE ENERGETIC APPLICATION OF HIS KNOWLEDGE HAS PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN CONTRIBUTING TO THE SUCCESS OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE MISSION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA." HOUSED AT THE INTERIOR, PROPER LEFT-HAND SURFACE OF THE PRESENTATION BINDER (AND SECURED IN PLACE VIA FOUR (4) TRIANGULARLY SHAPED, BLUE VINYL DOCUMENT TABS) IS A MILITARY ISSUE, U.S. AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL AWARD CERTIFICATE. THE CERTIFICATE IS PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF CREAM COLORED, UNLINED PAPER HOUSED BENEATH A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF CLEAR POLY-PLASTIC. AT THE UPPER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE IS AN EMBOSSED GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF A U.S. AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL SUSPENDED FROM A RIBBON WHICH IS EXECUTED IN ULTRAMARINE BLUE, AIR FORCE YELLOW, & GOLD. BELOW THIS EMBOSSED REPRESENTATION, THE PHRASES, "DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE / THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT / THE AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL / HAS BEEN AWARDED TO / SERGEANT ROBERT D. ROTH JR. / FOR / MERITORIOUS SERVICE / 23 APRIL 1969 TO 20 APRIL 1970 / GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON / THIS 13TH DAY OF MARCH 1970" ARE PRINTED AND TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS IN TEN (10) SEPARATE LINES. AT THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE THE NAME, "GEORGE S. BLOOM [?]" IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT UPON A PRE-PRINTED BLACK SIGNATURE LINE, IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE PHRASE, "GENERAL, USAF" TYPEWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. AT THE LOWER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE IS AN EMBOSSED GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE SERVICE SEAL BEARING THE PHRASES, "DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / MCMXLVII" EXECUTED IN ARCHED, RAISED, GOLD, BLOCK SCRIPT & ROMAN NUMERALS. AT THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE SURFACE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE THE NAME, "ROBERT C. SEAMANS, JR." IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT UPON A PRE-PRINTED BLACK SIGNATURE LINE, IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE TITLE, "SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE" PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. ALONG THE LOWERMOST, CENTER EDGE OF THE MEDAL CERTIFICATE, THE PHRASE, "BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING, LITHO." IS PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT. THE AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE ON 28 MARCH 1958 AND WAS DESIGNED AND SCULPTED BY THOMAS JONES OF THE INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY (TIOH). THE MEDAL IS AWARDED TO SERVICE MEMBERS BELOW THE RANK OF BRIGADIER GENERAL WHO, WHILE SERVING IN ANY CAPACITY WITH THE AIR FORCE, DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES BY HEROISM, OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT, OR BY MERITORIOUS SERVICE NOT OF A SUFFICIENT NATURE TO JUSTIFY A HIGHER AWARD. (SOURCE: THE INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY- HTTP://WWW.TIOH.HQDA.PENTAGON.MIL)
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the embossed, printed, typewritten, & handwritten inscriptions upon the document presentation binder, the medal award citation, and the medal award certificate is transcribed in full, as follows: [Document presentation binder, exterior, obverse object surface, embossed inscriptions] "DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / MCMXLVII" / [Medal award citation, obverse object surface, affixed seal, embossed inscriptions] "HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH AIR FORCE / OFFICIAL / U.S. AIR FORCE " / [Medal award citation, obverse object surface, typewritten inscriptions] "CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF / THE AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL / TO / ROBERT D. ROTH, JR / Sergeant Robert D. Roth, Jr, distinguished himself by meritorious service as a Cryptographic Maintenance Repairman, 1883rd Communications Squadron, Republic of Vietnam, from 23 April 1969 to 20 April 1970. / During this period, Sergeant Roth's outstanding professional skill and initiative aided immeasur-ably [sic] in identifying and solving numerous problems encountered in the accom-plishment [sic] of his duties. / The energetic application of his knowledge has played a significant role in contributing to the success of the United States Air Force mission in Southeast Asia. / The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Roth reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force." / [Medal award certificate, obverse object surface, embossed inscriptions] "DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / MCMXLVII" / [Medal award certificate, obverse object surface, printed inscriptions] "DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE / THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT / THE AIR FORCE COMMENDATION MEDAL / HAS BEEN AWARDED TO / FOR / GIVEN UNDER MY HAND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON / THIS DAY OF 19 / SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE" / [Medal award certificate, obverse object surface, typewritten inscriptions] "SERGEANT ROBERT D. ROTH JR. / MERITORIOUS SERVICE / 23 APRIL 1969 TO 20 APRIL 1970 / 13th March [19]70 / General, USAF" / [Medal award certificate, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "George S Bloom [?] / Robert C. Seamans, Jr."
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 375.0g
    • Item Length: 21.3cm
    • Item Width: 28.7cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
  • Item Notes:Dimensions listed above are the exterior dimensions when the document presentation binder is folded closed. Measurements for the document presentation binder when unfolded & open are as follows:

    [Unfolded (open) document presentation binder]:
    21.3cm (L) X 56.7cm (W) X 375.0g (Weight)
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.