Items Left at The Wall

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letter, sealed unopened

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 03919
  • Accession Date:2/17/1987
  • Item Summary:Sealed, unopened letter. A handwritten inscription at the obverse surface of the letter envelope reads, "good bye John". The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between December 1986 - February 1987.

assemblage

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 05041
  • Accession Date:7/18/1985
  • Item Summary:Artifact assemblage consisting of a military issue, OG-107 men's tropical combat jungle fatigue coat bearing the following affixed military issue ephemera: a cloth patch Combat Infantryman Badge, subdued, a "U.S. ARMY" name tape, subuded, a National Defense Service Medal ribbon, a Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation ribbon, and a Presidential Unit Citation ribbon. The artifact was left at The Wall along with eight (8) black & white photographic prints (VIVE (858, 887, 888, 1342, 1343, 1345, 1347, & 1348)) by an anonymous Vietnam veteran between June - July 1985.

patch, U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team shoulder sleeve insignia


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 04801
  • Accession Date:11/14/1990
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: N/A
  • Item Summary:Military issue, cloth patch U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team shoulder sleeve insignia, full color. The insignia consists of a blue shield bearing an embroidered design comprised of a vertical white wing in flight, with the ulna (lower end) extended and hooked around a red bayonet. The insignia appears to be missing the typically affixed Airborne Tab. The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team was the first (1st) major U.S. Army ground formation deployed in Vietnam, serving 'in-country' from 1965 - 1971 and losing nearly eighteen hundred (1,800) casualties. Noted for its roles in "Operation Hump" and "Operation Junction City", the 173rd is best known for the Battle of Dak To, where it suffered heavy casualties in close quarter combat with North Vietnamese forces. Much of the unit was deactivated following service in Vietnam, although the unit was reactivated in 2000 in support of the War on Terror. The bayonet is used to refer to the brigade being borne by the wing, and alludes to the brigade's airborne status. Red, white, and blue are the national colors. The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally authorized by the U.S. Army on 13 May 1963. It was amended to correct the dimensions on 29 July 1963, and was further amended to include the Airborne Tab and to update the description on 26 April 2000. The insignia was re-designated for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team on 11 October 2006. The artifact was left at The Wall along with a handwritten letter (VIVE (36545)) by a U.S. Army and Vietnam veteran identified only as,"Sarge" on November 13, 1990. (Source: The Institute of Heraldry- http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil)
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00077
  • Related Items: VIVE 36545 - letter, handwritten
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:MILITARY ISSUE, CLOTH PATCH U.S. ARMY 173RD AIRBORNE BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA, FULL COLOR. THE INSIGNIA CONSISTS OF A BLUE, WHITE, AND RED FABRIC PATCH IN THE FORM OF A SQUARE SHAPED BLUE SHIELD WITH ROUNDED UPPER AND LOWER EDGES AND A WHITE EMBROIDERED EXTERIOR BORDER. THE SHIELD FEATURES AN EMBROIDERED, VERTICAL WHITE WING IN FLIGHT AT THE CENTER, WITH THE ULNA (LOWER END) EXTENDED AND HOOKED AROUND A RED EMBROIDERED BAYONET. THE INSIGNIA APPEARS TO BE MISSING A TYPICALLY AFFIXED, "AIRBORNE" TAB, WHICH IS NOW DISJOINED/DISSOCIATED FROM THE OBJECT. THE 173RD AIRBORNE BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM WAS THE FIRST (1ST) MAJOR U.S. ARMY GROUND FORMATION DEPLOYED IN VIETNAM, SERVING 'IN-COUNTRY' FROM 1965 - 1971 AND LOSING NEARLY EIGHTEEN HUNDRED (1,800) CASUALTIES. NOTED FOR ITS ROLES IN "OPERATION HUMP" AND "OPERATION JUNCTION CITY", THE 173RD IS BEST KNOWN FOR THE BATTLE OF DAK TO, WHERE IT SUFFERED HEAVY CASUALTIES IN CLOSE QUARTER COMBAT WITH NORTH VIETNAMESE FORCES. MUCH OF THE UNIT WAS DEACTIVATED FOLLOWING SERVICE IN VIETNAM, ALTHOUGH THE UNIT WAS REACTIVATED IN 2000 IN SUPPORT OF THE WAR ON TERROR. THE BAYONET IS USED TO REFER TO THE BRIGADE BEING BORNE BY THE WING, AND ALLUDES TO THE BRIGADE'S AIRBORNE STATUS. RED, WHITE, AND BLUE ARE THE NATIONAL COLORS. THE SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA WAS ORIGINALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE U.S. ARMY ON 13 MAY 1963. IT WAS AMENDED TO CORRECT THE DIMENSIONS ON 29 JULY 1963, AND WAS FURTHER AMENDED TO INCLUDE THE AIRBORNE TAB AND TO UPDATE THE DESCRIPTION ON 26 APRIL 2000. THE INSIGNIA WAS RE-DESIGNATED FOR THE 173RD AIRBORNE BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM ON 11 OCTOBER 2006. (SOURCE: THE INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY- HTTP://WWW.TIOH.HQDA.PENTAGON.MIL)
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 3.9g
    • Item Length: 7.7cm
    • Item Width: 5.0cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: 0.2cm (Thickness)
  • Item Notes:THE INSIGNIA APPEARS TO BE MISSING A TYPICALLY AFFIXED, "AIRBORNE" TAB, WHICH IS NOW DISJOINED/DISSOCIATED FROM THE OBJECT.
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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.