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letter, printed

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 27867
  • Accession Date:11/27/1996
  • Item Summary:Printed, laminated letter dedicated to U.S. Army Sergeant (SGT) Robert T. Smith. The letter is headed, "DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY / Company D (Ranger), 151st Infantry / APO San Francisco 96266", is addressed to, "Mrs. Robert T. Smith", is signed, "Sincerely yours, / GEORGE M HECKMAN / MAJOR, Infantry / Commanding", is dated, "28 APR 1969", and opens with the line, "I am sure that you have been informed of the death of your husband, Sgt Robert T. Smith, in the vicinity of Bien Hoa Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 12 April 1969." In content, the letter explicates the circumstances of SGT Smith's death in combat in Vietnam and offers condolences on behalf of MAJ Heckman and SGT Smith's unit, "Company D (Ranger), 151st Infantry". The artifact was left at The Wall, presumably by SGT Smith's widow [?], in November 1996.

cap, commemorative Vietnam Veteran baseball

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 30822
  • Accession Date:4/18/1985
  • Item Summary:Non-military issue, commemorative Vietnam Veteran baseball cap. An embroidered design upon the obverse surface of the cap depicts an American eagle in flight, clutching an M-16 rifle, and surrounded by a glory containing six (6) stars. The design also features the embroidered phrase,"Vietnam Veteran / & Proud of It". The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between February - April 1985.

letter, Bronze Star Medal award citation


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Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.

Photo Credit: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.
  • Catalog Number:VIVE 30733
  • Accession Date:10/20/2010
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: EDWARD L JOHNSON
  • Item Summary:Military issue, Bronze Star Medal award citation letter dedicated to U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal (LCpl) Edward Lee Johnson. In content, the letter is pursuant to posthumous issuance of the Bronze Star Medal to LCpl Johnson for an action in which he defended, "United States Navy Military Provincial Hospital Assistance Program Team N-2 Compound, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam" on, "27 August 1967". An excerpt from the citation reads, "From his exposed position on the roof, inspite [sic] of intense mortar and small arms fire, Lance Corporal JOHNSON con-tinued [sic] to deliver a high volume of fire against the attacking force until he was hit by small arms fire. / Although wounded and suffering intense pain, obviating his continued manning of the machine gun, he refused to abandon his position and continued to assist in the defense of his position by un-packaging [sic] grenades and passing them to the other defenders of the position until killed by an enemy grenade which landed within his position." The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between July - October 2010.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00252
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:MILITARY ISSUE, BRONZE STAR MEDAL AWARD CITATION DEDICATED TO U.S. MARINE CORPS LANCE CORPORAL (LCPL) EDWARD LEE JOHNSON. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF AN OFFICIAL LETTER CERTIFYING AWARD OF THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL PRINTED IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, UNLINED PAPER. THE CITATION IS HEADED, "COMMANDER IN CHIEF / UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET", STATES THAT, "THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TAKES PRIDE IN PRESENTING THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL POSTHUMOUSLY TO / LANCE CORPORAL EDWARD L. JOHNSON / UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS", AND IS SIGNED BY, "JOHN J. HYLAND / ADMIRAL, U. S. NAVY / COMMANDER IN CHIEF U. S. PACIFIC FLEET". IN CONTENT, THE CITATION IS PURSUANT TO POSTHUMOUS ISSUANCE OF THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL TO LCPL JOHNSON FOR AN ACTION IN WHICH HE DEFENDED, "[...] UNITED STATES NAVY MILITARY PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TEAM N-2 COMPOUND, HOI AN, QUANG NAM PROVINCE, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM", ON, "27 AUGUST 1967". THE TEXT OF THE CITATION NOTES THAT, "[...] INSPITE [sic] OF INTENSE MORTAR AND SMALL ARMS FIRE, LANCE CORPORAL JOHNSON CON-TINUED [sic] TO DELIVER A HIGH VOLUME OF FIRE AGAINST THE ATTACKING FORCE UNTIL HE WAS HIT BY SMALL ARMS FIRE" AND THAT, "ALTHOUGH WOUNDED AND SUFFERING INTENSE PAIN, OBVIATING HIS CONTINUED MANNING OF THE MACHINE GUN, HE REFUSED TO ABANDON HIS POSITION AND CONTINUED TO ASSIST IN THE DEFENSE OF HIS POSITION". THE CITATION GOES ON TO STATE THAT, "AS THE RESULT OF HIS RESOLUTION, DETERMINATION AND FORTITUDE LANCE CORPORAL JOHNSON EFFECTIVELY SURPRESSED [sic] MUCH OF THE INSURGENT FIRE DIRECTED AT THIS POSITION, MATERIALLY CONTRIBUTED TO CONTAINING THE PENETRATION OF THE MILPHAP COMPOUND AND ASSISTED IN THE ELIMINATION OF THE ENEMY FORCES THEREIN", AND CLOSES WITH THE COMMENDATION THAT, "LANCE CORPORAL JOHNSON'S COURAGEOUS ACTIONS WERE IN KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE."
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the printed inscriptions upon the obverse object surface is transcribed in full, as follows: "COMMANDER IN CHIEF / UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET / The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Medal posthumously to / Lance Corporal Edward L. JOHNSON / United States Marine Corps / for service as set forth in the following: / CITATION / "For meritorious achievement in connection with operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force as a machine gunner during the defense of United States Navy Military Provincial Hospital Assistance Program Team N-2 Compound, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam on 27 August 1967. / Although subjected to intense mortar fire, Lance Corporal JOHNSON resolutely remained at his post, a machine gun position on a roof within the defensive perimeter. / The enemy, having succeeded in penetrating the city defenses, launched an attack on the MILPHAP Team Compound. / From his exposed position on the roof, inspite [sic] of intense mortar and small arms fire, Lance Corporal JOHNSON con-tinued [sic] to deliver a high volume of fire against the attacking force until he was hit by small arms fire. / Although wounded and suffering intense pain, obviating his continued manning of the machine gun, he refused to abandon his position and continued to assist in the defense of his position by un-packaging [sic] grenades and passing them to the other defenders of the position until killed by an enemy grenade which landed within his position. / As the result of his resolution, determination and fortitude Lance Corporal JOHNSON effectively surpressed [sic] much of the insurgent fire directed at this position, materially contributed to containing the penetration of the MILPHAP Compound and assisted in the elimination of the enemy force therein. / Lance Corporal JOHNSON's courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." / The Combat "V" is authorized. / For the President / John J. Hyland [handwritten signature] / JOHN J. HYLAND / Admiral, U. S. Navy / Commander in Chief U. S. Pacific Fleet"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 4.6g
    • Item Length: 28.0cm
    • Item Width: 21.5cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
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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.