From the collection of the National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks.
scarf, Operation Ranch Hand Viet-Nam
Non-military issue, commemorative Operation Ranch Hand Viet-Nam scarf. Scarves like this one were presented to participants in the herbicidal, "Operation Ranch Hand" program lasting from 1962 - 1971 as a commemorative token of service. Operation Ranch Hand was a part of the overall herbicidal warfare program termed, "Operation Trail Dust". These operations involved the spraying of an estimated twenty million (20M) U.S. gallons of defoliants and herbicides over rural areas of South Vietnam in an attempt to deprive enemy forces opposing American military units of food and vegetation cover. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between September - November 1993. (Source: Lewis, James G. (2006). Smokey Bear in Vietnam (PDF). Environmental History 11 (3): 598–603)
NON-MILITARY ISSUE, COMMEMORATIVE FABRIC, "[OPERATION] RANCH HAND VIET - NAM" SCARF. THE OBJECT IS COMPRISED OF A SHEER, PURPLE NYLON FABRIC WITH A LOGO EMBROIDERED IN WHITE THREAD AND BLOCK SCRIPT AT THE LOWER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE. THE LOGO CONSISTS OF AN EXTERIOR, CIRCULARLY SHAPED BORDER CIRCUMSCRIBING THE PHRASE, "RANCH HAND" [ABOVE] AND, "VIET - NAM" [BELOW] . A SECONDARY, INTERIOR CIRCLE CIRCUMSCRIBES A DIAGONALLY-ORIENTED BANNER WITH AN UNSPECIFIED VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE CHARACTER CENTERED INSIDE. SCARVES LIKE THIS ONE WERE PRESENTED TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE, "OPERATION RANCH HAND" PROGRAM AS A COMMEMORATIVE TOKEN. THE EMBROIDERED LOGO REFERS TO, "OPERATION RANCH HAND", A U.S. MILITARY OPERATION DURING THE VIETNAM WAR WHICH LASTED FROM 1962 - 1971 AS A PART OF THE OVERALL HERBICIDAL WARFARE PROGRAM TERMED, "OPERATION TRAIL DUST". THESE OPERATIONS INVOLVED THE SPRAYING OF AN ESTIMATED TWENTY (20) MILLION U.S. GALLONS OF DEFOLIANTS AND HERBICIDES OVER RUAL AREAS OF SOUTH VIETNAM IN AN ATTEMPT TO DEPRIVE ENEMY FORCES OPPOSING AMERICAN MILITARY EFFORTS OF FOOD AND VEGETATION COVER. (SOURCE: LEWIS, JAMES G. (2006). SMOKEY BEAR IN VIETNAM (PDF). ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY 11 (3): PP. 598 - 603) ACCORDING TO MRCE CATALOG NOTES, THE ARTIFACT BARCODE # ORIGINALLY ASSOCIATED WITH OBJECT WAS RECORDED AS, "0452". TURNER BOOK, PG. 157.
Text of the embroidered inscription at the obverse object surface is transcribed in full, as follows: "RANCH HAND / VIET - NAM"
Item Weight: 5.2g
Item Length: 52.5cm
Item Width: 29.0cm