January 2019 Readers’ Letters | HistoryNet MENU
When Gen. John J. Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces reached England, many Doughboys received this special greeting from King George V.

January 2019 Readers’ Letters

By HistoryNet Staff
11/11/2018 • Military History, MH Letters

World War Relics
Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading the many fascinating articles published in Military History, but I was particularly and personally touched by one photograph printed in the “World War Relics” portfolio [November 2018]—the letter of King George V to the American Expeditionary Forces in the U.K. My grandfather Cpl. George Tempest Unsworth was in the 139th Aero Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group, 1st Pursuit Wing, in France from May 27 until Nov. 11, 1918. Folded carefully away with his honorable discharge and General Order No. 18 penned by Lt. Col. Bert M. Atkinson, the 1st Pursuit Wing commander, thanking his soldiers for their service on the disbanding of the unit on Dec. 12, 1919, was his own letter from the king of England. I inherited these documents from my father, Pfc. Paul Aeldred Unsworth, who served in Company K, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division, during the World War II Ardennes Offensive. They now occupy an honored place, together with my father’s combat laurels and my own memorabilia collected from my service as a field medic with the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, during the early part of my military career. Such small treasures should be preserved, so that those to follow us should not forget.

Capt. Douglas A. Unsworth
Judge Advocate General’s Corps
U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)
San Leandro, Calif.

 

Clarification
In “World War Relics” (November 2018) we used images from Peter Doyle’s World War I in 100 Objects, published by Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2014, previously published in Britain by The History Press.

Cold War
In “U2s Over Cuba: Casey Sherman & Michael Tougias” [Interview, September 2018] Sherman needs to clarify his assertion John F. Kennedy “was the only president at the time who had experienced combat firsthand.” Both Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower experienced combat firsthand, and both were still alive in October 1962. Truman, in particular, saw more sustained combat as an artillery officer in World War I than Kennedy had in the Pacific.

William C. Grayson
Bowie, Md.

Fragging
This is in reference to your cover story “Murder in Vietnam” [by Hamilton Gregory, July 2018].

I was a lieutenant in Company A, 25th Supply and Transport Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, at Cu Chi, Vietnam, from September 1969 to November 1970. Every battalion in the division was assigned part of the bunker line to maintain and guard. In the 25th S&T all company-grade officers, other than company commanders, were on the duty officer list for one night at a time. During the day there were three watchtowers with one or two guards each. At night all 12 bunkers on the S&T bunker line were manned by three soldiers each. The soldiers had guard duty for a week; the officer and two NCOs had guard duty one night at a time.

I don’t recall the date but it was probably during the summer of 1970. About 2 a.m. one of the bunkers called in that there was an explosion in Co. A. We learned that the explosion had been caused by a frag grenade rolled beneath a hooch occupied by a couple of sergeants. No one was injured. I walked down to the Co. A orderly room and discovered it was crowded with MPs and Criminal Investigation Command agents.

From then on the usual routine for the duty officer went out the window. I sat at the duty officer desk the rest of the night, putting entries into the staff duty log. I kept both NCOs on the bunker line that night. My duty log was at least eight pages long; usually it was at most three pages. Once I got off duty that morning, I was never asked anything about that log or what happened that night. I never heard anything more about the fragging.

I was one of the vast majority of the people who served in Vietnam who was never shot at—at least not that I know of.

Lt. Col. Richard L. Broberg
U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)
Dallas, Texas

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