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25th Infantry Division

In December of 1965, over 5000 infantrymen of the 25th Infantry Division deployed to the highlands of Northwest South Vietnam at Pleiku. This move known as Operation Blue Light was the longest and largest military airlift to a combat zone in history to date. This followed on the heels of the deployment of 100 helicopter door-gunners in 1963 and in the fall of 1965 engineers to assist in the construction of the port facilities at Cam Ranh Bay in addition to a resupply regiment.

3rd Brigade was the first 25th Division element inserted into Vietnam and in their sector battled Viet-Cong as well as NVA regulars. The remainder of the division and attachments were on the ground by May 1966. From September through November 1966 the soldiers of "Tropic Lightning" participated in Operation Attleboro, East of Tay Ninh City, in War Zone C. In 1967, the 25th and 4th Divisions, both located in the Pleiku area swapped and interchanged men, equipment and commands of a number of units.

During the enemy Tet Offensive of 1968, the 25th halted the VC attempts to capture the Tan Son Nhut airfield. The Division successfully engaged the NVA and VC in the Iron Triangle, Boi Loi Woods, HoBo Woods, Hoc Mon, Tay Ninh and Cambodia.

By the end of 1970 a large portion of Tropic Lightning soldiers had returned stateside to their base at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Composition

1st Brigade
2nd Brigade
3rd Brigade

Infantry:
1st Battalion, (Mechanized) 5th Infantry
4th Battalion, 9th Infantry
2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry
2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry
2nd Battalion, (Mech) 22nd Infantry
3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry
4th Battalion, (Mech) 23rd Infantry
1st Battalion, 27th Infantry
2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry
1st Battalion, 35th Infantry
2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry

25th Division Artillery:
HQ & HQ Battery
1st Battalion, 8th Artillery
2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery
7th Battalion, 11th Artillery
3rd Battalion, 13th Artillery
2nd Battalion, 77th Artillery

2nd Battalion (-), 34th Armor
1st Battalion, 69th Armor
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry
Troop F (Air), 4th Cavalry
Company F (LRP), 50th Infantry
Company F (Ranger), 75th Infantry
38th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
40th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
44th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
46th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog)
66th Infantry Platoon (Combat Tracker)
65th Engineer Battalion
25th Aviation Battalion

Div Support:
125th Signal Battalion
25th Military Intelligence Company
25th Military Police Company
9th Chemical Detachment
Hq & Hq Co & Band
725th Maintenance Battalion
25th Medical Battalion
25th Supply and Transportation Battalion
25th Administration Company
18th Military History Detachment
15th Public Information Detachment
20th Public Information Detachment
Div Hq & Hq Co

Attachments:
4th Division
196th Light Infantry Brigade

Operations

Blue Light
Attleboro
Cedar Falls
Junction City

Battles

Tet Offensive
Saigon
Cambodian Incursion

Campaigns

Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Tet Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 69/Counteroffensive
Summer-Fall 1969
Winter-Spring 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII

Commanders

MG Frederick C. Weyand 1964–1967
MG John C.F. Tillison, III 1967
MG F.K. Mearns 1967–1968
MG Ellis W. Williamson 1968–1969
MG Harris W. Hollis 1969–1970
MG Edward Bautz, Jr. 1970–1971
MG Ben Sternberg 1971

25th Infantry Division Vietnam Missing in Action

There are 15 soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division Vietnam still listed as missing in action.

Staff Sergeant Humberto Acosta-Rosario 5th Infantry Regiment 08/22/1968
Staff Sergeant Jerry E. Auxier 46th Infantry Regiment
Private First Class Cecil J. Clack 35th Infantry Regiment 01/01/1969
Chief Warrant Officer Second Class Andrew J. Elliott 4th Cavalry Squadron 06/09/1970
Staff Sergeant William Ellis 35th Infantry Regiment 06/24/1966
Specialist 5 Edward Ford 65th Engineer Combat Battalion 12/09/1968
Sergeant Craig L. Hagen 14th Infantry Regiment 06/10/1965
Sergeant First Class Robert W. Hunt 4th Cavalry Squadron 02/28/1968
Private First Class Ralph E. Moore 35th Infantry Regiment 05/03/1967
Private First Class William V. Pharris 14th Infantry Regiment 07/07/1966
Private First Class Walter A. Thackerson 14th Infantry Regiment 05/21/1966
Private First Class Robert J. Wells 14th Infantry Regiment 07/22/1966
Staff Sergeant Larry D. Welsh 22nd Infantry Regiment 01/07/1969
Private First Class Marion E. Wilson 23rd Infantry Regiment 02/03/1968
Staff Sergeant Charles L. Young 27th Infantry Regiment 05/17/1968

25th Infantry Division Vietnam Recovered Missing in Action

There are 9 soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division Vietnam that have been identified and recovered.

Staff Sergeant Joseph E. Fitzgerald 3rd Brigade Missing: 05/31/1967, Recovered: 2/7/1994
Sergeant Rodney L. Griffin 34th Armored Battalion Missing: 05/02/1970, Recovered: 4/3/2014
Staff Sergeant John A. Jakovac 50th Infantry Regiment Missing: 05/31/1967, Recovered: 2/7/1994
Staff Sergeant Vernon Z. Johns 23rd Infantry Regiment Missing: 02/03/1968, Recovered: 4/27/1989
Staff Sergeant Brian K. McGar 3rd Brigade Missing: 05/31/1967, Recovered: 2/7/1994
Staff Sergeant Bunyan D. Price 34th Armored Battalion Missing: 05/02/1970, Recovered: 4/3/2014
Major Dale W. Richardson 34th Armored Battalion Missing: 05/02/1970, Recovered: 4/3/2014
Sergeant Douglas A. Ross 35th Infantry Regiment Missing: 01/22/1969, Recovered: 9/29/1997
Captain Robert M. Young 34th Armored Battalion Missing: 05/02/1970, Recovered: 4/27/1989

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