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Dr Eric Villard Lecture - Battle at An Bao.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:16 pm
by Jim Sheppard
Last night I attended a lecture by Dr Eric Villard at the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA.

Dr Villard is a noted Vietnam Historian and recently published the 1st Edition of Combat Operations, “Staying the Course” – October 1967 to September 1968. His book is the latest in the series on Vietnam by the US Army Center of Military History. (If you are considering buying a copy, I would advise waiting until the 2nd edition is published as there will be substantial corrections made)

I had been invited by Eric after some collaboration regarding facts about our battalion in Vietnam in 1968 and he decided to use our battle at An Bao as one of three major examples of action in Vietnam during what became the Phase Two of the 1968 Tet offensive...or “Mini Tet”, during May and June of 1968. His lecture discussed the history of Westmoreland’s plans in Vietnam which were uncovered during extensive research of unpublished materials....and how the events of 1967 and 1968 in Vietnam led to our contact at An Bao.

I was honored to be invited to attend a dinner before the lecture attended by Dr Villard and several other key members of the Heritage Center which was funded by the Omar Bradley Foundation.

During Dr. Villard’s lecture, he called me to the dais to give a brief “insider” talk on our involvement in the battle.

The entire lecture will be available on You Tube in about a month and I will post a link here for all to view and enjoy.

I am humbled by the privilege to represent our Regiment at these Vietnam history events and bring attention to so many heroic efforts by the 50th Infantry Regiment in Vietnam a half century ago.

Re: Dr Eric Villard Lecture - Battle at An Bao.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:39 pm
by mick hawkins
Well done Jim you represent the 1st and 50th in Vietnam very well. I have this book and remember Gary saying something about the story about May 5th ambush or An Bao not being just as it was.

Harley Mick Hawkins

Re: Dr Eric Villard Lecture - Battle at An Bao.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:19 pm
by Jim Sheppard
Dr Villard was extremely appreciative of our corrections. They will be made in the 2nd edition...which has not yet been completed and released. He has also asked me to share some of our photos as well. We will be well represented in this upcoming 2nd edition. The main error came from an "Assumption" that the After Action Report used in authoring the section on An Bao was signed by LTC Carter. Dr. Villard assumed Carter had commanded the battalion during An Bao in error. I have a signed copy of the book and it appears the remainder of the book description is accurate.

Eric's research revealed some good background information on why the NVA (Now referred to as the PAVN) chose to attack the 1/50. It was a worthwhile lecture.

Re: Dr Eric Villard Lecture - Battle at An Bao.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:39 pm
by bbontemps
Thanks, Jim, for your work and the update. I'll be looking forward to the You Tube link.