Five Years in the Jungle: Vietnam Experiences of the 1st Infantry Division 1965-1970.
May 16-November 1
This summer in recognition of the 50th anniversary of US involvement in Vietnam, the First Division Museum presents the exhibit, Five Years in the Jungle: Vietnam Experiences of the 1st Infantry Division 1965-1970. The exhibit includes an array of artifacts collected by 1ID units and individuals during service in Vietnam. A significant portion of those objects are on display in a representation of the division’s in-country museum where visitors experience how soldiers would learn about the threats they would face in Vietnam. In 1967, the 3rd Brigade created a museum as part of the Combat Introduction Course to help familiarize new soldiers with the weapons, uniforms, equipment, and methods of the NVA and VC. Division HQ took this model and created a museum that served the same purpose for all soldiers who joined the 1st ID. The museum recreation even includes several pieces from the original in-country museums.
Another exciting component of the exhibit is a floor map of the division’s AO. The illustrated map will colorfully depict III Corps Tactical Zone highlighting 1ID areas of operation and includes an inset of both North and South Vietnam for context. Visitors are able to walk on the map to get a close up look at locations. Surrounding the map are artifact clusters that tie to specific battles, individuals, locations and unique stories highlighting the entire five year period of the 1st ID’s deployment. Through these artifacts, including significant amounts of captured material, the story of soldiers engaging a skilled and determined enemy will come into focus.
In addition, there is a timeline highlighting important events during the Vietnam War, photo enlargements that portray the different environments found throughout III Corps and a music interactive that allows visitors to listen to music and create their own playlists. Visitors should leave the exhibit with a better understanding of the experiences of 1st Division soldiers during the Vietnam War and a better understanding of those difficult years.