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Vietnam - 1st Logistical Command - Temp Exhibit


Vietnam - 1st Logistical Command Exhibit

"The First With The Most”; The 1st Logistical Command in Vietnam – an exhibit providing an in-depth look at Army logistics during the Vietnam War.

The “1st Log” was the largest Army organization during the Vietnam War. Within the 1st Log were truck units, boat companies, railroad facilities, airlift and airdrop capabilities, graves registration operations, supply and service units, and maintenance companies. Almost every piece of Army equipment sent to Vietnam was processed, transported, issued, and maintained by the 1st Log. Not only was the 1st Log responsible for providing the Army troops with the basic weapons of war, but it also clothed and fed them and supplied them with virtually every amenity available in Post Exchanges.

 

 

Gallery Entry Sign

 

 

 

Gallery Display Cases

 

 

 

Vietnam Era Jeep

 

 

 

 

Map and Timeline of the Command in Vietnam

 

 

Navy Bunk Display

The story of the 1st Logistical Command, the Army’s largest organization during the Vietnam War, is now being told in an exhibit, “The First With the Most:  The 1st Logistical Command in Vietnam”, at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum, Fort Lee, Virginia. 

The 1st Logistical Command, known as the “1st Log”, provided support for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  Activated in Saigon in April 1965, the Command became the largest Army organization in Vietnam growing to over 50,000 personnel.  From 1965 to 1970, over 700,000 tons of supplies entered Vietnam each month, handled and distributed by a wide variety of 1st Log organizations such as truck units, boat companies, supply and transportation companies, and supply depots.  The Command was responsible for railroad facilities, port operations, fuel distribution, repair parts, equipment maintenance, graves registration activities, airlift and aerial resupply operations, all supply distribution, and food and clothing services.  Five hundred ninety one 1st Log Soldiers were killed in action while another 1,500 were wounded.  Two were awarded the Medal of Honor.  The 1st Log’s motto, “The First With The Most”, states the Command’s commitment to making sure that the American soldier fighting in Vietnam was the best supplied, fed, and clothed Soldier in the world.

            The War provided a variety of logistical challenges among which were the lack of deep water ports and local supply facilities within Vietnam, all of which had to be created by the 1st Log.  The War saw the beginning of automated supply procedures as computers assumed a larger role in the supply requisitioning and tracking process.  Innovations in field rations included development of the Long Range Patrol Packets (“LURP’s”), a forerunner of the MRE, and tropical warfare led to the development of jungle boots and fatigues.  Subdued shoulder patches and rank insignia were adopted for better concealment and the need for lighter automatic weaponry resulted in the fielding of the M-16.  With artifacts and images these topics and more are explored along with the Quartermaster missions of food service, petroleum operations, memorial activities, supply distribution, and aerial delivery. 

            Among the artifacts on exhibit is a sampling of canvas bunks containing soldier graffiti retrieved from the U.S.N.S General Walker, a World War II-era troop ship that carried Army units to Vietnam from 1965 to 1967.  A World War II jeep given to the French, captured by the Vietnamese when the French were defeated in Indochina, and recaptured by U.S. forces, evokes the complicated history of the region.  Memorabilia provided by Vietnam veterans document their tours while a home movie, filmed by a member of the 528th Quartermaster Petroleum Company, chronicles that unit’s history. 

            Forty years ago this year, the U.S. commitment to the defense of South Vietnam peaked at over 540,000 military personnel.  The following year, U.S. forces began to draw down and at the end of 1970, the 1st Log was redeployed to the U.S.  Today, the 1st Sustainment Command located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, carries on the lineage of the 1st Log, “The First With The Most”. 

The U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum is located in Building 5218, Avenue A, Fort Lee, VA, and is open Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Weekends 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  There is no admission charge. For more information call (804) 734-4203.

 

 

 

 


This page was last updated on: February 8, 2010