Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Owen Ditchfield | Multiple Units

5:36   |   After his first Vietnam tour, Owen Ditchfield got command of a company at Fort Benning that played the aggressor in Ranger training exercises. His men were short timers, waiting for discharge, but he rallied them to do well by telling them why their job was so important. Then he was assigned a new executive officer, Buddy Allgood, who had a surprising physical characteristic.

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Keywords   :     Owen Ditchfield    Fort Benning    Officer Advanced Course    John Wright    Kelly Hill    Buddy Allgood    prosthetic    Airborne

Videos ( 13 )
Vietnam
Cold War
  • Owen Ditchfield  |  Cold War  |  Multiple Units  |  4:32

    He entered the Army with an ROTC commission and a journalism degree. During college, he was in the Pershing Rifles, who enjoyed firing a blank round during their drill routine to get everyone's attention. At Fort Benning, he moved right through the basic course, jump school and Ranger school.

  • Owen Ditchfield  |  Cold War  |  Multiple Units  |  4:23

    He was the smallest guy in his Ranger class, so he got the heaviest loads. Owen Ditchfield found out how long he could go without sleep, food and water and still keep going. The testing was as much psychological as physical, as he found out when he was summoned to the front of the column in the middle of the night.

  • Owen Ditchfield  |  Cold War  |  1st Armored Division  |  6:23

    Owen Ditchfield was a brand new infantry officer when he was sent to an infantry battalion in the 1st Armored Division. He was immediately sent on maneuvers, which didn't go so well. His unit was activated during the Cuban missile crisis and sent to Fort Stewart in Georgia to prepare for action. What they really prepared for was a visit by the President.

  • Owen Ditchfield  |  Cold War  |  Multiple Units  |  3:48

    In 1964, Owen Ditchfield was sent to Communications Zone Headquarters in France as a staff officer. The hours and tourism were great, but he knew he needed line company experience to advance so he transferred to a mechanized Airborne unit. Their vehicles were in disrepair but they had an ace in the hole.

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