Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Mike Devine | 25th Infantry Division - Army

4:55   |   He was looking forward to a couple of years stationed in Hawaii but, when Mike Devine got there, it was only a matter of weeks before his unit was deployed to Vietnam. After some intense mountain and jungle training, they boarded cargo planes and flew into Pleiku in the central highlands.

More From Mike Devine

Keywords   :     Mike Devine    Vietnam    Schofield Barracks    Hawaii    Pleiku    central highlands    Cu Chi    triple canopy

Videos ( 11 )
Vietnam
  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  4:20

    It was ROTC that made Mike Devine think that the military would be a good career. At Western Kentucky University he also joined the Pershing Rifles and Scabbard and Blade. After receiving his commission, he was off to Fort Benning to begin the training of an infantry officer.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  4:38

    Mike Devine was in the second week of jump school when his girlfriend suggested they get married, another leap into the unknown. So, when he made his final jump, he was a married man. The only problem was, his chute got tangled and he was approaching the ground pretty fast.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  5:03

    The first order of business was to carve a base camp out of the jungle. Mike Devine was a platoon leader, newly arrived in Vietnam, and he goes over the various weapons used in his infantry outfit. Only a month after they arrived, the M16 rifle replaced the M14 that the men carried and they began jamming in the heat and humidity.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  7:12

    It was a dangerous business being an infantry platoon leader in the Vietnam highlands. Mike Devine knew that the enemy would target him because he was always next to the radio operator's tall antenna. He was very close to his RTO and this led to the toughest moment he had to live through during the war.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  2:11

    When they first got to Vietnam and were building a base camp, Mike Devine's unit was visited by Gen. William Westmoreland. That was good, but what was really great was when Robert Mitchum visited the base.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  3:58

    Mike Devine was a new infantry platoon leader in Vietnam and he moved into an area of operation that was already notorious, the Ia Drang valley. It had been the site of a large battle which would one day be memorialized in the book, "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young" and subsequent movie, "We Were Soldiers."

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  4:03

    The NVA was not the only enemy in Vietnam. The elements and the wildlife were daily issues for Mike Devine, who developed an intense hatred of leeches. Then there was monsoon season and bad drinking water.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  7:20

    The heavy weapons squad was a close knit group of guys that platoon leader Mike Devine could depend on. It was with a sergeant from that squad that he was detailed to go on missions with some 1st Cavalry units. His outfit was new in country and it was felt that they could learn from the guys who had been around a while.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  25th Infantry Division  |  7:19

    There was nearly constant contact with the enemy in the Ia Drang valley. Mike Devine remembers the close air support, which could kill you if the coordinates were just a little off. The napalm, especially, was a scary sight. For his last couple of months, he became the support platoon leader, which was only slightly less dangerous.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV)  |  5:38

    Mike Devine had a second tour of Vietnam, this time as a logistical advisor to the Army of South Vietnam. He was based down in the delta, which was completely different from his first tour in the central highlands.

  • Mike Devine  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  7:22

    It was an unpopular war, but the mood of the country following his return from Vietnam did not prevent Mike Devine from pursuing a career in the Army. For thirty years, he served in a variety of commands all over the world and never regretted one bit of it.

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