Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

John Page | 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division - Army

4:58   |   Before he began his training, John Page found out a friend had been killed in Vietnam. He pressed on and they suggested to him he go to Officer Candidate School. He decided he'd rather be enlisted in Special Force than an officer in the regular Army so he eventually made it to Fort Bragg SF training. During this, he volunteered to go ahead and leave immediately for Vietnam.

More From John Page

Keywords   :     John Page    Special Forces (SF)    Vietnam    Mike Wildes    Fort Benning    Officer Candidate School (OCS)    Fort Ord    Advanced Infantry Training (AIT)    jump school    Fort Bragg    Fort Sam Houston    communications    Morse Code    Mike Bates

Videos ( 10 )
Vietnam
  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  5:08

    He had a high school buddy who was gung ho on getting into Special Forces and, when he was killed in an accident, John Page was inspired to follow that path. Beginning with the Florida National Guard, he had a long career in Special Forces and Airborne.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division  |  7:58

    When he arrived at the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, the squad leader got John Page all pumped up with fanciful talk about tomorrow's mission that involved climbing a mountain. He was assigned to a reconnaissance unit which was small and silent on it's missions. They could still get into firefights and he vividly remembers his first.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division  |  5:49

    John Page didn't run into many booby traps because his Recondo unit stayed off the trails. He talked to someone at 5th Special Forces group and set up an extension to serve with them after his tour with the 101st was completed. Before that happened, the Tet Offensive set the country on fire.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  5th Special Forces Group  |  4:53

    He knew right away how different it was. When John Page joined the 5th Special Forces Group at Phu Bai, he was greeted by a full colonel who gave him a classified briefing. It was nice to get a higher level view of what was going on. He was with the MACV Special Ops Group where his team included Chinese Nungs, very good fighters.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  5th Special Forces Group  |  4:36

    During secret missions into Laos, John Page would wiretap the communications lines running along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He used a new device that didn't require the line to be directly affected. The enemy was getting wise to these incursions, though, and stepped up the search for the Special Forces teams.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  5th Special Forces Group  |  5:12

    John Page recalls the time his Special Forces team had to hide from the NVA in pit viper infested bamboo. The mission had to be scrubbed and the team were extracted from the side of a mountain by a daredevil helicopter pilot.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  5th Special Forces Group  |  4:46

    After a mission, there was just camp life for a while. John Page would do dump runs or water runs. He moved to a new forward base and began to work with Montagnards on more clandestine missions. These could be stalled waiting for approval from the White House.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  5th Special Forces Group  |  5:07

    The Montagnards were valuable allies and for Special Forces team members like John Page, that meant you had to sit and eat their traditional food with them. This could get a little dicey. And you had to help them with their personal dramas. At one point, a group was put through jump training which had to be eye-opening for them.

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  4:17

    When he got home from two years in Vietnam, John Page noticed that the conversation would swiftly change whenever he talked about it. He continued in service, both active and in the Guard, for quite a while which helped a lot because he could talk to others who could relate to his experience. (Caution: strong language)

  • John Page  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  6:49

    After a long Army career in Airborne and Special Forces, John Page has something to say about the news media and the military leadership at the top. He also pays tribute to some of those he encountered along the way which made a big impression on him.

Showing : Vietnam Videos
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