Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


William Kernan | 101st Airborne Division

6:03   |   When General Buck Kernan was a young officer going into Vietnam, he was hoping to be assigned to the 101st Airborne and he got his wish. Soon he was in command of Tiger Force platoon, a group of hardened specialists who operated in the deep jungle. There was no training that could completely prepare you for that. It was an evolutionary learning experience.

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Keywords   :     William Buck Kernan    Vietnam    Bien Hoa    101st Airborne Division    I Corps    North Vietnamese Army (NVA)    A Shau Valley    jungle    Tiger Force    counter insurgency    booby trap    Punji Stick    Improvised Explosive Device (IED)    infection    cellulitis    Cam Ranh Bay    Tactical Operations Center (TOC)    S3

Videos ( 4 )
  • William Kernan  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  4:00

    General Buck Kernan never intended to join the Army but the GI Bill beckoned and he followed. Once he was in, he was determined to be a Ranger. He was also determined to get to Vietnam before it was all over. He was mentored in his career by both generals and sergeants and he carried forward their lessons.

  • William Kernan  |  N/A  |  75th Ranger Regiment  |  7:08

    When he was serving outside the Ranger Regiment, General Buck Kernan thought mostly about getting back. When he did return, he began planning the operation in Panama that became known as Just Cause. After an unusual jump with the softest landing he ever experienced, he witnessed the courage and good judgment of two young Rangers.

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