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Gary Burgard - Vietnam War

Gary Burgard was working as an instructor pilot in Jacksonville, Illinois prior to his induction into the U.S. Army in the mid 1960s. By April, 1968 he was serving in South Vietnam as an infantry sergeant with the 9th Infantry Division near Saigon. He then was transferred to a MACV (Military Assistance Command-Vietnam) team south of Saigon near the Mekong delta. Burgard was injured by enemy fire twice, and later received the Bronze Star Medal,and the Army Commendation Medal for heroism. He returned to the United States in March, 1969.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Coming Home

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Military training and early months in S. Vietnam

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Experiences with 9th Division & MACV

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Returning to the United States

Transcript


Photos

Caption

Gary Burgard, on the left, with his friend and fellow instructor pilot, Gary Watkins, stand next to a Cessna 140 after Gary’s first solo flight, circa 1962, at the Jacksonville Municipal Airport, in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Where:

Jacksonville, Illinois

When:

Circa 1962

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gary Burgard’s graduation photo from the Non-Commissioned Officers Candidate Course in December 1967 , at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Where:

Ft. Benning, Georgia

When:

December 1967

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Gary Burgard, carrying twenty one magazines and four to six grenades, crosses a stream in South Vietnam, circa May or June 1968.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

Circa May or June 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Lieutenant Eleston and another team member wade through a deep, fast moving current somewhere in the Mekong Delta in May, 1968. Burgard is holding onto the raft (actually an air mattress) in the background.

Where:

Mekong Delta

When:

May, 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

One of the two Purple Heart citations that Sergeant Burgard received, this one for wounds he received on May 27, 1968.

Where:

Unknown

When:

May 27, 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gary Burgard (right) stands with Lieutenant Eleston and Sergeant Garcia, who Gary credits with saving his life in an incident in June of 1968.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

June of 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Jimmy Broussard, on the left, and Philip Peace at Fort Benning, Georgia for the Army’s new NCO school in 1968. The Army needed NCOs, and was training recruits to become Sergeants in six months.

Where:

Fort Benning, Georgia

When:

1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Sergeant Burgard (right), Sergeant First Class Vaughn and two village children in South Vietnam during the Summer of 1968. The two children later attended a school that the unit members helped build.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

Summer of 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Sergeant Burgard after a briefing before a Huey airstrike, in January or near Kien Hung in the Mekong Delta region.

Where:

Near Kien Hung in the Mekong Delta region

When:

February, 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Sergeant Burgard's unit is somewhere on the ground near a Huey airstrike on a known Viet Cong position near Kien Hung, South Vietnam.

Where:

Near Kien Hung, South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968-1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

MACV District Headquarters in Kein Hung. The unit members rotated shifts monitoring the radio.

Where:

Kein Hung

When:

Circa 1968-1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Sergeant Burgard (right) with friend Jimmy Broussard smiling during some Rest and Recreation time in Australia, February 1969.

Where:

Australia

When:

February 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Captain Dickinson, second from the left, with the Advisory Team’s interpreter and other Vietnamese officers in Kien Hung, located in the Mekong River delta, in February 1969. Sergeant Burgard is on the right.

Where:

Kien Hung, located in the Mekong River delta

When:

February 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Captain Dickinson, on the left, who was MACV Advisory Team leader for Advisory Team 73, with several South Vietnam officers and Sergeant Burgard on the right, in early 1969.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

Early 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gary Burgard was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service for his participation in operations from March 1968-March 1969 with the 9th Division and U.S. Military Assistance. Command, Vietnam (MAC-V).

Where:

Unknown

When:

May 15, 1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Captain Phelps stands with Kien Hong of the Army of South Vietnam in 1969.

Where:

South Vietnam

When:

1969

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Gary Burgard and his wife, Judy in their home at the time of the interview. The two met while Gary was in training at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Where:

Burgard Residence

When:

February 13, 2014

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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