Vietnam War US Sniper’s Photo Album 1969 – 1970 1st Infantry Division
This is the a very rare photo album assembled by Richard A Rees. Rees served as an infantryman in Vietnam from early 1969 to April 1970.
He served as a sniper for nine months, from 3 August 1969 to April 1970.
Rees enlisted in the US Army on 16 Jul 1968 according to the orders found in the photo album.
He attended Basic Training and Infantry Training at Ft. Lewis Washington in the Summer and Fall of 1968. He was then given 15 days pre-deployment leave in December 1968 to go home to Rancho Cordova, CA, all according to the orders found in the photo album.
The album includes a small newspaper clipping indicating that Rees had been sent to Vietnam as was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division.
In Vietnam he was assigned to B. Co, 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division as a rifleman according to documents in the photo album. He was reassigned to HHC 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry after he became a sniper. This allowed the Commander to deploy snipers as he saw fit.
in May and early June 1969, the 2nd Bn, 28th Inf was involved in the battles of An Loc I and An Loc 2 Rees participated in these combat operation and was awarded his Combat Infantryman’s Badge on 6 Jun 1969 according to the orders found in the photo album. Interestingly, these same orders also include many members of L Co. 75th Rangers, the 1st Inf Div’s LRRP Unit.
In June 1969, he was sent to the 1st Infantry Division’s in-country Sniper School as indicated by the photo of him and another student in front of the Sniper School sign and the writing on the back of the photo. Numerous photos with notations on the back identify him, other sniper students and sniper instructors during Sniper School. He has the M21 and the M1D in his hands in these photos. Other photos show the range, classroom, weapons maintenance etc. A couple photos show Rees “painting my gun in sniper school June 1969.” He wears both Jungle fatigues and ERDL camo in sniper school.
On 3 Aug 1969, Rees graduated sniper school as indicated by the photos of him graduating and the writing on the back of the photos.
In August and September 1969, the 1st Division participated in several battles along “Thunder Road” (National Highway 13) as the NVA tried to disrupt convoys.
In October and November 1969, the Division discovered numerous enemy base camps and caches of supplies and weapons.
On 12 Jan 1970 2nd Bn, 28th Infantry was told it would be rotating back to the US.
In April 1970, the unit redeployed to Ft. Riley, KS.
There are photos of Rees with his M21 sniper rifle in the field.
One photo has the Secretary of Defense visiting is unit after he became a sniper.
There are some R&R photos in Japan.
Rees became a dog handler in March 1971 at Ft. Benning, GA as indicated by the photos of him and his dog Rex in the photo album.
The album contains numerous original orders including promotions from E1, E2, E3 and E4.
Further research is likely to produce additional facts about Rees.
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