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Papers and photographs, 1965-2007,

Author: William Rettenmund
Edition/Format:   Archival material : Photograph : Picture : Slide : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Papers and photographs pertaining to the service of specialist William Rettenmund, a Verona, Wisconsin resident who served as a flight crew chief and gunner with the 162nd Assault Helicopter Squadron during the Vietnam War. The manuscripts include military records, letters, identification and membership cards, newspaper articles, certificates, and ephemeral materials collected in Vietnam. His military papers include  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Photographs
Letters (correspondence)
Scrapbooks
Certificates
Color slides
Reminiscences
Memoirs
Personal narratives, American
Named Person: William Rettenmund; Russell Rettenmund; Richard Rettenmund
Material Type: Photograph, Picture, Slide, Internet resource
Document Type: Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: William Rettenmund
OCLC Number: 318547125
Notes: B1-2 (4-4-2) / B3 (29-3-1) / B4 (28-2-3) / B5 (CS 1-1-2) / ColSli B1, F18 (1-1-3) / Ov28, F6-7 ( 4-1-4) / Ov27, F10 (4-1-2) / PhN3, F117-118 (27-2-1)
Accessioned as Mss 2008.37, Mss 2008.38, Mss 2008.155, and Mss 2009.056.
Description: Papers 0.6 linear ft. (2 archives boxes and 3 oversized folders) and Photographs 0.4 linear ft. (1 archives box, 1 flat box, 2 negative flaps, and 3 slides)

Abstract:

Papers and photographs pertaining to the service of specialist William Rettenmund, a Verona, Wisconsin resident who served as a flight crew chief and gunner with the 162nd Assault Helicopter Squadron during the Vietnam War. The manuscripts include military records, letters, identification and membership cards, newspaper articles, certificates, and ephemeral materials collected in Vietnam. His military papers include service records, orders issued while in Vietnam, special citations and nominations for medals and awards, and maintenance inspection forms for helicopters. The letters are primarily those written by Rettenmund to his parents, grandmother, younger siblings, and a few friends. Most of the letters were written to his parents and discuss things such as the welfare of the family, life in the Army during basic training, and discussions on the conditions in Vietnam. Two letters (April 5, 1966 and July 13, 1966) describe his involvement in two helicopter crashes due to pilot error, and discuss how he reacted to the crash and helped others to safety. A few letters have drawing done by Rettenmund, including one of his friends in basic training (June 26, 1965) and one of Santa Clause, with his reindeer pulling a helicopter "sled" (December 21, 1966). The letter from Doug Murray, writer of the comic series The 'Nam, was written in response to a letter Rettenmund wrote about the comic. In the letter, Murray thanks him for the compliments and says that he was always glad to see helicopters arriving on the battlefield. The newspaper clippings include an oversized article on Rettenmund's service that reprints portions of two of his letters home. There are also clippings of anti-war poems and a quote from William Tecumseh Sherman saying "War is Hell," along with a humorous article about a serviceman trying to buy a soda in Vietnam. His ephemeral materials include two propaganda pamphlets distributed to convince the Viet Cong to surrender, and holiday menus from Thanksgiving meals. A particularly interesting item is a membership card for the Domain of the Golden Dragon, an honorary club given to servicemen who cross the International Date Line on a ship. Also included are his personal accounts written for the Madison, Wisconsin Deadly Writers Patrol, and also include a poem he wrote and dedicated to the men of the 162nd. The writings provide detailed accounts of his missions and experiences during the war, elaborating on his support and rescue missions, being wounded, and describing life in the Army during the war. Rettenmund also worked exstensively with the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in identifying the Huey helicopter in its Vietnam War display. A newspaper article pertaining to his investigative work, along with photographs of the helicopter during its service in Vietnam, are included in the collection. Most of the photographs in the collection are identified and include images of Rettenmund in basic training, in Vietnam, and at postwar reunions with former crewmen and families. The Vietnam images provide aerial shots of the terrain, villages, and military operations while flying missions. There are three photographs taken by Rettenmund while out on a mission that show aerial strikes taking place in the distance. Another image shows infantry engaged in a battle while his helicopter provides cover fire. Because of his work as a crew chief, the collection includes a number of images of helicopter maintenance and damage assessment. One very interesting image includes Rettenmund walking away from one of the crashes he mentioned in a letter to his parents. The collection also contains the scrapbook of Russell Rettenmund, a cousin of William's who served in Vietnam, too. Russell entered the service in 1964 and was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment while in Vietnam. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about the service of Russell, his brother Richard who also served in Vietnam, as well as William. It also includes photographs of Russell and fellow servicemen relaxing during basic training and while in Vietnam. A particularly interesting article in the scrapbook is one in which Russell gives his opinions on protesters of the war. In it he says that he was "all for free speech, but not when it threatens the national security." The collection includes service records for both Russell and Richard, two photographs taken by Richard while in Vietnam, and five additional photographs taken by Russell.

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Linked Data


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