Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

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Francis B Melvin


Lieutenant Colonel

US ARMY - Retired

Born:20 Jan 1929     Died:8 Dec 2001



509th Signal Battalion, An Khe, RVN

Captain Bernie Melvin became the Installation MARS Director at An Khe on 11 December 1966 while serving with the 509th Signal Battalion.  Task Force Orange began forming in the spring of 1967 and elements of the 509th were formed into the Headquarters and Headquarters Company for what would become the 1st Signal Brigadeís, 21st Signal Group which provided the majority of the signal support to Task Force Oregon while it was in existence.  In April 1967, the battalion headquarters moved to Chu Lai to begin support to Task Force Oregon. In September 1967, the 23d Infantry Division (AMERICAL) was activated replacing Task Force Oregon. The 509th remained supporting this division-sized force until its assets were used to form the AMERICAL Divisionís, 523d Signal Battalion in January 1968. With the activation of the 523d Signal Battalion in January 1968, HHD, 509th Signal Battalion was inactivated in Vietnam. It earned two Vietnam campaign streamers for its efforts there.