The VVA Veteran® Online

Membership Notes, November/December 2013

photo by Tim Koeneman

The 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry Reunion In Washington, D.C.


More than 260 members of the 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry (RVN) Association gathered in Washington, D.C., from September 11-15. The association is made up of 835 veterans who served overseas with the battalion or attached elements from mid-December 1966 until mid-October 1970. Some eighty associate and family members also are affiliated with the association. Many were present at the reunion.

During the first two days of the reunion acquaintances were renewed. This is the most important function of the association. We also welcomed more than two dozen new members.

On Friday morning we toured Arlington National Cemetery and the World War II and Korean War Veterans Memorials. In the afternoon we visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the main reason why we met in Washington. We laid a wreath at The Wall to show our respect for the more than 250 of our brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. It was a very solemn and moving time for all of us.

On Saturday Gen. Tommy Franks visited with us and spoke about his experiences while assigned to the battalion as a young lieutenant fire support officer. He welcomed us home, answered questions, and conducted a book signing.

Our keynote speaker at the Saturday evening banquet was Maj. Gen. Willard Latham, who commanded the battalion beginning in September 1968. His message to each member was clear: Welcome Home, and always be proud of your service.

On Sunday morning we held a business meeting and a memorial service honoring the members of the battalion who have died since returning from Vietnam.

The battalion was activated in February 1966 when the 9th Infantry Division reformed at Ft. Riley, Kansas. From that time through September 1968 the mechanized infantry battalion was responsible for missions in III and IV Corps in Vietnam. From September 1968 until its departure from Vietnam in October 1970 the battalion was organized as a regular infantry battalion. Most of that time was spent in the field on combat missions. There also were stops for maintenance, refitting, and other activities at fire support bases at Binh Phouc, Can Giuoc, Rach Kien, Ben Luc, and in Cambodia.

The battalion served as a part of the 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division until the 9th Infantry Division left Vietnam in September 1969. Then the battalion served as part of the 3rd Brigade under the operational control of the 25th Infantry Division.

The battalion has a long and proud history in the U.S. Army; its service in Vietnam added to that heritage. Almost immediately upon arriving in country the battalion found itself in contact. The most recognized and documented combat operations include Operation Coronado V, the 1968 Tet Offensive in Saigon, and actions near Shakey’s Hill in Cambodia in June of 1970.

The 5th Battalion, 60th Infantry Association has been led from its inception by Lee B. Alley, William Metzler, Alan Kisling, the late Curtiss Hatterman, and Toby Chaffin. From the start the primary mission was to reach out to former members, bring them into the association, and welcome them home. We also wanted to interact with fellow veterans and their families, and to better understand what we did and who we are.

The first reunion took place in Denver in 2001. Reunions are generally held every other year. The next reunion will be in September 2015 in St. Louis. The battalion’s website is

Chapter 32 Honors the Forgotten.Parade Rest
Chapter 32 Honors the Forgotten.
Asheville, North Carolina, Chapter 124Operation Old Flag
Asheville, North Carolina, Chapter 124
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