Interview with V. Dean Quillet, March 18, 1985

Project: American Veterans: Vietnam War Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Quillet describes Western Kentucky University students? attitudes toward the Vietnam War during his years as an undergraduate. Quillet discusses his reaction to being drafted and his decision not to become an officer. He recalls his experiences in basic training at Fort Knox, Advanced Infantry Training (jungle training) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the realization that he would be going to Vietnam. He explains what he believed he was fighting for, his family's reaction to his going to Vietnam, taking a commercial jet to Vietnam and his first impressions of Vietnam. He remembers his attitude on the plane ride to Vietnam, experiencing the heat and humidity in Vietnam and being assigned to Charlie Company, First Cavalry Division. He shares about his first search and destroy operation in the Highlands. He describes an ambush in November 1966 during which 39 men in his outfit were killed, and describes the daily living conditions in-country. He also describes his fear during the air-assault at night into LZ (Landing Zone) Pony without knowing who held it and the "beehive" rounds for 155mm Long Toms used during the assault. He discusses the accuracy of body counts, quality of American officers and the quality of the North Vietnamese regulars (NVA). He explains the difficulty of having no front lines and the positive aspects of limiting soldiers' tour of duty to twelve months. He recalls the overall morale of the troops and racial relations in the Army in Vietnam. He explains the lack of drug or alcohol abuse in his unit. Quillet shares his feelings toward the Vietnamese people, and what he knew about the treatment of prisoners by South Vietnamese interrogators. Quillet recounts his serious wounding by a booby-trapped grenade, meeting General William Westmoreland in the hospital, and his recovery at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He discusses the stigma for having been in Vietnam, what he learned from his Vietnam experience, and his participation in the Vietnam Veteran Leadership Program.

Interview Accession

1985oh094_vvk002

Interviewee Name

V. Dean Quillet

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

George Herring

Interview Date

1985-03-18

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Quillet, V. Dean Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 18 Mar. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Quillet, V.D. (1985, March 18). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. American Veterans: Vietnam War Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Quillet, V. Dean, interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. March 18, 1985, American Veterans: Vietnam War Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt71ns0kw38k