Led by Love of Country
By: Daniel DeWald
Grey Feathers is the story of a combat platoon leader’s role and responsibilities in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam from 1967 to 1970. The story is derived from the countless after-action reports, personal observations and experiences, interviews, and 4th division magazine articles about this period of the Vietnam War.
The unit served was the 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, which was a highly decorated unit marked by a cloverleaf symbol of the 4th Division. It was nicknamed “the Braves.”
In 1967 when the unit was transferred to the border of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the unit’s main supply route in the field was highway 19, a road frequently ambushed and mined to hamper resupply efforts. The term grey feather was given to each man who served unselfishly in the unit, because all were battle-tested and watched each other’s back during conflict. It created a sense of calling and a satisfaction to serve. Battle scenes are described as accurately as possible, based on combat action reports. It is the intent of this book to describe the events and show how unselfish and brave the unit responded to overcome the overwhelming battle condition odds. It also shows the difficulties of decision-making under fire, whether by officer or enlisted man. The pressures of battle forced quick decisions and movements. Support units such as the helicopter gunships, F-4 Phantom pilots, supply transporters, armored vehicles, naval artillery, MedEvac helicopters, and field hospitals performed admirably and with distinction. All earned their Grey Feathers.