A Real Life Green Beret.

Harvey Gordon Brande: Rank E7/US army Special Forces Company C Det A-101 5th Special Forces Group. DOB 13 Nov 1936, Long Beach Ca. Enlisted in the US Army August 1954 served with the 72nd & 44th tank Battalions and followed that with a tour to West Germany in the 370th Armoured Battalion. Joined the Special Forces circa 1964 and served in Okinawa and then returned to Fort Bragg and served as a Special Forces medical specialist before he deployed to Vietnam, South East Asia and joined 5th Special Forces Company C. Whilst Brande was taking part in Op Blackjack Twelve 6th April 1967 he and his men tried to rescue the crew of a crashed air controller aircraft and Brande entered the plane wreckage even though there was exploding ammo to search for survivors but there were none. For this action Brande was awarded the Soldiers Medal.

On 7th Feb 1968 Lang Vei Special Forces Camp was attacked by the NVA during the Tet Offensive and Harvey G Brande was taken prisoner after defending the camp and distinguishing himself in battle. For his actions that night Brande was awarded the Silver Star and was awarded a further Silver Star for escaping his captors for Seven Days with another POW Dennis Thompson only to be recaptured. Given MIA status and identified as a POW in 1969 Brande was released in March 1973 as part of Operation Homecoming. Brande returned to army life after a hospital stay to recover from his injuries and retired from the army February 1975.
Awards: Silver Star with bronze oak leaf, Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star with V for Valor & bronze oak leaf, Purple Heart with bronze oak leaf, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with bronze clasp, Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 silver & 2 bronze stars and the Vietnam Campaign Medal, plus a Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation. He also gained his Combat Infantry Badge and his Paratrooper Qualification Wings. Compared to the Hollywood version of a certain fictitious Green Beret, Brande had been there, done that, not a lot more you can say about him really.

DSC_0007This I believe is his original issued Soldiers Medal. Manufactured circa 1945 by the Robbins Co. Attleboro, Ma. Possibly in storage in a quartermasters store until awarded 1967. Hand engraved.
DSC_0008Established by an act of congress 2nd July 1926 the Soldiers Medal was awarded to any member of the United States Army who shows a degree of heroism not involving actual combat with the enemy. The medal is highly prized by its recipients and may also be awarded to foreign military whilst serving in any capacity with the US Army.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA               5th Special Forces Cap Badge as displayed on the Green Beret.

HarveyGBrande

*Master Sergeant E-8 Harvey Gordon Brande, Det A-101 Company C 5th Special Forces.

*(Picture of H G Brande from http://www.veterantributes.org)

Author: James Findon

Hi I'm James Findon I live in Warwickshire, UK and my main employment is as a Maintenance Supervisor for a Global Real Estate Company. I have previously worked for the civil service on a United States Air Force Base in the UK and this developed my keen interest in American Military Awards and military history. I regularly contribute articles to military forums on the internet especially US Awards and equipment. I have visited some of Europe's battlefields and US Cemeteries including Normandy and Bastogne. I hope you'll enjoy reading my Blog as I've a passion for all thing US Military and for my sins I'm now an American Football convert, Green Bay being my team. Enjoy!

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