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.
This 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.
Established 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.
5th Special Forces Cap Badge as displayed on the Green Beret.
*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)
Update 25th September 2021. Melissa sent me the following message:
Its with great sadness that we report that Master Sergeant E-8 Harvey Gordon Brande passed peacefully in his sleep 8/7/2021 at his home in Fawnskin, Ca.
May he Rest in Peace.