Vincent Sheridan Interview

Dublin Core

Description

60 mins, 1/4 in reel

Abstract

Sheridan was a WCSC student who joined the US Army in his Junior year. Enrolled in OCS and served as an officer in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. Sheridan was in the 362nd Signal Company. Sheridan speaks mostly about political issues around the conduct and perception of the war. The interview was conducted as part of the History Research Seminar at WCSC.

Date

1970-01-14

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewee

Sheridan, Vincent

Location

Time Summary

00-10min: Introduction; OCS; length of deployment 11 months starting October 1967; Army Signal Corps; Stationed in the mountains near Bao Loc in the central highlands of Vietnam; 362 Signal Company; long range communications; traveled all over the country; responsible for maintaining communication systems; Vietnamese troops used as military support; lots of interaction between Vietnamese; Bao Loc 180 miles north of Siagon directly inland from Cam Ranh; Enabled long range communication necessary; signal outposts were set up on mountains; needed to be defended; was there any press presence, one person; battle of Khe Sanh; Communications GIs get no USO; rotten job; Coverage doesn't reflect what is really happening;
11-20min: Tet offensive was painted by the press as being worse than it was; Censorship necessary in wartime; 2 GIs arrested for being critical of the military censoring too much news; Everything is censored; No censorship of the Kennedy assassination and riots; On top of a mountain asked to fire mortars; misfire blew up mess hall; the story was clamped down; not against clamping down on the story; My Lai Massacre; never heard of any massacres; not shocked that civilians were killed; Why did the whistle blower wait so long?; Who are the enemy?
21-30min: People get killed; Civilian casualties necessary; never heard of massacres first hand; morale level of Vietnam soldier high; Wanted to be there; Most American soldiers wonder "why me?"; They do their job; They know the military is a necessary evil; I don't think we should have been there in the first place; how do we get out; I went over because friends got killed; I knew my job; I didn't like being there; Didn't effect morale; Missed being home; How do we get out; Anti war is a good movement; I'm not in favor of moratoriums; Action in May of 1968; Interrogation of prisoners revealed that North Vietnamese believed that anti-war protesters were going to overthrow the US Government;
31-40min: Prisoner wouldn't be fighting if he didn't believe in the rise of the anti-war movement in the US; North Vietnamese soldier was 27; There are good points to the Moratoriums; One point of violence created propaganda; American soldier does his job; Small minority are anti-war?; Can US democracy work in South Vietnam - more so now than in 1967; Vietnam is a new country controlled by a number of countries; It will take time for Vietnam to become Vietnam; French influenced elite pushing for democracy; The government in Vietnam was trying to reach out to the people more; Vietnamesezation should have been done 10 years ago; Vietnamese soldier has improved; Some officers good; Nepotism big issue; Older soldiers corrupt; Good young soldiers; Corruption;
41-50min: Americanizing Vietnam?; Robbing its identity, no; Tokyo is New York; Nixon administration Vietnam policy; Nixon has the right policy; Johnston's policy flawed; Kennedy said it was Vietnam's war; How to pull out troops; Pull out slowly; We will be there a long time; 3 to 4 years to pull out; Win that war for us but put too many limits on soldiers; We should invade North Vietnam; China wouldn't fight us; Politics of limited war; Vietnamese view a single country; Ho Chi Minh; Civilian told of confusion about being shot at by VC;
51-60min: Tet created a change in Vietnam; American soldiers now good at guerrilla combat; Take the strings off and we would win; They lost Tet; Communism in North Vietnam unknown quantity; if they want Communism, they can have it; Some Buddhist prejudice and tension with Catholics; North Vietnam is Catholic; Prejudice is a funny thing; Not a military man; Offered to stay in Army; Coming home; Wanted to teach; GIs do a lot of work teaching; Wanted to go to school; Happy to come home; Junior at WCSC and signed up at Vietnam; Sorry I didn't go right after high school; World is different from WCSC. END

Citation

“Vincent Sheridan Interview.” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 16 Oct. 2015. Accessed on the Web: 19 Apr. 2019.

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