The 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam played a most decisive role in keeping the enemy at bay.  The division  engaged in an amazing number of combat operations during its deployment as evidenced by the fact that it was the only Division to be twice awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. The Infantry Combat units, the Artillery, Armored Cavalry , Combat Aviation, the Logistical units, such as MP's, Signal, Engineer,  Quartermaster, Intelligence, Supply &Transportation, Medical, Chemical etc. and Administrative and Headquarters Units including Intelligence, Psychological Warfare, Radio Research, Public Information, Weather, and the Division Band all contributed, in their own unique way, to the successful accomplishment of the Division Mission.  I believe it should be  mentioned that all these units and activities, however unique and separate in their individual missions, all had one thing in common.  They were all supported by the 709th Maintenance Battalion for the three plus years that the Division served in Vietnam.  The 709th was a very unique organization and its mission was not an easy one.  I have taken the liberty of writing a few lines about the 709th, the unit I served with From Dec '67 to Dec '68, one of the most memorable years of my life.  I sincerely hope that everyone will enjoy reading, as I did in writing , the following:






(The 709th Maintenance Battalion)


Its baptism of fire was on Tunisian sands

And in the rugged hills of Sicily.

It continued throughout the European Campaign,

In support of the 9th Division of Infantry.


American Awards and Belgian Citations

Were among the many WWII honors won.

It was the Maintenance Battalion, tried and true,

That the whole Division could depend upon.


The Infantry must Move, Shoot and Communicate.

That is their given mission in time of War,

And the Maintenance Battalion makes this all possible.

It ensures that the Soldier’s equipment is up to par.


The 709th found new glory in South Vietnam,

By providing Maintenance facilities far and wide,

Battalion troops found themselves ever in jeopardy,

But they stood their ground and never thought to hide.


Tan An, Xuan Loc, Dong Tam,  Bearcat, Ben Luc,

The 709th was always ready, always able, on the scene.

We repaired radars and radios and APC’s

Tanks, trucks, computers and everything in-between.


The motto of one of the Companies said it all.

And throughout the Battalion the Troops all knew,

A phrase that gave them the strength to carry on,

Very simply stated, it said:  NO SWEAT!  CAN DO!


Frank J. Montoya, CW3, SigC

Hq& A Co,709th Maintenance Battalion

Vietnam – 1967-68


Frank's E mail is


 Frank Montoya []




It's hard to believe that 40 years have passed since the TET Offensive in VIetnam.  When I stop to think about it, it all comes back like a video out of the past and I am playing a part in it as we all did back then.  Since it is the anniversary of that "Holiday", I hope you all don't mind if I post my poem about TET.  Thanks for reading it.  Frank J.



On January 31st 1968 the Lunar New Year Holiday Truce was violated by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong. The "TET Offensive" as it came to be known, was waged at an enormous loss of human life. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong dead totaled over 45,000. America and its allies suffered 4,300 killed, 16,000 wounded and over 1000 missing. Civilian dead totaled over 15,000 with nearly 2 million refugees.




There would be a holiday truce, the war would stop.
The Lunar New Year would be observed, as in the past;
But TET turned out to be a great surprise.
The Communists broke the truce... it could not last..

Rockets and mortars were launched in the early dawn,
By both Viet Cong Forces and the NVA.
The walls of the American Embassy were breached as well;
All Military Bases and major cities were attacked that day.


Thousands of South Vietnamese would soon be killed,
It was the bloodiest offensive of the war to date.
Over 6000 died in the city of Hue alone,
And American Military losses were also great.


Who can forget that night and that early morn.
When the rockets fell and all were mobilized.
They took defensive positions along the berm,
And waited for fate to decide if they lived or died.

When daylight came they stared in wonderment,
At bodies lying helter-skelter by the score.
Claymore mines had taken their goodly share,
And the Concertina Wire had caught many more.

At Khe Sanh our Marines remained under siege,
And fought hand to hand combat on Hill 881.
NVA regulars attacked in waves, relentlessly,
But our artillery finally forced them to break and run.

The Embassy attack "on American Soil" had made its point.
The media now said that the war was unwinnable.
"The tide has turned!" the protestors cried,
And being "Anti-War" was now most respectable.

But for the many who survived that grim campaign,
That holiday will forever live in memory.
And still today at times, from those days long past,
TET comes back again, to haunt their reverie.


Frank J. Montoya

9th Inf Div. Vietnam 1967-68

















Page started 1/28/2008

Last updated 2/25/2015