Life Through The Eyes Of A Young Soldier Serving in the 821st Safe Side Division in South Vietnam 1968
19-year-old Airman First Class Douglas L. Williams
This article covers the life of a young soldier Douglas L. Williams Sr. who served in the Air Force's Safe Side Program during the Vietnam war in 1968.
Life Through The Eyes of a Young Soldier Serving In the Air Force's Safe Side Program
In 1968, Airman First Class Douglas L. Williams was called upon to serve In the Air Force’s Safe Side Program. The Air Force founded the 559-man Combat Security Police Squadrons. This program was organized into three field flights. Three CSPS were trained and deployed in 179-day TDY rotations to South Vietnam. On March15,1968.
Army Air Force Military Police colored unit at Columbus, Georgia in April 1942.
The Air Force Dates Back To 1947
The Air Force has an affluent history which dates back to the year 1947. The Air Force was designed to effectively use aircrafts to insure safety through aerial power.
On February 12, 1942 the United States approved the British air defense strategy. General George C. Marshall, permitted the allotment of 53,299 African-Americans to the system established in June 1942 known as (AAF) the Army Air Force. Units were deployed throughout the European, Asian and African outlets designed to fight against local ground attacks. (AAF) were armed with rifles, machine guns, and 37-mm guns.
Back in the 1940’s segregation played out within our Country and within our Military as well. This setback in time launched colored units.
Out of the Army Air Force The Tuskegee Airmen emerged. Trained in Tuskegee Alabama, these were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African Americans who served in the U.S. military were burdened by the Jim Crow laws.
As timed past on the need for this operation reduced in 1943. In 1945 all (AAF) air base security regiments were discontinued.
Black Wings : The Tuskegee Red-Tail Angels
Instrument certificate for Tuskegee Airman Robert M. Glass, signed by Parrish
Airman First Class Douglas L. Williams Serving In The 821st CSPS Forces
Members of the 821st Safe Side Forces Off Duty
821st CSPS South Vietnam. 1968
Airman First Class Douglas L. Williams shares that racial prejudice during his mission in in South Vietnam in 1968, was not an issue. Men from all backgrounds demonstrated respect towards one another.
Moral dignity, united these diverse group of soldiers.
Williams described his squadron as a carefree group of men that enjoyed spending time together.
Unity In The Military Poll.
Does The Military Still Struggle With Racism?
Airman First Class Douglas L. Williams Served Alongside Respectable Men. (Shown Below Sergeant Gunner & Ally)
Soldiers Enjoying Their Downtime
During their downtime the fellow soldiers discovered a cook that knew how to barbecue. The soldiers ate and celebrated the chefs tasty cooking skills.
Soldiers Ate And Celebrated The Cooks Talent During Their Off Duty Break.
During Their Downtime Some Soldiers Danced to Keep the Morale Up. The Soul Train Line Past The Time
However When Duty Called All Fun And Games Subside. 821st CSPS South Vietnam.1968. Airman Douglas L. Williams Shown In The Middle On Top Of the The M113
Reporting On Duty
The duties varied among the Members Of the 821st Safe Side Division
The duties varied among the members of the 821st safe side division.The they were trained to operate The M113 a fully tracked armored personnel carrier manufactured by BAE Systems. The vehicle was first fielded by United States Army's mechanized infantry units in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 nicknamed the 'Green Dragon' by the Viet Cong as it used to break through heavy thickets in the jungle.
The M113 was created to be air-lifted and air-dropped, by C-130 and C-141 transport planes. The M113 was equipped with two crewmen, a driver and a commander, carrying 11 passengers inside the tank. Its main military weapons was a single .50-caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun which was operated by the commander.
the Air Force's 821st Safe Side Program Operating the M113
Operating The Small Arms And Infantry Rifles
A few of the weapons Used By 821st Division.
- The Colt M1903 pistol
- Smith & Wesson Model 15 (USAF M15) - carried by USAF Security Police Units.
M1917 revolver - Used by the South Vietnamese and USAF forces during the beginning of the war alongside the Smith & Wesson Model 10.
Some of The Rifles Used:
- XM177E2 - Popular rifle
- M16 Rifle.
Weapons Used In The Vietnam War.
Smoke Screen Diversion- One of the dutiful strategies enforced used to amplify an artificial fog of warfare, the visual deception was used to mislead the enemy
The tarpaulin, also known as a hootch by GI's was a makeshift shelter used to stakeout their surroundings
The Surroundings Captured During Surveillance Duty
Life After The 821st Safe Side Division
Moving On After The Call Of Duty
The 822nd CSPS was prearranged, replacing the 821st Safe Side Division in August 1968. The 823rd CSPS was trained at Ft. Campbell,Kentucky and replaced the 822nd in March 1969, remaining until August 1969. During the end of 1969, removal of U.S. forces took place and the Safe Side Program was discontinued.
Years later Douglas L. Williams Sr. moved on to become a decorated officer in the Air Force. His medals include the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars and the Good Conduct Medal with 5 oak- leaf clusters.
Williams enjoyed traveling having been deployed to several bases around the world during his Air Force Career which lasted for over twenty years, before retiring as an E-7, Master Sergeant.
William's son Douglas Lee Williams Jr. (Nicked named Serge due to Williams Senior's promotion as Sergeant shortly before his birth) followed in his dad's footsteps and joined the Air Force, later moving on to become a pastor.
The wisdom gained through the eyes of Douglas L Williams Sr.,is to do your best and practice endurance through faith.