Document Type

Oral History

Interviewee name

David Elliott


Kellie Pelletier

Interview date


Interview location

Minot, Maine





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Dave Elliott, interviewed by Kellie Pelletier at Minot, Maine, June 29, 1999. Elliott discusses being drafted in 1968, the same day as two of his high school classmates, receiving jungle warfare training for the infantry, being assigned to a recon platoon with the America Division, Echo Company, 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade; his first impressions landing in Vietnam, landing Duc Pho village, spending his first night on bunker duty, WWII C-rations and cannibalizing Claymore mines to retrieve material to heat water for instant coffee, going to Vietnam weighing 189 pounds and returning weighing 133 pounds, the lack of housing for ground soldiers. Elliott tells about a typical day in Vietnam, setting Claymores, going on patrol, the dangers of trip wires, the VC taking apart non-detonated 105 and 155 Howitzer rounds and scavenging C-ration cans that American soldiers neglected to bury, having jungle rot, giving Vietnamese children in villages candy bars and chewing gum, trading C-rations with villagers for eggs, poor hygiene in the field, coming in from the field once a week to have their fatigues and duffel bags discarded and clean uniforms assigned, being in fire fights, his reaction to his “first kill,” the death of his friend Terry Drown from Kennebunk, Maine. He and the interviewer discuss some of his personal photos, being wounded, being concussed, and the shrapnel still in his leg. He talks about life after Vietnam, getting married, and politics. Text: 40 pp. transcript, 8 pp. supplemental documents. Time: 01:49:18.


Part 1. mfc_na4492_01A
Part 2. mfc_na4492_01B
Part 3. mfc_na4492_02A


Military History | Oral History | United States History

Birth date

September 25, 1949


Rumford, Oxford County, Maine

Nation of origin

United States

Home state/Territory







Lineman, Central Maine Power

Branch of service

U.S. Army

Service Unit

Echo Company, 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade

Dates of service

September 17, 1968-September 17, 1970; Vietnam, February 1969-February 1970

Date of entry

September 17, 1968

Service entry


Wars & Conflicts

Vietnam War

Entry Rank

E-1 Private

Highest Rank

E-5 Sergeant

Exit Rank

E-5 Sergeant


Harry Everett (Terry) Theriault; Stephen Smith; John Wayne; Terry Drown; Lt. Meachum; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Frank Hall; Robert Friend; Hanoi Hannah (Trịnh Thị Ngọ); Ron DeGaulia; Terry Richards


Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam; Chu Lai; Duc Pho; Quang Ngai Province; Sydney, Australia; Bong Son Valley; Da Nang; Fort Worth, Texas


Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Guard Duty; Operational rations (Military supplies); Booby traps; Jungle survival; Prisoner of War; Rest and recreation; Military casualties; Military payment certificates

Collection name

Maine Vietnam Veterans Oral History

Collection number


Item number


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Dave Elliott, interviewed by Kellie Pelletier, Part 3



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