Basil Plumley.

KlondikeFox
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KlondikeFox
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21 Jul 2011, 03:59 #21

Brian Siddall's massive collection of morning reports and orders
tells the true story.  Brian also phoned Mr Plumley yesterday and
confirmed that he agrees with the info contained in those reports.
Mr Plumley  was indeed a member of the 320th Glider Field Artillery Bn,
Battery B, which was equipped with 105mm howitzers.
He did not parachute into Sicily or Italy.  He arived in France at 2130 on
D-day via glider.  His Bn supported the 505 PIR, so he was a member
by attachment of that regiment, but technically never in the 505 per se.
Mr Plumnley arrived in Holland on 18 September, also by glider but was
seriously wounded the same day and evacuated, so his time in Market-Garden
combat was very brief.
Wikipedia contains incorrect information culled from Hollywood, which started
the false story that he had four combat jumps in WWII.  He is not responsible for
fostering those false rumors. Recent photos of him in uniform show him wearing
jump wings with stars for two combat jumps.  Those jumps were most-likely made with
the 187th ARCT in Korea.  Brian did not question him about his  post-WWII Army
activities.
The man is still a hero in my book and his actions at Ia Drang alone are proof of that.
It's too bad that Hollywood puts people in an awkward position, by falsifying what they
did, when the actual truth is more than enough. Then the veterans are in a bind, trying to
reconcile the truth, against massive public misconception. 
But I've been saying that on this website for the past decade.
Last edited by KlondikeFox on 03 Aug 2011, 05:13, edited 2 times in total.
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eeptx
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eeptx
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21 Jul 2011, 04:48 #22

Thank you for clearing up the mystery.
"My first night on French soil, I thought of my country.  I thought of the French people and I thought 'I gotta do something...And I did.'"  Otis L. Sampson, E Co.; 505 PIR; 82nd Airborne Division - Comment to me over dinner in Seattle,WA - 2009.
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Cimarron 44
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21 Jul 2011, 06:55 #23

Amen Mark on CSM Plumley's being a hero in my book as well. 
Paul Clifford
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adam517
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21 Jul 2011, 08:21 #24

Mark,



Thank you for clarifying the truth. Like you and Paul have said, the man is still a hero and I just wish Hollywood hadnt falsified his WWII career.



Adam
Ignorance means life is lost.
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KlondikeFox
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22 Jul 2011, 15:48 #25

Since most of the audience who saw "We Were Soldiers" will never know
the real facts about Sgt Plumley (and won't care), at least some good came out of
Mel Gibson's dialogue in that introductory scene in the hangar at Ft Benning.
It did make the viewing public aware that there were men in the 82nd who made
4 combat jumps in WWII, (even if Plumley wasn't actually one of them) and it was
a fine tribute to the original Paratroopers, who not only go-in ahead of other troops,
but it was pointed out that the officer (as jumpmaster), goes out the door of the plane
first.  In all, still a great movie-unsurpassed in many aspects and likely to remain so.  
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Cimarron 44
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22 Jul 2011, 17:12 #26

Agreed Mark. I attended a special Boston premiere of "We Were Soldiers" for 1st Cav vets, family and friends with my 1st Cav buddies who had fought in both of the Ia Drang battles. The film was introduced by General Moore's son, a LTC in the U.S. Army. It was a very emotional event to be there with those who had fought in the battle. You could feel the vets in the audience re-living the experience on the screen. When the film ended and the lights came up nobody moved for a very long time. Everyone was spent and drained and there were very many tears, hugs and knowing looks in the theatre. It was an honor for me to have been there with so many heroes whose story was finally being told.
In "after action reports" in the days and weeks that followed the consensus of the 1st Cav vets was that Randall Wallace had done an excellent job depicting their experience except for the ending which they said never happened and was pure Hollywood. They said that the NVA just melted away and that the Cav did "police" the battlefield which is when Rick Rescorla found the French bugle which the Cav guys believe came from French Mobile Group 1 that is shown in the opening of the film being ambushed and annihilated. The photo of Rick Rescorla on the cover of the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young depicts Rick during the policing of the battlefield. Another very sore point was that the film did not depict the even more horrific battle the next day at LZ Albany when the 2/7th was ambushed.
I posted this photo once before of Sam Fantino, Rick's RTO, holding the bugle. Sam is a great guy. he lives in the Chicago area. General Moore has the bugle now. It is destined for the Infantry Museum when General Moore makes his final jump.

Paul Clifford
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BD McMorries
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23 Jul 2011, 06:25 #27

I also want to thank everyone for clarifying this mystery.  Mark, Paul, Ellen, Brian Siddal... thanks even more, because y'all all took it a step further.  Especially Brian Siddal- amassing a library of morning reports isn't an easy accomplishment.  Paul, I'm envious of your story, and it would have been most remarkable to have been in the presence of such a moment.  Mark, thanks for putting some closure to this story.  I'm like you in my respect for Plumley, even though I haven't a fraction of your knowledge about all of this.  In my book, Plumley's an old Ironman Soldier to be carrying on like that for so long- most impressive!  I also agree that Hollywood screws up nearly as much as they bring to light.  Artistic liberty... I'd like to belt the bonehead that came up with that one.
Cheers,
Brandon D. McMorries
Tarzan, Texas 
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Mad River
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14 Oct 2012, 13:31 #28

Long before Randall Wallace changed the story there was a book. I'm sure your aware of ,We Were Soldiers Once...And Young.Written by Hal Moore and Joe Galloway. Moore's 2nd to last stop as a LT. General was as the Commanding General at the Military Personnel Records Center. So if he wanted to check up on Plumley the option was available. In the book when Moore met Plumley,  Moore states that Plumley was known as a 5 Jump Bastard. So that means Plumley stole a master parachutist badge, or he lied to Moore when he met him and lied again when they interviewed Plumley for the book. page 19 in the book and page 412 in the chapter notes. With all the attention Plumley got I'm sure he would have been called out by the Army if it was BS as the Army did not appreciate many parts of the movie. I am prepared to accept the fact that Plumley did what he said. I accept the book as the true version. I think a guy who takes an M1911 to a machine gun war and whose entire battalion fears him deserves the benefit of being taken at his word. Why would anyone ever want to talk about what they did in WW2. If you read enough about it you would know not to ask questions. Plumley was one of the greatest NCO's of all-time. Admired by many. R.I.P. CSM
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Cimarron 44
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15 Oct 2012, 01:56 #29

I just came from spending the day with one of my Vietnam buddies who served with CSM Plumley in the 1st Cav at the Ia Drang. We toasted the CSM as he heads to Fiddler's Green. My buddy
re-iterated that CSM Plumley was one of the finest and toughest soldiers he had ever seen.
May he rest in peace.
Paul Clifford
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lggaskin
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18 Dec 2017, 15:00 #30

Just found these Posts. I had a Friend Killed in the Battle at Ia Drang, Charlie Collier. I sent a Message to another of our Classmates who served in VN at the same time I did in 1967 and we both shared the the same thought after seeing Charlie's name on the Screen at the end of the Movie, Charlie would have been amazed and Embarrassed to see his name on the "Big Screen". My friend wrote a good story about he, Charlie, and me on the Viet Nam Virtual Wall.
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