4 May 1969
Cacti Blue Awarded Unit Citation Honors
OASIS — Becoming a tradition in the Army is not an easy thing to do. But, in the opinion of Major General Donn R. Pepke, commander of the Famous Fighting Fourth Division, the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry is well on its way toward that coveted reputation.
The Cacti Blue forces were hailed by General Pepke and the battalion was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation in ceremonies at the Oasis, home of the 3rd Brigade.
"The Cacti Blue is almost tradition in the Army. They have done great things for a number of years, and especially during the Vietnam campaign," said General Pepke after placing a battle streamer on the battalion colors.
The battalion was cited for actions during the period November 1, 1967 through April 30, 1968. During this time, the Cacti Blue was under the control of six different brigades in the coastal areas of Vietnam’s II Corps area.
The unit was involved in numerous operations during this period and moved on eight occasions covering an area of approximately 600 miles.
The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry accounted for 716 enemy deaths. In addition, the battalion conducted activities with four allied elements ranging from Popular Forces platoons to the Republic of Vietnam’s Regular Army elements.
The victories resulting from these endeavors greatly stimulated self confidence, morale and esprit’ de corps in the Vietnamese units. While establishing an outstanding combat reputation, the battalion materially contributed to the Free World effort in the Republic of Vietnam.
General Pepke also had words of praise for the Cacti Blue efforts in the recent Chu Prong Mountain fighting. The division commander outlined the battalion’s achievements under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonels James Moore, Joseph S. Sulenski and James E. Price, the present commander.
"In the Chu Prong area your exploits again were outstanding. You killed many NVA troops, destroyed over 150 fortifications and the caches you discovered were sorely missed by the enemy," added General Pepke.
"All I can say is, I salute you and your leaders for your outstanding accomplishments in the past few months. Needless to say, I know that you will continue to write even a greater history in the coming months."
Photo caption: Well-Earned – Staff Sergeant Dale F. Depoy of South Bend, Ind., looks with justified pride at the newest streamer earned by the Cacti Blue. (Photo by 1Lt Jim Hughes)