Marshall Krumpe was sent to Vietnam as an intelligence operative. If there was anything worth knowing in country, the analysts of the 179th Military Intelligence Detachment would sort it out and pass it along: field positions, body identification, troop movements, targets worth destroying, people to kill. “We were in combat,” he says, “but we were there to gather information.”
Marshall’s job in Vietnam was to get in there and make sense of the darkness. Forty years later, his assessment of Vietnam is still grim. “I can’t fathom any reason why we were there. We did the wrong things when we were there.”
“We didn’t save the world from communism?” we asked. “I don’t think so.”
This interview is a production of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club. It was recorded July 2, 2014 at the Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Society, Tarentum, Pennsylvania. Interviewer: Kevin Farkas. Audio production: Kevin Farkas.