My Avatar - What it means

  • I have used very few avatars in all the games I play on-line. My Crossfire avatar is a Blue Shield with four white stars arranged in the pattern of the Southern Cross.

    This blue shield and four white stars were used by the U.S. Army's Americal Division. The patch's nickname is "Under the Southern Cross." The Americal Division, of the United States Army was activated 27 May 1942 on the island of New Caledonia.[1][2] In the immediate emergency following Pearl Harbor, the United States had hurriedly sent three individual regiments to defend New Caledonia against a feared Japanese attack. This division was the only division formed outside of United States territory during World War II (a distinction it would repeat when reformed during the Vietnam War). At the suggestion of a subordinate, the division's commander, Major GeneralAlexander Patch, requested that the new unit be known as the Americal Division—the name being a contraction of "American, New Caledonian Division". This was unusual, as most U.S. divisions are known by a number. After World War II the Americal Division was officially re-designated as the 23rd Infantry Division. However, it was rarely referred to as such, even on official orders.

    The U.S. Army started using the 23rd Infantry Division (ID) right after the alleged "My Lai" massacre done by elements of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade (L.I.B.) of the Americal Division. The units involved were the 1/20th Infantry Regiment (Sykes Regulars); the 4/3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard); the E Troop, 1st Cavalry; and elements from the 156th Aviation Battalion. I met Lt. William Calley once while stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. We just happened to be in the PX Restroom at the same time and I mentioned to him I was in the 4/3rd and knew that My Lai was BS. He said he could not talk about it. All of the soldiers charged in the My Lai Massacre were stationed all over the U.S. pending trial. The famous Life Magazine photo that was admitted as evidence was and actual photo of people who were shot hours before the photographer said "I heard gunfire and turned around and took the photo." He actually heard gunfire but the dead folks had been shot hours before. Even in the Life Mag cover photo the visible wounds were mostly blood-free and dark. New wounds are always bright red bloody from a recently living body. The 11th L.I.B. was basically a search and destroy unit. Most of our maps had "Free Fire Zones" marked clearly on the map, even though the U.S. Government denied they ever had free fire zones. Typical Washington CYA. The Americal Division in Vietnam had three Infantry Brigades: The 11th L.I.B. at Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Provence, RVN; the 196th L.I.B.; and the 198th L.I.B.; were all eventually assigned to the 23rd ID.

    Although I can still wear the 11th L.I.B. patch separately, the Americal Patch has much more history. It is a distinctive patch which is readily identified.