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James A. Sawvell standing in front of tank damaged by a land mine.

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division; Company B, 4th Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment
  • Location of Service: Cu Chi, Vietnam
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/6036

View full service history

"I came into a compound and everybody was bandaged…and I'm going, What kind of \\nmeat grinder have I dropped myself into?" (Video Interview, Part I - 15:33)

When James Sawvell enlisted in the Army, he thought volunteering would give him the opportunity to serve somewhere other than Vietnam. But it was 1968, the height of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, and Sawvell's leadership skills were badly needed. Once he was in the field as a platoon sergeant, he didn't back down from danger, and he lost a portion of his hearing when his tank hit two land mines. Sawvell's turnaround was complete by the end of his tour, when he attempted to extend it. He offers vivid and detailed accounts of life on patrol in the jungle.

Interview / Recording

More Resources

[ DD-214, Discharge paper for James Sawvell ]

About this Item

Title

  • James Andrew Sawvell Collection

Names

  • Willie, Michael Lloyd
  • WRCB-TV Channel 3
  • Sawvell, James Andrew
  • Bowen, Sarah

Home State

  • Tennessee

Headings

  • -  Sawvell, James Andrew
  • -  Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • White

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division; Company B, 4th Battalion, 37th Armored Regiment
    • Location of Service: Cu Chi, Vietnam
    • Highest Rank: Sergeant
    • Dates of Service: 1968-1971
    • Military Status: veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1971)
  • Photograph: Copy photographic print [7 items] -- Photograph (collected 1969-1970)
  • Video: Betacam SP [2 items] -- Oral history interview (collected 2002-11-27)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/6036

Cite as

  • James Andrew Sawvell Collection (AFC/2001/001/6036), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/[VHP collection]), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Willie, Michael Lloyd, Wrcb-Tv Channel 3, James Andrew Sawvell, and Sarah Bowen. James Andrew Sawvell Collection. 1968. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.06036/.

APA citation style:

Willie, M. L., Wrcb-Tv Channel 3, Sawvell, J. A. & Bowen, S. (1968) James Andrew Sawvell Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.06036/.

MLA citation style:

Willie, Michael Lloyd, et al. James Andrew Sawvell Collection. 1968. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.06036/>.