Top of page

Hector Ponton [2003]

Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: Cold War; Vietnam War, 1961-1975
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Service Unit/Ship: National Guard; 3rd Armored Rifle Battalion, 51st Infantry; V Corps; 2nd Battle Group, 39th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division; 3rd Battalion, 13th Regiment, 9th Vietnamese Infantry Division, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam; 2nd Bn, 503rd Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade; G3, 7th Infantry Division; 7th Army
  • Location of Service: Vietnam; Germany; Washington; Arlington, Virginia; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Nicaragua; Denver, Colorado; Far East; Korea; South America; Middle East
  • Highest Rank: Corporal; Colonel
  • Collection Number: AFC/2001/001/17195

View full service history

"It's been said that there's nothing more exhilarating than being shot at and missed." (Video Interview, 30:02)

Hector R. Ponton joined the Puerto Rico Army National Guard at age fifteen in order to attend their summer camp with his friends. Little did he know that he would spend the next thirty-six years of his life serving with the US Army, deploying to Berlin, when the Wall was being built; to Vietnam for two tours of duty; to the volatile Military Demarcation Line between North and South Korea; and to Nicaragua, when the Sandinista National Liberation Front overthrew the Somoza regime. In Vietnam while still in his late twenties, he served as an advisor to a South Vietnamese infantry battalion; seven years later, his duties were in operations, administration, and logistics. Ponton ended his long military career as the US Army representative in the faculty at Inter-American Defense College in Washington, DC, having learned to advise and command at increasingly higher levels while still holding sentimental feelings for his troops.

Interview / Recording

Transcript

        Loading...
    

About this Item

Title

  • Hector Rafael Ponton Collection

Names

  • Ponton, Hector Rafael
  • Albert Landry, Jr.
  • McNeese State University
  • Beckenbaugh, Terry L.
  • Beckenbaugh, Lisa L.
  • Alan Dickerson

Home State

  • Louisiana

Headings

  • -  Ponton, Hector Rafael
  • -  Cold War -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.
  • -  Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives

Repository

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

Gender

  • Male

Race

  • Hispanic

Status

  • veteran

Service History

  • Cold War

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Service Unit/Ship: National Guard; 3rd Armored Rifle Battalion, 51st Infantry; V Corps; 2nd Battle Group, 39th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
    • Location of Service: Germany; Washington; Arlington, Virginia; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Nicaragua; Denver, Colorado; Far East; Korea; South America; Middle East
    • Highest Rank: Colonel
    • Dates of Service: 1952-1988
    • Entrance into Service: Enlisted
    • Military Status: veteran
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    • Service Unit/Ship: 3rd Battalion, 13th Regiment, 9th Vietnamese Infantry Division, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam; 2nd Bn, 503rd Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade; G3, 7th Infantry Division; 7th Army
    • Location of Service: Vietnam
    • Highest Rank: Corporal
    • Military Status: veteran
    • Service History Note: Ponton served two tours in Vietnam, first as an advisor in 1962 - 1963, and the second in operations in 1970.

Materials

  • Video: Digital Betacam [1 item] -- Digitized Copy (collected unknown)
  • Video: VHS [1 item] -- Oral history interview (collected 2003-09-09)
  • Manuscript: Transcript [1 item] -- Transcription of video recording (collected 2003-09-09)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/17195

Cite as

  • Hector Rafael Ponton Collection (AFC/2001/001/17195), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image
  • online text
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

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:

Ponton, Hector Rafael, Jr Albert Landry, Mcneese State University, Terry L Beckenbaugh, Lisa L Beckenbaugh, and Alan Dickerson. Hector Rafael Ponton Collection. 1952. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.17195/.

APA citation style:

Ponton, H. R., Albert Landry, J., Mcneese State University, Beckenbaugh, T. L., Beckenbaugh, L. L. & Alan Dickerson. (1952) Hector Rafael Ponton Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.17195/.

MLA citation style:

Ponton, Hector Rafael, et al. Hector Rafael Ponton Collection. 1952. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.17195/>.