Wendy Yothers, Jewelry Design, was commissioned by the Golden Brigade Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association to commemorate their service in Vietnam by creating a suite of regimental silver. Yothers designed a large punch bowl, 15 cups—each decorated with the battle crest of the units in the brigade—and punch ladles decorated in a dragon motif symbolizing Vietnam and engraved with the names of the commanding generals. She made the ladles herself; Mark Frankel, a colleague and silversmith from Williamsburg, helped crafted the large pieces from Yothers’ designs.
The ladle scoops are raised from flat sheet. And the dragon handles were first sculpted in clay, and then a scan was made of the sculpture. Then a version was 3D printed from the scan. Those versions were then cast in silver and handworked and assembled by Yothers. She traveled to Vietnam for study Southeast Asian art for this work.
The 3rd Brigade—known as the Golden Brigade because of their success in several military campaigns—was the army’s first response to the Tet Offensive. This year marks the 50th anniversary of their deployment, which was recognized at a ceremony at West Point on June 17.
This silver suite is part of the association’s Heritage Project. With it, the brigade has also commissioned a painting and a tontine box that holds a rare bottle of Woodford Reserve whiskey and a handmade glass for the last surviving soldier to toast all the others. The regimental silver will be brought out for every reunion. It will eventually reside in the Museum at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Fort Bragg is the home base of the 82nd Airborne.
For more information, contact Yothers, (212) 217-5736.