NUMBER 71                               ISSN 1941-7926                      SEPTEMBER 2015









FAIRMONT, WV   26554-3713

304-366-0022 (EVENINGS)


You can generate $2.00 for the LRRP/Rangers association

The 75th RRA will reimburse us for each 1st Cav LRRP/Ranger who joins the 75th RRA












PRESIDENT                            VICE PRESIDENT                  SECRETARY

John LeBrun                          Bill Carpenter                                    Stan Freeborn

932 3rd Street                                        713 Diamond St.                                 103 W, Church

Blaine, WA  98230                              Fairmont, WV 26554                          Laurel, IA 50141

604-764-9634                                      304-366-0022                                      641-476-3244               


TREASURER                           SERGEANT-AT-ARMS                       75th RRA REPRESENTATIVE

Bob Carr                                               Joe (Doc) Gilchrest                              Bill Anton

4256 London Lane                             253 Jackson Lane                                               4129 Karma Drive

Colorado Springs, CO  80916           China Spring, TX 76633                    N. Las Vegas, NV  89032

719-392-5139                                      254-836-1382                                      702-648-9836                                 




Mike Gooding                                      Bennie Gentry                                      Ken White

10538 Alswell Court                           1347 20th St.                                         3834 Inverness Road

St. Louis, MO   63128        Tell City, IN 47586                             Fairfax, VA   22033

314-849-2379                                      812-547-4830                                      703-966-8079                                                                                 



Doug Parkinson

                                                                                                                                       PO Box 131

                                                                                                                               Bayside, CA 95524








June 26, 2015

To be eligible for selection to the Hall of Fame, a person must be deceased or have been separated, or retired from active military service for at least three years at the time of nomination. He must have served in a Ranger unit in combat or be a successful graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School.

    The LRRP/Rangers of the 1st  Cavalry Division

During the Vietnam War has two more member in the Ranger Hall of Fame.    Bill Anton, President, 75th RRA and H-75th member, announced that

CSM Jim Broyles, H-75th (71-72) and CSM Jim Regan E-52st and H-75th (68-69) have been elected to the Ranger Hall of Fame.  Their induction ceremony was on June 26, 2015 at Ft. Benning.

      This makes four of us who are in the Ranger Hall of Fame.  George Pacerelli and Bill Anton were previously inducted.


     Command Sergeant Major Jim Broyles  (H-75th ’71-’72) served in Vietnam with multiple airborne Ranger units.  He left the service to pursue a career in law enforcement before joining the Texas Army National Guard.  He deployed to the Balkins as CSM of a Guard unit before retiring at age 60 in 2011 with 30 years of combined service.

      CSM Broyles stated, “I am honored.  This was because of all my leaders, mentors and help I got over the years.  I am humbled to be among all those legends.”


      Command Sergeant Major Jim Regan served with the highly decorated H Company, 75th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) in Vietnam before becoming a Ranger instructor and an advisor to a Vietnamese Ranger unit.

      CSM Regan has comments about this honor in his “Chaplain’s Box” column on page 19 of this issue.





From Sam Dixon

ATTENTION EVERYONE:  If you are planning to attend the 2016 1st Cavalry Division Association Reunion with the LRRP/Ranger Chapter, there are several things YOU need to do. 

First:  If you are not a life member of the Cav. Assn., you need to sign up now.  It is only a onetime $10 fee.  If you need an application, I can email or slow mail one to you.

Second:  You will have to register for the Cav. Reunion.  It is only $20 if you do so before May 2016.  When the Cav. Assn. publishes the forms, they will be available through the Cav. Assn.  website (, the SABER, and our newsletter.  Because the reunion attendees will be mixed in with the other hundreds of guests, your official name tag will be your pass to the Cav. Assn. reunion rooms.

Third:  If you are planning to sign up for the LRRP/Ranger luncheon, you will need to do so at least 4 weeks prior to the reunion start day.  There will be a cutoff date for tickets about 3 weeks prior to start date.



Palace Station Hotel & Casino.

2411 W. Sahara Blvd,

Las Vegas, NV 89102

Phone: (800) 634-3101 or (702) 367-2411


      The Las Vegas Chapter of the 1st Cav Association is hosting this reunion.  So if you have any questions, contact Bill Anton or Ken Gallagher.


101 soldiery things

22. Endurance should be judged on the bayonet assault course and not on a marathon run.

23. How far soldiers can run in shorts is unimportant, compared to how far they can speed march with full equipment.




Page 3


From Bob Carr



start            12/16/14                        $12475.14     


 before 2015 reunion income

 dues merch&ect                               $1224.00



  webb site                                           [$98.40]                                

newsletter                                          [$691.00]                                      

hauensteins inc  merch                    [$1939.00]                                                    


tot al                                                  [$2728.40]


                           balance                                              $10970.40                                                       


income after reunion

 dues merch etc                                   $4071.03                         



beer soda                                          [$647.36]                           

 shipping to gentry                          [$157.65]                           

F.O.H.C.A.S.    for jim ross           [$100.00]                                      

1st cav scholorship fund                [$500.00]                                                    


 Total expenses                              [$1459.01]                                        


                            ending balance                                $13582.01




For LeBrun’s legacy webpage


Photos are still needed for the men listed below. We were really happy to have found so many on the Vietnam War Memorial website!


Arnold, Daniel R.                 Bell, William Brent

Burch, Kenneth Eugene     Holston, Arvell B.

McGhee, Dennis O.             Noto, Robert Joseph

Sprinkle, Thomas T.            Salminen, Paul John

Trotter, Douglas E.              Williams, John Charles


If you know of a photo of any of these men, please let John LeBrun know.




From Jim James

      Most of our heritage as a unit is well known.  However, there is a part of our heritage known only to a few.  I want to share that with you.

      In the September 2013 LRRP/Rangers newsletter, Bob Ankony provided an article on “U. S. Army Origin of LRRPs”.  The article provided a wealth of information but one LRRP unit was not addressed.  That unit was the Airborne Recon Platoon assigned to the 1st Combat Aviation Company (Provisional) located in Verona, Italy. 

      The platoon was an LRRP unit that served as the “eyes and ears” for the U. S. Army Southern European Task Force (SETAF).  They also provided target acquisition and battle damage assessment for SETAF which was a missile command.

      For the period 1961-1962 I was the platoon commander of the SETAF Airborne Recon Platoon. 

      Much of what became the structure, doctrine and tactics for the 1st Cav LRRPs I directly lifted from the SETAF LRRP unit.

      And now you know the rest of the story.





Bob Ankony has written extensively about Company E, 52nd infantry in Wikipedia.  Some of those writings have been in this newsletter.  As soon as he received the above information from Jim James, he included it on Wikipedia.


An encyclopedia is always a convenient way to settle a disagreement.  Bob should be commended for preserving some of our history.


He is still looking for historical information on our unit.   So if you would like to contribute, I am sure he will comply.



Page 4


From Bob Carr



start            12/16/14                        $12475.14     


 before 2015 reunion income

 dues merch&ect                               $1224.00



  webb site                                           [$98.40]                                

newsletter                                          [$691.00]                                      

hauensteins inc  merch                    [$1939.00]                                                    


tot al                                                  [$2728.40]


                           balance                                              $10970.40                                                       


income after reunion

 dues merch etc                                   $4071.03                         



beer soda                                          [$647.36]                           

 shipping to gentry                          [$157.65]                           

F.O.H.C.A.S.    for jim ross           [$100.00]                                      

1st cav scholorship fund                [$500.00]                                                    


 Total expenses                              [$1459.01]                                        


                            ending balance                                $13582.01




For LeBrun’s legacy webpage


Photos are still needed for the men listed below. We were really happy to have found so many on the Vietnam War Memorial website!


Arnold, Daniel R.                 Bell, William Brent

Burch, Kenneth Eugene     Holston, Arvell B.

McGhee, Dennis O.             Noto, Robert Joseph

Sprinkle, Thomas T.            Salminen, Paul John

Trotter, Douglas E.              Williams, John Charles


If you know of a photo of any of these men, please let John LeBrun know.




From Jim James

      Most of our heritage as a unit is well known.  However, there is a part of our heritage known only to a few.  I want to share that with you.

      In the September 2013 LRRP/Rangers newsletter, Bob Ankony provided an article on “U. S. Army Origin of LRRPs”.  The article provided a wealth of information but one LRRP unit was not addressed.  That unit was the Airborne Recon Platoon assigned to the 1st Combat Aviation Company (Provisional) located in Verona, Italy. 

      The platoon was an LRRP unit that served as the “eyes and ears” for the U. S. Army Southern European Task Force (SETAF).  They also provided target acquisition and battle damage assessment for SETAF which was a missile command.

      For the period 1961-1962 I was the platoon commander of the SETAF Airborne Recon Platoon. 

      Much of what became the structure, doctrine and tactics for the 1st Cav LRRPs I directly lifted from the SETAF LRRP unit.

      And now you know the rest of the story.





Bob Ankony has written extensively about Company E, 52nd infantry in Wikipedia.  Some of those writings have been in this newsletter.  As soon as he received the above information from Jim James, he included it on Wikipedia.


An encyclopedia is always a convenient way to settle a disagreement.  Bob should be commended for preserving some of our history.


He is still looking for historical information on our unit.   So if you would like to contribute, I am sure he will comply.



Picture from Cathy Dixon


If you kill for pleasure --- you are a sadist

If you kill for money --- you are a mercenary

If you kill for both --- you are a Ranger

Reunion attendees 2015


Back row, left to right

Tom Campbell, Chuck Windham, Wayne Okken, Larry Curtis, John LeBrun, Howard Shute,

John Hutter, Pat Lyons, Bennie Gentry, Jack Bowles, Doug Matze, Dan Roberts


Front row, left to right

David Russell, John David Floyd, John Trumbull, Stan Freeborn, Ken White, Sam Dixon,

 Richard Wilkie, Doc Gilchrest, Jim Regan, Bill Carpenter

Not pictured

Oscar Martinez,  Roland Garza




      Bill Kiel died on October 16, 2014 from colon cancer.  Interment service for his ashess were conducted on June 12, 2015, during the 1st Cav Division Assn. reunion, at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, Killeen TX.  He came home to the Cav.                  

      Jim Regan spoke at the service.  All LRRP/Rangers at the reunion attended the service.  A local veterans group provided full military ceremonies.

  Bill’s son, Brandon, Daughter Jessica and son-in-law Neil Russell were there.

     Jessica wrote; “ I was just want to say  Hey, My father died and he is special. I loved him with all my heart.  You gave me the opportunity to do this. Not only have you men honored a Brother of your own but help soften the bitter crushing blow of losing a beloved parent to a very sad lady. Your awesome. Thank you.

Jessica Lynn Russell-Kiel



James E. Rodgers, Levittown, PA died on May 12, 2014 from melanoma.

Note from Bobby Hoffman

Would this James Rodgers have been assigned to H/75th when we stood down in 1972? If so, he was on the last American combat mission in Viet Nam.

Very sorry to hear this news.


Bobby Hoffman



The last newsletter to Gary Patterson came back marked “deceased”.  He was born in 1936, so he was pulling missions as a sergeant first class Ranger at 34 years of age

    He died on Aug. 19, 2011.   Gary had moved to Viet Nam and married a Vietnamese woman who had been in the NVA during the war.  Getting the newsletter around the Vietnamese government and to him took a bit.  It was mailed to his kid in Alaska, who then snuck it in.




James Forest Ross, Sr., 68 of Apopka, Florida passed away on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. He was born October 21, 1946 in Vero Beach, Florida.

    Jim was on a brigade recon team in the fall of 1966, and went through one of the first Recondo School classes at that time.  He then came to the 1st Cav LRRP Detachment when it was formed up in January 1967.


A Professional

      Jim Ross was a quiet American who is a standout among America’s heroes.  He was one of the original members of the 1st Cavalry Division Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol / Ranger Company in Vietnam.

      As a 19 year old he was selected to command a LRRP team.  These teams operated deep behind enemy lines for seven to ten days without resupply or fire support.  Their mission was to find the enemy.  This was a very dangerous mission for a six man team.

      His efforts played an important part in helping the 1st Cavalry Division’s LRRP / Ranger Company becoming the most decorated unit in Ranger history, honors earned with lost innocence and blood.

      He has earned a place in the pages of history along side the likes of Kit Carson and Jim Bridger.

We salute you.

Rest in peace brave warrior and friend.

James D. James

Colonel, US Army (RET.)


From Donny “Skeeter”  Pettibone

    Jim & I were friends  as well as team members. He was my 2nd T/L & I pulled more Missions with Jim than any other individual team member during my (2) tours. He taught me the meaning of Fearless when we made contact with the enemy & moved thru our E  &E extraction with no losses. I had hoped to see Jim later this year, as we had agreed to spend some time together when I visited Florida this fall.  Jim was my brother in arms & a very good friend.  I will remember Jim as long as I live. 

Page 6




From  David Hamilton <>

      I am  David Hamilton, the son of Lester Ray Hamilton.  I believe you, my father and many other great men served courageously in the Southeast Asia.  I know from everything I have read and researched for years the time all of you spent in the jungles were both horrific and life changing.  First let me say Thank You!

      The purpose of this letter is to see if I can find anything out about my dad’s time while in Vietnam with all of you.  I want to know the truth, not any heroics nor any elaborations.  Just the truth.  His grandson will occasionally ask things like what did Papa do in the war, did Papa do bad things to people and if he did is he heaven?  I have no true answers for him, so I feel like I have to make something up.

      My dad and I went to reunion a few years back in Fayetteville, which is the only one he went to.  He wanted to go to others, but I could tell on the trip back home it brought some great memories back along with some bad.  If there is any knowledge you may have of my dad it would be greatly appreciated.  If you do not, could you please direct me to someone who may.

      I know if were not for men like yourself helping to keep my father safe I will be able to be here today to write you this letter.  My father passed away September 24, 2013 after a long hard fought battle with cancer.  For over fifteen years he was on dialysis and chemotherapy/radiation for almost four years.  The cancer was claimed to be attributed to Agent Orange.  Although he never really spoke of his days in Vietnam, he did speak highly of every man he knew and shared time with while there.  I know he was honored to have known each of you and to have never regretted his time as a draftee.  Even though he never spoke of his time in Vietnam, I know it weighed heavily on his heart, mind, and soul till the day of his death. 

Thank you,

David Hamilton




      Tony Schutty sent me an article from his hometown newspaper, the Newton (IA) Daily News.

      One day last winter, Tony was at the local American Legion and was talking to a couple who lived about 100 miles away and were just passing through the area.  The traveler was also a Vietnam vet, so stories were exchanged.

      Tony tells about on his first mission that ended with a chopper crash.

Traveler: “Can you tell me when that happened?”

Tony: “September 3, 1968”

The Traveler realized he had heard the same story and seen the same photos before.  “I know who was the crew chief on that flight.”  He then made a phone call to Alan Rhodes and handed the phone to Tony.    

Rhodes decided that a three hour drive was not too far, so he drove to Newton for a reunion with Tony.  They spent hours talking about things from 45 years ago.



From Geoff Koper

When I was in Nam there were three known strains of malaria, falciprium, malariae and vivex (spelling ?). Of the three only one could settle itself in your body (liver) and be basically incurable and liable under periods of stress to reassert itself. I had the vivex type and suffered recurring bouts for about the next 25 years. Recently I have experienced intermittent extremely high liver enzyme levels that were found during routine blood tests. I now have been diagnosed with auto-immune hepatitis. However after doing some research I found the vivex - liver link and believe that the vivdx camping out in my liver is causing my bodies immune response. My doctor who is a liver specialist does not believe that to be the case.



Page 7



From Charles Burckhardt

This is from a friend who was in Puff back then.

God Bless America & The United States Army.....


Cover your Buddy, so he can be around to cover for you.

Decisions made by someone above you in the chain-of-command will seldom be in your best interest. .

Sometimes, being good and lucky is still not enough.

If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

No matter what you do, 'the bullet with your name on it' will get you. So, too, can the ones addressed "To Whom It May Concern".

If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops probably do not have what they need.

Everybody's a hero...On the ground...In the club...After the fourth drink.

Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at the end of the day is better.

Thousands of Vietnam Veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A few were even awarded.

There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the rules.

There is no such thing as a fair fight - only ones where you win or lose.

Prayer may not help...but it can't hurt.

A grunt  (infantryman) is the true reason for the existence of the helicopter. Every helicopter flying in Vietnam had one real purpose: To help the grunt. It is unfortunate that many helicopters never had the opportunity to fulfill their one true mission in life, simply because someone forgot this fact.







This came from an email friend in Australia

      The Royal Navy   is proud to announce its new fleet of Type 45 destroyers.  Having initially named the first two ships HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless, the Naming Committee has, after intensive pressure from Brussels, renamed them HMS Cautious and HMS Prudence.

      The next five ships are to be HMS Empathy,

HMS Circumspect, HMS Nervous, HMS Timorous and HMS Apologist.

       Costing £850 million each, they comply with the very latest employment, equality, health & safety and human rights laws.

      The Royal Navy fully expects any future enemy to be jolly decent and to comply with the same high standards of behaviour.

      The new user-friendly crow's nest has excellent wheelchair access.  Live ammunition has been replaced with paintballs to reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt and to cut down on the number of compensation claims.  Stress counsellors and lawyers will be on board, as will a full sympathetic industrial tribunal.

      The crew will be 50/50 men and women, and will contain the correct balance of race, gender, sexuality and disability.

            Tobacco will be banned throughout the ship, but recreational cannabis will be allowed in wardrooms and messes.

Page 8

First Reunion

from Sam Dixon


      At this year’s reunion, 10 – 14 June, several guys took interest in who was at the first LRRP/Ranger reunion.

      Mike BRENNEN once told me to always start with the beginning.  So here goes.  Mike and Bonnie ECHTERLING and George PACERELLI had spent several years putting together a roster of who had served in the unit.  As they found people, the list grew because each person found had a list of names they remembered.

From winter of 1986 to early spring of 1987, there were enough guys willing to try for a reunion during the annual 1st Cavalry Division Association reunion at Killeen, Texas.

      There were 49 of us who braved the unknown to gather at a place called Killeen.  Very few of this group had ever been to Killeen before and I am sure that some who lived in Texas would not have gone to Killeen on purpose.

      In 1987 the town was still rather small and a dry town – no booze.  The only airport was on the edge of town, which is now near the center of the town.  The airport is still being used by small planes and the golf course next to it looks as though it is doing well.

      For all those who showed up and stayed and those who came but did not stay, this was no easy task.  There were 49 guys and very few wives.  The number 49 was actually how many stayed in one spot to be counted.  I know there were a few guys who just did not stay long enough for anyone to get their names.

      Out of the original 49, 4 are now deceased.  There are 11 who have never come back for a second reunion.  5 guys of that 11 do not have a current address listed on the roster or have had their address removed by request.

       It would be great to have the 6 with current addresses show up for our 30th reunion in 2016 at L as Vegas, Nevada.  Of the original 49, 4 guys have made most of the reunions:  Doug MATZES, who missed 1; Sam DIXON, who missed 2; Doc GILCHREST, who missed 7; and Bob GILL, who missed 11.  From the original 49, there have been 5 chapter presidents and many more will hold office in the LRRP/Ranger Chapter.

      The first reunion attendance would not be topped until 2006 when there was an all time high of 64 attendees plus wives at the Louisville, Kentucky reunion.

      Let’s see how many guys we can have at next year’s reunion in Vegas.



Page 9



From Charlie Burckhardt


 Hello all,

I am working through an internship in psychological counseling at a residential treatment facility in the Philadelphia, PA area.  I am honored to work in a sub group named FRAT (First Responders Addiction Treatment) that is only open to police, fire fighters, EMS and military veterans. 


It is my opinion that well over 90% of the men and women I work with are suffering from PTSD.  It is unfortunate that the facility deals with the addictions and not so much the underlying cause, in this case the PTSD that drives so much of the behavior. I am trying to fill that gap.


In general the folks who are in the FRAT group say that they can open up when they are amongst people who "get it" as far as their life experiences are concerned.  I believe that the setting and the support from the group is instrumental in helping them to get their lives back, and in turn try to help others.


If you know of anyone who such a setting may be helpful let me know and I'll try to find a similar group in their area.  There aren't very many, yet, but I hope this changes.

Charlie Burckhardt




Can you identify any of these guys?




Page 10

LRRP Team 1 Foxtrot Bloodies the NVA D114 Infiltration Group

October 30 – November 3, 1967

By Ken White


      Late on the afternoon of October 29, 1967, the 2nd Brigade issued a warning order to the LRRP platoon at LZ Uplift in eastern Binh Dinh Province directing it to deploy a reconnaissance team into the Soui Ca Valley at first light on the 30th.  A large NVA unit, possibly a company or larger, had been spotted by an aerial reconnaissance team from the 1st Squadron 9th Cav earlier that afternoon moving south through the jungle-covered Ho Son Mountains, south of the Crow’s Foot (i.e., Kim Son Valley).  The team’s helicopter gunships engaged the enemy troops in two separate incidents resulting in five KIAs.  Several hours later, a company from the 2nd Battalion 8th Cav made contact with a large NVA unit as it moved southward into the Soui Ca Valley from the Ho Son Mountains.  The cavalrymen engaged the enemy troops in a brief firefight, but were unable to fix them in position and the enemy troops broke contact and fled back into the jungle.  The cavalrymen pursued the fleeing troops and attempted to re-establish contact with them but were unable to do so, but they did succeed in capturing an enemy soldier and taking him prisoner.

      Papers found on the prisoner indicated that he was a member of the D114 Infiltration Group, a group of replacement troops fresh off the Ho Chi Minh Trail from North Vietnam.  The group was on its way to join the NVA Sao Vang (Yellow Star) Division in eastern Binh Dinh Province.  Nothing in the papers, however, indicated which unit of the Sao Vang the group would be joining or where it was located.  But intelligence reports from the district police of Hoi An District in eastern Binh Dinh Province, indicated that the Quyet Thang Regiment (18th NVA Regiment), one of the three regiments of the Sao Vang, had recently moved into the Phu Cat area of eastern Binh Dinh Province, somewhere in the southern Soui Ca Valley or Phu Cat Mountains, just south of where the prisoner was captured.

      My team, LRRP Team 1 Foxtrot, was the next team scheduled to deploy from LZ Uplift, so we got the warning order from brigade.  We were a five-man team that had carried-out numerous missions in the Soui Ca Valley and surrounding jungle-covered mountains in support of 2nd Brigade operations.  The team consisted on Sgt. Ron Holte, team leader, from Colfax, Wisconsin; Sgt. David Dickinson (KIA), assistant team leader, from Denver, Colorado; an RTO and a lead scout who would not be deploying with us on this mission; and myself, SP5 Ken White, team medic and scout, from Waltham, Massachusetts.  Our regular RTO and lead scout would not be with us on this mission because we were assigned two troopers (identities unknown) from the 101st Airborne Division.  The 101st was unable to get all of its reconnaissance troops into the Special Forces-run MACV Recondo School in Nha Trang for training in the time needed, so they sent some of them to the Central Highlands for on-the-job training with the 1st Cav LRRPs..

      Immediately after receiving the warning order, Sgt. Holte, Sgt Dickinson, and Lt. George Utter, platoon leader of the LRRP platoon at LZ Uplift, from Wellesley, Massachusetts, boarded the detachment’s Command & Control helicopter and headed to the Soui Ca for a pre-mission fly-over. The purpose of it was to find a suitable LZ for insertion of the team and to develop an operations plan that would ensure that we would find the NVA troops if they were in the valley.  If the D114 Infiltration Group was on its way to join the 18th NVA Regiment in the southern Soui Ca, it would have to travel the entire length of the valley, a distance of roughly 8 miles from where it made contact with the company from the 2nd Bn. 8th Cav.  With that in mind, an LZ at the southern end of the valley on the eastern side of the eastern ridge was chosen for insertion of the team.  It was chosen because it was believed to be far enough away from where the enemy troops would likely to be located to allow us to get on the ground without our helicopter being heard by them.  An alternate LZ was also chosen, but it would be used only in the event that the primary LZ was unusable due to enemy activity.

      At first light on the 30th, eastern Binh Dinh Province was firmly in the grip of the winter monsoon.  Northeasterly winds from the South China Sea were sweeping across the province delivering drenching rains and preventing the 1st Cav’s helicopters from getting off the ground.  It wasn’t until 1400 hours that afternoon that we got word from brigade that a helicopter team from the 227th Aviation Battalion at LZ Dog in Bong Son was airborne and en-route to LZ Uplift to pick us up.

      Our insertion into the southern Soui Ca was unopposed and we wasted no time in moving out.  It was 1500 hours and we were about one kilometer below the ridge on the eastern side of the eastern ridge in 5-foot high elephant grass. Once we made it up to the ridge, Sgt. Holte directed Sgt. Dickinson and the two troopers from the 101st to set-up a defensive position in a nearby cluster of thickets while he and I worked our way down the western side of the


Page 11

ridge towards the valley floor.  It didn’t take us long to find a spot that offered a good view of the southern end of the valley.  It was a grass-covered knoll that was roughly 100 meters from the valley floor and 400 meters or so from the river that ran down the center of the valley.  It was covered in elephant grass so it provided good concealment in addition to a good view of the valley looking straight-ahead and northward.

      Crawling on our hands and knees, we worked our way out to the edge of the knoll.  Sgt Holte pulled out his binoculars and started scanning the valley while I concentrated on scanning the hillside above and below our position for any enemy activity.  Suddenly, he turned to me white-as-a- ghost, and said “NVA troops are coming down the trail straight towards us.”  I quickly pulled out a small pair of binoculars that I carried in the leg pocket of my fatigues and started scanning the area.  The binoculars were not Army-issue like the ones that Sgt. Holte carried - I think I had gotten  them at a Vietnamese shop in An Khe or Phu Cat, but they were light-weight and powerful enough to give me a pretty good view of the immediate area.  There in front of us, no more than 200 meters away, was a column of NVA soldiers moving southward on a trail that paralleled the river about halfway between the river’s edge and the base of the hillside where we were located.  The NVA soldiers were wearing pith helmets and khaki uniforms, and were carrying rucksacks on their backs.  They were equipped with web gear and automatic rifles with those distinctive large-capacity curved magazines.

      The NVA soldiers were traveling in two groups.  I tried counting the number of them in the first group, the one closest to us, but I lost count somewhere around 25, but there were likely 35 to 40 soldiers in it.  My view of the second group was partially obscured by terrain features, so I was unable to accurately count the number in it, but from what I could see, it appeared to have about the same number in it as the first group.

      This was not the first time that we had seen enemy troops in the field, but it was the first time that we had seen such a large number of them moving in the open in daylight.  They seemed to be oblivious to the fact that there might be Americans in the valley on the lookout for them.  Maybe because it had rained most of the day and because much of the valley was shrouded in fog, they didn’t think they had to worry about being spotted.

      While I was busy counting the troops in the column, Sgt. Holte was on the radio with Lt. Utter back at LZ Uplift reporting what we were seeing.  Lt. Utter directed Sgt Holte to contact the Fire Direction Center (FDC) at LZ Uplift and initiate a fire mission with the heavy artillery battery there.  LZ Uplift was located about 16 kilometers northeast of our position, adjacent to Highway 1.  It was further away from the Soui Ca than LZ Crystal, which was about 10 kilometers directly east of our position, but it had big guns that could easily reach the valley.  Sgt Holte communicated with the FDC and I acted as his spotter.

      The first few artillery rounds exploded near the rear of the column causing total panic and confusion among the enemy troops.  Sgt. Holte and I immediately began to adjust the artillery towards the head of the column as the NVA soldiers broke rank and attempted to run forward to escape the kill zone.  More rounds exploded among the troops and those troops who could, scattered towards the river or towards the hillside where we were located.  The barrage continued for about 20 minutes.  A team of helicopter gunships from the 2nd Bn. 20th Aerial Rocket Artillery (ARA) followed the tube artillery barrage with rocket and machine gun fire.  But the nightly monsoon rain had already started and because of the low cloud ceiling and reduced visibility in the valley, the gunships were limited to making a single run at the enemy troops.  From our observation post at the edge of the knoll, we counted five definite KIAs and possibly thirteen more, for a total of eighteen.  We had no way of estimating the number of WIAs.  Sgt. Holte and I continued to scan the valley and direct artillery at targets of opportunity until the rain made it impossible to see anything beyond a few meters in front of us.  We then worked our way back up the hillside to the ridge and re-joined Sgt. Dickinson and the two troopers in the cluster of thickets at about 2100 hours.

      As a precautionary measure, we didn’t stay in the thickets very long.  Instead, we moved southward along the ridge for about 300 meters until we came to a large clearing at the base of some large boulders.  There we set-up our night defense position along the clearing’s edge and set-out our claymore mines.  We didn’t know if the NVA troops would try coming after us during the night, but if they did, at least this way we had a better chance of hearing them as they approached our position.  With the exception of the driving winds and drenching rain, the night was uneventful.  But at one point, at around 0200 hours, the wind and rain had picked-up to the point where we though we would have to tie ourselves to the thickets to prevent from getting blown down the hillside.

      On the morning of the 31st, the valley was socked-in with fog, so we spent the morning moving northward along the ridge looking for signs of enemy activity.  We had moved a distance of about 2 kilometers but didn’t come across anything of any interest, so at around 1100 hours, Lt. Utter directed us to move down the western side of the ridge towards the valley floor and set-up an observation post.  Sgt. Dickinson and the two troopers took the first shift while Sgt. Holte and I remained on the ridge.  At about 1600 hours, Sgt. Dickson and the two troopers returned to the ridge reporting no enemy sightings, so Sgt. Holte and I moved down the hillside to take our turn.  We quickly


Page 12

found a spot about 100 meters from the valley floor that offered a good view of the valley straight-ahead.  Sgt. Holte started scanning the valley with his binoculars while I scanned the hillside above and below our position.  Shortly afterwards, a lone NVA soldier appeared on the ridge about three hundreds meters above us standing under a tree.  He was most likely an NVA scout.  He was dressed in the customary NVA jungle uniform consisting of a black pajama top and khaki pants rolled up above the knees.  He had a carbine rifle slung over his shoulder with a bandolier of magazines wrapped across his chest.  He was looking directly at the two of us through a pair of binoculars.  Once he realized that we had spotted him, he took off running southward along the ridge towards the clearing at the base of the boulders where we had spent the previous night.

      Our presence in the valley had been compromised and we knew that we had to get off that hillside as quickly as possible before the NVA scout returned with help.  But just as we started to move out, a group of enemy soldiers appeared on a trail less than 100 meters in front of us moving northward.  There were seven of them.  One was lying on a stretcher and the other six were carrying him.  Sgt Holte quickly contacted the FDC at LZ Uplift to initiate a fire mission with the heavy artillery battery there, and again I acted as his spotter.

      Because of our close proximity to the trail, Sgt. Holte and I felt that it was too dangerous to try and move up the hillside to the ridge in daylight, so we stayed put for the next several hours and continued to scan the valley.  At roughly 1800 hours, a second group of NVA soldiers appeared on the trail in front of us moving northward.  There were five of them.  Two appeared to be wounded and were having trouble walking.  The other three soldiers were helping them along. Sgt. Holte and I were starting to wonder if maybe there wasn’t an NVA field hospital located north of our position.  Our topology map showed hootches nestled in several ravines on the eastern side of the valley, so maybe the NVA soldiers were using them as a makeshift field hospital.  Finally at 1930 hours, a third group of six enemy soldiers appeared on the trail moving northward.  Sgt. Holte and I continued to direct artillery at the enemy soldiers and it was only when the nightly monsoon rain made it nearly impossible to see more than a few meters in front of us that we worked our way back up the hillside to the ridge and re-joined Sgt. Dickinson and the two troopers in the thickets.

      For the next three days we repeated the previous day’s routine: moving north along the ridge in the morning looking for signs of enemy activity until the fog lifted, setting-up an observation post on the western side of the ridge, and then scanning the valley for signs of the enemy.  On the fifth day of the mission, the division’s helicopters extracted us from the valley and brought us back to LZ Uplift where we were able to take a shower and get some dry fatigues.     

       In mid-November, several weeks and several missions after this one, the LRRP platoon at LZ Uplift underwent a redistribution of its teams.  Sgt. Holte, at his request, returned to his original unit, Charlie Company, 1st Bn. 7th Cav.  Sgt Dickinson moved to the LRRP platoon back at An Khe and died shortly afterwards in a roadside bomb explosion east of the An Khe Pass on Highway 19.  I moved to the LRRP platoon at LZ English in Bong Son and continued to pull missions, mostly in the An Lao Valley and in the Da Dan Mountains separating the An Lao from the Bong Son Plains, in support of 1st Brigade operations.

      LRRP teams operating out of LZ Uplift carried-out numerous missions in some of the most hostile areas in all of Vietnam in support of 2nd Brigade operations for the purpose of gathering intelligence on enemy units and disrupting enemy activities.  This earned the LRRPs a reputation of being one of the most combat-effective elements in the 2nd Brigade’s operations against NVA and Viet Cong forces in the area.



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Ankony's book; LURP's


DVD's  1 James Gang

           2 Bear Cat Training

           3 Tribute To Our 

              Fallen Comrades

           4 History Channel LRRP's



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The $5.00 shipping charge covers only one or two shirts.  Donations are gladly accepted




by and about LRRP/Rangers

in Viet Nam


The Ghosts of the Highlands by Kregg P.J. Jorgenson, Ivy Books.  This is about the beginning of the 1st Cav LRRP/Rangers, 1966-67


LRRP Company Command by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson, Ballantine Books. 

The 1st Cav LRRP/Rangers, 1968-69


Acceptable Loss by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson, Ivy Books.  Kregg’s autobiography, 1969-70.


MIA RESCUE LRRPs in Cambodia by Kregg P.J. Jorgenson, Ivy Books.  One mission gone bad during the Cambodian Invasion.


Above All Else by Ron Christopher, PublishAmerica.  Ron’s autobiography about being the TL of the first team to pull a mission

as the 1st Cav’s LRRP/Rangers.

One-Zulu by Curtis “Randy” Kimes, published by author.  About one mission, May 7-9, 1968.

 Lurps: A Ranger’s Diary of Tet, Khe Sanh, A Shau, and Quang Tri by Bob Ankony

University Press of America, of Rowman and Littlefield Publishing group, 1967-68




For What It’s Worth by David Klimek, published by author.  Dave’s experiences during the Cambodian Invasion before he joined H-75th.


A Troop, 9th Cavalry by Ron Christopher. PublishAmerica.  Ron’s experiences with the “Blues” A-1-9 before he joined LRRP.



Page  14


From Chuck Windham





      Each year, during the open house at Camp Frank D. Merrill, six Rangers are nominated by the U S Mountain Ranger Association for the Fallen Ranger Memorial. The Rangers nominated have passed away due to combat wounds or of natural causes. However, with the wars in the Middle East winding down, most now are old Rangers who have passed on.

      This year it was my honor to nominate Sgt. William Deforest Kiel, who served with our company in 1971. Ranger Bill

Carpenter suggested Sgt. Kiel based on information received from his daughter Jessica Lynn Russell-Kiel. Jessica provided me with the information that allowed the USMRA to accept Sgt. Kiel's nomination and to have his name placed on Memorial Walk. He is the first Ranger from Hotel Company to be so honored.

      If a nominee meets the qualifications: ie (having severed in a LRRP/Ranger unit during war time, and/or a graduate of the Ranger school), their name is placed on a sign at the bridge across the Etowah River leading to the airfield at Camp Merrill. Ranger Students must pass this way many times during the mountain phase of the Ranger course.

      Each year, the name plates are removed and replaced by the next six nominees. The families may elect to receive their Ranger's name  plate or to have the name plate placed on the Memorial Wall at the Overhang, the base's NCO Club. Jessica has elected to have her father's name plate placed on the Memorial Wall. Sgt. Kiel's presentation was attended by his daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and son on April 25th, and the family also attended the internment of his ashes at the Veterans Cemetery in June this year at the company's reunion in Kileen,Texas. Most of the reunion attendees were there. Sgt. Kiel's presentation is listed on the U S Mountain Ranger Association web site.

      I want to wish our two newest inductee's into the Ranger Hall of Fame the best, especially CSM James Regan. Jim was my platoon sergeant in Vietnam. Way to go Jim!

Rangers lead the way.


      The U S Mountain Ranger Association  is a non- profit organization made up of those members who served in Ranger units during war time, or have earned the Ranger Tab. The Association is based at Camp Frank D.  Merrill, and meets monthly on the first Thursday of each month. The Association membership is free to all Rangers, and does not require any dues. The Association operates on donations from members and individuals. The Association is active in providing support for the cadre and their families at Camp Merrill, including Christmas dinner and Easter Egg hunts for the kiddies. The association also provides two scholarships to Ranger descendants each year, awarded at the Open house. The USMRA supplies names for the Fallen Ranger Memorial. Six each year. Every Ranger student will pass by the memorial several times during the Mountain Patrol Phase of training. No other military organization honors their fallen in such a manor.

      Each year at the Camp's Open House, members provide a fish fry on Friday, and a Critter Cookout on Saturday, which feeds hundreds who attend. The ceremonies precede the cookout on Saturday, after the base's cadre has entertained the attendee's with demonstrations of the ability of world class light infantry soldiers performing before live audience. It is amazing to watch the instructors demonstrate the skill necessary to become a modern day Rangers, and is quite an event. Check us out on our web site: U S Mountain Ranger Association. Org

      Join our Association, and come to Camp Merrill at least once.

Chuck Windham, Vice President

U S Mountain Ranger Association

Page 15 

MACV Recondo School

Submitted by Doug Parkinson

This material is from Major James F. Gebhardt (Retired),

Eyes Behind the Lines: US Army Long-Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance Units,

Combat Studies Institute Press, Fort Leavenworth, KS, 2005, Chapter 3.


      MACV Recondo School was a product of the 5th Special Forces Group, created expressly for the purpose of training soldiers from all the free-world forces in the art and science of long-range reconnaissance techniques. General William Westmoreland formally approved the school's creation in a message to the 5th Special Forces Group commander of 4 September 1966. The facilities and instructor group in Nha Trang had previously been used to train reconnaissance teams for Project DELTA, a Special Forces and South Vietnamese Army enterprise that had conducted special operations in Viet Cong-controlled areas since late 1964.

      The course taught at MACV Recondo School was three weeks in length, with 260 hours of classroom and field instruction. It was made available to all free-world forces, resulting in the attendance of Vietnamese, Korean, Australian, Thai, and Republic of the Philippines soldiers and airmen, along with personnel from all branches of the US Armed Forces. The typical class size was 60 students, with a new class intake every two weeks. Due to the high academic and physical demands of the course, the dropout rate over time was about 30 percent. Graduates returned to their parent units and were then subject to being re-assigned to a LRRP/LRP/Ranger unit for the remainder of their in-country time.

      The prerequisites for attendance at MACV Recondo School were listed in USARV Regulation 350-2:

• Must be a volunteer and possess a combat-arms MOS.

• Must have been in country for one month and have six months' retainability after graduation.

• Assignment to a LRRP unit is anticipated.

• Must be proficient in general military subjects.

      Because non-graduates and graduates alike returned to their parent units, it was in the best interest of units to fill their quotas with carefully selected students. On the other hand, many LRRP soldiers were not afforded the opportunity to attend MACV Recondo School. General Peers, 4th Infantry Division commander, briefing other senior commanders on LRRP issues in September 1967, stated that “Due to the quotas for the school and to the rapid turnover of personnel, only about one out of every five of our [4th Infantry Division] LRRP personnel ever attend the Recondo School.”

      Students arrived at the school with their personal assigned weapon and load-bearing equipment (LBE), and with a prescribed number of loaded magazines and hand grenades. The school provided a standard issue of required special equipment, along with a 30-pound sandbag. The sandbag was carried in the student's rucksack at all times and was subject to being weighed by any instructor at any time. Students were formed into five-man teams and assigned an instructor/adviser, who advised and evaluated the team throughout the course.

      Every morning began with physical conditioning before breakfast. In September 1967, this meant a modest period of calisthenics followed by conditioning marches in week one. The marches began at a distance of two miles on Monday and increased to seven miles on Saturday, with a required completion time of under 90 minutes for the 7-mile march. Students carried their rifles and wore all of their LBE with rucksack, four full 1-quart canteens, and their sandbag for these marches. Students who failed to make the grade physically were returned to their units after the first week. Physical conditioning during the second week employed a formation run in place of the forced march, and the weapons, LBE, and rucksacks with sandbags were left in the barracks.


MACV Recondo School's curriculum contained the following major subject blocks and time allocation in the spring of 1967:

• Administration-15:00      • Weapons Training-15:10

• Physical Training-14:20  • Air Operations-18:30

• Medical-3:30                     • Combat Operations-112:40

• Communications-8:30    • Land Navigation-15:30

• Intelligence-4:40               • Quizzes, examinations, and critiques-6:30

• Patrol Training-62:40       • Commandant's Time-13:00

Of the total 288 hours, 45:30 was concurrent training in patrolling, weapons training, and air operations.


Page 16

   The first week of formal instruction was conducted in a classroom on the school compound. The second week was spent in training areas outside the compound on practical subjects, such as weapons firing, tower and helicopter rappelling, and other field activities. The third week was spent in preparing and conducting an actual instructor-led combat patrol in a relatively safe jungle environment. These patrols occasionally made contact with enemy forces and resulted in the wounding and death of both US and enemy personnel.

      Upon completion of MACV Recondo School, graduates were awarded a certificate with a Recondo number and a Recondo patch to wear on their right pocket while in country, then were sent back to their parent unit for possible assignment to a LRRP/LRP/Ranger unit.

      While the typical Recondo School class was comprised of enlisted and NCO personnel from all services and a few foreign armies, company-grade officers were also permitted to attend. The list of graduates by class shows on average two or three lieutenants and the occasional captain in a graduating class of 40-45 students.

      All seating in the school was set aside in October and November 1967 to train personnel for the LRP companies of Company E (LRP), 20th Infantry (I Field Force) and Company F (LRP), 51st Infantry (II Field Force) in four truncated classes. A total of 333 personnel were trained, but did not complete all the requirements for graduation and therefore were not awarded Recondo numbers.

      MACV Recondo School graduated 2,700 US students and also trained the 333 additional personnel mentioned above, for a total of about 3,000 US personnel between September 1966 and December 1970.  But the school's training impact was far greater than sheer numbers. The training conducted in LRRP units around the country was inextricably linked to MACV Recondo School training. Most units required their soldiers to have demonstrated aptitude and ability to conduct LRRP operations before they sent them to Recondo School. These units conducted training to qualify soldiers for LRRP duty and also to prepare them for success at Recondo School, based on their knowledge of its physical- and academic-training standards. This pre-screening provided the special forces instructors at Nha Trang with better students, and undoubtedly raised the standard of Recondo School graduates.

      MACV Recondo School, in turn, with its comprehensive and detailed classroom and field curriculum and rigorous physical conditioning, defined a common set of TTP for all LRRP units in Vietnam, irrespective of their mission or operating terrain. The importance of this common set of standards cannot be overemphasized. Graduates left Nha Trang with their mental and physical rucksacks full of knowledge of the intimate details of LRRP activities. They took back to their units the paper handouts used by the school in academic instruction. They incorporated sandbags in their unit physical conditioning training.  Primarily as a consequence of Recondo School training, every LRRP unit in Vietnam spoke a common language of long-range patrolling



From Bill Carpenter


     The LRRP/Rangers received a couple of compliments from guys who were not REMFs.

      The first was from an infantryman who did a tour with the 8th Cav.  His unit was overrun three times in the year he was there.  He picked up a couple of medals, but no Purple Heart. 

      He said,  “I didn’t know much about the LRRPs, other than they were ‘out there’ somewhere.”

     The second was from a Ranger who was wounded at the recovery site of the second chopper shot down in the “Black Hawk Down” events in Somalia.  He referred to us as “legends”. Another comment from him was, “I don’t know if I could do what you guys did.”

      I will have to admit that both comments made my day.


      Some of you may have gotten a flyer in the mail from “US Wings”.  A web site called “tiny url” has maps of Viet Nam with all of the military bases located on them, even the fire bases.  The webpages are http:/ and http:/  Apparently this was put together by a Viet Nam vet. 


            Just to let everybody know that after a severely broken thigh and two prosthetic knees finally getting me on my feet, I'm back. I took the fall in February. At 76, gettin' old ain't for sissies.

John (Greek) Simones


            There are a lot of emails bouncing around about back injuries in Nam.  Vertical extractions are a common culprit.

      The big problem is that the VA refuses to consider back injuries for disability evaluations.  When I was evaluated for my back, the word “back” is not in the final written evaluation anywhere, even though radiographs showing  spinal stenosis is in the report.  





Attendance was down, there were only 24 of us.  I don’t know what the total was for the division, but I just did not see as many people walking around as there usually are.


Jack Bowles wtires:

This was the second reunion I had ever attended. I’m looking forward to next year. Regret not attending more of them.   


Next year, Vegas, then back to Killeen in 2017.

Charleston, West Virginia got the bid for the 2018 reunion.  I have to admit that I had something to do with that.  You will like Charleston, it is just like coming home.  Leonard Lawrence, and 8th Cav trooper, has been trying for years to bring the reunion to West Virginia.  He was there to give the presentation at the General Meeting.  On Friday night he became ill and was taken to the hospital.  He checked himself out to be at the general meeting, but was not able to do the presentation.  Leonard died in a car accident in Arkansas on the way home on Sunday.  But he had succeeded in bringing the reunion to West (by God) Virginia.


I saw some faces in the hospitality room that I don’t remember seeing before.   Don’t be a stranger, come back next year.


      Late Saturday night, three recently retired Desert Storm veterans stopped in the hospitality room. 

One of them made the comment, “I was born in ’67.  When I was about 10, I started reading military history books.  Books about what you guys did in Vietnam.  It is the main reason I careered the army.   It is hard to believe that I am talking to the men the books were written about.”

      Ken White gave them a good oral history of the LRRP/Rangers in Vietnam.  Of course all of it was true, As Bob Carr says, “We don’t need to make up stories.”

Strawberry Fields Forever




From Jim Regan


Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends, Family, Comrade in Arms, Fellow Rangers!

      Thank you for this opportunity.  This fellow is humbled and grateful for the recognition of being inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame. This Ranger is not standing alone at this podium.  All of my “Mentors, Comrades and Rangers” who I proudly served with are here, in spirit.


      From my Mom to the Nuns, Priest and … yes indeed … the crusty NCOs from WW II and Korea who;  cajoled, pressured, pushed, and indeed, PUNISHED this fellow to perform …not only to “Standard” but to excel.

      My first platoon sergeant, airborne infantry rifle company … would pull me aside, “Regans, don’t do that no more!!!”  After I had successfully “jumped mastered” my first load, our weapons, platoon out of a C-130 … again he pulled me aside, and said, “Regans, ya done good!”  WOW, I was on top of the world!!”

      Throughout my life, a “BLESSED & STORIED” life, the MENTORS were there for this soul.  NO, this Ranger did not always “EXCELL!”  There were FAILURES and LESSONS LEARNED!!  Throughout, though, the wonderful family of “THE ARMY and THE RANGERS” sustained me.  Lastly, I want to thank “THE BIG RANGER IN THE SKY!”  God bless you all!






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Tribute to Fallen Brothers


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