Willing & Able

 

 

 

Spring 2011

Association News

From Chairman Rauch;

 Fellow 320th "Redlegs",

I hope that the first few months of 2011 have been good for all of you.  We are only a few months away from our bi-annual reunion, 4-7 August 2011, at the Riverview Inn, Clarksville, TN.  We have planned the reunion to coincide with the 101st Airborne Division's "Week of the Eagles", and their return from a year's combat in Afghanistan.  It should be an exciting time to be at Fort Campbell.     

At our last reunion, we welcomed a great young group from The Berlin Brigade, E Battery, 320th FA.  They were a wonderful addition to our ranks.  Last year, I attended a first time reunion of officers of the 1st Battalion, 320th FA, of the 1970's, from the 82d Airborne Division. Hopefully, many of those participants will find their way to Clarksville. Remember, we are an Association of ALL 320th FIELD ARTILLERY VETERANS, REGARDLESS OF THE DIVISION OR UNIT YOU SERVED IN!  WE WERE ORGANIZED IN WORLD WAR I, AND ARE STILL GOING STRONG!!!!

I have a final appeal. Tom Walinski, our original webmaster, has announced his well deserved "retirement" in August.  We need someone to step up and take the guidon. There must be someone in our ranks that has the knowledge and skills to continue the great job that Tom has begun.  Someone to live up to our motto, "WILLING ANDABLE"!!

Hope to see you at a "sold out" Riverview Inn in August.


Frank Rauch, COL, FA, Retired
Chairman, 320th Field Artillery Association

 

From Rodger Jacobson;

 

Friends,

As you can see it did no good for me to announce in the last Newsletter that I was retiring as Editor and that the last Association Newsletter was my last. I’m still here but since no one is willing to step forward to relieve me I have been talking to several local Hazel Green people that will do the Editing for a Fee. I find it hard to believe that with the number of members we have that no one will step forward and say I am “WILLING AND ABLE” to take on this job.

 

I have heard that several of our members were thinking of possibly taking on the Webmaster Job but have nothing conclusive to report at this time.

 

Leone and I have the 2011Ft Campbell Reunion Logistics pretty well in hand. We are already entertaining the idea of a Ft Bragg Reunion for May 2012 with the 82nd Airborne’s “All American Week”. I have been a Life Member of the 82nd Airborne for over 20 years and Leone and I have attended several of these “AA Week” Festivities. It is a Fantastic Reunion. It will also give our 320/82nd Troops a chance to get together where it all started for them in Ft Bragg, NC.

 

(Note from Rodger)

We have information on 807 of the 320/82nd Troopers from the 70’s and 80’s on our Roster. Of these 250 are found with 20 of these listed as deceased. If you have email we will share these addresses and phone numbers with you if you just contact me and ask.  

 

 If I could take the time I now have to devote to the Newsletter and Search for these guys instead I could find 250 more of your friends for you in no time.

Your 320th/82nd 1970’s Officers held a Reunion at Ft Bragg, NC in May, 2010 but I have not heard if one is being planned for this year.

 

I am not sending the Reunion Registration in the Newsletters this year as so few that receive the paper copy attend. This will give us room for three more pages of News. The Reunion Registration and Week of the Eagles information will be sent to you upon your request per instructions on the Address Page of this Newsletter. The same information can be downloaded from our Association Website; www.320thfieldartilleryassociation.org

 

 Websites and Communications

 

A lot of our friends meet and exchange messages and information on “Facebook” and other websites. I do not have time nor the necessary talent to sort through all this information and keep track of you and your friends. I do miss making contact with many prospective members for the above mentioned reason. If you are one that is on these Websites please do all your friends a favor and send these new names to us. It is up to you, our readers to pass this information on to me or any of the Association Officers.

(NEED HELP) I signed into Facebook quite some time ago and my Grandson did this for me also. As a result I have two entries and need to delete one of them. I need help from someone “In the know” to help me correctly delete one of these entries. rodg

 

News From Other Chapters

 

The link below is the link to the Acadiana Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Chapter. Four of our association members belong to this Chapter as well as ours. I would like to add their address to our Association Links.

 http://acadianaairbornechapter.org/id6.htm

 

Mr. Jacobson,

 

Our Chapter member Rodney Trahan, an Army Retiree and an artilleryman for his entire career gave me the e-mail that he received from you.

 

You mention our Chapter member Mr. Latham Wells who now lives in Shreveport, LA.  He came to our 31st Anniversary Banquet in Rayne, LA with our Chapter member Ted Cox who drove him down.  We were very pleased to have him with us for the evening. 

 

We also have Mr. Carlton C. Johnson who was also in A Battery 320th Glider Field Artillery.  He lives in Krotz Springs, LA.  He is in his early 90's and doesn't come to our meetings as he once did. 

 

What era did you serve in?  I served in the 82nd in the early to mid 1960's on active duty and in the Army Reserves after that until I retired from that.   

Latham's address is:

8622 Line Ave Apt #50

Shreveport, LA 71106-6108

Phone number (318) 658-2646

 

Rilton Corvell has been a member of our Chapter since it's founding and was the Chapter Chairman at one time.  He has been a good member of our Chapter. 

If you would, please reply so I know that I have your e-mail address correct. 

Thanks and "Airborne"

 

John R. "Randy" Vidrine 
Chapter Chairman / Acadiana Chapter 
82nd Airborne Division Association
2424 Pierre Matte Road
Branch, LA 70516-3631
Phone (337) 684-6175
Cell Phone (337) 288-2730
e-mail: 
jrvidrine@aol.com  

 

WW II 320th Glider Field Artillery

 

Friends we have had a flurry of activity in the WWII 320th Glider FA since the first of the year.  We started the New Year with 250 names of our WWII friends on the roster and as I write this we are at 590 and information is still coming in daily. This Email to our Association Secretary Jack Johnston is what started it all.

 

I am a Dutch historian and I ask your help for two things.

 

(1) The past two years I have researched an event that took place on 18 September 1944, the second day of Operation Market Garden.

 

On that day a few dozen Waco gliders of the 82nd Airborne Division overshot the landing zone near Groesbeek and landed 1½ mile too far east, just beyond the Dutch-German border near the German villages of Wyler and Zyfflich. These gliders carried men, equipment and supplies for the 319th and 320th GFAB, and probably also the 325 GIR, the 505 PIR and the 508 PIR. According the “After Action Report” of the 320th eight gliders of B Battery landed northeast of Wyler.

 

Presently I am involved in the preparations for a local war memorial for the men who were MIA on that day and place. I have four confirmed names of the 319th GFAB (Capt. Doherty and the Privates Hedtke, Lane and Mills). However, there is one uncertain name of the 320th, namely Pvt. Homer Mills; ID: 35137404.  The websites www.ww2-airborne.us and www.market-garden.com both say that Homer Mills was MIA on 18 September 1944 near Wyler-Zyfflich, but that is not confirmed on the official website of the American Battle Monuments Commission www.abmc.gov In fact that website lists no missing for the 320th at all during WWII. So I hope that you can help me to clarify this matter, for the names on the memorial must be absolutely correct!

 

(2) A German source mentions that 31 American officers and men were taken POW from the gliders that landed near Wyler-Zyfflich on 18 September 1944. Almost certainly there were also men from the 320th among these POW’s, and two names that come up from the “after action report” are Lt. Butler and Lt. Schroeder from B Btry, who did not return from a location reconnaissance. So I hope that you can bring me into contact with any surviving WWII veterans who can help me to get this story right! Maybe a note in your newsletter would find someone. I also ask this on behalf of Elizabeth Doherty, the granddaughter of Capt. Doherty, who is working on a book and documentary about the life of her granddad and the events of 18 September 1944.

 

Hoping to hear from you,

 

René van Slooten   

 

Dear Rene;

      Homer Mills was probably MIA but remains were later recovered and claimed by his family for burial in the USA. Here is the information I found. There were 2 Homer Mills killed in WW2. One was a captain the other a private. According to the "U.S. rosters of world war 2 dead, 1939-1945". Private Homer Mills 35137404 is on the dead list prepared by the quartermaster general's office Washington D.C. I have a copy of the micro film record. It says he is in a West Virginia cemetery and disposition of remains was according to next of kin. There is an old Mills family cemetery in Wayne county and that is probably where he is.

      On Ancestry.com I found a copy of U.S world war 2 Amy Enlistment Records 1938-1946 for Homer Mills. It says he enlisted 28 March 1942, from Wayne county West Virginia and enlisted in Kentucky. He was born in 1919, his education was grammar school, he was a farm hand, he was married, he was 65" tall and weighed 138 pounds. His service number had not been assigned yet but I am positive this was him.

      I found on Ancestry.com the 1920 census dated 20 Jan. 1920 Homer at 6 months old with his family in Wayne county West Virginia, South West corner just across the Tug River from Kentucky. He is also on the 1930 census at the same location. They were farmers on both 1920 and 1930 census. He had 7 brothers and sisters all older than him. I called by telephone 2 Men named Mills over 65 years old in Wayne County. One of them said he recalled a Randolph Mills and family that lived around Crum West Virginia but did not remember Homer Mills. Randolph was Homer's father.

      If you wish I can send you paper copies of the documents that I have. Give me an address that I can send them to. I will pay the postage. If you need information in the future on one of our fallen soldiers let me know.

     My father went ashore on Normandy Omaha Beach on the morning of June 7 1944 with his Tennessee National Guard unit. His unit went in Support of Patton's army for the rest of the war. He survived the war and was twice seriously wounded.

      Thank you for all you do. Jack D. Johnston, Secretary 320th field artillery association, 25 Jan. 2011
 

Dear Jack and Rodger,

 

I will scan the ‘Market Garden’ After Action Reports of the 320th and the 319th GFA and mail them to you. And I will see what other information I have for you. I have a good aerial picture of Zyfflich, if you want that.

On Memorial Day last year I visited the graves of all men of the 319th and 320th who are buried in Belgium and Holland. For the 320th those are Lamm and Meyer (Ardennes Cemetery, Belgium) and Chapman and Hart (Margraten Cemetery, Holland). I took pictures of the graves which I can mail to you, but this year I will bring flowers too!

Attached is the picture of the grave of Robert L Chapman that I took last year. His grave has been adopted by a Dutch citizen or family (as are all graves at Margraten) and the adopters did bring flowers, as you can see. I suppose that they have also made contact with the family in the USA and maybe even with you? Adopters try to get all possible information about their heroes and use that information for websites where our liberators are remembered and honored, like www.fallennotforgotten.nl andwww.adoptiegraven-database.nl  For many Americans WWII is almost ancient history, but I can assure you that it is very much alive here! Taking care of these graves is a sacred honor for many. And American veterans are still the most popular visitors here!

More information will come soon.

Best wishes

René van Slooten

 

Dear Jack,

 I am really amazed about your expertise and very grateful for your quick reply. The riddle of Homer Mills is solved now, thanks! This information is enough and you do not have to send me the documents.

However, two questions remain and I hope that you can help:

1-Could there be one or more veterans in your association who were present at the landings near Wyler and Zyfflich on 18 September 1944? I am still hoping for stories from eye witnesses. I have the ‘After Action Report’ of the 320th and it says that 8 gliders of B Btry landed east of Wyler, but  Capt. Knecht, Lt. Ishee and 35 men found the way back to their unit during the night. It also says that Lt. Butler and Lt. Schroeder did not return from an area reconnaissance after the landing, so they were probably taken POW, because there were strong German paratrooper units in and around Wyler and Zyfflich who took 31 American POW’s. And on 19 September the ‘After Action Report’ says that B Btry is left with two officers and seven men missing.

 

2- The After Action Report of the 319th says on D+5 (22 September): A full report of the landings including report of the missing gliders and personnel was made to Division Hq. I very much want to have a copy of that report, so I hope that you can help me to find it? Do you know where the WWII archives of the 82nd Airborne are kept? 

 

But I have also something interesting for you. I have made an English translation of the published diary of the German officer Heinz Bliss, who was one of the German officers who coordinated the defense against the 82nd Airborne in the Groesbeek-Wyler-Zyfflich area. I have attached that translation to this mail and I am sure that veterans of the 320th will find it fascinating, because it gives a detailed account of the battle seen through German eyes.

 Hoping to hear from you

René van Slooten

The Netherlands

 

Rene;

          Yes we do have 320th GFA veterans on our master roster, Latham Wells is the only 320th GFA vet that still goes to our reunions and I have talked to Latham at our reunions and consider him a friend. He has a phone but does not answer it as he usually does not hear it ring. He was A Battery 320th GFA 82nd. Airborne and went in on a glider Operation Market Garden in Sept. 44. I am sure Latham would be happy to hear from you by mail. Latham lives alone he was never married and has no children.

         Latham Wells, The Gables at Spring Lake, 8622 Line Ave. Apt 50, Shreveport, La. 71106-6108

         Robert O. Butler is I believe the same as is on your report. The last contact we had with him is. He was an officer Robert O. Butler, PO Box 341, St. Francisville, La.70775.

         Albert C Knecht also is on our roster and others, I will try to contact those that list phone numbers and get permission from them to give their contact information.

          Carroll B. Ishee born in Hattiesburg, Ms. 23 July 1921 died Jan 1982 Ocean Springs, Ms. According to information I found on the internet he was awarded the Silver Star for Bravery while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in Europe. He was an Artillery Officer. After the war he was a lawyer in Biloxi, Ms. for a few years then went in to construction building custom houses for which he was the architect and his homes are highly sought after today. He and his wife Gladys had 6 children who still live around Ocean Springs, Ms.

          You may be able to find information at the National Archives in Washington, DC but you would have to go there or have some one go and go through their micro film which could take days.

         More to come later, Thanks, Jack

 

Yes Rene; Please scan and e-mail to me whatever after action reports and information you have. I will save them to our archives. I will be working on our master roster on GFA 320th vets, consequently about 75% or more of our 320th GFA trooper veterans on our roster are deceased. We will add the names from your reports to our rosters and try and locate them.

      I am copying Rodger Jacobson on this e-mail. Rodger is the founder of the 320th Field Artillery Association and in the early 1950's Rodger served with HQ Btry. 320th in Camp Wood Japan when they were in support of the 508th. PIR. The 320th and the 508 were returned to the USA and deactivated in 1956. They were reactivated in Jan. 1963 at Ft. Campbell Ky. and were and still are a part of the 101st airborne division. I was with the 320th June 1963 to Nov. 1964.

     One of the things Albert told me as I was talking to him is that when he and his men were separated and trying to find their way to their CP they took a chance and went up to a Dutch farm house. As luck may have it the farm lady was not German and she told him where the German machine guns were. With the Dutch farm ladies help Capt. Knecht and his men made it safely to their CP.

     Thanks, Jack

Dear Rodger Jacobson,

 

Referring to your last mail I have a question.

My involvement with the 320th Association is the result of my search for information about four missing men of the sister unit, the 319th GFAB. On 18 September 1944 a number of Waco gliders, carrying men, equipment and supplies for the 319th and 320th overshot the designated landing zone and landed in enemy held territory near the German villages Wyler and Zyfflich.

Four men of the 319th are missing since, and last year I took the initiative for a memorial for those missing heroes who gave their lives for the liberation of my country. It started for me when I adopted a name on the Wall of the Missing at Margraten Cemetery in Holland. It was Capt. John S. Doherty, Battalion Surgeon of the 319th GFAB.

In your recent mails I read that the son of Capt. Robert Stewart, the Battalion Surgeon of the 320th during WWII, has written a book. And because Capt. Stewart probably knew Capt. Doherty, I wonder if Mr. Stewart and I can share information? Can you give him my address, so that he can contact me?

Further I am pleased to inform you that I have recently visited the graves of all four members of he 320th who are resting in Holland and Belgium, and I will do so also this year. They are Pvt. Robert J. Chapman and 2 Lt David L. Hart (on the Magraten Cemetery, Holland) and 1 Sgt. Marion H. Lamm and 1 Lt. Emil F. Meyer (on the ArdennesCemetery in Belgium. I have mailed pictures of all four graves to Mr. Johnston. I can assure you that these four graves have been adopted and are well taken care of by Dutch and Belgian civilians.

Hoping to hear from you and/or Mr. Stewart,

 Regards

 René van Slooten

 

Hi Rene and Angela;

   Yesterday 2 Feb. 2011 I talked by telephone to Daniel Georgevitch, 6754 E. Kings Ave. Scottsdale, AZ. 85254, 480-443-8426. Dan was a fire direction control Sergeant T-5 HQ/320th. Artillery 82nd. Airborne WW2.

   Dan took part in the North African campaign with the 320th. 82nd. Airborne landed at Salerno, Italy, Normandy D-Day invasion, Operation Market Garden in Holland. Dan was a qualified paratrooper and jumped in but I don't remember if he said he jumped in all the operations. Dan had been a member of the 505pir at Ft. Bragg, Nc. before shipping over.  Dan was almost exclusively FDC for A Battery. He remembers the A Battery Comander was Capt. Brock and his Exec. was Lt. Robinson. He remembers Lt. Robinson became an attorney after the war and did very well at it. We never had contact with Robinson. Brock would probably have been Paul H. Brock of Tallahassee, Fl. who died in 1997. We had him on our roster, and now have lost contact with Paul's son.

    Dan was wounded twice and received 2 purple hearts. He and another soldier named Jimmy Bernardi (spelling?) from Youngstown, Oh. rescued several wounded men while under fire and they both were awarded the bronze star. Dan was not at Bastogne as his FDC section was ordered to a location that would enable them to control artillery fire missions on crossroads where the enemy was expected to be near Bastogne.

    Dan did not make it to Berlin as he had 5 points for the bronze star and 5 points each for the purple hearts which put him on a fast track to go home which he did.

    Dan reenlisted in the Army again after the war so he served a total of 7 years. Dan was from Chicago, Il. and he worked in the pipe fitter trade. Being a natural leader he soon became the union steward then worked as a union rep. until retirement. Some 30 years ago Dan Moved to Scottsdale, AZ. to enjoy his retirement in the sun.

    Dan is doing well but his vision is impaired. I made hard copies of the 320th. After Action report, and the Hienz Hiller papers and mailed them to him today. It is ok to contact Dan at his home by mail or phone but maybe wait a few days so Dan can review the reports I mailed him..

    Thank you, Jack D. Johnston, secretary, 320th field artillery association
 

News of The 320th 508 in the 50’s

 

This from an old email Dated 11 30 2001

 Hey Rodge, 
I am sure that there will be enough said about the GREAT JOB that Sgt. Montoya did on this last reunion, at least I would hope so! The pictures that we got with Mary Lou and others (such as Joan Ducharme) in their Kevlar Helmets, are definitely for posterity. 
The skit done by Bob Welch and Sgt. Ashcraft will go down in our history book too!!  What a fantastic time. Luckily for Mary Lou and me, we had a room just above where Joe Rollins and his old football buddies were hanging out, and I got to hear some of those familiar "stories" that we all remember,....only told a little differently each time, and ALWAYS much more colorful !! :>) 
God, I love those get-togethers. And, oh how I miss those guys like my dear old buddy, Chuck Leonhart....and others that have passed on! 
Best Wishes, 
Hank & Mary Lou Groat

 

(Note from Rodger) Hank, Do you mean Rolins and friends were so loud you could hear those stories through the floor or do you mean that you joined them and heard the stories first hand????

 

I talked to Lifetime Member Clem Humphrey B/Btry 320th 508 ARCT 29 Jan 2011. Clem, nor his wife are doing very well and are considering moving into a nursing home. Clem’s grandson is returning from his second tour in Afghanistan.


(I’m not sure this was ever published so let’s bring Monty back for another Chapter in his Military Career.)

 

From Past Chairman Joe Montoya, dated 12 02 2001

I think I ended my narration last, at the time I joined Btry "B" of the 675 Airborne Field Artillery Battalion of the 11th Abn. Division. Having just graduated from Jump School and being all pumped up about being a paratrooper I was ready to take on the world. What I found was a woefully under strength unit. It seemed at the time that our sole function was to serve as a replacement pool for the 187 ARCT in Korea.

 

My buddy Poncho Maldonado kept volunteering both of us for combat duty. Nothing came of his efforts, and the war ended before we were called. As I said the unit was under strength most of the 3 years that I served with them. My 1st Sgt was an E6 SFC, most of the gun section chiefs were E5 Sgt’s and some were Corporals. I was assigned to the FDC as a chart operator. As I remember there were two of us in the FDC even though the TOE called for 7 personnel. As a result we didn't do much training.

 

My primary function was TIE (troop information) NCO even though I was a PFC at the time. I did make Corporal in early 1953. One of the two times I was a Corporal, more on that later. Along with being the TIE NCO I was a Day Room Orderly and unit Mail Clerk. I spent a lot of time cutting out news paper clippings to post on the TIE bulletin board in the Day room. I had to screen all the posting to make sure there was nothing subversive in content. Hell! I didn’t know the meaning of the word.

I remember going to the field only once in 1952 for live fire. In 1953 we became a recruit training Division. I don't remember this as a gratifying experience. I was not trained for this type of duty, and as a result I think my trainees didn't get a full measure of what they should have experienced.
It was during this training period that we were levied for a team to help train the Pennsylvania National Guard during their summer training. Due to the fact that we had not been functioning as Artillerymen for a quite awhile
I wasn't sure I was up to the task of advising these citizen soldiers. As it turned out they were better trained than I was in artillery gunnery.

 

I made up my mind at this time that I was going to learn my job. I had to crack the books to do it. Soon after we finished training recruits we kept enough of them to bring the 675 up to full strength and started to really function as an Artillery Unit. After operation Ski Jump in Colorado we acquired a new Division CG, name of Smith.

He instituted some policies which we talk about to this day. The most I will say about him at this time is that the retention rate went down in the division and I took a discharge from the service in October of 1954. I had no intention of staying out of the Army. I used this as an opportunity to take a small vacation of about two months. After re-enlistment I was assigned to the 320th and thereby there is more to follow at a later time. I leave you with this bit of trivia
 
If you put Oil Of O'Lay on a raisin, will it turn into a grape?
 
Joe

 

I wish I had a copy of the story I was told about the above mentioned CG. It was about the Military wives hanging out their laundry to dry in a way that didn’t meet his approval. He landed his “Trusty Little Helicopter” as near the clothes lines as possible to give these ladies Hell. You can imagine the results of Clean, Wet Clothes on a line and a Helicopter landing and kicking up all that dust. I think Tom Strider told that story and if found I will print it. Rodg

 

Letter from our new Lifetime Member Kenneth Sprague “C” Battery 320/508 ARCT 1951/1953.

Iola, KS

14 Feb 2011

Rodger,

I’m glad to hear you are still checking out the 320th. Sorry I can’t be more help. William Stevens died several years ago. Gordon Rexwinkle was living at Altamont, KS five years ago.(Note from rodg) last I talked to Gordon he was at Edna KS.

 

After finishing Infantry Basic I volunteered for the Paratroopers (They were shooting at each other in Korea) and I made it. I was sent to Ft Benning, GA to Jump School.

 

Upon completion of Jump School we were assigned to the 320th FA as it was just being re-activated. I was in the detail section working in Communications.

 

Some time later (7 or 8 months) word came down that they were de-activating the 320th. Our Battery Commander Captain Brazil informed us that anyone with a “letter of acceptance” could transfer. I went over to an OCS Company school as cadre.

 

I finished up my time as a Supply Sgt (E-4)

 

 Ilost track of the guys after separation from the Army. I returned home, married and started farming, still actively engaged. I slowed down to 600 acres with a few cattle and the help of a son.

 

I lost my wife ten years ago but remarried five years later and moved to the small town of Iola, KS. Being 80 years old and of good health, I’m very blessed to be looking down at the grass instead of up.

 

                                                 Keep on “Keeping On”

 

                                                         Kenneth Sprague

24 Park Ave, Iola, KS. 66749-3102 Phone 620-363-4444

 

 

(Note from rodg, I have not researched this, but I do believe that Ken is probably the oldest member to be found that paid Lifetime Dues with his initial Membership Dues.)

 

Over the years I have had many guys frhe ARCT was being deactivated. For some rDecember 27, 1930 - September 18, 2010

 

Leonard died in Bellevue, WA at his home on September 18, 2010. Losing, after 17 months, the battle of fighting pancreatic cancer. At his side, at the time of death, was his devoted wife of 29 years, Faye Kraft.  Leonard was born on December 28, 1930 in Granville, N.D. to Joseph & Elizabeth Kraft, the oldest of fifteen children.  He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1952 and was chosen to attend OCS receiving his 2nd Lt Commission in 1953.  His many duty assignments included Japan, Germany, Viet Nam and various U.S. States.  His last assignment was as Assistant Professor, teaching ROTC, at Seattle University, in Seattle, WA.  He also graduated from St Benedicts College, Atchison, Kansas, with a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1979. He is survived by his wife, Faye, 2 daughters, 6 grandchildren, 5 brothers & 7

sisters, nieces, nephews and  many wonderful friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org) or St Benedicts Monastery, c/o Sr. Lorraine Kraft, Crookston, MN.  A Military Memorial Service will be held on September 28, 2:30 p.m. Tahoma National Cemetery.

Call Flintofts at 425/392-6444 for details on Celebration of Life after memorial.

For complete obit and pictures, log onto:  www.flintofts.com 

 

(Note) Enter Kraft in the Search Box. There are some great pictures of Leonard from different time periods in his life. Len was a great and faithful friend. rodg

 

News of the 320th 11th Abn. 1957/58

 

23 Jan 2011

From Pat Weissinger

I am not sure if you are the one to send these photos to, but will anyway. Please tell Mrs. Hennessey that I remember her fondly. Her daughter baby sat for my young baby, Ken. When she sat everything was always perfect when we came home. When I told Mrs. Hennessey, she said she told her daughter to always leave the house in better condition than when she came in. This was the best baby sitter I ever had and I know that Mrs. Hennessey's daughter is most successful in whatever endeavor she has since undertaken because of the lessons she learned from her mother.

Pat Weissiinger.

 

This is the second batch of photos of C Battery of the 320th, I have another one. I am sorry, but most of these photos contain my husband, but that is all I have. The next batch will be when the Commander of 7th Army came to Augsburgh and C Battery was chosen be the Battery he visited.

That will be all I have.

I am still trying to find the photo I had of all the vehicles lined up with their drivers next to them. I just had it and it was so great, I took it out to really look at--oh will keep trying to find it--must be a senior moment.

Pat

News of the 320th 101 1960’s/1970’s

 

What a great picture - Corn is the black fellow in the far left, then me, a guy we called Clem (Larry Kraft), Kevin, the fellow with the broad smile was killed later on - I'll spend more time looking at the picture - they all seem familiar, so it might take some time to work on their names - Pee Wee's spelling of last name is Clap.

 

I don't think Pee Wee is in the picture because Corn, I'm sure had returned to the States by the time Pee Wee arrived -- Fred Gorden was a Capitan in charge of the unit after Campell had been there - I'm not certain of this, but Gorden is a member of the 101st Association - or was. Greg Pierce


Rodger,
Alright, I have memories of some of the names: Larry Craft came from the backwoods of Georgia and we called him Clem - Tommy Thompson came from Georgia as well - he was very good at horseshoes - Robert Upton (nice man) came from Southern Illinois and I believe he returned to that area - Now, I'm not sure of the 1/sgt name - it may have been Charles De Graft - our 1/Sgt loved to play poker - he probably was in his late 40's early 50's - my guess is he has passed away - we also had a Sgt Obie and I have no idea what happened to him - maybe Germany after his tour in Vietnam? - I'm guessing many of the guys pictured are not from our gun section - but, who knows? 
Keep up the good work!!!! - Greg Pierce

 

Cpl Hemmenes was killed on 7 June 1966, not 1971 and there was no second tour. You can add my “E” Mail address to my name. My E Mail is best.ch@cox.net.

You are doing a great job.

CSM (RET) Clarence Best

 

 Message I sent 22 Jan 11
BIG QUESTION??? Do we have anyone that was with "B" Btry right to the end in Viet/ Nam??? Was that date about 27 Dec 1971??? 

These Photos from Joe Beaulieu, 
Scan # 18 is Carlos "Recon" But, what is his proper name and where was he from?? 
Scan # 17 is Raymond L Finch (Found in TN) 
Scan # 16 is Chester Snyr (found by Steve Farling.) 
Scan # 15 is from Left to Right, Gary Schwartz, (Found but is in Hospital. Has been in very bad shape) 
Chief Glen Rice, (Not Found, Where was Glen from and how much older is he???) 
Herbert "Herby" Root, (I just now ran him on the USA People search and found his Ex wife on first call, she will call him and let him know) 
Gary Potter on right (Not Found but thought to be from Bay City, MI I spent a lot of time last year looking for him with no luck. If we had a middle initial it would be a great help)

 

23 Jan 11

Dear Rodger,

I have had mixed feelings about asking you to take my name off the mailing list for a while now, but I think it is time you do so. I was glad to hear from you the first time as it brought back some good memories from when Ivan and I first married and he was stationed at Fort Campbell. But as I have told you, we divorced more than 25 years ago and now he has passed away....so I don't see any real need or connection with your association. I am not in contact with anyone that he served with and the emails I have received have been about people I have never heard of even though I did find some of the news interesting.

Please feel free to keep my info and get in touch if you think there is ever any way I can help out. I think you do an outstanding job of staying connected to the veterans of the 320th. Thank you for your dedication to our great country. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely, Cheri Loftis, Widow of Ivan Loftis

 

23 Jan 11 Rodger,

Can you tell me if I have a lifetime membership? I do not remember or if I paid for annual membership. Do we have a re-union planned for Clarksville this year?  Thanks,Jim Unroe

 

25 Jan 11

From Pete Charbonneau

pcharbonneau@tampabay.rr.com

 

Hi. Roger regards to your list. Sgt Buford was a couple of years. older than me making him around 22-25 in 68. Not sure what state he was from. Doc Kubala was in IL. in 1969. Carlisle was in ammo, may be from Calif. Harris & Jackson were 18 or 19 in 1968. That’s all I remember. Pete C

 

25 Jan 11

Gentlemen,

 Have any of you been in contact with Edward "Ed" Gordon??? I had a long talk with George Serna last night and he would like very much to get in contact with Ed again. We do think Ed started out in the Commo Section but if any of you know for sure please let us know. We think Ed's family was from NY City, NY and also had home and relatives in FL. If no one has contact I need to know as much about him as possible, Does anyone know his middle name or initial?? Does anyone know how old as close as possible that he would be. Jack Johnston and I worked on this several years ago with no luck but with all the new found guys perhaps we will do better this time. We do need some new information.

 

These are a few things we do know. George came to Ft Campbell from Ft Benning in Dec 1962. I know that some of you guys came from Ft Bragg as some of the guys came from the 319 FA and 321 FA 82nd. Please correct me as I was not there. If you did come from Bragg did anyone else come with you? We may have a friend of yours on the Data Base and not even know it.

 

 I have heard from several of you that were there at that time Dec 1962 Jan 1963 as I was told you had to pull the boards off of the doors and windows of the barracks and clean out all the dust as the Barracks had not been in use for quite some time. We also understand some of you came from a Replacement Company and did not even have an Artillery MOS. Let me know where you came from.

We do not have good records of the first guys that arrived in Ft Campbell. The first real printed Records we have are the 1965 Deployment orders to V/N. Any names we have on any one prior to 1965 are mostly from word of mouth and possibly from some pictures.

 

A lot of guys got out prior to deployment to V/N in May 65. If you were one of them let us know. Do any of you have any travel orders or orders of ANY KIND that have 320th FA names on them? We also need copies of any Yearbooks that you might have. Any names that you can think of please ask if we have them on our Data Base If he isn't on the D/B he should be and will be added ASAP after I get his name. This is all about getting all these guys back together with old friends.

V/R, Rodg

 

25 Jan 11
From
 Dave Kilbourne 
Sorry but I don't have any info on these fellow 2/320th guys. I so wish that I had recorded more names of the guys I served with in B/320 from around July of 1966 to around December of 1968. Fortunately my father wrote down the names with the photos I sent back to him. I think I have forwarded most of the photos to you. 
Dave

25 Jan 11

 

Hello Rodger
Ed Gordon was in the commo platoon along with George Serna and a bunch of other guys including me. I joined the 320th in the spring of 64. Ed was left behind (along with a number of others including George) due to ETS when we left for VN. He is also in the HQ Battery group photo taken for the 1964 division yearbook of which I have a copy.

I also believe I have a few b/w photos that might have Ed's image in one or more. If you would like, I'll dig them out, scan them and send the results along to you. Please let me know.

If you are in contact with George, please wish him well. If I recall accurately, George was on the 1964 battalion football team that won the division title. His photo is also in the yearbook along with his team mates.

Regards,
Robert S Horton


(Note from William Branham

Hello Friends,

I don't know where to begin but I do want to thank each and everyone who took the time to respond to my e-mail some months ago. I sincerely apologize to everyone for not getting back earlier but, writing this letter to everyone is somewhat hard for me.

My tour in Viet Nam was probably no different than most but, it has taken its toll on me for years and I have avoided the memories as much as possible (like most of the guys I served with). I was with "A" battery (in the FDC section) for most of my tour. I knew all, from the gunners, my section chief, to our first sergeant, and officers. As for me, I recall that we were in the field most of the time and we shared the good days and the bad together. From eating c- rations together to the hot meals that were brought to us, rain or shine, we were friends. I recall how excited we were at mail call, and sharing the good news and the bad from home. We shared the hot days and the rainy days.

We shared so many things together, and it was very hard for me to leave the friends at battery "A". But, just days before sad hill, I was transferred to Delta battery. I was sad to leave my friends at battery "A", but also excited about going to Delta battery. At Delta battery, I knew some of the guys but there were some new faces too. Little did I know that in just a few days, I would lose some close friends, have to pick-up body parts (from my friends), and move dead Viet-cong bodies. I don't think I will ever forget that morning when I heard the call for help; I felt helpless; and I think everyone felt the same.

It seemed an eternity before we got there. I really wished that I could have been on sad hill that morning with my friends when the Viet-cong hit. I hope I can receive a roster of all the guys I served with.

A month or so later while in the field, I was asked to go back to base camp to pick-up either mail or payroll for our unit. At base camp, (while picking up the mail or payroll), we had a wreck while in the jeep and the cheek on my face was cut in three different places.

I was taken to a clinic (I think it was a field clinic) to receive stitches and bandages. At the time, I believe I was with one of our officers or the first sergeant. I was the only one hurt. I remember that the doctor (while sewing my cheek) said to me that I could get plastic surgery when I return to stateside.

I really didn't know how bad the scars on my face were until the bandages were removed. I had thoughts of not leaving Viet Nam but at the same time, I wanted to see my new wife and new son. At any event, the scars on my face have only reminded me every day of that event on sad hill. I never perused any treatment for my face when I got back to stateside.

One of the reasons for this letter is that the VA cannot find any records of my facial injury. It’s been a long time since the Viet Nam days and after all this time; I may not remember all the details, dates, or events. I can only hope that someone will remember the events and me.

In closing, I can only hope that GOD has comforted the ones that have gone through so much and the ones that have lost so much. May GOD bless all and thank you so much for being here then and now.

Sincerely,

William P. Branham (Bill)

5535 Hillside Landings Road
Lakeland, Florida 33810-3244
Cellular: 863-860-6416
Facsimile: 863-815-7675

bill@branhamconstruction.com
bill@brdrealestate.com

 

Rodger

I wasn't able to make the last reunion, but hope to make the next one.

I sent a check sometime ago for a life time membership. Could you let me know if I'm a Lifetime Member??

Thanks,

George Serna

 

From Jim Singlar

(Note Jim emailed asking if his dues were paid up and as usual it was something that didn’t get done right away. When I sent him a Message that he was paid up this was his reply)

“I have to get to the mail box and tear up my check. I was going to pay again.”

This getting old is not what it is supposed to be.

Thank you.

Jim

(Editors Note) This is an issue that needs to be addressed. We need Permanent Plastic Membership Cards for our Lifetime Members and Temporary Cards for those paying Annual Dues. Do we have a reader that is willing to take on this project???  The Association will pay all expenses!! Thank You,  rodg

 

27 Jan 11

Message from Don Clark, I arrived Ft. Campbell January '63 just out of jump school. Billeted with the 321st. MOS was 111 also some guys were 112's, few artillery MOS's. First battalion work formation was probably no more than 25 troops. Yes we pulled the "off limits" boards
off the doors and started cleaning up. I remember a trooper named Gordon in the commo platoon. Thought he was from Miami but not sure. He would be about 65 to 67 years old. Hope this helps a little.

25 Jan 11

From Pete Charrboneau

pcharbonneau@tampabay.rr.com

Hi. Roger regards to your list. Sgt Buford was a couple of yrs. older than me making him around 22-25 in 68. Not sure what state he was from. Doc Kubala was in IL. in 1969 Carlisle was in ammo and may be from Calif. Harris & Jackson were 18 or 19 in 1968. That’s all I remember.

Pete C
(Note from rodg)

I'm sure that some of you remember Jim Hessing being KIA in 1970. Joe Beaulieu and James "Spoon" Wright bought Motorcycles in Ft Lewis, WA when they got discharged from Service and rode back across the northern part of the country. They stopped in Bayfield, WI and visited Jim's Mom to pay there respects and she has never forgotten, "Those two boys on motorcycles." 
I talked to Joe for quite some time today and he got word that Jim Hessing’s Mom, Florence had fallen and has been in the Hospital. I called her this evening and she is at home now and getting around with a walker doing real well. I told her that we were finding a lot of Jimmies friends. If you would like to send Florence V Hessing a card her address is: PO Box 244, Bayfield, WI 54814-0244. If you would sign it as, "A friend of Jimmies", I'm sure she would really appreciate it. By the way Florence is 94 years old. 
rodg 

 

24 Feb 2011

A/2/320/101/1966/67

I talked to Sgt Bufords Wife Vickie this morning. Sgt Buford is having a lot of PTSD related problems at this time. If you were a close friend of his please call me and I will give you a number to call his wife. I have address and information on file but will respect their privacy and not publish it. Rodg

 

16 Feb 2011. This email is from Peter “Pedro” Ramierez, “B” and “C” Btry 1965/67. Pedro is from El Centro, CA.

Rodger,

I had the privilege of being in your neck of the woods two weeks ago.  Lufthansa Air tried to get us out of O'Hare before the storm hit but they weren't fast enough.  The snow came down as we boarded and about 40 minutes later we had to de-board.   The Lufthansa people marched off and left us there to fend for ourselves. 

The whole place shutdown tighter than a drum except for a couple of shops and a MacDonalds. They were kind enough to stay open later than usual and open earlier to provide us with hot coffee. Brrrrr, it was cold.

 

The following day United provided blankets and pillows to our group; also hotel vouchers which some of us accepted. I have never seen so much snow. We got our share of snow at Campbell and Bragg but not like O’Hare.

 

We flew out on Thursday for Europe.  We visited Portugal, Spain and France.  It was cold there too.  Coming from a desert climate environment, this was going to take some getting used to. I'm glad to be home.  I spent the first day at home in my backyard sunning myself and getting the icicles out of my fourth point of contact.

News of the 320th 82nd 1950/1980/s

 

27 Jan 11
Darryl,
I'm looking for yearbooks from Ft Bragg from the 70's and 80's. I saw your message on Military.com If you have one does it include the 320th Field Artillery???? If so does it have individual Pictures with name and rank
under them???
How much do they cost???
Thanks,

rodg
Lot of Questions,

 

Rodger, the books are printed by unit and companies, normally they will have pictures and some type of caption. I have my old CSM at Fort Bragg as I speak working on getting me information as to who the book
company is so I can call them to see if they can remake prints along with the cost. Nearly all my time was with 82d. I'll keep you guys posted. I'm located here at Fort Carson, Co. you can call me at 719-526-7805.

Airborne All The Way! Hoahhh!

Darryl E Thomas

 

News C/94th FA and E/320th Berlin

 

(Note from Rodger) Several months ago I read something on face book that set me off on an inexcusable tirade and I’m truly sorry. I wrote and sent an email that I should have written and then deleted to get rid of my frustrations. I hurt some of our guys with what I said and I’m sorry for that. I have done this before and then have had to dig myself out of that hole again. When you read the following email messages, this is what we are referring to.

 

Hi Rodg,

I have been sitting on the sidelines, watching these emails fly about. ALL of us 320th veterans carry ourselves with an immense amount of pride for what we did. I feel it in myself, and saw it in generations of veterans at the last reunion. Sometimes that pride can interfere in our judgment in regard to what we say, and at times, how we are perceived. I am very proud of the efforts that both you and Jim made toward publishing public apologies. I for one, was not offended by either of you. In this stream of emails I have seen examples of enthusiasm, brotherhood; pride and unity... these terms describe Artillerymen to a "T".

I believe this issue can now be put to bed. LONG LIVE THE 320th!

Mike

 

Rodger,

Thanks for this letter. I just didn't know what to think when I first read it. So, I let be for a day. Then read it again and was still bewildered by it. Sorry for your frustration. You shouldn't put so much on yourself. I am unemployed and can help out some. However, I am not sure what I can do to help out. I know Big Al and others are willing to help as much as possible. Appreciate the letter. I hope Jim understands.

We are too old to get this frustrated in something that is for a good cause.

Thanks,

Martin Hunley

 

From Jim Gronefeld, SGT, Berlin 1985/1991.

 

Rodger: I again want to apologize for any confusion created by my over-zealous enthusiasm. I was only trying to increase our membership by making the men with whom I served in Berlin feel like they are welcome, whether they served in C/94th or E/320th. There was no intention on my part to be disrespectful or to usurp the other members of the association. I know that the 320th has a long history, and Berlin is only a small part of that history. But that’s the part that I relate to, so I thought if I could reach out and speak to others who served in Berlin, it would benefit the association as a whole. In doing that, I apparently offended other members of the association and for that I am sorry. I also know that this is a 320th reunion, but from my stand-point, it is a reunion of those with whom I served in Berlin for more than six years. I’m grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to reconnect with some people that I thought I’d never see again, and to connect with people I otherwise wouldn’t have known. My intentions were good, and I regret that the end result of those intentions may have offended some of the other members of the association. I’ll clarify

my Facebook post accordingly. I look forward to seeing you and the other members of the 320th FA Association in Clarksville in August. Sincerely, Jim Gronefeld, SGT, Berlin 1985/91.

 

I tried to call Jim a few minutes ago but I don't have a correct phone number for him. I'm sending this email to make a public apology to Jim and to each and every one of you. I was out of line sending Jim and all of you that email and it was totally uncalled for. If I had waited until the next morning to send it in all probability it would never have happened. That Email was several months old that I reacted to and if it had gone that long without any complaints why should I. 
 As Jim said in his email to me, "He was trying to get some enthusiasm going for the reunion and to build up Membership in the Association" It makes my reaction to it look very unappreciative. I think back to 1985 when I started looking for 127 guys and what an enormous job it was going to be and now I have double that amount from you guys alone. I went on Facebook today and see a lot of new guys that want to be friends with me recommended by "Big Al". It makes me feel pretty small in light of what I did and said. I couldn't take a count but there are a lot of new names on Facebook that I have never heard of and need to be added to the Berlin Redleg Roster.
(Note from Rodger) There is talk underway right not to start a Berlin Brigade or Berlin Redleg Chapter and this sounds like a great idea. We will report on how things go with this idea as it progresses.

 

News of “D” Btry. 320TH 193RD Inf. Brigade

 

Panama 1986/1994

I just made contact with our first Trooper from “D” Btry 193rd this past week. He is Maj (ret) Kent K Gibson. Kent was the XO of “D” Battery when they invaded Panama in 1989. Capt. Felepe S Ibarra was the Battery Commander at that time.

 

I had located some information on Capt Ibarra in CA but could not come up with a phone number. I sent all the information I had to our Association Secretary and “Super Sleuth” Jack Johnston. Jack can also get into Ancestory.com and after a search this is what he found.

      Rodger

I did some searching on ancestry.com California public information for Felipe S. Ibarra. There is a Felipe S. Ibarra born 11 May 1956 in California.

      He married Maria Diazdeleon 22 May 1976. Los Angeles County.  A girl Adriana Tonatzin Ibarra was born with last name Ibarra and mother's maiden name Diazdeleon 21 Dec 1978 in Los Angeles County.

      From whitepages.com

      Felipe and Maria Ibarra, 10517 Wisteria, Santa Fe Springs, CA. 90670-3860, no phone number

      Adriana T. Ibarra, 2695 Turnbull Canyon Rd. Hacienda Heights, CA. 91745-5124, no phone number

      On White Pages.com it shows these people as possible relatives. Both addresses are close and are South East of Los Angeles.

      I have not tried to contact either of these Ibarra people.

      Thanks, Jack.

 

Note from rodg, I then sent a 320th AFA Association Card to each of these addresses and we are now awaiting a reply.

 

Memories and Thoughts

 

My Special List

 

I have a list of folks I know ... all written in a book,

And every now and then. I go and take a look.

 

That is when I realize these names ... they are a part, not of the book they're written in ... but taken from the heart.

For each Name stands for someone ... who has crossed my path sometime, and in that meeting they have become ... the reason and the rhyme.

 

Although it sounds fantastic ... for me to make this claim,

I really am composed ... of each remembered name.

Although you're not aware ... of any special link, just knowing you, has shaped my life ... more than you could think.

 

So please don't think my greeting ... as just a mere routine, your name was not ... forgotten in between.

 

For when I send a greeting ... that is addressed to you,

it is because you're on the list.... of folks I'm indebted to.

 

So whether I have known you... for many days or few,

in some ways you have a part, in shaping things I do.

 

I am but a total... of many folks I've met, you are a friend I would prefer... never to forget.

Thank you for being my friend!

(Author Unknown)