Former Eighty-Deuce ("Almost Airborne") & "The Herd" jumper. May 12, 2019 4:06:51 GMT -8
Post by elpaladin on May 12, 2019 4:06:51 GMT -8
-Finally-(!) located some Troopers deploying to 'Normandie'. Is it too late essentially 're-enlist' & be of some use? I didn't have the coins, but my VA Comp --finally-- "Hit the Silk"; might make it. My Story: While Dad was island-hopping in the Pacific Theater, & participated in the bloody, last-ditch stand of Japanese forces, Uncle Al waded ashore @ Normandy Day-2, and survived "The Bulge" in '45, under 'Ol Blood & Guts, as a combat engineer. Birthed & volunteered into the fray as an Advanced Army ROTC cadet, and USAR Ranger; back when Rangers still had companies, and the Black Beret meant something! I hated berets; sorry, sloppy junk! Mostly trained in the desert, along the Tex-Mex Border. Learned w/ vigour the bayonet, under expert soldier Sgt. Leroy Wright. On a bitter, cold night, on a forlorn, Korean hill, & out of ammo, his pards bested Chicom hordes; hand-to-hand. I volunteered for AD, and Airborne; sent to the famed, ("Alcoholics Anynomous") Rgt.@ Bragg, but only got 5 daylight & 4 night jumps due to: Tried to volunteer for de 'Nam, but paperwork wouldn't fly, so I walked it to each office myself. (Because of my strac attitude, personal conduct/record/appearance, was chosen as a driver for The Commanding General of the 82nd. Had slight, temp. vision issues, so it didn't last). Dad, as an official in politics, pulled strings for my shipment to an ABN unit in Germany. After all, I spoke good German by then, & after Mom died, we had a really --hot-- housekeeper from Berlin, who had shook the hand of Der Furher, as a little girl. However, a 'Nam voluntary always negated other orders. Dad was not happy. 'Nam sure did have that smell, the night we landed. Late that 2nd night, being drowsy on my rack, just barely peering out across the river, my mind noted 2 red-orange "eyes", but (!!) they were moving straight at us!! At the very last second, the B-40's veered too high, exploding right behind us. Welcome. When the 173rd ABN Sgt. noted my name tag, he quipped: "That's NOT your name! Hurd of The Herd?? No!" ...But questioning. "Yes, Sgt, it is my name". Instantly famous,...in a minor fashion. Immediately after Jungle Schl, we humped a patrol through Sniperville, where a LT has been killed yesterday. The Sgt. noted how I held my weapon, my stealth attitude, noting things. I was posted left Point-man. I recall today, how the late sun filtered through foilage, in the beautiful, but deadly, North Central Coastal Highlands. On paper, then, I was a clerk, but our 1st LT soon noted how I hated it, & sent me as the armed guard, aboard our duece, traversing Hiway 1. No armor, almost never in convoy, just the two of us,..and the IED's. Since I had learned passable Vietnamese, while 'back in The World', when I was on the Firebase, I was the alternate interpreter. As we traveled, & met beautiful women, I gained some popularity, as I could converse w/ them. About the time we took a close, mortar hit on base, I had become best friends w/ Trooper Gray, the #1 Chopper Courier; (and/or fixed-wing, or ground/hitch-hiking; -anyway- to get through; because of the classified mail, secret documents, and VERY large amounts of cash! a desired, target for the enemy). Well-armed,..and a loner. Gray's best pard, the #2 Courier, upon their Huey being shot-down, Gray escorted his friend, home to his final rest. Calling me in, and knowing I could be trusted w/ such a job, the LT said that Gray had highly suggested me. Often flying 2 missions/day & night, though the absolute, worst, mountain, monsoon, coastal storms imaginable, plus noting ground fire, it was a miracle I only got sick one night, through a wild, dizzy, sortie, as the wind blasts, & rain buckets beat hard on our 'ship', as to force it down, or into another, sheer mountain, wall! Though fear did surface at times, I honestly enjoyed the thrill of it all. Guess it's about management, quiet time, & God. Volunteered again; my own mini-civil affairs project, to help the Vietnamese in minor medical emergencies, and reassure them that Americans were defenders, not women abusers/torturers, nor terrorists. The VC/NVA was all of that, w/ some 'good' sprinkled-in, for the foreign media, Comrade Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda, duped Congresspersons, etc. Just like w/ the Jihadies today. The Christmas "Truce" was hell, like we knew this farce would be. During which the bad water finally made so sick, I could only do a dazed crawl along the ground; w/ blood in my urine, & waste. Medavaced to Qui Nhon Army Hosp., they just didn't know, but the Agent Orange, which turned all green plants brown, and had leached into the wells, for some years by then, would become infamous.
In 2003, after training by some of the best, horse cavalry NCO's & officers, anywhere, I made at least 3 deployments as Lead Restoration Founder, 26th US Cavalry Philippine Scouts, Horse, @ Ft. Stotsenberg, Philippines. Back in January, 1942, our forebearers in Co. E, under Lt. Ramsey, made the Last (combat) Charge of the US Cav, ..until 2001 Afghanistan. A veteran, Japanese inf. company, w/ mortars, & full-autos, was fully routed, w/ 'The Fear of God', by only 23 combat-ravaged, troopers, on jaded,(but HUGE), American horses, yet w/ .45's, and, as we carry to this very, day..."The Greatest Battle Instrument Ever Devised". Since I married a really beautiful Filipina, and now spoke some Tagalog, my mission was greatly aided. Felt quite a strange, but familiar chill, as I survived my 2nd Sniperville incident; myself being the A-1 target, yet saved, in the last seconds,..by friends. I rate well-trained, or Elite Forces Philippine Troopers 2ND TO NONE!..on the globe! I'd lead them, or serve under them,..anywhere, anytime!
While I've also served other General Officers, and was awarded, as an aide, courier, scout, and US Army Locomotive Engineer; of heavy, & hot (!), (classified) ordnance, have also rode as a Federal Horse Officer, Smokejumper Trainee/Firefighter, Texas Horse Officer, Border Ranger, Horse-Mounted Civilian US Border Scout (Arizona), and currently in PT Svc., w/ Terry's Texas Rangers of Company I, Horse, I must admit to -never- seeing Europe; though I speak fair-good spanish, and some francais'. We also have a french-german speaking Filipina relative in Switzerland, who keeps inviting us! Plus, The HERD is quartered in the most beautiful, cleanest, and best part of Italy.
My passport is current. Today's 26th Cav does a lot of reenacting. Have a '43 'Steel Pot', Class A Khaki's, raincoat & poncho, winter uniform HBT uniform w/ all webgear, but no brown, jump boots! Do have M1938's. I would like to finally get that 10th Jump, but am a seasoned, hoss, to be sure. Again, perhaps I might be of some use? Departing, I wish you,...and us-all: Peace, Prosperity, -Faith-, Love,...and Give Us Liberty!
1.5 hrs. SW of Ft. Worth, Texas
P.S.- Actual Horse Cavalry deployed in the Euro Theater as Scouts, Couriers, and (later), ran-down Nazi terrorists, after VE Day.
I even have their Signal Corps training film.