Courtesy of The Army Historical Foundation, June 2017:
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Roger "Bear" Young
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An excellent video on the evolution of the B-52 from conception to the present. Includes video clips of its use in Southeast Asia:
Spur 3, Chuck Oualline has his new book site up!
Please see: Flying Alligators and Silver Spurs
It is a GREAT read! – Bear
Submitted by Spur Scout, Paul Clergy:
Submitted by Spur pilots Mike Billow and Paul Clergy, great article!
Excellent video brought to my attention by our Silver Spur President, John “Waldo” Pepper:
LTG Hal Moore Graveside Service, Main Post Cemetery, Fort Benning, GA February 17, 2017
Joe Galloway following the service:
In Remembrance of fellow Silver Spurs Ron & Jim Dostal, who perished years after their service to our nation during the Vietnam war. Here is to the Dostal brothers, American patriots! – Bear
Since putting together John’s video, he has provided this newspaper article which featured the Dostal brothers:
Brought to my attention by Spur 16, Bill Reynolds:
December 29, 2016:
Fellow Spurs, I was notified just before Christmas that Waldo was going in for testing for lesions on his pancreas by his daughter Jennifer via Facebook. At that time I notified most of the Spur reunion committee since Waldo is our Silver Spur President.
Since that time the VA has found a tumor on his pancreas. On January 19th there will be additional tests run to see if the tumor is benign or malignant. Waldo is facing this immense challenge with a positive attitude as we have talked several times over the past weeks.
In addition, Waldo’s wife, Judy, is currently undergoing radiation therapy. Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll update this page as Waldo learns more.
Roger “Bear” Young
Update January 12, 2017:
I spoke with Waldo today, Judy has completed her radiation therapy and is feeling much better! Waldo is still waiting for more tests and test results to determine the medical course of action. He HOPES to learn more on January 19th.
Update January 21, 2017:
As of the present, Waldo is still waiting for a biopsy to see if the tumor is benign or malignant and what the VA course of action will be. The VA seems to be dragging its butt again! – Bear
Update February 3, 2017:
Waldo is still waiting for his biopsy! Just one more example of how slow VA moves to find answers to a potentially life-threatening illness. – Bear
Update February 7, 2017:
Waldo finally has an appointment on February 23rd to conduct the biopsy. Keep the prayers coming! – Bear
Updated February 23, 2017:
Good news, Waldo’s daughter, Jennifer, has reported that the biopsy today indicates it is a non-cancerous cyst, not a cancerous tumor as earlier thought! And the cyst should be slow growing and may become cancerous years down the road. Thanks for all your support and prayers! And Waldo later today reported:
“Today I learned that the growth on my pancreas is a benign cyst of large size. I first give thanks to Almighty God for answering the prayers of so many of my Cavalry brothers. I have to think God has a special place in his heart for Silver Spurs. You guys are the best of the best. You have offered me not only your prayers but encouragement throughout this ordeal. How can I ever thank you but continue to love you, think of you everyday and pray for you.
“To Tom Hennesy: I am laughing right now but I ain’t dying anytime soon so you still get to be the Vice President. Remember we laughed about this at the last reunion.
“Again my brothers thank you so ever much and I remain
“Faithfully your brother. God Bless you!” – Waldo
14 October 2016:
First, let me say thank you for the awesome website you’ve built. My name is Charles Bottom and I was a member of A Trp, 3/17 AC, 1970-1971, Dian, Quan Loi, and Lai Khe.
I noticed my name, and a couple others I can think of do not appear on the roster. I would, and I believe the others would also like to have our names added to the list, if possible. I can’t remember exact dates, but it was 1970-1971.
Please add the following names to the 3/17 roster:
Charles Bottom SP5 Seattle, WA AH1-G Crew chief
Ron Beard SP5 San Bernadino, CA UH-1 Crew chief
John Klingensmith SP5 Carbondale, PA AH1-G Crew chief
Louie Knight SP5 Ogden, UT Aircraft electrician
Note: 4 years ago, 42 years after serving together, a tight group of friends managed to get together for a reunion. We’ve been getting together every year since. I’ve included a before and after picture of the group (see attachment below). We thought it might be interesting to post on the 3/17 website, maybe in Photo Gallery or the Blog, or wherever.
Thank you for your service and for remembering the Cav,
Charles (Charly) Bottom
Brought to my attention by our fellow Spur, John “Waldo” Pepper. The Spurs received our first Cobras in 1968:
Brought to my attention by fellow Spur, John Dostal. A very moving poem & video.
Published on May 9, 2015 – MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE From The Other Side as published in Congressional Record article 2 of 3, (Senate – May 27, 1999) [Page: S6278] by Patrick (Beanie) Camunes copyright 1997:
July 1, 2016:
I put this together today for my fellow Silver Spurs and their families. – Roger “Bear” Young
My personal tribute to two fallen Silver Spur Scouts and American Heroes. Never Forgotten – Roger “Bear” Young
MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE 2016
This Memorial Day is a fitting time for me to give tribute to a deserving young lieutenant, tribute which is long past due. Forgive me, but I cannot remember his name. There were about 40 pilots in our unit at any given time, and I just don’t remember.
The young man had come into my Air Cavalry unit in the 101st Airborne Division only about two months before his untimely death. Like almost every other pilot already there, he had just completed a combat tour in Vietnam. Some of us had served two or three, but this was the lieutenant’s first, right out of flight school. Like most of us, I am sure he had not volunteered to go, nor was he happy when he received the orders. But in those days, volunteering for flight school meant almost surely, although indirectly and involuntarily, that one would end up in Vietnam.
He was a carefree bachelor. As soon as he reached the States, he used a year’s worth of combat pay and flight pay to buy a brand new 1973 Corvette. With a weekend pass in hand, one Friday he decided to drive from Fort Campbell to his parent’s home in Cleveland. We never saw him again. That Saturday night in Cleveland, he died in a one-car accident.
None of us knew him well, but it did not matter. I obtained permission to load up two UH-1H Hueys with pilots to fly up there for the funeral. He deserved just as much respect and grief as if he had died in combat, in my book. So about 15 of us, warrant officers, lieutenants, captains, and one major, packed our Army green uniforms and jump boots and took off to fly north. I remember that the first fuel stop was at Fort Knox, and as we flew final approach I pointed out the Gold Depository through the left windows, for those who had never been to Knox. I also recall that the final approach to the Cleveland airport was on instruments, at night and in the soup, and took us over Lake Erie, which made me nervous.
One of our more enterprising warrant officers had called ahead to a National Guard armory and arranged for transportation in Army sedans, for which he signed. No government quarters were available, so we stayed in a motel. The next day, we dressed in our green blouses, complete with bloused jump boots, as decreed by the 101st Airborne Division.
Upon arrival at the church, we created quite a stir. I guess we were not expected. The funeral director, obviously impressed, asked if we would line up on each side as the casket was carried into the church. Of course we obliged, as this seemed the thing to do without being asked. We held our hand salutes until the flag-covered casket was inside, then we filed into the church. We all sat together, and we Protestants knelt and prayed right along with all the Roman Catholics, during a service conducted by a priest.
At the end of the service, people were invited forward to pay final respects at the casket. We soldiers went up there one at a time, me first. I stood at attention and rendered a final hand salute in front of that flag, slowly lowering my hand in the respectful order arms gesture used on such occasions. I could not hold back a few tears. Each pilot followed my lead, one at a time. I don’t know about the tears part.
Afterwards, we were invited to the Cleveland home of the young man’s parents. They were devout Roman Catholics. Although in grief, they were upbeat in the knowledge that their son was with the Lord. I seem to remember that he had two surviving young sisters, either teenagers or in their early 20s. Lots of cousins were present, also. The family fed us, thanked us profusely, and said that our presence meant a lot to them.
There was not much chatter on the intercom during the long flight home. I remember one refueling stop at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where they had trouble finding a fuel hose small enough for our Hueys, and another stop at Fort Knox. Much of the flight was in actual instrument conditions.
The young pilot, whose name, sadly, I cannot remember, deserved every bit as much honor, respect, and dignity as if he had died in combat. I hope we gave it to him. This is what I want to convey on this Memorial Day, as I have never told this story before. When his country called, he did not question why by running to Canada or protesting in the streets. He was every bit a comrade as if we had lost him in a landing zone, unknown name notwithstanding. I remember him.
Brought to my attention by John “Waldo” Pepper, GEN Schwartkopf’s speech to the Corps upon his return to West Point after the end of Desert Storm. He speaks of competence & character in leadership positions & duty, honor & country.
I urge all to watch – Bear.:
Part 1: Schwartzkopf Speech to Corps of Cadets 5/91
Part 2: Schwartzkopf Speech to Corps of Cadets 5/91
Part 3: Schwartzkopf Speech to Corps of Cadets 5/91
Submitted by John “Waldo” Pepper. In April 2016 the last of the Army’s OH-58D’s made their final flight for the U.S. Army, this time with the 1-17th Cav.
In May 1970 A Troop, 3/17th Cav ‘Silver Spurs’ received their first OH-58A’s to replace the reliable OH-6A Cayuse Scout helicopter.
In May 2015, the 3-17th made their final flight with the OH-58D’s which is shown here on our blog. – Bear.
“More than 30 OH-58D Kiowa warriors from the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division flew (over Fort Bragg) in formation for their last flight under US Army commandment (The Kiowa will be replaced by the AH-64 Apache Helicopter and UH-72 Lakota). This huge large formation flight was a World Record.”
“Videos credit: Sgt. David Birchfield, Sgt. Kelly Simon.
Thumbnail credit: Kenneth Kassens, modified by Daily Military Defense & Archive.”
Submitted by fellow Spur, Clayton Marsh:
In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking. The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet in a larger sense should give you a HUGE SENSE OF PRIDE.
“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 60 years old.”
So, if you’re alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in VietNam? I don’t know about you guys, but it kind of gives me the chills, Considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets…
So the last 14 years we are dying too fast, only the few will survive by 2025…if any.. If true, 390 VN vets die a day. So in 2190 days…from today, lucky to be a Vietnam veteran alive… in only 6-10 years..
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer – 1st Recon April 12, 1997.
*STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS: *
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).
8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28, 1973).
2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965 – March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
Agent Orange is taking a huge toll on Vietnam Veterans with most deaths somehow related to Agent Orange exposure. No one officially dies of Agent Orange, they die from the exposure which causes ischemic Heart Disease and failure, Lung Cancer, Kidney failure or COPD related disorders.
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
8 nurses died — 1 was KIA.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
Total Deaths: 23.11 years
Enlisted: 50,274; 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598; 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276; 24.73 years
E1: 525; 20.34 years
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest state death rate: West Virginia – 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).
Wounded: 303,704 — 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000, — 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
Missing in Action: 2,338
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2014, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for, from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Reservists killed: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam: 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);
12.5% (7,241) were black;
1.2% belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead: Protestant — 64.4%; Catholic — 28.9%; other/none — 6.7%
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.
63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South — 31%, West –29.9%; Midwest — 28.4%; Northeast — 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME:
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group.(Source: Veterans Administration Study)
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.
WINNING & LOSING:
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms.
97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
Jessie L. Jones Adjutant/Quartermaster Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US Inc. Department of Missouri
Brought to my attention by fellow Spur, Bob Scurzi: