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Jan. - Feb. 2002


History and Happenings


Jan - Feb 2002

Hello Real Cav,

Happy New Year Troopers! Firstly, hats off to Mark CHRISTOPHER <> who was the sole soul to respond to my question asking how come so many other cavalry units came to acquire Cav Hats. Im STILL mystified. Can anyone explain how COL STOCKTONs revival also became revived, not only throughout the rest of the 1st Cav, but also among other Vietnam era cavalry units? This is important stuff to us 1-9th Cav folks. Id like an explanation, as the Stetsons are rampant at reunions, yet nobody seems to know that they owe COL STOCKTON and his 1-9th the return of the Stetson to the Armys cavalry. I want them to know! Dont you?

Don KAUFFMAN <> (D Trp 66-67, 301-812-1760) has been trying to track down his old Delta Troop buds. During his initial search, he found that Ron DeFRANKS had died following an apparent Agent Orange-related illness. He was in the infantry squad with me and was a great guy and soldier. KAUFFMAN then found his squads machine gunner, Ron SWEENEY <>. Then between them, they found 6 other former members of their D Trp platoon. Incredibly, all 8 met for a reunion in Detroit, MI, which made the local papers, complete with photos. Ron SWEENEY (Hazlet, NJ) followed up with: I was in Vietnam from Dec 66-67, Delta Troop; all these guys were D Trp, 1-9th: myself, Don KAUFFMAN (Deale, MD), Mike HATFIELD, {Roseville CA}, Tommie RAY, (South Lyon MI}\), Jim ELI (Vivort, SD), Cary THOMPSON (Romulus MI). "We spent 2 days talking about all the years gone by. We spent our time at Tommie RAY's home. His family made it feel like we always knew them, we where right at home, thanks to his family, wife Pat, sons Justin and Zack and daughter Ashley. We thank them then as now I do. Also for my part, I want everyone thanking Loretta STAGER - I must also thank her for helping me get started with the D Trp page that is part of her [Bullwhip Squadron] site. We all had pictures but none like those Cary THOMPSON had; we didn't have time to see all them, and Mike HATFIELD had a videotape hed transferred from 8mm. We joked about different things and what they remembered". These 5 were in-country appox. May-July, 66-67. GREAT stuff. Thats what the 1-9th is made of. Wish I had a good photo from the newspaper to print here maybe next issue, eh? They're all planning to try and get to the 1st Cav reunion this year. KAUFFMAN also stated that "[I] will never forget the pilots and all they have done for me and others; it just seems like we never hear from the ground troops. I have a theory that's because we were closer [together] every day than the pilots, who were in groups of two plus crews, then flew back to base camp or wherever while we stayed out as a group and thus the trauma [was] a little more dramatic". I included this comment as a significant point for dialog. This may not be the appropriate forum for further discussion of this not-so-new-concept, but it is an important issue. As for myself as a drafted WO Scout, then Cobra pilot, I will state that I sure wouldn't like to have spent any nights out in the boonies, and I SO respect you fellow 9th Cav units that did so regularly; nothing can take that away from your pride and honor. Nevertheless, some pilots and crews got shot at almost every day of their tour(s), and often shot down, thinking they were dead. That was the job for some crews, certainly Vietnam's 1-9th Scout crews. Then we got mortared and rocketed more nights than not it seems. Yes, quite different experiences, and thus not exactly comparable. Perhaps D Troop and each Troops' Blues bonded more for being in the bush together. And pilots and crewmen did disperse each evening to their personal AOs. I urge some more open discussion. As our Nation has recently been making us Vietnam Vets feel much more comfortable for our prior service, we are now left open to discussing among ourselves, the trauma we carry with us. But lets be careful about trying to compare among us, what we are today, with our roles back then.

Speaking of D Trp, good news! Ron SWEENEY <>, one of the guys Don KAUFFMAN tracked down, has started a Delta Troop website at <,11003,711668,00.html>. Please visit the site and give Ron some needed stuff with which to honor our Delta Troopers. He's also started a roster of folks who served in D-1-9th. OK you Blues, lets get out from the woodwork!

Bruce HUFFMAN <> (C Trp '68-'69) reports I recently got all dressed up in my green suit to pin my sons wings on his chest following his graduation from WORWAC. Two invited guests were my flight school and Viet Nam roommate, and my college roommate who flew with the 92nd AHB. Glenn HESS joined the 1-9th from the 227th in the early fall of 1968. He and I roomed together and have stayed in touch throughout our careers. Glenn finished law school at Florida State and is a Circuit Judge in Panama City, not too awfully far from the old Beach Party hang out. Glenns address is: P.O. Box 2237, Panama City, FL 32402-2237. Bruce also sent a great photo of himself and son together in their green suits. Were all proud of both of you.

Mike TUTTLE <> (C Trp Scouts '69-'70, 124 Carolyn Dr., Lafayette, LA 20508) traveled to Houston, TX on business and looked up an old fellow Scout, John MACKEL <> (13418 Maxwell Road, Cypress, TX 77429). MACKEL reported: Mike came downtown to visit me in the Big City. He looks successful and has a job I'm envious about: working around helicopters. Mike was an experienced scout pilot when I arrived at Phouc Vinh. I was just an FNG. You know how you just naturally looked up to the battle tested veterans. I guess the guy that I learned the most from was CW2 Bill WAGNER. He was my mentor the first couple of months in-county and so automatically if he thought a lot of somebody then because I respected WAGNER's opinion so much, I thought a lot of them. WAGNER thought a lot of Mike so I did too. But as time progressed in-county I came to respect Mike and guys like John JELICH [KIA 2nd tour, 4/1/72] because they were fearless. Anyway, it was good to see Mike. He came to my office and then we went to lunch and talked about guys we knew and good old war stories. He's a hell of a good guy, and I was honored he took the time to visit me. It doesn't seem that a year has gone by. But a lot has happened this year. God bless the U.S. and the veterans of C Troop 1-9 Cav.

In the last issue, I mentioned that a flag (94th Aero Squadron) is being circulated, actually FedExd, to any former C Troopers who meet around the country. Bill MOELLER (C Trp, '70-'71 Avionics) is the instigator of this idea, donating proceeds for every signature to go towards supporting the March Field Air Museums <> restoration of the former HHT/E Trp/C Trp OH-6A Loach. Bill attended the Veterans Day Ia Drang Banquet and reported: As you may know Sam ELLIOT is co-staring with Mel GIBSON in the upcoming movie "We Were Soldiers". He is playing the role of Sergeant Major Basil PLUMLEY. Julie KINK and Mike SLONIKER also signed the flag at the dinner. Our flag now has some fame attached to it, and should be worth more to the 94th when we return it. Sorry Bill, I say BS. Little sister Julie KINKs signature was our coup. Hell, so is SLONIKERs. My wife, Linda, adores ELLIOT and GIBSON, but they are actors. We earned the right to sign. And after all, I stole that danged flag that night with MOELLER. I dont even know if the restaurant will accept what we have wrought.

While perusing the 9th Cavs e-mail chat group (to join, contact <>), I find that A Trp has yet another website, established by Apache 33, Ron Glass <>. For former members and friends of A Trp, a new community site with photos, links, messages, etc. is at <>. This very user friendly site is soliciting your participation by encouraging members to post their own photos, links, documents, etc. A visit to the Message Board finds that A Trp (RVN) is planning a reunion; John Bloody Bart BARTLETT <> wrote I'll begin gathering information for costs and such this month. The idea is to alert the Troop and Squadron of a reunion in Whitefish, Montana for the year 2003. Your suggestions for times are welcome. I am thinking of mid-September as the prices for motels are lower, tourists are all but non existant and the golfing and Glacier Park are all beautiful with no crowds to contend with. I'll do my best to set it up for an enjoyable time over a two day period which will give you more time to enjoy a Montana holiday with your family. Anything I can do on this end to help make this a great outing is my desire. Your wish is my command. Hey Bart, the C Troop get-together in Montana last fall was wonderful. I urge all you A Trp guys to drop what youre planning and get to Barts place. Hes promised to provide food and drink to the Flying Point columnist.

The Bullwhip Squadron Association (BWS) is planning their alternate year reunion for 4-6 October 2002 at Ozark, AL/Ft. Rucker. For more information contact the SGM of the BWS, Al D De FLERON <>, 1145 Holland Rd., Newton, AL 36352, Ph. 334-692-5685.

TAPS: COL (Ret) Enn I. TIETENBERG, 65, of Golden, CO, died on Oct. 16. COL TIETENBERG was born in Tallinn, Estonia, on Jan. 22, 1936; he served as C Trp XO in '69-'70. I knew him.


Walker A. Jones
2210 Summerfield Lane
Harlingen, TX 78550

Bullwhip Squadron Website

9th Cav Chat Group