Friendship - Communication - Understanding
Distributed Quarterly: March - June -
September - December
Fellow Platoon Members:
Let me bring you up to date on what has been a very productive quarter.
59th IPSD Unit History-Now On The Web:
We have started a stand alone Unit History page for the 59th IPSD and put it on the World Wide Web at URL http://www.47ipsd.us/59hist.htm. You can go directly to the site at that address or you can go into the 47th Site at http://www.47ipsd.us and click on the pointer to the 59th IPSD Unit History. The site is patterned after the 47th Diary in date/event order. It is only a beginning and will be added to and corrected as new information is obtained. Any stories, events or recollections that any of you can share with us from your own experiences would be appreciated. Your input will add greatly to compiling complete and accurate Unit Histories. The extent of our success in this effort depends considerably on the contributions of the Platoon Members themselves.
About ten days ago I received from the National Archives approximately 60 pages of Monthly Platoon Reports for the years 1969-1970. The reports are for both units and are statistical in nature but contain some narrative as to what was going on in the units during the month and each is signed by the Commanding Officer. I have not had time as yet to go through the reports and extract the information that would be appropriate for inclusion in our Unit Histories. I hope to be able to do that soon but in the meantime I have forwarded them to Jonathan Wahl (our Web Master). Jonathan is going to see if he can scan them and add them to our Web Site as Original Source Documents to support our Unit Histories. These Monthly Reports are probably the only authentic documentation that we will ever get from the Military except for the Platoon Rosters which I am trying to get. I have received the Rosters of the 47th IPSD from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis but have not received the Roster for the 59th IPSD yet (requested).
Since Scout Dog Platoons were not authorized as a distinguishing flag, organizational color, or guidon the Military Historical Services Division will not prepare a Lineage and Honors Certificate for us. In other words, if we want to know our Unit Histories we have to do it ourselves - sound familiar? No problem. We can write a better, more accurate history of our units anyway because we were there. We just need enough of you to come forward and tell us what you remember so we can get it put down in writing and up on the Web.
47th IPSD Web Site:
If you have not checked the 47th site recently, be sure to do so. Jonathan is doing a terrific job with the site and it continues to grow and change. Some of the new items to note is the continuing Weather Report from Hue, new Flashback Photos, some new links to other interesting Web Sites and of course the pointer to the 59th IPSD Unit History. Did you know that we have a link to the LZ Sally Web Site which has been created by a soldier who was there in 1968 and 1969 and remembers us and also remembers talking with Roberto Miller.
VDHA Membership: Both platoons continue to make progress in locating former platoon members and encouraging them to join the Vietnam Dog Handler Association ("VDHA"). New VDHA members this past quarter from the two platoons are Michael Yalango, James Adams, Gordon Brackett, Robert Finkbeiner, Bruce Carroll, Simon Ashcraft, Rene Kieda, Gregory Strauch, LeRoy Jackson, Douglas Scherer, Steven Flikke, Wayne Will, Don Hubbard, and Cornell Horn. Hope I have not forgotten anyone.
47th IPSD 59th IPSD Platoon Members Identified: 165 127 VDHA Members: 53 23
Many former platoon members who have been identified have not been located as yet. We continue to work with the VDHA to locate these former platoon members and will pass this information along as soon as new information is available. With the many new names that we have recently received on the 59th IPSD, I expect the largest number of new members will be coming from that unit as soon as we locate them. As to the 47th IPSD, most of their members have been identified for awhile now but we have not been able to locate a good many. Without Military Orders to help track them down the going is very slow unless they find us. A few have found our Web Site and gotten in touch.
Included in the VDHA Members above are three Supporting Members who deserve our special recognition and appreciation. They are Linda Hermann, Barbara Otto, and Russell Erickson, Sr. They have chosen to join us in the spirit of community. Though none of these three were platoon members, the chance events of thirty years ago have transformed their lives just as certainly as they have transformed our lives. We welcome them to the VDHA and are honored by their decision to become Supporting Members. I know that Wesley, Romaine and Russell Jr. would be proud to know that they have decided to join us in the spirit of friendship.
Dates To Remember:
- September 13, 1999: War Dog Documentary will be rebroadcast by Discovery Channel
- February 2000: War Dog Memorial to be Dedicated at Riverside National Cemetery CA
- October 8, 2000: VDHA Reunion begins in Washington DC
Live On-Line Chat Room Scheduled For Thursday July 22, 9-10 PM Eastern Time:
We would like to try an On-Line 47th/59th chat session on Thursday July 22 from 9-10 PM Eastern Time. We have a Chat Room set up at: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/club47thipsd. All you have to do to participate is join the club (Club 47th IPSD - click on the "Join This Club" at the URL above) and then enter the Chat Room at the agreed-to-time. Let's give it a try. This will be a new experience for me also but Jonathan assures me that it is legal and that the CIA will not be listening. Let Jonathan or me know if you plan on joining the Chat Session so we will know who to expect. We may be able to prepare a few topics or questions for discussion in advance to make the session a productive one. Mark your calendars, Log-On July 22, 1999 at 9 PM EST, and let's see what happens.
Follow-Up to the War Dog Video:
After the War Dog Video aired in February the VDHA received such a flood of inquiries, e-mails, letters and telephone calls that they have been very busy replying to the huge response. The result has been many new VDHA Members bringing the total to well over 1100 members. Due to this recent flurry of activity, the VDHA has been slow in following up on tracing some of the leads that we have provided. In due course, they should get back to normal and follow up on our leads. Keep searching for those old Military Orders and forward us copies of any you find.
New Books For Better Understanding:
While I was never a fan of Robert S. McNamara or a scholar on the Vietnam War, I heard him being interviewed recently about his recent book release entitled "Argument Without End". The interview was very interesting and the book promises to offer greater insight into the decisions and lost opportunities on both sides. I think it might make a good read.
If you are recently on-line or have changed your e-mail address, please let us know. This method of communication is very convenient and practical for us.
Condolences go out to Herman Allen (Rusty) and his family for the passing of his father who had suffered from a long bout with cancer. Mr. Allen who served in the Air Force passed away on May 22.
Thank you, and take care of yourselves.
Author: Bertram M. Hubble Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl © 1999 Bertram M. Hubble