7th Engineer Battalion Newsletter

September, 2002


Last updated:
Sunday, May 16, 2004 8:54 PM

7th Engineer Battalion Reunions
Est. 1962
Coldwater, Michigan

September 2002

Our very own Tom Tucker was selected as "Man of the Year" by the "Society of the 5th Division" during the annual reunion held in Wyomissing (Reading), PA, 30 August - 2 September 2002. Tom has expended considerable time and effort over the years supporting the search for WWII MIA's in France, as well as doing a lot of historical research for the Society. The "Man of the Year" selection is kept a closely guarded secret until the Master of Ceremonies asks that he be escorted to the microphone. I was given the honor and privelege of escorting him - when I asked, "Mr. Tucker, will you please join me?", his jaw dropped and asked: "Me? …Me?". Tom also initiated this newsletter about 15 years ago, and continued to edit, publish, and send it until he turned it over to me in May 2002. He also initiated the search for Vietnam vets of the 7th Engineers. It is a well deserved and long overdue honor for Tom. Please join me in expressing our congratulations.

Jack Canard, Tom and Mary Frances Tucker, Dan and Adrienne Santagata, George and Joanne Baldwin were at the Society reunion and Ward Miller was able to join us for few hours on both Saturday and Sunday when he was able to find someone to stay with his wife who requires 24 hour a day care. Ward lives only a few miles from the reunion site.

The President's Corner
By Tom Grafton
The annual reunion was held on August 23-25 in Kokomo, Indiana. As usual, Glenn Holt did a fantastic job of making all the arrangements. Thank you, Glen. A special thanks is due to Marilyn Holt for all of her help with entertaining the wives. We had a great time seeing everyone again.

Thanks to Jack Canard for bring his computer and George and Joanne Baldwin for all their work on the 7th Engineers Web Site. Even though Tom Tucker was unable to attend the reunion this year, a special thanks to him for all of his work during the year.

Those in attendance at this year's reunion were:
Walter Allard, David Allen and his son Dave, George and Joanne Baldwin, Orfield and Jacquelyn Bartz, Oscar Biddle*, Charles Belvins, Jack Canard, Tom and Nancy Grafton, Wilson and Ruth Harper, Jack Hart*, Glenn and Marilyn Holt, Lewis Lockwood, Tom and Kelle Manos, Alex Peterman, John Piepho, Jim and Ruth Raad, Roy Stroup, Dan and Adrienne Santagata, Andrew Veres* and Barbara Rienke*, Pete and Jeanette Veklotz.

* indicates first time attendees.

The members present at the 7th Engineer Reunion voted to hold the next reunion at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. The vote is non-binding however, and it was decided to open the location (Ft. Leo. Wood or Kokomo) to a vote by the entire membership. Please fill out the attached form and return it to George Baldwin, PO Box 134, Mount Arlington, NJ 07856, or e-mail mail me at, or call me at (973) 398-5373. If anyone is interested in hosting a reunion, please write it on the ballot. If anyone has a location suggestion, please indicate that also - but remember that we will need someone to co-ordinate all of the arrangements. It has also been suggested that we hold the reunion at the same time and place as the "Society of the 5th Division", arriving a day earlier so that we can enjoy our time together, then the fellowship of the Society. The Society reunions are scheduled for: Waco, TX in 2003, Indianapolis, IN. in 2004, and Vancouver, WA in 2005. I will post pictures on the website when they are available. Results will be sent by e-mail or post card as soon as they are counted.

Marshall Rice: he was with the 7th from its reactivation in 1939 until just before they left Iceland. He is going to provide info about
these times. He retired as a COL after 31 years in the Army.
Charles Pregaldin: also left the BN in Iceland, is going to provide anecdotes for the site. (Retired LTC)
Fred Radle: he moved 18 months ago, Tom Tucker and I both left messages with a guy we thought might be him and he finally
returned my call. He was with A Co, June 69 -June 70.
Craig Neidlinger: With A Co, does not remember which platoon, will try to attend the reunion, found him through a web search
George Abbott: sent his email address
Harry Bever: …"Please give my best to Orfield and Glenn. I will be unable to attend the reunion. Donation enclosed"
Alex Peterman: Donation …"hope it will help the cause"
Gregg Raad: had been getting e-mail for his father, Jim Raad (A Co, 68-69), but Jim now has a computer with e-mail at
Tom Manos: "I plan to attend the reunion with my wife Kelle. I will call Fred Gage, Nick Pokrajak, and Ward Miller. I do hope
they can come. My email is . I came from Patterson, NJ. …with the 7th till March 45, made 22 river crossings with the 10th Infantry. Had a great Company! Donation
Joe Harton: Donation …"You guys do a great job" (Thank you Joe, we try). He included a copy of a letter he sent to Bob Goodsell
about Bob's father, Leonard, as well as some pictures and maps. I will ask Tom Grafton to scan them for publication. Joe
has sent me a number of photos and his "memoirs" which I will eventually post on the website..
Emery Radtke: Will not attend this year due to health problems. Had a Pace maker installed last week.
Ralph Wiegert: Donation Just a short note to let you know that I will not be to the reunion. Had full intention of making it, but the
last couple of weeks. I haven't been feeling the best so decided not to make it. Hope everything goes well. Good luck to
Lee McCain: Donation. Lee has offered to host a reunion in Yuma, AZ
John Mongelli: A lot of back and forth e-mails, John also sent a number of Photos sent to him by SGT Rush's widow
Chris Ferrari: photos and e-mails
Tom Klimkiewicz: A number of e-mails between us. Tom is a new member who served at Ft. Carson in 62-63
Oscar Biddle: a new member from when the BN was in Germany (52-57). Oscar has made several significant contributions to the
newsletter fund.
Eric Shaw: I was with C Co from 91-92 , I would be interested in the reunion can you email me some info. Thank you.
Jack Canard, Tom Tucker, Tom Grafton: too many e-mails to report. Jack is recovering well from his heart attack. Tom Tucker
sends regards to all. Jack and Tom Tucker made significant contributions to the newsletter fund.
Ercey Carver: Cannot attend because of my Granddaughter's wedding
Smith Niehaus: …will not be at the reunion. Best wishes to the "good old boys". Address change (see below)
William Manning: Sent a number of items including his copy of Charlie Marks WWII Book
Rich White (SFC ret.): (Message Board entry) I was one of the first of the re-activated 7th Engrs at Ft. Polk, LA in 1975, serving
in Battalion S-2 as a recon sergeant. Since I had also served in the 1st/5th in 'Nam (407th Radio Research Detachment), I
confused many by having a red diamond on one shoulder and a black one on the other. Still have memories of all the
work we did to get the unit back on-line. E-mail address:
Steve: (Message Board entry, he did not give his last name) Great Site. I was in C Co 7th Engr BN, Ft Polk La from June '89 to
June '90. Left for Germany, of which during my deployment to Desert Storm/Shield I heard the 5th ID was deactivated. E-
mail address:
Alex Peterman, Carl Hoffacker, Robert Hamilton, Bruce Bernard, Harold Holbrook, Virgil Daggi, Joe Rahie, Tom Grafton, , and Tom Stacy also sent donations for the newsletter. Thank you all for your generosity.

Address Changes
Tommy Mitchem: moved, new e-mail address is
Alfonso "Al" Varela: e-mail address is Al has sent a number of photos for the web site and has offered to
host a reunion in Pasadena, CA. Al also sent a nice letter to Mike Covert about Mike's brother Richard, KIA in Vietnam
Jim McGaughey: Hi George! I received your news letter and will not be able to attend this years reunion. I accepted a
new position with Libbey in our City of Industry, California plant yearly this year.
My new address is: 565 Fairbanks St. Corona, CA 92879 New phone number: 909-520-9258
I do not have a home email address. Good luck with the reunion. Jim
Lloyd Bever: 620 Anderson Lane, New Martinsville, WV. 26155
Robert Fredstrom:, 3701 Chandler Drive NE, Apartment 501, Minneapolis, MN. 55421
Smith Niehaus: PO Box 4, Stendal, IN 47585

Returned Mail
None so far

I am writing to you in regards to my father, Mr. Robert H. Rogers, who was a WWII vet. My mother recently received a postcard
from you saying that your searching for those people who served with the Battalion. Unfortunately, my father passed away
on December 26th, 2000. Thought I should write and let you know so that you may update your records. Thank you, G.M.
Arthur Kowitz: Card from his daughter saying that he had passed away on 14 July 2001 at age 91. Betsy Bricker, N6892 N.
Follofson Lake Road, Scandinavia, WI 54977
Dear George: Hugo Zion expired Aug 13, 2002. He had several strokes and the last year of his life was spent mainly in nursing
homes. He was drugged for bearing pain most of the time. He knew everything but could not talk too much. He had a military funeral - taps and all. I received a flag. I didn't have a lot of time and just remembered to write to you.I guess we lost another WWII guy and that is why he didn't write. Thank you for all the nice letters and information you were kind enough to send to me. Sincerely, Mrs. Hugo S. Zion, 1238 Washington Street, Maysfield Heights, OH 44124

If anyone is missing some negatives, please let me know and I will send them to you. They were mixed in with my information
from the reunion in Kokomo. There was also a print of John Piepho and Dave Allen, as well as one of the Kokomo Vets Memorial walkway in the Rite-Aid envelope with the negatives.
"The Society of the 5th Division" was founded in 1919 by WWI Veterans of the 5th Division. The organization just held it's 82nd
annual reunion in Wyomissing, PA and was attended by vets from WWII, Germany (mid 50's), Fort Carson (62-70), Vietnam, and Fort Polk (1975-92). The reunions are held every Labor Day Weekend; in 2003 it will be in Waco, TX, 2004 in Indianapolis, IN, and 2005 in Vancouver, WA. Dues are $12.00 per year (increasing to $15.00 per year effective 1 October 2003), life membership is $100 for those under 61 years of age, $75.00 for those 61-69, $50.00 for those 70 and older (After 30 September 2003, life membership will increase to $150.00, $110.00, and $50.00 for the respective age groups). Dues include 4 issues of "Red Diamond" magazine, which is worth the cost of membership. I have included a membership application on the last page under the ballot. Please consider joining the Society.
Please remember to advise me when you move. We spend a lot of time, effort, and money trying to locate members who
Forget to do so. The same applies to e-mail. For those who have e-mail and are not on our mailing list, please send me
your e-mail address: e-mail saves us a lot of time and money.
If anyone wants a complete list of names and addresses of our membership, please let me know.
I will order Battalion Crests after Oct 15th. If you want them, please let me know: cost will be about $20.00 per pair including
postage and a small profit for the treasury.
WWII Vets: We all have enjoyed listening to your experiences. These accounts are the real history of the War; the personal side
that is not related in any of the books written about the War. The library of Congress is now creating an "oral history" of
WWII, which includes interviews (written, audio taped, and video taped), material written by vets, photographs, etc. I think
it is important that your memories of the WWII are preserved. Please contact them at:
Veterans History Project
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20540-4615
Phone: (202) 707-4916
Web Site URL:
I may try to conduct some interviews at the next reunion.
Vets from other eras: your input is also solicited by the Veterans History Project, please participate while your
memories are still relatively fresh.
If you have memorabilia from your time in service, which your descendants do not want, please send them to me for our
archives. It would be a shame to see them disappear. I will pass them on to my successor (or to the Veterans history project, or the Engineer Museum, or to the Rutgers University History Archives). Photos, letters to/from home, maps, personal accounts, souvenirs, etc. are some of things we would like have.
I hope that more of you can join us next year at whatever location we decide on - I think that you will enjoy meeting your old
Comrades-in-arms, and meeting new friends. I believe that the newcomers enjoyed the experience and all were accepted, combat vet or "Peacetime" vet. Thank all of you for your support and I hope to see you next year in Kokomo or Fort Leonard Wood (July 18-20, 2003), or at the Society Reunion in Waco (Labor Day Weekend 2003), or at the 61st Infantry Regimental Day at Fort Jackson, SC (date to be determined, but probably late February 2003). Please remember to vote for the 2003 Reunion location - to steal a phrase attributed to a politician in Chicago, "Vote early, vote often".

George Baldwin
14 September, 2002

Late news: On my way home from having the Newsletter copied, I picked up my mail and found the following letter:
Dear George, Hugo Zion expired Aug 13, 2002. He had several strokes and the last year of his life was spent mainly in nursing homes. He was drugged for bearing pain most of the time. He knew everything but could not talk too much. He had a military funeral - taps and all. I received a flag. I didn't have a lot of time and just remembered to write to you.I guess we lost another WWII guy and that is why he didn't write. Thank you for all the nice letters and information you were kind enough to send to me.
Mrs. Hugo S. Zion.
1238 Washington Street
Maysfield Heights, OH 44124