7th Engineer Battalion Reunions

Est. 1962
Coldwater, Michigan

 

George Baldwin, Editor    P.O. Box 134   Mount Arlington, NJ 07856    (973) 398-5373    email: enjunier@optonline.net

 

September 2004

 

The Editor’s Two Cents Worth

On 29 August 2004, my wife’s employer held an “Employee Recognition Day/Night”. Instead of the annual company picnic, employees were offered either a free pass for two people to the local theme park, Six Flags Great Adventure, or a 3-hour dinner cruise around Manhattan Island. In spite of memories of Gilligan’s 3-hour tour on the Minnow, we decided to take the cruise. The Fuji Blimp was in the area to cover the Jets game being played a few miles from the port, and there were a number of helicopters in the air as well as the normal commercial air traffic (the New York City area is served by three major airports). River traffic was heavy, including numerous pleasure craft, ferries (some for people only, some very large for cars), other cruise boats, and several freighters. As we rounded lower Manhattan from the Hudson River to the East River and I noticed fireboats appearing on the East River. The view of Manhattan all lit up was spectacular, with many of the building exteriors illuminated in red, white, and blue.

 

Our boat then turned around and headed back into NY Harbor for a close view of the Statue of Liberty. She was well lit  and was an awesome sight as we passed within about 200 yards. There were at least three fireboats in the area, but when we got close to one of them, I suddenly realized that the water cannons mounted fore and aft were actually twin .50 caliber machine gun mounts and that the boats were Navy and Coast Guard Vessels. The light then suddenly dawned – the helicopters were not the normal commercial choppers, but were police and military patrols of the harbor and Manhattan (we later learned that the Fuji Blimp was also part of the air patrol). What a sobering thought to realize that parts of our country have become, of necessity, armed camps!  What a change the last three years have made in our lives (I am writing this on the morning of 11 September 04).

 

May God bless those who gave their lives on that day, and the members of our Armed Forces who are now in “Harms Way”. Please remember them in your prayers and thoughts.

 

George

11 September 2004

 

The President’s Corner

By Tom Grafton

With this years reunion canceled, I think that we should merge the 7th Engineer’s Reunion with the 5th Division’s.  I think that by merging with the 5th might increase the number of Viet Nam and WWII vets who will attend. I wish to thank Glenn Holt (WWII) for all of his work that he did in trying to keep the 7th Engineers reunions going. Hopefully before long we can get another reunion together in Kokomo, In.

 

I have moved and my new address is Tom Grafton, 4738 Rutledge Way Dr., St. Louis, Mo. 63129; phone # 314-416-0535.               email: graftonthomas@hotmail.com  When in the St. Louis area give me a call and stop by.

 

I would like to update our files on the era that you served with the 7th Engineers, which company and platoon you were in.

I served with A. Co. 2nd Plt.,  April ’68 – May ’69.

 

As always we are looking for the names of others who served with us. Check the back of your pictures and any orders that you might have.

 

REUNION 2004 & 2005

As those of you who have e-mail know, we had to cancel the reunion scheduled for 1-3 Sep 04. We had only five people (plus two wives) registered and we need at least 20 people to cover expenses. The only WWII vet who was planning to attend was Glenn Holt who lives in Kokomo and acts as our “point man” to set-up meals, snacks, etc. Tom Tucker was in Luxembourg visiting the family his squad stayed with and then in France for two ceremonies honoring units of the Fifth Division. Ercey Carver’s daughter, Karen, informed me that his health prevented him from attending. Other than third a hand report that John Piepho and some others are visited Fred Ditt in San Antonio, I have not heard from any other vets who are not attending.

 

We need to decide fairly soon where and when we will hold our 2005 reunion. We have several options that need to be discussed and we are certainly open to other ideas.

1.       Kokomo: dates to be determined but some time during the summer. I think that the WWII vets should have the determining vote about Kokomo. Many of them prefer Kokomo because it is a fairly central location, easy for them to travel to, and relatively inexpensive. I will happily be there if that is their desire. Tom Tucker has already cast his vote for option #2

2.       Merge our reunion to coincide (time and place) with the Society of the 5th Division Reunion (held every Labor Day Weekend: 2005 in Vancouver, WA; 2006 in Columbia, SC; 2007 to be determined but somewhere in Connecticut or Massachusetts). These are generally held in more up-scale hotels. Room price this year is $91.00 per night. Society membership is not required, but there is a registration fee of $8.00 per person, plus $25.00 each for Saturday and Sunday supper (this year). This option gives us all an opportunity to meet other vets from the units we supported and who supported us. We will have to decide if we want a separate meeting room for just the 7th or to mingle with the crowd and use one of our rooms.

3.       Ft. Leonard Wood, during the summer sometime. Cost TBD; excellent Engineer museum

4.       Al Varella has volunteered to host a reunion in the LA, CA area. Cost TBD (see his letter in the correspondence section).

5.       Lee McCain is checking into options for the Yuma, AZ area. Cost TBD

6.       Open for YOUR ideas. Remember that the location should be fairly easy to get to for those who will have to fly, and that the cost should be reasonable (none of us are millionaires as far as I know). Please be reasonable - Tahiti is out of the question!

7.       Ft. Carson area

 

A ballot is attached. Please fill it out and return to me at the address or e-mail address above. We will tally the submissions and resubmit to you for a final vote.

 

 

OBITS

Earl K. Rodcay   M/Sgt. Ret.          Feb. 1, 2004 

Ralph Wiegert                                Jan.  30, 2004                    

 

Fort (Camp) Custer Museum

The following is an update on Ft Custer:

Dear Mr. Baldwin,
The FC Military Complex is moving along nicely. We have three buildings dedicated to the complex as well as a military vehicle park. The WW2 Barracks is being resided with an end date at the end of September. The Regimental Rec. Hall will also be renovated end date October. The chapel is the last to be restored. The pads for the vehicles should be in soon but may be delayed do to deployments.

Once the exteriors are done, we will strip the floors and repaint the interiors back to the original colors. The background research is ongoing but we are well along. The next obstacle is, of course, money. We need cabinets, showcases, and the usual archival storage items. Fund raising is underway. Individuals, groups or corporations may sponsor parts of the exhibits. We are getting artifacts weekly but are in need of the small items a soldier carried from skivvies to caps. We have established our 501(c)(3)status.


Colonel Benson mentioned that the 5th ID Museum went missing when it was packed up at Fort Polk. Do you have any idea what happened from there? We could use much of the material in general and for the 5th ID exhibit. Also, I you or any of your members know where we can get our hands on a Sherman Tank, PLEASE let us know! We plan on opening the museum in May 2005 in time for the 200th anniversary of the Michigan National Guard.

I will keep you posted as things develop.

Kim Stacy

(LTC Mike Benson is no longer the contact, in May he was preparing his Battalion for deployment to Iraq. CPT Tom Mehl attended the Society Reunion over the Labor Day Holiday and put on an excellent Power Point presentation. I will try to get a copy and will e-mail it to any who is interested. There have been some funding shortfalls and they are asking for donations. The Society has pledged $1,000.00 with an additional amount to be furnished next year if progress is sufficient. The museum was originally scheduled to open 11 Nov 03, now scheduled for Memorial Day 04, but Tom Mehl said that it will probably slip again.)

Fort Custer Training Site Command
ATTN: CPT Tom Mehl
2501 26th St.
Augusta, MI 49012
Ph# 269-731-3505

Correspondence

SEP 04

Larry Hammond: Hey, Just found this site. I was in A Co. 7th Engineers from April '70 to the end of March '71. I have a lot of pictures.

Rolf P. Meyer: I served with H&S Co. 7th Engr. Bn. 5th Inf. Div. at Henry Kaserne with M/Sgt. Titus in Division Engineer Supply from April, l954 to May, 1955 in Munich, Germany.

AUG O4

Al Varella: George, Yes, I would still be willing and able to host a reunion in the Southern Cal area.  As former president of my Viet Nam Veterans of America chapter in Pasadena, I hosted several State meetings and assisted with several State and National Conventions. 

There are several areas available in So Cal, and of course, the best deals depend on the number of guests. Downtown Los Angeles has several major hotels that could accommodate our needs.  However, they tend to be more expensive.  Restaurants are plentiful and range from casual fast food to very elegant. 

Pasadena has some major hotels, and when I was trying to get the VVA National Convention there, the hotels were bending over backwards for our business. Pasadena has many theaters, shopping, restaurants, and "Old Town."  There are golf courses nearby, and day trips can be arranged should groups want a tour of the coast, Hollywood, etc. 

I ran into a "Red Devil" named Carmen Miselli (World War II), who owns a famous restaurant right smack in the middle of Hollywood.  I bet he would greet us with open arms, and we could drop in to say hi no matter where we decide to set up base camp. We also have numerous beach communities that are more laid back; again, day trips can be arranged from anywhere. I know that it is hard for a lot of us to attend the reunions.  I have not attended one yet.  I either have a conflicting work schedule when I am financially able, or I am just not financially able when I have no conflict.

Lee McCain: George, I will start to look around.

Ira Quinn: Hi George, I don't think I have every met you. I got the e-mail from Tom and I will not be able to attend this year. We have been helping our son and his family out for sometime now. I hope I will be able in the future. Next year in June if everything is ok here. I will be going to my 50th class reunion in Indianapolis IN. That's my hometown. I now call home Woodbridge VA. (Since 1979).  Thank you very much, Ira

Mike Foley: I went to ‘Nam with 1st BDE from ft Carson in June 68 was with bridge plt/avlb until Oct 1970 was last of original BDE to leave  e-mail shorty@mccooknet.com

Sam Carter: I was with A CO 7th Engineers when they left Fort Carson and went to Viet Nam in 1968. I saw my name on your list of guys that you need information on. I was wounded October 25, 1968 in the mess that took Billy Long's life, among others. Let me know about the reunion in Indiana in September 2004. Brother in Arms   Sam

JUL 04

Melvin Scoville.  First, I would like to extend my thanks for putting together such a good website. Also thanks to all the veterans that added stories and information to the site. I am the nephew of Pfc. Merle C. Scoville, who served with the 7th Engr BN - C Co in WW II.  I was doing some research to find more about him, as he and my Dad did not keep in touch after the war.  They both grew up in Boys Town, Nebraska with Father Flanagan. Merle served abroad with the 7th Eng BN C Co in WWII from 3 Nov 43 to July 45.  Please add Merle's name to your website as a veteran during that time.  It would be very much appreciated. Also do you know of any other web sites that focus on the 7th during WWII? Thank-you very much.   Melvin Scoville   Cedar Rapids, IA.

Robert L. Williams:  I was with Co A, 7th Engineers at Ft Carson, Colorado and was with the unit movement to Quang tri in July 1968. I was a parts clerk, but became a powerboat operator to join my buddies Anthony Taylor and Charles Kinzer. I returned from Viet Nam in May 1969.

Jun 04

Douglas Morrow: I was stationed with the 7th Eng, from 1978-80 HHC Company; I made my E-5 strips there and ran the motor pool for about 6 months; before that I was company commander driver. As of right now his name I do not remember. But if anyone was around then they might help with his name

May 04

My Dad died in 1967 from MS.  He was a cook and his name is Merrill Wesley Clark, Sr.; his nickname was "Moe." I'll send you some pix when I get home from work later tonight.  -- Wes Clark  (I have posted the pictures on the website)

 

 

 

Robert Sorenson: Thanks very much for creating this fine website. My father, Leslie Carl Sorensen, was in Co. A, 7th Eng BN, APO5 from Oct 28th 1939 thru May 12th 1945. He passed away many years ago and never shared too many of his experiences while in the war. I'd love to get in contact with anyone who may have known or served with him.  Thanks again.

 

Apr 04

Robert T. Jones, Jr.: Served Alpha Company, Seventh Engineers, Ft Polk La.02/1987 to 10/1987. Remember partying in Leesville and Company day at Alligator Lake.

WILLIAM H. MANN: SERVED WITH THE 7TH ENGINEER BATT. AS A CORPSMAN FROM DEC '67 TO DEC '68.

Mar 04

HI, I AM TRYING TO HELP MY FATHER SEEK OUT OLD ARMY BUDDIES. HE JUST TURNED 80. HE WAS IN THE 5TH DIVISION RED DIAMOND 7TH COMBAT ENGINEERS A COMPANY. HIS NAME IS JOSEPH RONGO. PLEASE ADVISE.  THANKS, LEO    e-mail jilleo@optonline.net

Donald Hawk: 1st Plt, Co A, 7th Engr

 

 

Returned Mail

Mike Gagnon, Bedford, NH         Norbert Ayers, Rosemount, MN               Clair Alabran, Warren, Oh

Earl Roberts, Lady Lake, Fl        Warren Sharpe, Millersburg, MI               John Turner, Metropolis, IL

Tom Turley, Peru, IN                  John Van Woerkon, Houston, TX Arlin Hendricks, Salem, OH

                                                    Dwight Denison, Yorktown, VA

 IF anyone has information about these folks, please let me know.                                      

                                                                                 

Engineer Regimental Muster

I ran across this on the Army Engineer Association website ( http://www.armyengineer.com/ ). You can only register on-line. If anyone who does not have access to a computer wants me to register for them, please fill out the attached form and mail it to me at the address above .If you want more info, please contact me (George).

     “The Army Chief of Engineers directed in June 2003 that every U.S. Army Engineer organization (Active, U.S. Army Reserve, and Army National Guard) is to establish a Regimental Rolls ledger (Muster Book) and organize / conduct an Annual Engineer Regimental Muster ceremony.
     In support, the Army Engineer Association will establish the non-active Regimental Rolls ledger (Virtual Muster Book) and organize / conduct a virtual Regimental Muster for all retired, reclassified or Honorably Discharged members of the Regiment. The AEA Muster will be executed through registration (below) on this website. There is no charge for this service.
    
Once the registration has been approved by the AEA, the registrant will be sent (via U.S. Mail) their official Engineer Regimental Muster Card, along with a letter from the AEA that outlines specific aspects of our Regimental history and associated programs.
     Click here (  http://www.armyengineer.com/muster_reg.html  ) to complete and send to the AEA your registration form. Note that to register virtually through the AEA, you must have been honorably released or retired from active service ( in any component, military or civilian). Those now serving must participate within their present organization, with guidance from their Chain of Command. Muster Cards will be provided by that organization if it chooses to participate in the voluntary program.Click here (  http://www.armyengineer.com/muster_faq.html   ) to read frequently asked questions about the program.
     To download the complete Operations Order signed by the Chief of Engineers (as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file) along with supporting information as published in THE ARMY ENGINEER Magazine, click here.
     There are two objectives to this program: First, to establish a standard annual ritual for recognizing excellence among the members of the Army Engineer Regiment; second, to collect and maintain the total number of individuals in the Regiment by creating the Regimental Rolls name listing (Muster Book) and Muster Card documentation program. The Army Engineer Regimental Muster is a means to accomplish the objectives.
     The Regimental Muster will annually update the members of the Regiment with essential information, will identify, assemble and register its members, will recognize the achievements and personal excellence of its members, and will solemnly honor past members. The one time "Muster Card" will be issued as a permanent record of Registration to the Regimental Rolls (Muster Book). Each person should hold and protect the Muster Card.AEA will frequently publish updated information and Muster stories along with photographs in selected issues of AEA's bi-monthly magazine-The Army Engineer, as well as on this website.”

 

Army Engineer Regimental Muster Registration

If you have any questions, send email to aeamag@armyengineer.com

 

Full Name  ______________________________________________________________________

 

Highest Rank Held  _______________________________________________________________

 

Street Mailing Address  ____________________________________________________________

 

address2  ________________________________________________________________________

 

City  ____________________________________________________________________________

 

State ____________________________________________________________________________

 

Zip  _____________________________________________________________________________

 

Dates of Service-include discharge year  ______________________________________________

 

AEA Member- Yes or No ___________________________________________________________

 

 

Reunion Location Ballot: This is to get ideas from all of you and is not binding at this time. Once we have all the ideas tabulated, we will send out a final ballot. Please send to:

George Baldwin

PO Box 134

Mount Arlington, NJ 07856

 

Ÿ  Kokomo                  Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________

 

Ÿ  With the 5th Div        No choice of dates, it is held Friday – Monday, every Labor Day Weekend

 

Ÿ  Ft. Leo Wood          Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________

 

Ÿ  LA Area                  Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________

 

Ÿ  Yuma, AZ                Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________

 

Ÿ  Other                       Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________

    please give details below; would you be willing to help set-up the reunion at this location

 

Ÿ  Ft Carson                Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________

 

Ÿ  Kokomo   Preferred Dates____________________________________________________________________

 

Your name__________________________________________________________________________________

 

Your phone # & e-mail________________________________________________________________________