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Pro Patria Press_________________________________________________________________________________________#67              ...
Memorial Day is a special day for all Americans. It is oneday each year that we pause from our busy lives toremember and p...
If you fly into Reagan National Airport, you might not want to rent a car. For a fare of $1.60, hop on DC Metro’s yellowli...
Polar Bears in Korea 1953             Newsletter #65 described parts of the battle for Pork Chop Hill. The saga continues,...
REGISTRATION FORM                 31st   Infantry Regiment Association Reunion 10-13 August 2012 Washington, DCName: _____...
Taps             The following members have stood their last formation since our previous update.MSG (Ret) Abie Abraham   ...
Membership Application – 31st Infantry Regiment AssociationFirst name              nickname      middle initial      last ...
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31st Infantry Regiment June 2012 Newsletter


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31st Infantry Regiment Newsletter - June 2012

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31st Infantry Regiment June 2012 Newsletter

  1. 1. Pro Patria Press_________________________________________________________________________________________#67 June 2012 Newsletter of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association Karl Lowe, Editor_________________________________________________________________________________________ 4th Battalion News On May 25, one of our own, Steve Townsend, was promoted to Major General at the Pentagon. Those who attended the 2001 reunion at Fort Drum, New York will never forget Steve, then the 4th Battalion’s Commander, stepping up to the podium at the banquet and announcing “Gentlemen, I’m getting way out in front of my chain of command on this but as fellow Polar Bears, I thought you should know that the soldiers you had lunch went “wheels up” a few minutes ago, bound for an undisclosed destination in Southwest Asia.” We all knew that meant Polar Bears were once again headed to war. When promoting Steve, Lieutenant General John Campbell held up a poster that showed Steve’s remarkable career at a glance. He has gone to war at every rank from lieutenant through brigadier general, serving in combat in Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. When he commanded the 3rd Brigade 2nd Infantry Division, his brigade was the tip of the spear for the surge in Iraq, repeatedly moving from one hot spot to another to break theback of the insurgency. We’ll hear much more from this remarkable soldier in the years ahead. On June 5, Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Ryan (right) completed his tour as the 4th Battalion’s commander. We wish Rob well as he continues to move up the ranks in the tradition of his predecessors. His replacement is Lieutenant Colonel Roland H. Dicks (left) who will soon take the battalion back to war. Command Sergeant Major Benny Dobbs will also be leaving soon. A delegation from the 31st Infantry Regiment Association (Jack Considine, Vin Zike, Karl Lowe, and Ed Bettis shown with LTC Dicks) attended the change of command ceremony atFort Drum, paying our respects to the out-going and in-coming commanders. Rob Ryan’s Memorial Daymessage (next page) to all Polar Bears, past and present, speaks to the close relationship between theassociation and the 4th Battalion.Friends, Families, Veterans of the Polar Bears;
  2. 2. Memorial Day is a special day for all Americans. It is oneday each year that we pause from our busy lives toremember and pay tribute to those who made theultimate sacrifice for our nation. It is a day like no otherfor those who have served or supported those who serve.The bitter lesson of history is that freedom is neverguaranteed. There has always been someone willing totake a stand for our constitution and recognize that rightsof all people are what make our culture unique. It is onlythose great and noble souls who have sacrificed for thatcause that truly understand freedoms price. We continueto take a stand, like those before us did, against tyrannyand injustice. It is today we recognize the sacrifice yetunderstand that there are those among us ready andwilling to make a stand for freedom and to serve thoseoppressed – and that freedom only survives if Patriotsare willing to accept that responsibility. On behalf of the862 Polar Bears here at Fort Drum, New York, thank youfor who you are, your service and sincere devotion toGod, Country and Duty. We are grateful for your service,commitment and dedication to the memory of thosewho’ve served and will serve! We appreciate your sacrifices and loyalty. Pro Patria!Benny Dobbs– Polar Bear 7 Robert M. Ryan – Polar Bear 6Command Sergeant Major, USA Lieutenant Colonel, InfantryBattalion Command Sergeant Major Commanding Reunion 2012This is the last newsletter before the reunion. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s time to get out that pen. The reunionis 10-13 Aug 2012 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, VA (400 Courthouse Square). Phone 1-866-837-4210 forreservations and tell them you are with the 31st Infantry Regiment Association to get our reduced rate. Cut-off date forreservations is July 30. In addition to your room reservation, please also register with the association by July 30 so weknow how many meals to have the hotel order for the banquet. Registration form is the end of this newsletter. Please fillit out and mail it with your check, payable to 31st Inf Regt Assn, to Joe De Angelis 3035 El Rio Dr, Meridian, ID 83642.If you can arrive in Alexandria early and help with setting up and manning the reception desk, please contact Ron Corson( or phone 757-253-1311. We can use all the help we can get! Agenda is still subject to modificationbut so far, it looks like this:Friday 10 Aug (arrival, socialize at the hospitality room, Executive Board meeting at 5PM)Saturday 11 Aug  0900 White House tour for those who signed up; If the tour is disapproved (we won’t know until 3-4 weeks out), there will be a tour of the US Capitol instead.)  1030 Bus transportation to memorials on the DC Mall. Busses must return to the Westin Hotel by 1300. Those who wish to remain at the DC Mall longer to visit other sites (National Archives, Smithsonian Museums of American History and Natural History, Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial are all on or near the mall) can take as long as you wish (cafeterias are in each of the museums) and can return to the Hotel (near Alexandria King St Station) by Yellow Line Metro (subway) for $2.15 per person. It is clean, punctual, and safe.  Afternoon and evening are open to socialize with old friends and visit sights in DC.Sunday 12 Aug  0900 Memorial Ceremony at Courthouse Square.  1100 General business meeting at the Westin; hospitality room is open until 2 PM;  1830 Reunion Banquet at the Westin. We’ll have a surprise guest speaker.Monday 13 Aug (departure) 2
  3. 3. If you fly into Reagan National Airport, you might not want to rent a car. For a fare of $1.60, hop on DC Metro’s yellowline train toward Huntington and get off at King Street Station, two stops (7 minutes) away. At the station, there will be aWestin shuttle bus waiting to take you to the hotel, 2 blocks away. If one isn’t there when you arrive, call 703-253-8602.The hotel is near the George Washington Masonic Memorial (picture at right), offering a panoramic view of DC from itslittle known top floor observation deck. We’ll take a bus to and from the mall on Saturday ($15/person). To visit theattractions on the Mall on your own, return to the King Street station and for a fare of just $2.15, take Metro’s yellow linetrain toward Fort Totten and get off at Archives Station, only 7 stops (19 minutes) away.Because the cost of gas and air fares are high, we’ve tried to keep costs of our events down and because DC is a touristdestination with a wide variety of attractions convenient to the hotel by metro, we’ve left the choices to members to dothings with old friends rather than trying to fit everyone to the same activities. The Westin has worked with us to makethis as affordable as possible, given the season and local pricing. What follows is a summary of your expected costs.Hotel room: $109/night for single or double, $119 for triple, $129 for quadruple occupancy, plus $1 per night local occupancy tax and 11.5% state tax=$122.54 for single or double occupancy, $133.69 for triple, or $144.84 for quadruple.Registration: $30 per person (required for all attending)Tour Bus: $15 per person (required for White House tour, optional for visiting attractions on the DC Mall)Banquet: $40 per person (required for all attending)Driving directionsFrom Richmond: Take I-95 to Springfield, VA, Take the right fork of the Washington Beltway on I-95/I-495 Local.Take exit 176B onto the Eisenhower Connecter, following it to Eisenhower Ave. Exit right onto Eisenhower Ave, left onto Mill Rd, right onto Jamieson Ave and you’ll see the Westin at the corner of Jamieson and Courthouse Square.From Roanoke: Take I-81 up the Shenandoah Valley toward Lexington, take exit 300 onto I-66 toward Washington, take exit 64A onto I-495 South. Take exit 176B onto the Eisenhower Connecter, following the same directions as above.From Pittsburgh: take the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76 East) toward Harrisburg. Take the I-70 East exit at Breezewood, follow I-70 to Frederick. Take exit 53 onto I-270 South toward Washington. Take exit 39 onto I-495 South toward Northern Virginia. Follow I-495 to Alexandria and take exit 176B, following the same directions as above.From Baltimore: take MD 295/I-295 South (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) toward Washington, take exit 1C onto I-95 South toward Richmond, merge onto I-495 Local South, Take Exit 176B, turn right on Stovall St, right onto Eisenhower Ave, following the same directions as above.Parking at the Westin is by valet only. On-street parking is free on weekends but the area is a popular destination and on- street parking might be hard to find.All meals are at individual expense. Look forward to seeing you for our biggest reunion ever. I’ll be your point ofcontact. Call me at 703-978-1076 or email if you have questions. Karl Lowe Quilt Raffle The wives of Bill Singleton and Bill Gale are each making quilts to be raffled off at the reunion in August. Margery Singleton’s quilt (an early draft shown at left) will depict the Polar Bear crest in the middle with the CIB, CMB, and CAB arrayed around it, along with the patches of every unit the regiment served under in combat and the citations earned by the unit in its wars. A draft layout of Margery’s design is illustrated at left. 3
  4. 4. Polar Bears in Korea 1953 Newsletter #65 described parts of the battle for Pork Chop Hill. The saga continues, drawing from S.L.A. Marshall’s 1956 book by the same name. As the fight slackened around 0800, men on both sides left the trench to seek better positions on the slopes.The smell of death below was overpowering in places. Above, shell holes and large rocks offered a measure of safety.This scrambling brought the two sides closer together, but there was no upsurge in fighting. Both sides were spent.Exhausted, out of water and short of ammunition, men conserved whatever energy and firepower they had left. Theweather was cool and clear, one of the season’s better days.At 0814, two squads from G Company 17th Infantry arrived to reinforce K Company. Until then, Clemons did not knowthat any part of that regiment was anywhere near. As Clemons sent the squads to reinforce the hill’s left side, a voicefrom behind him inquired, “Could you tell me the situation?” Clemons turned to see his brother-in-law, LieutenantWalter B. Russell, who he thought was still in the States. He shouted in amazement, “What the hell are you doing here?”Russell, commanding G Company of the 17th, explained that his orders were to assist K and L Companies in mopping upon the hill and then to get back down as soon as possible. Clemons suddenly realized the gulf of comprehensionseparating his command from higher headquarters. He had only 35 men left from K Company, 10 from L Company and12 frightened and lightly wounded survivors of E Company who had been rescued from various bunkers. LieutenantHarrold had already left the hill with the more seriously wounded survivors. Clemons knew the force he had left wasincapable of further offensive action and doubted that it could defend very long either.Suddenly, Chinese artillery and mortars again swept across the slope, joined by and intense barrage of automatic weaponsfire. The Chinese had also been reinforced and were getting ready for another push. Lieutenant Marshall with LCompany’s 10 men and Lieutenant Ess, with the two squads from G Company of the 17th Infantry took over the leftsector. Lieutenant Russell brought the rest of G Company up on the right. Clemons and Ohashi regrouped K Company tohold the center. Throughout the day, the fight continued and the casualties continued to mount.By late afternoon, only 25 men remained unwounded in K and L Companies together. With Ohashi and Kuzmick,Clemons positioned the survivors in a tight group around the highest point they held on the hill. He then returned to hisCP with a runner and a radio they had salvaged and called Lieutenant Colonel Davis at around 1640. He reported, “Wehave about 20 men left. There is no fight left in this company. If we can’t be relieved, we should be withdrawn.”Brigadier General Arthur Trudeau, the Assistant Division Commander, was with Davis when the call came in. He wouldhave to come up with reinforcements quick and get them up the hill before nightfall. He did, relieving the depletedremnant of K Company just after dark. Pork Chop continued to be held, preventing the Chinese from breaking throughanywhere along the 7th Division’s line despite 15,000 rounds of artillery and repeated assaults.In May 1953, the 31st Infantry held the left of the 7th Division line, releasing the Columbian Battalion to division control.Constant patrols kept the line active. In June, Outposts Dale and Pork Chop came under renewed enemy pressure, butmanaged to hold. The Chinese were trying to capture positions that would give them observation vantage pointsdominating the critical Chorwon Valley. The valley was critical to both sides. For the Chinese and North Koreans, itrepresented a possible UN invasion corridor opening the way to Wonsan and Pyongyang. For the UN, it represented aChinese invasion corridor pointed southwest that could isolate Seoul. Neither side could afford to yield high ground sincethe peace talks at Panmunjom would likely end soon. We Still Need A New Membership ChairmanJack and Alice Considine, working as a team, have jointly served the 31st Infantry Regiment Association asMembership Chairmen since 1995. They will be a hard act to follow but we need someone to take over andgive the Considines a well-deserved rest. If you are willing to meet the challenge, please contact ChuckMcCammon or phone 480-586-1343. 4
  5. 5. REGISTRATION FORM 31st Infantry Regiment Association Reunion 10-13 August 2012 Washington, DCName: ________________________________________________________________________________________Guest(s):_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Street Address:______________________________________________________________________________City:___________________________________________________________________________________________State:____________________________________ Zip Code:__________________________________________Email:__________________________________________phone:______________________________________Company and Battalion of the 31st Infantry_____________________________________________ When________________________Are you a member of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association?_____________________Host Hotel for Reunion 2012 is the Westin in Alexandria, VA (call 1-866-837-4210 for room reservations and tell themyou’re with the 31st Infantry Regiment Association Reunion. Room rates are $109 per night for single or double occupancyplus tax.)Reunion Activity cost/person x # participating = $ totalReunion Registration $30 X ________________ $______________Bus Transportation (buses required for tour of the White House or Capitol for those who registered; optional forthose visiting memorials and museums on the Mall $15 X ________________ $______________Reunion Banquet $40 x _________________ $______________Grand Total $______________Registration deadline is July 20, 2012 Make checks payable to: 31st Infantry Regiment AssociationMail your check and this registration form to: Joe DeAngelis, Treasurer, 31st Inf Regt Assn, 3035 El Rio Dr,Meridian, ID 83642-6741 Fund DrivesPolar Bear Memorial. To avoid drawing down the Association Treasury, please join our fund drive to maintain the PolarBear memorial dedicated during our recent reunion at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning. Putting thememorial in place is only the first step but it will continue to cost the association to maintain that fitting tribute to theregiment’s service. Fred Connolly just donated $52 from sales of Vickie Spring’s Book. Send your contribution to ourTreasurer, Joe DeAngelis at 3035 El Rio Dr, Meridian, ID 83642. Please feel free to solicit donations from localbusinesses, banks, and fraternal organizations in your home town as well.Reunion 2012. To support our 2012 reunion in the Washington, we solicited contributions from local businesses. Thefirst came quickly. Morgan Borszcz Consulting of Arlington, VA contributed $1500, sent by check to our Treasurer,Joe DeAngelis. The Chief Operating Officer and VP of that firm is Michael Morgan, son of Bill Morgan who was ReconPlatoon Leader and Assistant S-3 with the 6th Battalion in 1969-70. We’re very grateful to Michael and his firm for theirexceptional generosity. We also received a $30 donation from a good friend of the regiment in Italy, Luigi Trevisan. 5
  6. 6. Taps The following members have stood their last formation since our previous update.MSG (Ret) Abie Abraham (SGT, Bataan, C/1st Bn, 1941-45) Butler, PA thTom Barry (SP4, Vietnam, B/6 Bn, 1969-70)Gerald D. Bussard (SSG, Korea, K/3rd Bn, 1951-52) Pittsburgh, PALeroy Harris (SP4, Vietnam, D/6th Bn 1969-70) Baltimore, MDCOL (Ret) Earle H. Jordan (CPT, Korea, Hvy Mort Co, 1950) Brooksville, FLHerbert L. Roemke (CPL, Japan & Korea, K/3rd Bn, 1949-51) Gig Harbor, WA Association OfficersCommander: Chuck McCammon (SP4, A/6th Bn, VN, 1969-70) 307 S 90th St, Mesa, AZ 85208 480-586-1343Vice Commander: Bill Owen (CPT, C/6th Bn, VN, 1968-69) 360 Glendobbin Rd, Winchester VA 22603 540-535-0666Adjutant: Vin Zike (SGT, D/6th Bn, VN, 1968-69) 1101 Bimini Lane, Singer Island, FL 33404 561-429-2222Treasurer: Joe De Angelis (SGT, C/6th Bn, Ft Lewis & VN, 1967-69) 3035 El Rio Dr, Meridian, ID 83642 208-362-9468Membership Chairman: Jack Considine (CPL, B Co, Korea, 1951-52) 144 S River Rd, Tolland, CT 06084 860-875-9032Quartermaster: Dale Mills (SGT, C/6th Bn, VN, 1968-69) 6331 Dobson Rd, Macon, GA 31220 478-787-2679Sergeant at Arms: John Howdeshelt (SGT, D/6th Bn, VN 1969) 788 Eagledale Cir, Kettering, OH 45429Senior Director/Historian: Karl Lowe (CPT, D/6th Bn, VN, 1970) 5101 Portsmouth Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032 703-978-1076Northeast (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY) Ed Bettis (CPL, G Co, Korea, 1951-52) 3728 Highland Ave, Skaneateles, NY 13152 315-685-3944Mid-Atlantic (NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV) Ron Corson (CPT, A/6th Bn, VN, 1969-70) 3620 Bridgewater Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23188 757-253-1311Southeast (NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, AR, LA, PR, VI) Noah Halfacre (LT, E/6th Bn, VN, 1969-70) 2740 Oxford Hall Ave, Murfreesboro TN 37128 615-893-9715Great Lakes (KY, OH, MI, IN, IL, WI) John “Pops” McNichol (SGT, D/6th Bn, VN, 1970) 900 Fisk Ave, Joliet, IL 60436 815-741-1788Midwest (MN, ND, SD, NE, IA, MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, CO) Phil Harris (SP4, C/6th Bn, VN, 1968-69) 13081 N 99th Dr, Sun City, AZ, 85351 360-607-2032West (HI, AK, WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, UT, ID, MT, WY) Dave Wilson (LT, C/6th Bn, VN, 1968-69) 18005 87th Ave E, Puyallup WA 98357 253-875-1901 6
  7. 7. Membership Application – 31st Infantry Regiment AssociationFirst name nickname middle initial last nameStreet address city state zip codePhone number ___________________Email address________________________alternate email address_________________________Please fill the information about your connection with the 31st Infantry Regiment in the blocksbelow:31st Infantry unit (Plt, Co, Bn) rank and duty positionRank when retired highest award earnedWhere did you serve with the 31st? When? Philippines ___________ ____________________________ Korea ___________ ____________________________ Japan ___________ ____________________________ Vietnam ___________ ____________________________ Iraq ___________ ____________________________ Afghanistan ___________ ____________________________ USA ___________ ____________________________Membership desired Life Membership Annual membership per yearActive Duty ___$25 Prior member of 31st unit ___$10Age 49 & under ___$60 Associate member (family) ___$ 5Age 50-59 ___$45Age 60 & over ___$35Associate life member (family) ___$25Current Active duty member ___$ 5Make check to 31st Inf Regt Assn & mail to: Jack Considine, 144 S River Rd, Tolland, CT0608431 Infantry Regiment AssociationVincent Zike, COL (Ret)21 Caskey RoadGlen Spey, NY 12737RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED 7