May 2018 News Letter

Posted on May 1, 2018


Charlie Troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment

Thirsty-Six News Letter

May 2018


The following Troopers gave their all during the month of May 1965- 1972:

Thomas Koch May 28, 1966 Blues

James Rickerson May 31, 1967 Blues

George Slye May 4, 1970 after transfer to B Trp

Tommy Whiddon May 6, 1970 Scout Pilot

Gary McKiddy May 6, 1970 Scout Observer

LeLand Chestnut May 6, 1970 Door Gunner

David Combs May 27, 1970 Door Gunner

The Following Troopers, Troopettes, Gold Star Family members have birthdays in the month of May:

Gwynn Smith May 2

Rain McKinnon May 3

Tyler Clines May 10 Little Brother

Carol Bieneman May 13

Cecil Smith May 17

Richard Walton May 17 Son of L. Walton

Dickie Jelich Langworthy May 21 Daughter of J. Jelich

Diane Gleaton May 23 Daughter of L. Walton

Patricia Norris May 24

John Yorke May 25

Janice Taconni May 27 Daughter of F. Gonderman

Larry Donaldson May 29

Loyd Kelly May 30

The following Troopers, Troopettes and Gold Star Family member shave anniversaries in the Month of May:

George and Wendy VanSant May 2

Jerry and Teri Duckworth May 4, 1971 47years

Pat and Carol Bieneman May 12, 1970 48years

I talked to Billie Williams. He had fallen and hurt his knee. He actually tore the tendons on both sides of the knee. He is doing better but it will be a touch and go when it comes to attending this years reunion. Billie said his grand-daughter is getting ready to graduate from college out in California. He said he would really like to attend but that will depend upon his knee progress as well. Both Billie and Ms. Dorris are doing well except for the knee.

I talked to Chuck Knowlen. He and Beverly are fine. The weather has decided to stay winter up in Maine.

I talked to Jerry Toman. He and Carol are both good. His weather in St. Augustine, Florida is a little bit better than Chuck’s up in Maine.

I called and talked to Jerry Grimm’s son. Jerry was out and about. Jerry is doing fine.

Carol and I drove up to Titchenell’s house in Dothan, Alabama. Carol flew on from there to Louisville to see her mom and then went to Pigeon Forge, TN to continue setting up our reunion and to go out into the community to seek donations. I’ll just say she did quite well. Titch is doing well.


I am asking each of you that have a set of orders at home and they have more than just your name on them to either scan them and send them to me or at least send me an email with the names, ranks a either SSAN or US/RA numbers. I am trying to put together the most comprehensive unit roster possible. This will also aid me in finding these Troopers to invite to future reunions. I could order them through St. Louis but that costs money. It could cost up to $200 to obtain a unit roster for January and July of every year we were there. That would not include officers names for what ever reason.

I am also hoping to start a “My Hero” section in this monthly news letter. The only way I can do that is if you send me an email talking about your “Hero”. I would like to begin with Troopers while serving in Vietnam. For our Gold Star Families this can be your loved one.

My first “Hero” is written by me. My first hero to the then Captain Charles “Chuck” Knowlen. Chuck was the first Blue Platoon leader in Vietnam. He wrote the play book that we, the future Blues followed. Practicing stateside with his Blues gave him the confidence in his men that he needed. However, practicing in the states is not quite the same as actually performing against an Armed enemy force. Chuck ran his platoon with precision and Professionalism. Because he knew he had a couple of Troopers with colds he made them stay back at base camp on the night of 3 November 1965 as he and his Blues were joining up with the Blues from “A” and “B” Troops for a night ambush. Major Bob Zion was the Ambush Commander. Major Zion was from “B” Troop.

The ambush site selected by Captain Knowlen “was a well used trail maybe two feet wide and trodden down at least two inches. Knowing that he could not use the radios as the sounds a radio makes when the

“Talk” button is pushed and released would give away their location, he ran a wires to each of his Squad Leaders with a pre-set code count to get the word out”.*

Because Captain Knowlen was wise enough to leave his slightly ill Troopers behind, because he used the wire for communication the enemy was never aware of his ambush and the ambush went off as expected with many enemy casualties and NO Blues casualties. Captain Knowlen then called foe mortar fire to aid in his withdrawal back to the base site.

The first NVA attack on the base camp came at 2200 (10PM). The second one came at 2300 (11PM). During this second attack SFC Pascual, the Blue’s Platoon Sergeant was killed.

Because of his professionalism and his love of his men, Captain Knowlen’s Blues returned to base camp with just the one casualty. Chuck called the Blue’s Lift Platoon helicopters his heroes that night as they brought in reinforcements and took his Blues back to base Camp. Yes, our Lift Pilots were Heroes however, if Captain Knowlen had not trained his Troopers so well and if he did not lead them with his tremendous ability those choppers would not have been needed that night.

The first time I talked to LTC Knowlen, I told him he was one of my heroes and the above is just one reason that this is true. God Bless you, Sir.

* these are Captain Chuck Knowlen’s word straight from his After Action Report.

Time is getting down to the Nitty Gritty on this year’s reunion. That means that the time for making down payments on meals and such are here. Since we are making down payments on next years reunion as well, our coffers are starting to get low.

Deciding where to hold reunions and which hotels are not a problem. When we do this we must estimate how many people will be eating. Then we must start making payments normally starting 6 months out and then again 3 months out. It is possible to add a few after we make our finally payment and it is always possible to subtract people until that final payment date comes along. However, we can not say Oh we need to add another 20 or 30 people. To this end, starting with the 2019 Reunion, for those who want to pre-date their check the date will be June 1 and not July 15th. We will also ask all Troopers/Troopettes and Gold Star Family members to make you hotel reservation by the June 1st date as well. You can always cancel your reservations up to 7 days prior and there will not be any charge to your credit card until the day you show up.

Carol and I are both getting more and more chronologically challenged and our stress levels elevate more quickly. To ease the stress, we can continue to organize these reunions, we ask for your help.



I have babbled enough for this month.


God Bless