May Jun '10 Saber.indd - First Cavalry Division Association
MAY/JUNE, 2010 TOYA MARU SURVIVOR’S STORY by Peter O’Brien On March 29th, 2010, through the amazing earth-shrinking miracle of the Internet, I found and spoke with the lone 1st Cavalry Division Artillery survivor of the Toya Maru ferry disaster of September 26, 1954. The ferry had sailed from Hakodate, Hokkaido, with about 1,309 passengers including 36 members of the 1st Cav Division Artillery’s advance party being sent south to set up a new duty station at Camp Younghans, near Sendai on Honshu. The four and a half hour ferry ride to Aomori, Honshu, was to be the first leg of the trip for the advance party. The battalions were to move to Honshu with their equipment on LSTs and disembark further south at Sendai for the 40-mile drive to Younghans. PFC Francis P. GOEDKEN, 99th Field Artillery, HQ Battery 1953-55, was on an upper glassed-in deck of Toya Maru with several other 99th troopers when, at about 2100 hrs, he and those gathered there were told by an unknown 99th Officer to don their life jackets and remove their shoes. Winds were howling and enormous waves loomed ahead but they were unaware that they were weathering a typhoon. The soldiers had earlier had supper aboard the ship when seas were relatively calm. Japanese train travelers were still sitting in their trains on the train deck of the ship. One of the GI’s, sensing the growing danger, said, “let’s pray.” It was soon apparent that the ship was losing headway and taking on water. The rising water in the ship compressed the air in the upper decks, causing the large glass window ports to pop out. The anchor was put out but it failed and the ship grounded which negated all efforts to stabilize her. Buffeted by the huge waves and typhoon winds she capsized at 2243 hrs, just several hundred meters off the coast of Hakodate, Hokkaido. The last thing Frank remembered before being washed out of one of the ports was the sound of two GI’s praying. Once in the water, not knowing how he got there and despite the pitch-black night, he spotted a life raft that had been washed off the deck. An elderly Japanese man was sitting on it and Frank swam to it. Frank climbed aboard but soon one of the enormous waves washed them off. They remounted the raft, only to be washed off again. In the second displacement, GOEDKEN broke his elbow when his arm became entangled in the raft’s rope lines. Drifting now in the inky darkness he saw the lights of a ship nearby, but it was not in a life-saving mode. The waves battered him against the steel MEDAL OF HONOR CARMEL B. HARVEY, JR. Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 June 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 6 October 1946, Montgomery, W. Va. Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SPC4 Harvey distinguished himself as a fire team leader with Company B, during combat operations. Ordered to secure a downed helicopter, his platoon established a defensive perimeter around the aircraft, but shortly thereafter a large enemy force attacked the position from 3 sides. SPC4 Harvey and 2 members of his squad were in a position directly in the path of the enemy onslaught, and their location received the brunt of the fire from an enemy machine gun. In short order, both of his companions were wounded, but SPC4 Harvey covered this loss by increasing his deliberate rifle fire at the foe. The enemy machine gun seemed to concentrate on him and the bullets struck the ground all around his position. One round hit and armed a grenade attached to his belt. Quickly, he tried to remove the grenade but was unsuccessful. Realizing the danger to his comrades if he remained and despite the hail of enemy fire, he jumped to his feet, shouted a challenge at the enemy, and raced toward the deadly machine gun. He nearly reached the enemy position when the grenade on his belt exploded, mortally wounding SPC4 Harvey, and stunning the enemy machine gun crew. His final act caused a pause in the enemy fire, and the wounded men were moved from the danger area. SPC4 Harvey’s dedication to duty, high sense of responsibility, and heroic actions inspired the others in his platoon to decisively beat back the enemy attack. His acts are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army. FOUNDATION PROVIDES SCHOLARSHIPS The Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association offers scholarships to eligible applicants who are attending accredited educational institutions. Currently, scholarship grants of up to $1,200 are offered annually and pay up to a total of $4,800 for four years of schooling. The scholarship program was initiated by the Association in 1967 during the Vietnam War in response to requests from the Sergeants Major of the Division who committed their support to perpetuation of the program. A trust agreement was signed 16 August, 1968 establishing the Foundation. Since that time, no child has been turned away for lack of funds. Between the generous donations of Association members and a good investment program the Cavalry has taken care of its own. Children of Troopers that were killed in action or are totally and permanently disabled due to wounds or diseases contracted while serving with the division are eligible for scholarships. Children of 1st Cavalry Division Association members who die while serving with the 1st Cavalry Division in peacetime are also eligible. Additionally, active duty soldiers, spouses and children of soldiers who currently serve in the division and are members of the 1st Cavalry Division Association are also eligible. Page 12 hull of the silent ship several times as he was being washed toward the stern. Fearing the suction of the propeller he managed to pull away and a wave hurled him further astern. Soon, without any real effort on his part, he felt the ground beneath his feet as he was being miraculously washed up on the storm-lashed Nanae Beach, near Hakodate, Hokkaido. Walking along the beach he came to an Army Piper Cub that was tied down on the hard packed sand. Apparently the survivor of an emergency landing, the plane was intact and Frank considered riding-out the storm in it. He soon changed his mind, however, and headed inland where he found a large warehouse and hunkered down there until he was found and taken to a local hospital where his arm was treated. The next morning his Japanese nurse told him he was very lucky to have survived, and that’s when Frank learned what had happened to the 1,159 people who didn’t make it. Only 150 survived. Frank recuperated in an Army hospital on Hokkaido. When released, he was debriefed by a group of 1st Cav generals. Frank told them what he had experienced and about the unknown 99th officer who had coolly issued orders as they were gathered on the upper deck in that ferocious storm. Frank suggested that whoever he was, he deserved a medal. That officer was 2LT George A. VAIL- LANCOURT, 99th Field Artillery, Battery C, who was posthumously awarded the Soldier’s Medal. The football field at Younghans was dedicated a year later to LT VAILLANCOURT and the others who lost their lives that night. Soon after the sinking, the ship owners offered Frank 100,000 yen but he declined. He was informed by a friend that to decline this face-saving gesture by the genuinely sorry ship owners was not good Japanese manners and might offend, so he relented and took the money; about $280 at that time. After his discharge in April, 1955, Frank GOEDKEN returned to his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa and found a job as a pattern maker at John Deere’s Dubuque Works where he stayed 55 years. Now retired, the 77 year old, and his wife Esther enjoy the quiet peace of small town America in nearby Zwingle, Iowa, population 120. Frank is very much interested in any efforts for a Memorial to those comrades he lost that long ago night of September 26, 1954. He remembers the typhoon and near drowning vividly to this day. Frank may be reached at 10226 Arensdorf Road, Zwingle, IA 52079, tel (563) 773 2618. While the photo of the Memorial to LT VAILLANCOURT at Camp Younghans shows an Honor Roll of those lost that night, it’s too small to read. So, if anyone has a list of those men, please share it with Jim Miller where it can be available to all interested 1st Cav veterans. I also spoke with Lloyd Pitman recently. He sent in the photo of the Toya Maru and as a 1949-50 member of the 99th he too is very interested in any Toya Maru memorial. Peter O’Brien, PO Box 133, Foxboro, MA 02035, HQ, 61st FA, 1954-55. MEDAL OF HONOR EDGAR L. McWETHY, JR. Rank and organization: Specialist Fifth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Place and date: Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, 21 June 1967. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Born: 22 November 1944, Leadville, Colo. Citation For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Serving as a medical aidman with Company B, SPC5 McWethy accompanied his platoon to the site of a downed helicopter. Shortly after the platoon established a defensive perimeter around the aircraft, a large enemy force attacked the position from 3 sides with a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire and grenades. The platoon leader and his radio operator were wounded almost immediately, and SPC5 McWethy rushed across the fire-swept area to their assistance. Although he could not help the mortally wounded radio operator, SPC5 McWethy’s timely first aid enabled the platoon leader to retain command during this critical period. Hearing a call for aid, SPC5 McWethy started across the open toward the injured men, but was wounded in the head and knocked to the ground. He regained his feet and continued on but was hit again, this time in the leg. Struggling onward despite his wounds, he gained the side of his comrades and treated their injuries. Observing another fallen rifleman Lying in an exposed position raked by enemy fire, SPC5 McWethy moved toward him without hesitation. Although the enemy fire wounded him a third time, SPC5 McWethy reached his fallen companion. Though weakened and in extreme pain, SPC5 McWethy gave the wounded man artificial respiration but suffered a fourth and fatal wound. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and demonstrated concern for his fellow soldiers, SPC5 McWethy inspired the members of his platoon and contributed in great measure to their successful defense of the position and the ultimate rout of the enemy force. SPC5 McWethy’s profound sense of duty, bravery, and his willingness to accept extraordinary risks in order to help the men of his unit are characteristic of the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army. The first scholarship grant was awarded in 1973. Initially grants were for $400 per year and have been raised incrementally over the years. The grants were increased from $1,000 per year to $1,200 per year in June, 2008. As of Donations to the Foundation by Association members are gratefully accepted and are invested and managed by the Foundation Trustees to support this worthy program. Undergraduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 semester hours to receive a full grant. Students enrolled in a Masters Degree program must maintain a semester total of 5 hours and those enrolled in Doctorate Degree programs must maintain 3 hours for a full grant. A course of instruction deemed by the trustees to be of a frivolous nature and not normally leading to a career or job opportunity generally disqualifies an applicant from receiving a scholar ship grant. Continued on pg. 17
Page 13 MAY/JUNE, 2010 New Members Continued from pg. 8. E-4 DAVIS, JAMES PA C 2STB 1002 1SG DAVIS, JR., JIM TX 27BSB 1005 E4 DAVIS, III, VERNON E. MD F 1-8C 0504 1SG DAVIS, WALTER B. TX C 2-8C 1003 MAJ DAY, EUGENE R. TX HHC 4BCT 0806 SSG DeLEON, ESTEBAN S. TX A 5-82FA 1001 SPC DeMARS, SAMUEL PAUL MN A 5-82FA 0803 PFC DEGAETANO, CHRISTOPHER NJ HHC 4BSTB 1002 PFC DEMPSEY, ROBERT P. TX HHC 4BCT 1003 SFC DENNIS, THOMAS E. FL A 229AVN 7006 SGT DIAZ-SUAREZ, RAQUEL TX HHC 4BSTB 0910 SGT DOMINGUEZ, MANUEL TX HHD DISCOM 97 PFC DUFFY, THOMAS J. PA C 4BSTB 1004 E-6 DUFORT, KEITH ALLEN FL B 6-14FA 6511 E-5 DUNIVAN, JERRY D. MO B 2-7C 6702 SGT DUNNELL, CHARLES TX C 2STB 0907 SGT ECKER, RANDY A. MN C 8ENG 7511 SSG EDMOND, JACQUES TX A 5-82FA 0803 PVT EDWARDS, NEHEMIAH M. VA 4BCT 1005 SGT ESTRADA, JORGE TX C 2STB 1003 PVT EVANS, JOHN TX C 2STB 1003 LT EZELL, MICHAEL TX C 2STB 1003 SGT FALCONER, LARRY TX A 5-82FA 0806 SSG FARRELL, DAN CA C 1-7C 7206 1SG FERNANDEZ, EDUARDO TX C 2-12C 0712 SPC FERRANCE, DAVID TX G 27BSB 10 SSG FERRELL, NORBERT GA C 2-8C 0712 SSG FERRER, KRISTOFFER C. TX C 2STB 1003 CPT FITZGERALD, CHAD TX HHB 5-82FA 1003 PVT FLETCHER, ANDREW TX B 2-12C 1003 SSG FLOWERS, DERRICK TX C 2STB 1003 E-6 FOOTMAN, JOHN D. TX A 3-8C 72 SSG FOX, CHRISTOPHER E. TX C 4BSTB 1001 PFC FRALEY, JR., CRAIG U. TX D 1-8C 0501 WO1 GABARA, SAMUEL A. TX A 215BSB 1003 SPC GALLOWAY, MATTHEW A. TX C 2STB 0805 PV2 GARCIA, EDUARDO CA HHC 1ACB 1003 PVT GARCIA, LUIS E. AZ HHC 2BCT 1003 LTC GARCIA, PAUL VA HHC 4-9C 1003 PVT GATHERIGHT, CALVIN TX A 5-82FA 1003 SGT GAUDIN, JOSE FELIPE FLORES TX HHB 5-82FA 08 E-2 GEBHART, VANESSA PA 4BCT 1003 SGT GENTZLER, TRAVIS TX D 1-8C 0801 SGT GIBSON, DAVID WAYNE TX C 4BSTB 0910 SGT GILES, JONATHAN TX HHC 4BSTB 1003 CPT GOFF, CHRISTOPHER TX 1BCT 1005 SGT GOLPHINSYAS, DOROTHY J. TX C 2STB 1003 SGT GOMEZ, STEVEN TX HHC 4BSTB 0804 E-4 GONZALEZ, LOUIS A. SC C 27MNT 64 PV2 GONZALEZ, LUIS A. AL 4BSTB 1003 SFC GORDON, MARLON D. TX C 4BCT 1003 E-4 GORMAN, ROBERT K. IL B 1-5C 6709 SGT GRANESSE, GREGORY P. TX A 5-82FA 0903 SFC GREEN, JR., LEVI L. TX E 2-7C 0806 PVT GROETSCH, JOSHUA D. PA C 4BSTB 1003 PVT GURVIR, SINGH CA F 2-12C 1003 SPC GUTIERREZ, HENRY TX C 2STB 1002 PFC HALEY, CODY SD 1ACB 1003 LT HALL, SCOTT FL C 2-8C 0905 PFC HARALSON, DANNY C. TX 1BCT 1003 SFC HARBERT, WILLIAM A. TX D 1-8C 0803 CPT HARDEN, JESSE TX A 1-8C 1003 CPT HARDY, JOHN TX HHC 4BCT 1004 E-4 HARRIS, ALLEN TX G 2-7C 0704 SFC HARRIS, SEAN TX HHC 1ACB 0911 SSG HARRIS, SHELBY W. TX B 6-9C 0512 1LT HARRISON, III, CHARLES A. LA HHC 4BSTB 06 PFC HARTMAN, ANTHONY TX C 2STB 1002 SSG HAWTHORNE, ISAAC TX A 5-82FA 07 SFC HAYNES, MATTHEW TX A DSTB 0901 SSG HAYWOOD, SR., COLE B. SC 1269 1-ASSOC E-4 HEINZE, MICHAEL S. ND 1-7C 72 PFC HERNANDEZ, JASON H. TX C 4BSTB 1003 SGT HERNANDEZ, JUAN TX C 2STB 0802 SPC HERRERA, CARLOS TX B 2-7C 1003 MR. HILGRIS, WILLIAM WALTER MI 1-77FA 6511 MAJ (RET) HOLLINS, JR., JOHN E. OH 1-12C 6506 PFC HOLT, ANTHONY TX C 2STB 0909 LTC HUFF, WILLIAM H. VA 2-227AVN 1007 SPC HULL, CHARLES IVAN TX C 2STB 1001 SSG HUNT, LEE TX A 5-82FA 0802 1LT HUTCHENS, JERRY TX HHC 4BSTB 1002 E-4 INGLIS, KENNETH TX C 2STB 1004 SFC IRVIN, TASHEEMA A. TX HHC 4BSTB 0908 SP5 JACKSON, FLOYD F. MN HHC 15MED 6902 PFC JACKSON, JOSEPH TX A 5-82FA 1003 PFC JASPER, CHARISSE IA HHC 4BSTB 0910 SGT JENKINS, MATTHEW P. TX E 1-5C 1005 SPC JOHANSEN, JUSTIN ME C 2STB 1002 SPC JONES, ALEX TX C 2STB 1003 E-4 JONES, JR., CHARLES ERNEST NC 2-7C 6702 PVT JONES, MYRIA MS HHC 4BCT 1003 SSG JONES, TERENCE TX 4BCT 1003 SPC JORDAN, EBONY SC HHC 4BSTB 0911 SPC KAISER, MATTHEW TX A 5-82FA 0911 SPC KALUP, QUINTON CLIFFORD OK A 5-82FA 0712 SGT KAPAUN, RONALD TX DHHB 0811 2LT KARR, STEPHEN T X C 2STB 1003 MAJ KIELPINSKI, MICHAEL W. TX 4BCT 1001 SFC KING, JR., REGINALD E. TX HHC 4BCT 07 SGT KNELL, JOSEPH TX C 4BSTB 0909 SPC KONECNY, SAMUEL JASON AL A 5-82FA 0803 PFC KOWALSKI, GERALD TX C 2STB 1003 E-4 KRAUSE, RICHARD TX B 2-7C 1002 SGT KUNZE, CLINTON TX C 2STB 1003 1LT KURKOWSKI, AMBERLE TX HHC 4BSTB 0712 T-4 LaFLEUR, RICHARD MN HHT 8C 4601 PV2 LAMAR, QUINCY GA 4BCT 1003 CPT LAMPHERE, CHAD TX HHC 4BCT 0909 SFC LAND, BARRIE TX 4BCT 0805 CPT LANE, KENT TX A 4BCT 0811 SGT LANGLEY, LUCAS TX C 1-8C 0906 CPT LAZARD, DARLENE A. TX 115BSB 1003 SGT LEFEVER, MICHELE NY HHC 4BSTB 0810 MAJ LEGEREIT, DANIEL TX HHC 1ACB 0901 E-4 LEIBY, GEORGE F. PA B 1-7C 7109 SPC LEWERENZ, DANIEL MI D 1-8C 0801 E-5 LILIENTHAL, RICHARD W. MN B 1-9C 6808 1SG LINDSEY, JIMMY TX B 6-9C 0511 SPC LINE, II, ROBERT E. OR A 5-82FA 0803 SSG LIPP, JOSEPH TX GFSC 27BSB 1002 CPT LOCKHART, PAUL G. TX 2-12C 1003 SPC LOFQUIST, TIMOTHY TX A 5-82FA 0708 2LT LOPEZ, JUSTIN J. TX 2-7C 1003 CW3 LOWERY, CHAD TX 2-227AVN 1003 SFC LOYA, JR., GUADALUPE TX HHC 1ACB 0801 2LT LUDWICK, RONALD V. TX C 2STB 1001 PVT LULL, ADAM DEAN TX A 5-82FA 1003 SGT LYONS, PATRICK J. TX E 52INF 66 SGT MACE, SEAN TX E 1-5C 0610 CPT MADLINGER, JOSHUA DAVID TX HHC 2-227AVN 0607 SSG MAGEE-LINDSEY, PHYLLIS TX HHC 4BSTB 1001 CW2 MALDONADO, LUIS D. TX HHC 4BCT 0907 PVT MARBLE, REUBIN M. MI 4BCT 1005 MSG MARKER, CHRIS A. TX A 615ASB 0102 SSG MARQUEZ, JASON L. TX A 5-82FA 08 SP4 MARTEL, THOMAS W. NH A 1-30FA 6902 PFC MARTINEZ, CHRISTINE TX 1-9C 1003 SGT McBRIDE, RALPH C. SC F 12C 44 PFC McCANN, REUBEN KS C 2STB 1003 SSG McCOWN, DANA J. TX HHB 5-82FA 0803 MAJ McCRANEY, SCOTT E. TX A 4-227AVN 0603 SGT McDONELL, MARTIN TX C 2STB 1003 MAJ McKENZIE, GEOFFREY TX 4BCT 0912 SGT McLEMORE, JOSEPH TX C 2STB 1003 SFC McMANUS, JOHN B. AZ H 1-5C SFC McNEIL, DURNELL TX C 4BSTB 0904 SGT McNETT, JOSHUA TX G 27BSB 0803 SSG McPHERSON, SETH TX C 4BSTB 0909 PVT MEIKLE, ALISA WA HHC 4BSTB 1003 PVT MENDOZA, MARTINEZ TX A 5-82FA 10 MAJ MERCADANTE, MATTHEW TX 4BCT 1001 PVT MILLER, JOSHUA WV 5-82FA 1005 SPC MILLS, TODD TX C 2STB 1005 PFC MIRABELLA, DAVID STEPHEN MD B 1-5C 6904 SPC MOLS, JOEY I. TX A 5-82FA 1005 SSG MONCRIEF, II, WILLIE R. TX B 6-9C 0908 SSG MOODY, JONATHAN K. TX A 5-82FA 0803 SSG MOORE, CHAD W. GA A 2-5C 0801 CPT MOORE, RAMEY TX 1-9C 1005 SPC MOORE-WORDLAW, LASHONDA TX HHC 4BSTB 1003 SGT MORRIS, TIMOTHY J. TX A 5-82FA 0803 SFC (RET) MOSS, DAVID A. WA B 1-8C 6807 PFC MUHAMMAD, MUEEN NY HHC 4BSTB 0909 SGT MURPHY, TYLER CO C 2STB 1002 SFC NEAL, JEREMY L. TX HHC 4BSTB 1001 E-4 NELUMS, NICHOLAS A. TX HHB 1-82FA 0604 SGT NERGELOVIC, ALEX TX A 5-82FA 0803 SFC NEVILLE, RICHARD WI B 2-19FA 6509 SGT NORLIN, KYLE R. TX G 27BSB 0803 SGT OLCOTT, ROBERT TX B 615ASB 1005 MR. OLSON, BARRY MN 1266 1-ASSOC MR. OLSON, DEREK MN 1265 1-ASSOC SGT OPIO, JOSE L. TX 5-82FA 10 E-9 O’ROURKE, MIKE ,MN HHC 1BDE 6810 SPC ORZECHOWSKI, JUSTIN OR C 2STB 0805 SFC PARKER, BRENT TX E 1-8C 0906 SSG PASCAL, GREGORY TX 4BCT 0609 MAJ PASTELLA, JOHN TX 1BCT 1005 MAJ PATTERSON, MICHAEL W. TX 4BCT 1001 CH (CPT) PATTERSON, ROBERT TX HHB 5-82FA 0912 SP5 PAUL, GARY M. MN B 2-5C 69 E-4 PAULA, JOAO P. TX C 2STB 1004 SSG PEACOCK, ROBERT TX A 27BSB 1001 SGT PEETE, PATRICK D. TX C 2-8C 0910 SGT PELZ, TRAVIS K. TX D 1-8C 0507 SPC PENBERTHY, JOHN TX A 3-8C 1003 PVT PENN, ERIC D. CT 2-7C 1003 SPC PETTY, MATTHEW TX B 6-9C 0805 SGT PICKETT, TERRI TX HHC 4BSTB 0804 SGT PIKE, JOHN MO C 2-8C 6806 SFC PINKETT, ERIC TX A 5-82FA 1002 PVT PITTERS, POPITO FL HHC 4BSTB 1003 SGT PLEBAN, VANESSA J. TX HHC 4BSTB 0804 PVT PLUMMER, SHANE E. MD A 5-82FA 1004 SGT POOR, JOHN E. MO B 1-12C 6802 SPC POPE, DAKOTA TX C 2-8C 0809 CPT POWLEDGE, RUSSELL TX C 1-9C 1003 E-5 PURDY, PHILLIP F. CO E 1-7C 7201 E-5 QUINN, GARY NORFORD GA B 1-9C 6802 SGT QUINTERO, JARIO A. TX A 5-82FA 0803 PFC REECE, TYLER A. CA A 5-82FA 0912 SGT REED, JASON W. TX HHC 4BSTB 0910 MSG REESE, JAMES E. TX HHC 1BCT 1005 SSG REID, DARRIN TX HHB 5-82FA 0907 LTC REILLY, STEPHEN T. TN HHC 1CDH 81 SPC RELLING, GAVEN I. TX HHC 2-12C 1003 SSG REYES, JEFFREY B. TX G 27BSB 1003 SGT REYES, JOSUE TX D 1-8C 0604 Continued on pg. 14.