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E-News – April 2016

Dr. Rory J. Howard, 56, died March 21, 2016 at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal, Kansas. Then-Captain Howard served as Commander, Medical Troop, Combat Support Squadron, 11th ACR, March-November 1992. He left the Army to attend Medical School. Rory James Howard was born April 22, 1959 at Buffalo, NY, the son of Willie James and Bernice (Smith) Howard. In 1984, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served until 1992. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Kansas in 1997. In 2006, he rejoined the Army and served as a Physician and General Surgeon at the Bassett Army Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska until retirement from active duty in 2012. Dr. Howard then moved to Liberal, KS, where he had been working with Southwest Medical Center as a Physician and General Surgeon. He was a member of All Nations Church in Liberal. Other memberships include the American Medical Association, Association for the Advancement of Wound Care, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Alaska Trappers Association, Liberal Elks Lodge #1947, Safari Club International, Safari Club – Dallas, and National Brotherhood of Hunters. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW, and the National Rifle Association.

Duane Mclaughlin. Duane, a retired Sergeant First Class, was a Regimental S2 NCO in the late 80s and early 90s in Germany with the 11th ACR. He was born on April 6, 1946 and passed away on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Duane was a resident of Blairsville, Georgia at the time of his passing. He was a veteran of the US Army of the Vietnam War and Desert Storm. He was married to Tressie. A memorial service was held on Thursday March 10, 2016 at the Mountain View Chapel with the Rev. Greg Huskins officiating, and military honors were conducted by the North Georgia Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to the American Heart Associating in Duane’s memory.


Another Distinguished Blackhorse Veteran Recognized
Press release from West Point:

Ceremony to be held on 17 May at West Point.

John C. Bahnsen Jr. ’56 – Warrior, staff officer, mentor, author, motivational speaker, and West Point supporter, BG (R) John C. “Doc” Bahnsen Jr. has played many roles in his six decades since graduating, but each has been accomplished adhering to the ideals of West Point. The most highly decorated member of his Class and a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame, Bahnsen served two tours in Vietnam and commanded a platoon, a troop, and a squadron. He received 18 decorations for valor and two Purple Hearts. As a General Officer, he served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 2nd Armored Division and as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Combined Forces Command (Korea) and III Corps (Fort Hood, TX). A loyal fan of Army West Point Rugby, Bahnsen has presented a pistol to the team captain for going on 20 years. For just as long, he was a mainstay at the Academy giving pro bono lectures to cadets on duty, history, and leadership. According to LTG (R) Dave Palmer ’56, the 53rd Superintendent, “Our Army is still today liberally sprinkled with graduates who were inspired by him to a lifetime of service.”

John C. “Doc” Bahnsen is a holder of the Distinguished Service Cross (among numerous other awards) earned while serving with the 11th ACR in Vietnam.


A Great Opportunity
A fantastic opportunity has opened up for a Child of The Regiment who attends college.

The Hessen International Summer University at Fulda University of Applied Science is once again offering one full-tuition scholarship for the upcoming 4-week summer semester of July 16 – August 13, 2016. With the scholarship, lodging is included, although the student will need to pay for daily meals, personal items and incidentals, and airfare to and from Germany.

The summer program is appealing and interesting without doubt. The student who is selected will be able to choose from four courses of study. Included in the program are several field trips, including ones to Berlin and Frankfurt.

This opportunity is available to sons or daughters of any Blackhorse veteran, past or present, but Fulda University has told us that they would prefer a son or daughter of a Blackhorse veteran who served the Regiment in Germany during the years of the Cold War. Accordingly, we will give preference to those candidates.

In the summer of 2015, Chandler Hallmark, the daughter of Blackhorse veteran Greg Hallmark, who served with the regiment from 1977-1979, was accepted into the program.

Chandler Hallmark on Milseburg Mountain near Fulda
Chandler, a junior at the University of Tennessee, took courses that ranged from beginner’s German to cooking, traveled throughout Germany, visited Point Alpha, and got to interact with an international assortment of professors and classmates from countries such as Malaysia, Portugal and Israel. Chandler says: “It was amazing how well all of us got along, even though we came from vastly different countries. And it was great to see where my dad served when he was in the regiment.”

For all the details of the program including its overview, FAQs, and curriculum, please visit the university’s website:

Our application deadline for this program is April 30, 2016. Though only one scholarship is available, we strongly encourage any of you who have children in college to consider this opportunity.

If interested in applying for this program and for more information on the application process, please contact Randall Ponder, Blackhorse Association Copy Editor, at


Interesting Documentaries

Below are links to five documentaries produced by German television; the series is titled “Secrets of the Cold War.” The programs are in German, but they have lots of interesting footage of events during the Cold War, to include footage made by the Soviets. For anyone who served in Germany during the Cold War, these are definitely worth a look. Each is about 45 minutes in length.

Part 1: – Race for the Megabomb


Additional Websites

In the May 2015 E-News, we published a list of websites of interest to members of the Blackhorse Association. Below are some additional websites that we’ve found.
President Obama awards the Presidential Unit Citation to Alpha Troop, 1/11 ACR.
This is a German documentary about the border between East and West Germany that is titled “Death Strip – Anatomy of a Border in the Cold War.” The narration is in German, but the topic will be very familiar to anyone who served with the Blackhorse in Germany.
Another German documentary: “Border – Life Along the Death Strip.”
Another “Big Picture” presentation – “Border Watchers: Armored Cavalry Regiments.” This is about the 2nd and 14th ACRs on the border, but much will be very familiar to Border Legion veterans of the Blackhorse.
A music video: “11th ACR – Dead or Alive” – photos and videos from the Regiment’s history set to music.
This is a series of photographs of 3/14 and 3/11 ACR in Bad Hersfeld. This was put together by a veteran who served in Bad Hersfeld. His website below has many more photos and a list of videos related to the two squadrons in Bad Hersfeld:


11th Armored Cavalry Regimental Ball Report and Photos by Charlie Watkins
Donna and I had the distinct honor to attend the 11th Armored Cavalry Ball on March 12, 2016, held at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was attended by over 1,050 of our Regiment’s finest. The Ball began with a social hour at 6 pm with a continuous slide show of photos of the Regiment. It was enjoyable to visit with our young soldiers.

The Colors were posted at 7:01 pm by the Regimental Color Guard. Colonel Jacobi welcomed everyone and identified numerous guests, including former Sergeant Major of the Army, Kenneth Preston; Fort Irwin Commanders and Command Sergeants Major; as well as past soldiers of the Regiment in attendance. The Officers and senior NCOs made the Grog for Toasting, and they paid tribute to our Fallen Comrades.

After dinner, Colonel Jacobi gave a rousing talk about “The Year in Review” along with an outstanding video. He recognized those organizations that helped make the Ball a success, including the USO, The Blackhorse Association, and the Spouses Club. He presented certificates of appreciation to the USO and the Spouses Club.

He also presented The Blackhorse Association a beautiful piece of polished granite with a picture of “The Evolution of Armor,” along with the Blackhorse patch and unit crest on the picture. The stone also had an NTC coin, United States Army coin, Blackhorse combat insignia, and unit crest. The inscription on the stone reads: “Thanks for your generous donation allowing 60 Blackhorse Troopers to attend the 115th 11th ACR Ball at Bally’s Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. We appreciate your commitment and partnership within the Blackhorse Community, ALLONS! 12 March 2016.” It was an honor to accept this beautiful gift of appreciation from the Regiment on behalf of the Blackhorse Association.

We sang “ALLONS” and the Army song. The Colors were retired, and Colonel and Mrs. Jacobi led off the dancing. It truly was a “Gala Event” and a great time was had by all. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with our Blackhorse Troopers who are doing us proud. Donna and I, along with former Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth Preston, were the last to leave. The Granite Stone will be on display at the reunion in San Antonio, and then it will be returned to the Museum at the Regiment.

Our Guest Speaker for the Reunion General (Ret) Crosbie Saint

General Crosbie Edgerton Saint was born at West Point, New York, on September 29, 1936. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1958 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Armor. Since that time, General Saint has commanded Armor and Cavalry units from platoon through corps and culminated his career as Commander in Chief, United States Army, Europe and Seventh Army; and Commander, Central Army Group, NATO.

General Saint’s assignments in the United States cover a broad range of command and staff positions, including: Personnel Officer, Armor Branch; Weapons Instructor, Fort Benning; Aide to the Commanding General of Fort Knox and the Armor Center; Joint Secretariat, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Director, Executive Services and White House Liaison Officer; Office, Chief of Staff Army; Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; and Deputy Commandant of the United States Army Command and General Staff college, Fort Leavenworth. In his most recent tour in the United States, General Saint commanded III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas. While at Fort Hood, he was responsible for the reception, doctrine, training, and deployment of the new Apache helicopter battalions for the US Army.

General Saint has served extensively with Army units overseas. He has had two tours in Vietnam and five tours in U.S. Army, Europe, serving in a variety of positions from platoon leader and twice as a troop commander, and culminating in his position as Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army. US Army Europe was the first overseas command to receive the Apache battalions, and they were placed into deployed status under his tenure. General Saint was a First Lieutenant on duty in Germany when the Berlin Wall was erected and was Commander in Chief, US Army Europe when the wall was dismantled. In between, he commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment as the 47th Colonel of the Regiment.

After retirement from the United States Army in 1992, General Saint established a private consulting organization specializing in foreign relations; national security issues; strategic planning and Eastern Europe/former Warsaw Pact country transition to democracy; command and control; and simulations. General Saint has traveled extensively and met with military and civilian leadership in Poland, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Korea, Colombia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the senior US military leadership in Baghdad. He has served as a senior counselor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has served on the Army Science Board; was Senior Vice President and General Manager, International Group for MPRI; served as Chairman for the Vice President’s National Performance Review on Intelligence Support to the Ground Forces; and he is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Land Warfare of the Association of the United States Army. He has worked for PEO Aviation on issues related to US Army Aviation, has provided consulting services to Boeing, and has served on the board of SAAB America.

General Saint’s military and civilian education includes graduation from the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from American University, and attended the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Program Case Studies. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Lindenwood University.


A Bit of Blackhorse History

In November-December 1966, Third Squadron hosted a Captain from the New Zealand Armour School. He was awarded a Bronze Star for valor (impact award) for his actions on December 5, 1966. He retired as a two-star (highest rank in the New Zealand Army), and he died in 2006. His citation is below.

Bruce Meldrum 30650, Captain, Royal NZ Armoured Corps Attached 11 Armoured Cavalry Regiment (US Army)

Date of Award: 9 December 1966


By direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device is awarded to: Captain Bruce Meldrum, New Zealand Army for heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force.

Captain Meldrum distinguished himself by heroic action on 5 December 1966, in the Republic of Vietnam. On this date, Captain Meldrum was on a liaison visit to the Third Squadron, Eleventh Armored Cavalry Regiment to evaluate armor operations in Vietnam. In order to gain first-hand knowledge, Captain Meldrum volunteered to ride in the troop Commander’s M113 ACAV during a one-day search and destroy operation in Northern Phuoc Tuy Province.

At approximately 0730 hours, I Troop was attacked by an estimated reinforced Company of Viet Cong Regulars from well fortified bunker positions. So intense was the initial volley of fire that friendly forces suffered immediate casualties and many more were threatened, including the ground commander.

Through a valiant and determined effort, Captain Meldrum realizing the precarious position of the Troop, fearlessly seized an M-60 machine gun on the side of the ACAV and began laying down tenacious protective fire. So effectively did Captain Meldrum fire on the Viet Cong position that he was successful in neutralizing a hostile section of fire. Captain Meldrum assiduously remained at the machine gun despite heavy and intense hostile fire on his position.

By his aggressiveness, determination, and concern for his fellow soldier, he serves as an inspiration to those around him.

This display of personal bravery is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit on him, his unit and the New Zealand Army.


Note for All Vietnam Veterans

The following note was released by the Vietnam Veterans of America:

IOM Releases Veterans and Agent Orange, Update 2014:
Bladder Cancer, Hypothroidism, Parkinson-like Symptoms, Hypertension, and Stroke Upgraded; Spina Bifida in offspring Downgraded

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Institute of Medicine released Veterans and Agent Orange Update 2014, the tenth biennial evaluation of relevant scientific studies–published between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2014–on Agent Orange and other herbicides used during military operations in Vietnam.

“Vietnam Veterans of America thanks the IOM’s Veterans and Agent Orange Committee for upgrading the status of Bladder cancer and hypothyroidism to the Limited/Suggestive Category of Association; for clarifying that individuals with Parkinson-like symptoms without other known etiology should be included in the presumption for Parkinson’s disease; and for firmly supporting the VAO’s prior decisions–but not yet recognized by VA as presumptive conditions: hypertension and stroke,” said VVA National President John Rowan.

“VVA calls on President Obama and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to immediately initiate the process for adding all of these conditions to the service- connected, presumptive list for those who served in Vietnam and elsewhere in the Southeast Asia theater of operations,” said Rowan.

“Most disturbing,” noted Rowan, “is the rationale behind the Committee’s recommendation to downgrade Spina Bifida to Inadequate or Insufficient Evidence. As stated on Page 10 of Update 2014, ‘since Update 1996, no new analyses of birth defect data, finding increased rates of spina bifida among children of men exposed to the chemicals of interest have become available.’ IOM, in previous updates, has repeatedly called for the VA to conduct research on this issue. The VA has not spent a dime on this vitally needed research.”

Of the more than 7,600 abstracts of scientific and medical articles related to
Agent Orange, Agent Blue, and
Agent White, none of these studies were funded by VA,” said Rowan. “It is time for Congress to demand that the VA do their job by passing the Toxic Exposures Act (S. 901/ HR 1769) before Memorial Day.”

Vietnam Veterans of America is the nation’s only congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA’s founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”


Something to See During the San Antonio Reunion

The following is from Joel Alvarado, Assistant General Manager for

Battle For Texas: The Experience.

Greetings from San Antonio, Texas!

Joel Alvarado here, Assistant General Manager of Battle For Texas: The Experience, a brand new museum-quality attraction opening this April on Alamo Plaza in downtown San Antonio.

Battle For Texas is an interactive experience allowing guests to step into history and understand what it was like to have been part of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. Guests will immerse themselves in a collection of over 250 compelling artifacts under the backdrop of the smells, sounds, sights and feelings of the time period with multi- media presentations that bring everything to life.

Battle For Texas: The Experience is the perfect complement to visiting the Alamo, and we have excellent private event and group ticket opportunities available to your group. I would love to work with you in finding a great fit. At your convenience, I am happy to speak with you about how we can help you accomplish the goals for your convention and enhance your visit to the Alamo City.

We look forward to having the Annual Blackhorse Association Family reunion in San Antonio this June!


A New Book About the Blackhorse in Vietnam

CW2 (ret.) Jack Stoddard has released his newest book, Patton’s Boys: The All- Volunteer Soldiers of the Aero Rifle Platoon. Co-written with Edward Cook, this easy- to-read book is a collection of over forty short stories of the courageous soldiers of the Aero Rifle Platoon, Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment as told by the ARPs, Pilots and Door Gunners of the Air Cavalry Troop who were there. Their mission, as given to them by their commander, Colonel George S. Patton III, was simple. Find and fix the enemy so that the main force of the Regiment could finish them, or put simply, “find the bastards and pile on!” From 1968 until the Regiment was called home in 1972, they did just that, participating in every major battle fought by the Blackhorse Regiment.

This is Stoddard’s fourth book about his Vietnam experiences with the Blackhorse Regiment, and arguably his best. Stoddard is a longtime member of both the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia (ACVVC) and The Blackhorse Association (BHA), and he has served at various times as a Director on the Blackhorse Association’s Board of Directors and in the “Wildhorse” Chapter of the BHA in Las Vegas.

Patton’s Boys: The All-Volunteer Soldiers of the Aero Rifle Platoon is a must read for anyone who served or is currently serving with the famed Blackhorse Regiment, so order your copy today! Click here for more details:


Notice of a Mini-Reunion


From the 50th Anniversary Welcome Home Vietnam Vets At Fort Irwin

Ron Kreuger, his wife, and star of TV and Movies and staunch supporter of the military, Gary Sinese.

The 2016 Armor Conference

This is a short synopsis of the major events at this year’s Armor Conference at Fort Benning, Georgia.

May 2-6: Sullivan Cup Tank Competition, live fire shooting all week, and other tanks events.

May 4: USCAA and AUSA Social to recognize sponsors May 5: Armor Leader’s summit

May 6: Breakfast with Armor leaders, combat developers, and industry representatives

May 6: 6 pm – Saint George Ball and awards ceremony for Sullivan Cup (Two Desert Storm Units, 2 ACR and 67 AR, will be recognized.)


An Article About the Regiment

Below is a link to an article in the latest issue of the Army Historian. The article traces the decision to deploy the Regiment to Vietnam, its reorganization for the mission, and the early contacts of the Regiment once in country. It is well worth a read.


Another Blackhorse Veteran Makes Good

Michael Toner served in K Troop, 3rd Squadron in 1967-68. His first day in the field was in the deadly ambush of July 21,1967. To see what he’s done since the Army, click on the link below. stage-after-a-devastating-accident

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