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E-News — April 2024

John Doc Bahnsen Memorials

The note below is from Doc Bahnsen’s family.

Doc’s first memorial service will be in Rochelle, Georgia at 440 McWhorter Road, 2 p.m. on April 20. The second service will be in New Cumberland, West Virginia at 993 Gas Balley Road, 2 p.m. on May 4.

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John Doc Bahnsen

 

John Casterman left us peacefully on February 19, 2024. John was an intense and challenging man, and he was well loved.

John grew up in Pittsburg, Kansas where his family ran the local Coca Cola Bottling Plant. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Fine Arts degree. He volunteered for the Vietnam War and served three tours in combat with the 11th Armored Cavalry.

The Regiment did not have its own shoulder patch. While training his unit to ship to Vietnam, John used the library at Fort Meade, Maryland to research the history of the Regiment and military heraldry and with that, he designed the now-famous Blackhorse patch. With the able assistance of men in his platoon, John got the patch officially adopted in 1967.

As a young tank commander in Vietnam, John earned the extreme loyalty and lifelong friendship of his soldiers by being brave and bold and by fiercely looking out for each of his men. John was severely wounded in action in 1967 and spent two years recuperating in Walter Reed Military Hospital in Maryland. Upon his release, John returned to Vietnam to his combat unit, M Company, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

John was a recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Parachute Badge, Army Ranger Tab, Bronze Star with “V” Device, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star, two Overseas Bars, Jungle Expert Badge, Bronze Star Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. He completed the Armor School, Jungle Survival School, U.S. Army Infantry School, Jungle Operations Course, Army Ranger School, and Airborne Training. John was honorably discharged in 1971.

Even outside of combat, John had an extraordinary appetite for adventure. He skied the world, insisting on using his ragged, old-fashioned gear to descend infamous peaks. To decompress from the war, he acquired a barn-find 1935 Ford panel delivery truck and drove it through the United States and into Mexico, producing the kinds of stories one might imagine and then some. He later traveled the world as a tour manager, taking distinguished travelers to exotic destinations.

During John’s travels, he encountered Carol, then a stewardess for Pan American World Airways. The effect Carol had on John caused him to manipulate his itinerary for several subsequent years, so he could frequently cross paths with her while they both traveled, as he would later shamelessly admit. He succeeded in marrying Carol and having two sons, in whose raising he found a new, unshakeable purpose. In lieu of conventional family vacations, John took his family on rugged wilderness trips, setting off from Kennedy Meadows Pack Station on horseback to spend weeks camping in the beautiful and remote Sierras.

John is survived by his beloved wife, Carol Woodward Casterman; his sister, Julie Newlin and her children and grandchildren; his son and daughter-in-law, Mack and Sara Casterman and their daughters; his son, David Casterman and Dave’s love, Amanda Carpenter; his brother and sister-in-law, Patrick and Joan O’Connell; his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Paul and Donna Woodward; and his brother-in-law, Neil Woodward.

Those who went before him include his father and mother, John Jules and Doris Catherine Casterman; his sister, Leslie Cates; and his brother-in-law, John Newlin.

There was a Memorial Mass on March 6 at St. Charles Catholic Church, San Carlos, California. A Military Honors Ceremony and interment of ashes took place March 7, 2024 at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, California.

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Richard M. “Rick” Lundahl, 76 of Killeen, Texas passed away on April 8, 2023. He was born January 10, 1947, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He is survived by his wife Sandra Amberson.

He proudly served his country in the Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1967 – 1968. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC.

Graveside service with military honors were held on April 18, 2023 at the Central Texas
state Veterans Cemetery, 11463 State Highway 195, Killeen, TX 76542.

Rest in peace Rick.

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Donald John Hellowell, 70, of Keansburg, New Jersey was born May 24, 1944 and passed away January 15, 2015

Donald proudly served his country in the 919th Engineer Company, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1968. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC.

A memorial service was held January 22, 2015 at the Laurel Funeral Home in Hazlet, New Jersey.

Rest in peace Donald.

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Dennis J. Mackey

 

Dennis J. Mackey, 73 left this world on February 13, 2024 after a short battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family. Dennis was a true blue North Country man with many talents and interests. His sense of humor was second to none. His quick wit and sarcasm left everyone he interacted with a laugh. Dennis was an avid outdoorsman. He loved being outside in the woods and his knowledge of nature and animals started when he was young. He spent his free time hunting, fishing and trapping. Nature was his church. He was lucky enough to work his dream job as a Conservation Officer and retired after 25 dedicated years of service.

Dennis proudly served his country in the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1970 – 1971 and was a recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC.

Dennis was an incredible artist and storyteller. He was self-taught and learned how to draw cartoons and caricatures by looking at copies of Mad Magazine, which he was still fond of in his later years. He was a watercolorist and a sculptor; his favorite medium was pen and ink. He partnered with his close friend, Bob Belyea, in illustrating several beautifully handmade wooden canoe paddles with landscapes and wildlife, two of his favorite subjects.

Dennis was born on June 19, 1950 to Leonard and Joan (Hill) Mackey. He was the younger brother to Dan Mackey. He met his soulmate of 49 years, Peg Mackey, while in college in 1972. He passed away on the 52nd Anniversary of their very first date. Dennis was a loving father to Len Mackey (Canton, NY) and Rae Mackey (Potsdam, NY). He adored his three grandchildren: Jack, Allie and Leah Snell. He was so proud of them and all of their achievements in school and sports. He was the best Papa a kid could hope for.

His absence will be deeply felt by his close friends and family. He seemed to have a gift for making a connection with everyone he met and was always quick to crack a joke, usually at his own expense. We know he’s watching over us while he’s playing cards, smoking a cigarette and having a beer. His spirit will be in our hearts and he will always be with us.

Donations can be made in his name to Hospice of the St. Lawrence Valley or consider planting a tree in his honor to give back to the nature he so loved.

Rest in peace Dennis.

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Joseph Steve Hunter, age 81, of San Antonio, Texas passed away on February 7, 2024. Joseph was born May 17, 1942 in Seneca, SC.

Steve proudly served his country as a captain and platoon leader in K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1969. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC and a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat on June 18, 1969.

Rest in peace Steve.

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Zane “Tarz” Doton Gray,

 

Zane “Tarz” Doton Gray, 81 of Casper, WY passed away peacefully on January 3, 2024 at Wyoming Medical Center.

Zane was born October 3, 1942 in Mobridge, SD to Allan Doton and Margaret Ann (Phillips) Gray. In 1949, Zane’s family relocated to Chadron, NE and purchased a farm south of Chadron where they raised six children, farmed, and raised cattle. Zane attended Chadron Preparatory School. In 1965 while working on a construction project in Lander, WY, he met and soon married his wife and lifelong partner, Cathy (Wallace) Gray.

They enjoyed living and working on ranches in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana for years maintaining many friendships they made throughout those years. Zane was a good storyteller and loved reminiscing with old friends about “the good ole days of ropin, ranchin, and rompin,” all of which is part of the cowboy lifestyle. When retirement came, they moved to Casper where they could be close to their son and grandchildren.

Zane proudly served his country in I Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1968 – 1969. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC.

Zane seldom spoke about what the Blackhorse regiment accomplished during the year he rode with them, but they all wore the “rearing stallion” patch and could say proudly that they had served and rode with the “best damn unit” in the Cavalry.

Zane was preceded in death by his parents, Allan and Margaret Gray, and his wife, Cathy Gray. He is survived by a son, Wade Gray, of Casper, WY; three grandchildren: Gauge, Kayley and Brailyn Gray of Casper; and five siblings: Allan (Charlotte) Gray of Lander, WY, Glen (Carol) Gray of Pueblo, CO, Diane (Steve) Lecher of Chadron, NE, Darlene (Joe) Bolen of Sierra Vista, AZ, and Karen Grover of Chadron, NE.

Plans for the interment of remains at the Oregon Trail State Veteran’s Cemetery in Casper, WY will be announced in the local media one month prior to the services for those who would like to attend.

To share a memory or to leave a special condolence message for the family, please click “Share Memories” at: Obituary/272412/Zane-Gray/Casper-WY

Rest in peace Zane.

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Michael G. Huml, Sr.

 

Michael G. Huml, Sr. It is with deep affection that we bid farewell to a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Michael G. Huml, Sr., who passed away on February 5, 2024. Known to many as “Mike,” he was born on December 6, 1946, in Philadelphia, PA, the city he loved and called home all his life. Michael was not just a man; he was an extraordinary individual who lived a life full of love, laughter, and profound compassion for others. His humor was infectious and illuminated every room he entered; his humility was palpable, and his reliability was a comforting constant to those who knew him.

Mike proudly served his country in I Troop, 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1967 – 1968 and was a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC.

In the words of poet Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Michael embodied this quote in every sense. His commitment continued with The Internal Revenue Service, as an active member of the 11th Armored Cavalry’s Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia (11ACVVC), Philadelphia Vietnam Vets, American Legion Post 146, Holmesburg Fish and Game, and as a Vietnam Veteran Service Officer. Yet, what mattered most to Michael was his family. He cherished moments spent with his grandchildren, who brought him immense joy.

Michael leaves behind his adoring wife, Winifred “Winky” Huml, his daughter Catherine Huml, and his son Michael Huml Jr., along with his son’s wife, Candy. He will be deeply missed by his grandchildren Charles, Oliver, Michael III, and Samuel. He is preceded in death by his brother, Raymond Huml; sisters Peggy Seymour and Patricia Bertrand; and his parents, Raymond and Veronica Huml. As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate Michael’s life, cherishing the love he shared, the laughter he brought, and the memories he created.

Respects were paid on February 17, 2024 at St. Matthew’s RC Church, 3000 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19149, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment and Military Honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA at a later date.

In memory of Michael, we invite you to share your photos, stories, and tributes on his memorial page. Let us come together to remember and celebrate the remarkable life of this humble, reliable, compassionate and loving man who has left an indelible mark on our hearts.

Rest in peace Mike.

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Edward Rock Murray, 77, of Horstman Drive, died at home on March 9, 2024. Mr. Murray was born in Brooklyn, NY, and had lived in the Schenectady area since 1972.

Mr. Murray was a graduate of St. Francis Preparatory School in New York City and St. Bonaventure University.

Mr. Murray proudly served his country as a 1st Lieutenant, Forward Observer in the Howitzer Battery, 3r Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Vietnam War in 1970, assigned to I Troop. He was a life member of the 11th ACVVC.

He was a principal of Murray & Zuckerman, Inc. in Schenectady and a founding member and Treasurer of The Marketing Alliance in St. Louis, MO. He was a communicant of St. John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady and a member of the Edison Club.

He was the beloved husband of the late Barbara Robotti Murray.

Mr. Murray is survived by his wife, Claudia Weiderman; two daughters, Pamela (Timothy Deloe) of Weston, CT, and Stephanie (Patrick Riendeau) of Richmond, VA; and grandchildren Hayden Bilfield, Avery Bilfield, Artie Tefel, and Sloane Tefel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Christopher’s Inn at Graymoor, PO Box 303, Garrison, NY 10524.

Rest in peace Edward.

Third Squadron Vehicles

From Mark Neukom: I just got back from an almost three-week jaunt to the Southwest United States. We did an impromptu stop at Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona and found a couple 3rd Squadron vehicles hiding out down there (an M551 Sheridan and an M113 APC), along with a 58th Engineers CEV.

Third Squadron Vehicles

 

Third Squadron Vehicles

 

Third Squadron Vehicles

Blackhorse History Corner

Courtesy of Don Snedeker

Scout Cars – 1930s

Starting in the late 1930s, the 11th Cavalry began to receive new Scout Cars. As war clouds grew in Europe and the Far East, Blackhorse Troopers took their new “toys” on the road from the Presidio of Monterey throughout California and the Pacific Coast states. These newspaper reports describe those cars.

Scout Cars – 1930s

 

Scout Cars – 1930s

 

Scout Cars – 1930s

 

The Border – 1959

Many Blackhorse veterans know about the Blackhorse patrolling the East German border, but in a previous tour the regiment also patrolled the Czech border.

From 1957 to 1964, the Blackhorse served on Freedom’s Frontier. Border Legion Troopers were responsible for patrolling 135 miles of the West German-Czechoslovak border. This map and article from 1959 describe one reporter’s visit with the Regiment.

The border

 

The border

 

Washington – June 16, 1959

Yet Another Mascot Makes the News

Mascot

A Follow-up To Our E-News Special:
Photo of Blackhorse Mini-Reunion in Arizona

Photo Provided by Ronald Krueger

Blackhorse Mini-Reunion in Arizona

 Send us your Blackhorse-related news.

Do you have items of interest that are related to the Blackhorse? Please send them to Clint Ancker, Director of Communications, at opens in a new windowbanditsix@nullaol.comcreate new email.

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