E-News – August 2022
August 11, 2022 August 14, 2022
Timothy O. Drushal, 61, of Brandenburg, Kentucky, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on July 7, 2022 at University of Kentucky – Albert B. Chandler Hospital.
MSG Drushal retired from the U.S. Army with over 21 years of service. During his time in the Army, Tim served with 3-5 Cavalry in Fort Hood, Texas; HHT and Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Bad Kissingen, West Germany; 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; 3-7 Cavalry, 3rd Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, West Germany; and other duty stations in the United States, West Germany, and the Republic of Korea. Tim was a Bradley Fighting Vehicle Master Gunner, and a recipient of the Order of Saint George (Bronze). He was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, serving in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait with the 1-1 Cavalry, 1st Armored Division. Tim received a Bronze Star for his actions during that conflict. After retiring from the Army Tim worked in government contracting at Fort Knox. He was a member of the Blackhorse Association. Tim had a strong faith and diligently studied the Bible.
He was preceded in death by his father, Millard Harvey Drushal, Jr.; a brother, Millard Harvey Drushal, III; and a sister, Christine Drushal.
He is survived by his wife, Cindy Drushal of Brandenburg, KY; two children, Micah (Corey) Drushal of Cincinnati, OH and Melody (Byron) Beard of Bon Aqua, TN; one grandson, Robert Timothy “Bobby” Drushal; mother, Susan Sheets of Hartville, OH; and two sisters, Laoma Drushal of Hartville, OH and Karen (Wayne) Simms of Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
Burial took place at 10 a.m., July 28, 2022, at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central in Radcliff with military honors.
opens in a new windowExpressions of sympathy may take the form of contribution to www.Blackhorse.org/scholarships/.
Dorr L. Crane, 80, passed away peacefully on January 18, 2022 at his home surrounded by the love and care of his family after a courageous battle with cancer. Dorr was born May 10,1941 in Hornell, New York to the late Harry and Carrie (Dorr) Crane. On August 7, 1965, in Troupsburg, he married the former Jan Eldridge, who survives and resides in Almond. Dorr was a West Cameron native who attended Addison Central School in New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1959 and had a 21-year career in field artillery retiring as Chief of Firing Battery out of Ft. McArthur, CA.
He had two tours of duty in Vietnam from 1966-67 with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and another tour in 1970-71. While with the 11th ACR, he was there when the ammo dump blew up. He kept going back to save what he could and earned a Soldiers Medal for his efforts.
Dorr enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and anything to do with the natural world around him. He also enjoyed gunsmithing, reading old western novels, anything military, history and mysteries. In addition to his wife Jan, Dorr is survived by his sons Glen (Lisa) Crane of Cameron and Shawn (Kathy) Crane of Odessa; five grandchildren: Samantha Sutton, Josh Stuart, Joseph, Caitlyn (Jake Kick) Crane and Evan Crane; eight great grandchildren: Lucas, Sandra Beth, Cassius, Gianni, Carson, Blake, Saphra, and Mason. He is also survived by brother John Crane of Woodhull; and sisters Linda Dubois of Bath and Kathy (James) Hamblin of Cameron Mills. In addition to his parents, Dorr was predeceased by a brother Franklin Crane. Per Dorr’s request, there will be no public visitation or services. A memorial service will held be at the convenience of the family. Final interment will be in Bath National Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Dorr’s name may be made to the National Rifle Association (NRA).
A Notice from the Regiment
An Update on One of Our Border Ops – OP India (with mentions of others)
A Report to the Board by Rich Bourgault (Report is edited to focus on the status of the Ops.)
At the board meeting during the recent Blackhorse Family Reunion, I volunteered to engage with the German leadership of both OP/Point Alpha and OP/Point India to develop points of contact for us to engage with. The Blackhorse Association
was interested in being a formal partner to the Point Alpha Foundation. I am personally interested in the OPs because I did several rotations at Alpha as a platoon leader and as Acting Commander of B Troop (during a major exercise in 1981 when the rest of the Regiment was maneuvering). I had a platoon at Alpha, India, and Romeo.
I traveled to both OP India/Luederbach and OP Alpha recently. I had a terrific several hours with Reiner Methe at Point India and in Luederbach.
Reiner is the driving force behind promoting Point India in his volunteer role as leader of the Luederbach Voerderverein, an umbrella club/non-profit that promotes the town of Luederbach and its activities. He is mid-60s, a life-long resident of Luederbach, a town of 150 people just down the hill (~1500m) from the former OP. His wife had
been working in the dining facility at OP India for about four years when it closed in 1990; his mother-in-law retired out of working in the kitchen at the OP. As a young man, he was BGS (Bundesgrenzschutz or Federal Border Police), one of the agencies we worked with closely in the Border Legion days.
The following is the post-reunification story of Point India. Reiner and his organization engaged with the State of Hessen in 2014 to gain control of the tower, the only building remaining as the barracks and other buildings had been badly vandalized and were torn down in 2000. His group now owns the tower and pays a Euro 10 annual lease on the land, which sits on Hessenfoerst (Hessen state forest service). Reiner and team restored the tower (also badly vandalized) with support from the Sparkasse (savings bank) Foundation, private donations, and a lot of volunteer labor, opening it in September 2017. Much of the well-built signage Reiner showed me was funded by the Sparkasse Foundation; the Workhorse sign in the picture sign below was a fairly recent addition paid by the Sparkasse. The layout of the signage is Reiner’s design, as well as the German text. A former Army employee in Fulda did the English translation which is pretty good, and everything is in English and German. Reiner told me he cuts the grass around the tower because they are on a shoestring budget.
Reiner’s group has built several hiking trails around Luederbach including P21 that works its way back and forth across the former border into the state of Thuringen, integrating pieces of the former border fence and other East German historical items along with Point India. That rural area of east Hessen is a hiker’s mecca. While stopped at the hikers’ parking lot and waiting to link up with Reiner, we saw two carloads of 30-somethings from Kassel head off on the 14 km P21 Point India trail.
Reiner has a thick album of pictures sent to him at the P21 Point India Facebook page by former Blackhorse troopers. Many of those pictures are in the signage at Point India. They are currently funded by small donations and selling bratwurst and beer to hiking groups. The next upgrade on his list is a flagpole on the tower with a US flag.
Here is his contact information if you’d like to get in touch with him.
Altefelder Straße 5
The lines of sight from the tower to the former Inter-German Border are almost completely blocked by trees that have grown up in the 30 years since our last border patrol (Reiner attends the Last Patrol Ceremony at Point Alpha each spring). You can still see into Thuringen – though not the border trace – from the top deck of the tower, but you can hardly see anything from the watch room one flight of stairs lower. Most of the land around the OP has been declared a nature preserve and Hessen foerst has denied him permission to trim or remove trees to establish a couple of key viewing angles (even the mounting of the Workhorse sign was a bureaucratic drill for Reiner).
According to Reiner the only things at the former OP Romeo about 30 kilometers away are the plaque below and a sign. The OP Romeo group is apparently jealous of the OP India tower, and nobody is quite sure why one was torn down and not the other.
There is one further note on the relevance of these sites. I was sitting at Point India flipping through Reiner’s Facebook picture collection when a former colleague from the 80s in 3rd AD (Friedberg) walked by me to the tower. This is a guy I hadn’t seen since 1989. His tank company had manned OPs India and Romeo in 1988 while Workhorse went to Grafenwoehr for gunnery. Then at Point Alpha I ran into three Army veterans groups. The point is that people visit and value these places.
The hikers were able to find out more about the military training area at many points. © Rainer Ickler
After a two-year break due to the pandemic, it was time again. The Bundeswehr invited people to go hiking in the Wildflecken military training area at the weekend. The response was huge: more than 4,600 people took advantage of the offer.
Once a year you can hike in the restricted area of the military training area, where there is usually shooting and blasting. This year a particularly large number came. Site commander Lieutenant Colonel Kai Schulze was very satisfied: “I only saw happy people who praised the good organization.”
There were three routes to choose from: 13.5 kilometers, 22.7 kilometers, and the long 26.7-kilometer tour. Klaus Krieger from Steinau really wanted to climb the mysterious 808 meter high Kleiner Auersberg and enjoy the all-round view of the Rhön from there. His wife Evi took the opportunity to get to know the Maria Ehrenberg church.
Otto and Gitti Brehler from Hünfeld were enthusiastic about the tour: “We find it interesting to hike in the forbidden area. It was perfectly organized and we were well fed at the rest stops. There was a lot of information about that.”
Among other things, members of the Bundeswehr gave insights into the different types of ammunition and the problem of duds. At another point, hikers could see metal targets being shot at while practicing.
But the military training area is also an area where nature is left to its own devices and can develop undisturbed. Part of the area is core zone. Wolves, moufflons, beavers, black storks and crested newts are all settled here. Many rare plants can grow unhindered because nature is in its original state. Because in large areas there is no use. Egon Schleyer, head of nature conservation at the Federal Forestry Office, calls the military training area a “landscape museum,” and the variety of animals and plants is very large here.”
At one point on the hiking route, the time is remembered when the US Army operated the military training area in Lower Franconia. Historical jeeps and trucks as well as replica tents with inventory give an insight into how things used to be. A photo reminds us that Elvis Presley was also on maneuvers in Wildflecken while he was in the
army. Groups from Gersfeld and Hassfurt, who have collected the exhibits and show them on various occasions, are responsible for reviving the history of the US Army.
Hiking in Wildflecken: Bundeswehr provides information about their work
On the hike you will also pass former villages that were evacuated in 1937/38 as part of the construction of the military training area – such as Silberhof, Reußendorf, Werberg or Dörrenberg. Only small information boards remind of their existence.
A highlight for many hikers is the visit to Maria Ehrenberg. Hundreds took the opportunity to look at the church, learn about its history and marvel at the impressive climb up the countless steps. The spacious open space around the church offers the opportunity to gaze into the distance.
Request for Assistance
To whom it may concern,
My name is Margaret Champagne, and I am with the film production company Lou Reda Productions.
Since 1983, Lou Reda Productions has worked hard to preserve and share America’s military history through film. The company has been a longtime collaborator with networks including the History Channel and National Geographic, producing high- quality, non-fiction programming.
Currently, we are hoping to be in pre-production for a Vietnam series for
television. We are looking for 8mm and 16mm film of the Vietnam War, particularly footage shot by soldiers or individuals in-theater, audio letters, and period footage from the 1950s-1970s highlighting the home front and the average “day in the life of an American.”
If you have footage or audio letters, we would be interested in speaking with you and possibly interviewing you on camera for our series. You may contact Lou Reda Productions directly at or 646-620-6181. opens in a new window To learn more about Lou Reda Productions, go to www.redafilms.com.
Additionally, we would kindly like to ask that you share this note — via your website, social media platforms, or email — with your organization’s members and other veterans as well.
Thank you for your service.
Lou Reda Productions
opens in a new windowwww.redafilms.com
Lou Reda Productions is internationally known as a producer of top-quality non-fiction programming garnering immense praise in the form of People’s Choice Award, Peabody, and nine Emmy nominations (including one win).
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