E-News – March 2023

Troopers Down

Harvey Jordan Hillyer II, 75, of Varnville, South Carolina, died March 13, 2022. Mr. Hillyer was born on December 29, 1946 in St. Petersburg, FL. He was the son of the late Harvey Jordan Hillyer I and Adel Carter Hillyer. Mr. Hillyer was Special Forces in the 1960’s, an Army Scout in the 70’s, and finally an Army Air Traffic Controller; he served over 17 years and reached the rank of Platoon Sergeant. He then went on to a career as a construction foreman helping to build many of South Carolina’s landmarks.

Surviving are two sons, Harvey Jordan Hillyer III and Jeff Hillyer; one brother, Walter Hillyer; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

During his time with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, he was a Mortar Track Leader (Corporal), with 2nd Platoon, L Trp. In the early spring of 1977, he was selected by Cpt. Paul Watkins, L Troop Commander, to attend the six-week Primary Non-Commissioned Officers Academy in Frankfurt, Germany. Then-Corporal Hillyer’s military knowledge, attitude, and bearing enabled him to be selected as the Distinguished Honor Graduate with an automatic promotion to Sergeant E-5. He was the first student in the class from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to be selected as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. Below is a photo of Harvey doing what he loved to do after retiring: Fishing!

Harvey Jordan Hillyer II


Robert W. “Mac” McNamara, September 13, 1946 – February 6, 2023. Robert W. “Mac” McNamara passed away of agent orange complications. He lived an extraordinary life. He knew from childhood that he wanted to be a soldier, and he fulfilled that desire in many capacities.

Mac served two tours in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He also took command of his own tank battalion with the 2nd Armored Division in Fort Hood, TX; taught military history and ROTC at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; and later served in Heidelberg, Germany HQ USAREUR, first as an Inspector General, then in logistics during Desert Shield. He was honorably discharged as a Major in 1991 and retired to New York, his state of birth.

He loved to play guitar, particularly with his grandson Liam; listen to music; travel; work with miniature models; and reenact so many eras of military history. He held both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Purdue University, where he met his wife, Judy.

He loved his family dearly and had two children: Patrick (Jackie Marr/grandson Liam McNamara) and Jenn (Jason Coburn), whom he lovingly referred to as “Jenny.” He is loved and will be remembered for his great stories (some of which we could all quote back to him!). We will miss him, but he will always be with us. He is in Fiddler’s Green now, no doubt toasting with a shot of Jameson’s to all those with whom he served.

He loved his family dearly and had two children: Patrick (Jackie Marr/grandson Liam McNamara) and Jenn (Jason Coburn), whom he lovingly referred to as “Jenny.” He is loved and will be remembered for his great stories (some of which we could all quote back to him!). We will miss him, but he will always be with us. He is in Fiddler’s Green now, no doubt toasting with a shot of Jameson’s to all those with whom he served.

Robert W. “Mac” McNamara

Request for Input from Vietnam-era Battalion-Brigade Commanders

With this note in the E-News, I am reaching out to members of the Blackhorse Association to see if any of you (or someone you know outside of the association) were a battalion- or brigade-level commander in Vietnam during 1965 – 1973. If you were, or if you know of someone who was, I would appreciate establishing contact with you. I am looking for your input with a study that I am conducting. My hope is that some of the association’s members commanded squadrons of the 11th Cavalry in Vietnam, and I would be grateful for your time.

I am a PhD candidate in history, and I recently retired as a Command Sergeant Major of Infantry with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. My study’s aim is to understand and analyze the interactions that these maneuver commanders had with their higher headquarters – Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) – as well as with their subordinate companies. I’d like to interview the commanders and get their thoughts and opinions.

Currently, there aren’t any assessments that have recorded the experiences of the Vietnam-era maneuver commanders. I’d like to create one, and to make this happen, I need your help.

Thanks for reading my note, and if you (or someone you know) would be interested in participating in this worthwhile study, please contact me.

Pappy Eaton
Blog: “HISTORY ET AL” (preaton.blogspot.com)

Request for Input from Cold War-Era Veterans

Dear Blackhorse Veterans,

Some of you may know me through my work at the Point Alpha Foundation in 2014-2019. I came in as an intern in autumn 2014 during my senior year at Philipps University in Marburg, where I studied history. At the time, I was researching the 1983 Soviet War Scare and NATO’s ABLE ARCHER CPX for my examination thesis – and I would be downplaying it if I didn’t emphasize how important working at this unique memorial was to my work and personal development as a historian.

Later, when I returned to the Foundation as a professional researcher in 2017, I had the opportunity to speak with many veterans of the regiment and gain important information about life on Freedom’s Frontier. The conversations often provided the veritable information needed to fill in the gaps in the history that still exist due to missing documents, many of which are still classified.

I left Point Alpha Foundation in autumn 2019. Today, I am head of exhibitions at the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V.) and work on projects in Normandy and many other places all over the world.

However, my research interest in the history of the Blackhorse Regiment has never left me. I therefore decided to qualify myself scientifically further and to write a PhD about the deployment of the 11th ACR at the Inner-German Border in the years 1972-1994. My work is supervised by Prof. Dr. Marc Frey, who holds the Chair for the History of International Relations at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces Munich. I want to base my work on an oral history approach, in which I interview veterans of the regiment from all ranks about their service in Germany. The interviews will be analyzed, using scientific methods, and will serve to reconstruct the special experiences that only the American soldiers who served directly on the border had in Germany.

I am therefore looking for interview partners who meet the following requirements:

  • Stationed in Germany 1972-1994 (11th ACR)
  • Qualification for service at the border
  • Willingness for a one-to-two-hour interview (live or via video call)

Furthermore, I am seeking documents of the regiment about the service at the border, including incident reports (Tower log etc.), annual histories, and other materials, such as newspaper articles, photos, and videos.

I am looking for veterans of the 11th ACR who would be willing to share their experiences with me and contribute to the research of this important episode in the history of our nations.

I can be contacted at d.chahbouni@nullgmx.de.

Danny Chahbouni

A New Blackhorse Birthday Video


Last month’s E-News had a link to the 121st Blackhorse Birthday. It turns out they have also done a video for this year as well, and here it is!



Wreath Laying at Arlington Cemetery, February 2, 2023
Photos below are from various sources.

Wreath Laying at Arlington Cemetery, February 2, 2023

LTC Furtick (Regimental DCO) and LTC Boehringer (RSS CO)


Laying the Wreath


Laying the Wreath


Four Sergeants Major immediately after laying the wreath


Four Sergeants Major immediately after laying the wreath


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


The Blackhorse Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Close-up of the Wreath


Close-up of the Wreath


SMA Preston


In addition to others, here are SMA Preston, one vet who came from Missouri, and one vet with family who flew in from Florida.


The contingent from Fort Irwin


The contingent from Fort Irwin included (not in same sequence in the photo): COL Ferguson, RCO

CSM Burg (Interim RCSM, 2/11 CSM)
LTC Rick Ferrell (1/11)
CSM Batiste (1/11)
LTC Fawley (2/11)
SGM Lopez (2/11)
LTC Robin Boehringer (RSS)
CSM Ramsey (RSS)
CPT Burke (PAO)
LTC Ken Furtick (DCO)


The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club


This is a particularly poignant photo. The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is named for the most decorated American Soldier of World War II. Membership in the Club is reserved for only the best American Non-Commissioned Officers. Note that the gravestone lists Audie Murphy as a Major. Before being commissioned, he had attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. More information on the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club can be found here: https://audiemurphy.com/samc.htm

The above photo is from a larger collection of photos taken by the Regiment at the Wreath Laying. The complete collection can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wM0UCMPflJFtssB0VB2cGQQQBvEGL0rI



The Last Border Patrol

The Last Border Patrol

This year’s Last Border Patrol ceremony will be on March 17, 2023. As part of the ceremony, there will be a “Student Encounter Day.” The American High School from Wiesbaden, a school from Hesse, and one from Thuringia will each send a class. The students are to spend the day together in mixed groups. They will receive a guided tour through the Point Alpha memorial site in the morning (starting at 9 a.m. in the House on the Border). At 11:30 a.m., the actual flag ceremony will be performed by the cadets/students of the American High School under the guidance of a senior NCO. We will then walk to the vehicle hall and hear greetings from representatives of the U.S. Army, the Point Alpha Foundation, and local and state politicians. After a lunch break, veterans of the US Army will talk about their service on OP Alpha with the students. The end of the official part of the event is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Feel free to contact me with any additional questions you might have.

Thank you and kind regards from Geisa.

Johannes Schneider, M.A.

Point Alpha Foundation
Schlossplatz 4 36419
Geisa Germany
Tel. +49 36967-5964-274
Fax +49 36967-5964-26

An Interesting Story and Request for Assistance

Hello! I am searching for someone and was directed to your organization.

I have a sword that my father found back in 1978 when he was in the USAF at McGuire Airbase in New Jersey. He was unloading a C131 that he believes was coming back from Europe; the sword was left behind. He immediately asked around but couldn’t find the owner.

A few years ago he gave it to my husband, who is in the national guard. He searched the name through military records but again, could not find the owner.

I have attached a photo of the inscribed sword. It states:
LT John R. Mott Jr.
1st Squadron 11th ACR

If we can find the owner (or a relative of the owner) so that the sword can be returned, I would love to send it back! Thank you!

Note from Clint Ancker: If anyone can help with identification of the sword’s owner, please email me at BanditSix@nullaol.com.

LT John R. Mott Jr.

A Replay of a Neat Video

From Clint Ancker:

In the October 2022 E-News, there was a video (in German) about the border and OP Alpha, titled “The Hottest Point in the Cold War.” One of our members, Christian Pearson, sent me a note and asked if we could get this translated from German.

Well, I sat on this for a while and finally decided that perhaps my wife could do the translation, or at least provide an English script to go with the video. When I asked her about it she suggested instead, “Why don’t you just use the English subtitles?”

Duh! Turns out that once you start the video, you can do the following: 1) click on the “settings” button (the little spoked circle); 2) click on “subtitles”; 3) click “auto-translate”; 4) then scroll down to “English.” It will now show subtitles in English.

Sigh….from your now-sheepish communications director. Enjoy the video; it is well worth your time.

A Follow-up On Last Month‘s Note about the Point Alpha Research Institute (PARI)

This note from the Point Alpha Foundation is in response to some questions from concerned members about the relationship between PARI and the Point Alpha Foundation.

The PARI only shares a similar name with the Point Alpha Foundation. PARI is a completely different and separate organization; and it focuses solely on research activities. The Point Alpha Foundation, on the other hand, works with everything that has to do with the historic site, its exhibitions, the seminar programs, and our events.

I hope this clears things up a bit, and I’m sorry there was a little confusion with the article. Let me know if there are any more questions, and I will gladly answer them. Philipp, Jan, and I are still working at the foundation, so there is no need to worry about that.

See you soon at the “Last Border Patrol” ceremony.

Kind regards


Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Point Alpha Stiftung
Schlossplatz 4
36419 Geisa

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 banditsix@nullaol.com.

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