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E-News — May 2024

Trooper Down

Charles R. Barnes was born in Charles County, Maryland on April 16, 1948, the son of Evelyn Proctor and Paul Diggs, who both preceded him in death. Similarly to Charles’ quiet disposition, he peacefully departed this life on April 4, 2024 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Charles received his early education in the Charles County, Maryland School System, where his class was first to integrate and graduate at LaPlata High School. He furthered his education at Prince George’s County Community College taking various courses such as
communications, economics, writing, and law. Education was important to him, so he encouraged and supported those members of the family who desired higher education.

Having been raised a Catholic from childhood, he continued faithfully throughout his life attending Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and from time to time worshiping at Harvest United Ministries in Clinton, Maryland.

From a child, Charles’ music was dear to his heart. He began to play the trumpet in the third grade under the guidance of Clarence Rogers and advanced on to high school, playing under the tutelage of Mr. Braithway. He played the valved trombone in various bands: The Starliters; Flamingoes; Midnighters; Brothers Seven and Rise Band. In keeping with Charles’ business savvy, he envisioned creating a band focused on corporate events delivering high quality music with a professional gold standard. The C. Barnes Project was founded in the early 2000’s working with local and national corporate agencies while also the official backup band for Gene “The Duke of Earl” Chandler. Charles and Gene became very good friends.

Having served courageously and honorably in the United State Army from June 1967 to August 1970, Charles took his basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and his advanced individual training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. During this time he specialized in armor tanks and armored personnel vehicles. In December 1967, Charles was ordered to serve his country in the Vietnam War during the Tet Offensive described as one of the bloodiest military campaigns in the War. After his tour of service in Vietnam, he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas until completion of his active military service on August 21, 1970.

Charles proudly served with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, known as Blackhorse, under the command of George S. Patton, III. Because of his outstanding dedication and service, Charles was awarded various medals and badges, which included the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB).

Because of Charles’ work ethic, he spent over twenty years in the District of Columbia Government working in various agencies, including the Department of Corrections; Department of Human Services, where he completed his work career in the Office of Investigation & Compliance; and the Bureau of Management Systems as a welfare fraud investigator. It was during this time within the District of Columbia Government that Charles met and married Alice Barnes who preceded him in death in 2005.

The Lord saw fit for Charles to love again, and he placed the gracious Jamai Fontaine in his life, and they were married on June 1, 2010. They enjoyed hosting events at their particularly summer cookouts and holiday family gatherings. Charles’ love of his family was always the center of his focus, particularly taking care of his elders. That love was evident in the Barnes household, as Jamai and Charles enjoyed the pleasure of having William H. Peaco, father-in-law, reside with them until his death at age 91. He also shared a lifelong special bond with his Aunt Marion Barbour.

Retirement did not mean slowing down for Charles Barnes; instead, he boldly moved forward in advocating for disabled military veterans of all branches. This was not a job for him; however, it was a passion-based mission to assist fellow servicemen in securing the assistance they needed and deserved. He maintained an unwavering commitment to guiding these individuals through lengthy medical and legal processes with gentle care and thoroughness until all benefits needed were secured.

In keeping with an active and healthy lifestyle, Charles found enjoyment in his daily grocery store visits. It was important that he shared with his family and friends the importance of healthy living, no matter the age. In all his various personal and business endeavors while retired, Kenneth Ford (Celestina A. Ford), a close friend, was there with a smile and ready to take Charles wherever the mission called!

Charles leaves to mourn his memory beloved wife Jamai Fontaine Barnes; mother-in-law Emmerline Peaco; aunt Marion Barbour; brothers George R. Savoy (Gloria Savoy), Bernard R. Savoy (Cynthia A. Savoy), and Francis R. Savoy (Jane M. Savoy); children Cekeithia A. Barnes, Charles N. Barnes, Randolph G. Barnes, Samantha T. Barnes, and Keynesha S. Wilson (Bobby Wilson); grandchildren Charles N. Barnes Jr., Nijah Barnes, Randolph G. Barnes II, Shawntae Barnes, Keith Butler, Madison A. Smith, and Chadwick Wilson; great- grandchildren Zac’Shawn D. Barnes and Zy’aire Barnes; brother-in law William M. Peaco; sister-in-law Sandra Green; special family friend Rita King; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other family members.

Services are May 3, 2024, as indicated below.

Charles R. Barnes

Further Information on Services for John Sherman Crow

General Crow’s services and interment will be on June 1, 2024, 1 p.m., at Christ Church Cemetery in Bastrop, Louisianna.

A Tribute to John Sherman Crow from our German Friends

From the Fuldaer Zeitung – April 9, 2024
(The original German article is followed by an English translation.)

Stadt Fulda trauert um früheren „Blackhorse“-Kommandeur
Stand:09.04.2024, 21:05 Uhr
Von: Sebastian Reichert

John Sherman Crow and Frederick M. Franks Jr.


Das Archivfoto aus dem Jahr 1982 zeigt Ex-Brigadegeneral John Sherman Crow links bei der Übergabe des Kommandos über das 11. US-Panzeraufklärungsregiment an seinen Nachfolger, Oberst Frederick M. Franks Jr. (rechts).

Die Stadt Fulda trauert um Ex-Brigadegeneral John Sherman Crow. Er war der 49. Kommandeur des während des “Kalten Kriegs” in Fulda stationierten 11. US-Panzeraufklärungsregiments (“Blackhorse”).

Fulda – John Sherman Crow blieb auch nach seiner Zeit in Fulda (1979-1982) der Stadt und dem Regiment eng verbunden. Er starb am 7. April in Natchez (US-Bundesstaat Mississippi) im Alter von 87 Jahren nach langer schwerer Krankheit.

Der hochdekorierte spätere Brigadegeneral Crow stand als Colonel auf dem Höhepunkt des „Kalten Kriegs“ zwischen der Nato und dem Warschauer Pakt an der Spitze des Fuldaer Regiments, in dessen Zuständigkeit auch der „Observation Point Alpha“ bei Rasdorf im Hünfelder Land fiel.

Stadt Fulda trauert um früheren Blackhorse-Kommandeur John Sherman Crow
In einem langen CBS-Interview im Jahr 1980 brachte er den Amerikanerinnen und Amerikanern in der Heimat die besondere und brenzlige Situation an der innerdeutschen Grenze im “Fulda Gap” nahe.

Beim Abschied der “Blackhorse” – Soldaten aus Fulda im Jahre 1994 war er ebenso zu Gast wie bei vielen anderen Anlässen, zu denen er seine ehemaligen Wirkungsstätten in Deutschland besuchte.

Jüngst hat unterdessen Ex-Präsident Christian Wulff auf Point Alpha die Wichtigkeit der inneren Einheit betont. “Wenn wir gemeinsames Leben in Frieden und Freiheit gedeihen lassen wollen, brauchen wir jeden in unserem Land” sagte er.

Translation of Article

The archive photo from 1982 shows former Brigadier General John Sherman Crow, left, handing over command of the 11th US Armored Reconnaissance Regiment to his successor, Colonel Frederick M. Franks Jr. (right). © Hubert Weber/Fulda City Archives

The city of Fulda mourns the death of former Brigadier General John Sherman Crow. He was the 49th commander of the 11th US Armored Reconnaissance Regiment (“Blackhorse”) stationed in Fulda during the “Cold War.”

Fulda – John Sherman Crow remained closely connected to the city and the regiment even after his time in Fulda (1979-1982). He died on April 7th in Natchez (US state of Mississippi) at the age of 87 after a long and serious illness.

The highly decorated later Brigadier General Crow was a colonel at the height of the “Cold War” between NATO and the Warsaw Pact at the head of the Fulda Regiment, whose responsibility also included the “Observation Point Alpha” near Rasdorf in the Hünfelder Land.

City of Fulda mourns former Blackhorse commander John Sherman Crow

In a long CBS interview in 1980, he explained to Americans back home the special and precarious situation on the inner-German border in the “Fulda Gap.”

He was a guest at the farewell of the Blackhorse soldiers from Fulda in 1994, as well as on many other occasions when he visited his former places of work in Germany.

Former Point Alpha President Christian Wulff recently emphasized the importance of internal unity on Point Alpha. “If we want common life to flourish in peace and freedom, we need everyone in our country,” he said.

Blackhorse History Corner

Courtesy of Don Snedeker


James Hampton, who played the bugler on the TV show “F Troop” in 1965-1967, rode with the Blackhorse in Germany in the early 1960s.


James Hampton



The following photos appeared in the Chicago Tribune on September 17, 1993. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial opened the following Veterans Day.Historic Photo


Historic photo



In October 1993, the Regiment was making preparations for its stand-down and inactivation ceremony prior to departing Germany. This photo appeared in a Minnesota Newspaper on October 11, 1993.

Stand down



This is an early mention of the name Blackhorse as one word (not as “Black Horse”), and it is from November 18, 1946, when the 11th Constabulary Regiment (25th, 51st, and 94th Constabulary Squadrons) was working along the border between the US Zone of Occupation in Bavaria and Czechoslovakia.




After East Germany opened the border to West Germany in late 1989, the following article appeared in the Abilene Reporter-News (Texas) on December 17.

Soldiers Pride



The following photos are of either F or G Troop, 2/11, while stationed at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, training to go to the Philippines.

The Hartland Historical Society in Vermont reached out to Scott asking if they might be our Regiment. I was able to provide documentation that put the two troops in the location where the photos were taken.

These may be the earliest photos of Troopers of the Blackhorse – just six months after being organized at Fort Myer, VA.

The accompanying newspaper article describes their march.

The following note, from Pip Parker, accompanied the photos:

As promised attached are copies of the photos.They were taken by Byron Ruggles who was a farmer here in Hartland. One of his many hobbies was photography. We are very lucky to have a large collection of his photographs which are all on glass slides. The slides mainly feature people, animals and scenes from the area, and are mostly dated from around 1890 – 1910. Looking at the beautiful stone wall in the two attached photos it looks as if the photos were taken from his farm. He possibly was just in the right place at the right time when the Cavalry came through on their way to Woodstock for the Windsor Fair. Obviously with early photography and the fact that the glass slides are now over 120 years old the quality isn’t brilliant but we hope that you enjoy them.





Montpelier Evening News (Montpelier, Vermont) August 24, 1901, page 4

Jungle Crusher

From SGT Don Whitney, M Company, 3/11 ACR, 1967-68


War Tanks

From Col (Ret.) Clifford Deal

This is a photo I took in Dec. 1968 or Jan. 1969 at the 1st Squadron TOC. It was not easy to get all of them together. Far left is Colonel Patton; far right is Major Bahnsen. The Squadron Commanders are in the middle.

Colonel Patton


Can anyone identify the Squadron Commanders? If so, please contact me at opens in a new windowbanditsix@nullaol.comcreate new email, and I’ll reprint the photo in the next E-News with all of the names. Great photo!

“Last Border Patrol” Ceremony – 2024

34 years ago, the last patrol along the inner-German border was conducted by elements of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The mission of the US soldiers in Fulda and at OP Alpha was accomplished. For over forty years, the US military presence in the Federal Republic of Germany had helped to secure peace in Europe and preserve freedom in West Germany.

To honor this achievement of the soldiers of the 14th and 11th ACR, the Point Alpha Foundation annually commemorates the “Last Border Ride” in a ceremony. JROTC candidates from the American High School in Wiesbaden did the flag detail, students from schools in both Hesse and Thuringia attended the ceremony, as well as representatives of the US and German military, diplomats, and politicians. Before the actual ceremony commenced, the guest of honor, Consul General John R. Crosby, from the US Consulate in Leipzig was welcomed by the Academic Manager of the Point Alpha Foundation, Philipp Metzler, and given a tour through the exhibition – later joined by Blackhorse veteran Vern Croley in OP Alpha.

Out of respect for the late BG John Sherman Crow and Colonel Glenn Snodgrass, the US flag was flown at half-mast in the beginning of the ceremony. Despite the difficult weather conditions, the flag detail followed each step meticulously. After the new flag was hoisted, the second part of the event started in the vehicle hall with a minute of silence for the before-mentioned Blackhorse officers — who were not only great supporters of the museum but also good friends to the Point Alpha Foundation — and all other deceased troopers of the 11th and 14th ACR.

In their remarks, the speakers underscored the importance of committed allies and the transatlantic friendship. Consul General Crosby drew parallels between the resolve of the western allies during the Cold War and Ukraine’s supporters today. BG Eero Keravuori (USAREUR-AF) and BG Bernd Stöckmann (Hesse State Command) stressed not to forget about what history has taught us about resilience. Craig Birchard, a Blackhorse veteran and dear friend to the Point Alpha Foundation, closed the ceremony by thanking all the soldiers who did their service to preserve peace, as well as the military communities in Fulda, Bad Hersfeld, and Bad Kissingen.

We were especially glad to welcome four veterans of the 11th ACR amidst our guests: Ray “Ritz” Ingram, Jose Pereira, Jerry Weiland, and Jim Winslow. After the ceremony, we had the opportunity to sit down together and talk about their experiences at OP Alpha, in the 11th ACR, and their military service in the bigger context. Their insights and first-hand information are invaluable to us, and we would like to encourage all veterans who would like to share stories and even pictures to reach out to the Point Alpha Foundation. We appreciate every bit of information.

You can find a short recap video on our social media sites, but opens in a new windowalso on YouTube:

The Point Alpha Foundation cordially invites the veterans and their families to join us in 2025 for the 35th anniversary of the historic last border patrol. More information to follow when available.

OP Alpha

U.S. Flag flying at half-mast in honor of John Sherman Crow. It has flown half-mast since 7 April and returned to full-mast at the ceremony. Also conducted a short eulogy for him and Glenn Snodgrass, followed by a moment of silence observed by all. (from Craig Birchard)

OP Alpha

OP Alpha OP Alpha OP Alpha

11th ACR Northeast Region Blackhorse Reunion June 13 – 16, 2024

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Wingate (by Wyndham) hotel in Vienna, West Virginia. Price is $94 per night and includes two wheelchair accessible rooms for those who need them. Accessible rooms have a single king bed. The remaining rooms have two queen beds.

The hotel is undergoing a major renovation that is expected to be completed for the tourist season. It features an indoor pool, gym, breakfast, and free parking. Within a mile of the hotel is Cheddars, Longhorn, Olive Garden, Outback, Tokyo (Thai, Japanese, sushi), a wide selection of fast food options, and Grand Central Mall.
Reserve your room now while they are available by calling 304-295-5501. Ask for the 11th ACR Northeast Blackhorse rooms.

A registration fee of $25 per person is requested in advance to cover the cost of the Saturday Blennerhassett Island tour. As this is a group rate, a single payer is required. Please submit payments to this PayPal account:

If you’re available, come out to our reunion; and if you have any questions, please contact Walter Mazuchowski at opens in a new windowBufmaz1@nullyahoo.comcreate new email.

Friday Activities:

0930. Depart hotel for Point Pleasant and the Mothman Museum and colonial
battlefield tour.

Lunch will be at Tuscany Italian Restaurant across the Ohio River.

There are a few antique stores in the area and also a number of gun shops if you want to spend a little time in Point Pleasant.

1800. Dinner at the VFW in Marietta, Ohio. Cost is $17 per person and beverages will be available at the bar. Space will also be available for our auction. Please bring militaria or other suitable items for the auction.

Saturday Activities:

0930. Depart hotel for the river cruise and island tour of Blennerhassett Island, which is a West Virginia state park. The tour includes a stern-wheeler ride to the island, a wagon tour of the island, and a tour of the rebuilt Blennerhassett mansion. The outing is wheelchair-friendly with the exception of the second story of the mansion. Bring your water since there is no food service on the island this year. Cost of the tour is included in the registration fees.

1200. Return from the island. Anyone interested in visiting what is billed as the largest quilt shop east of the Mississippi River can join my wife and tour Bolts and Quarters Quilt Shop. She recommends having lunch first, perhaps at Western Sizzling Steak House in Lubeck, WV.

1800. Dinner at Parkersburg Brewing Company, downtown Parkersburg on Market Street.

Blackhorse Association User Center

We are really excited about a new function called the User Center. Everyone in the Blackhorse Association’s database can create a log-in and see their personal information on the webpage.

· Update your personal information yourself.
· See events and manage tickets.
· Print receipts.
· Print tax year statements.

Because this is a recent update for the database, you will not see prior-year events listed, but you will see prior-year giving.

There are other enhancements that we are working on that will be available in the future.

To view and update your information, opens in a new windowplease go to this location:

User center


When you create your account, you must use the email that is currently uploaded in the system (that is, the one you normally use for donations or receiving the E-News).

User center

 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

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