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E-News – October 2017




Troopers Down



John Joseph Clark. John, 53, a resident of Hawthorne, Florida, died September 16, 2017 at the Gainesville V. A. Medical Center following a battle with cancer.He was born on July 15, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Pompano Beach, Florida. He joined the U. S. Army, served in the 11th Armored Cavalry “The Blackhorse Regiment”, served in Operation Desert Storm, and was in Germany at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2000, John moved to Hawthorne where he was an automotive paint and body man known as “The Paint Man.” John had a strong Christian faith.

John was preceded in death by father Richard Louis Clark and son John Clark, Jr., who died in May of 2017.

He is survived by daughters Anastaziia Clark and Jennifer (Shane) Bates of Wetumpka, AL; mother Elaine Clark of Hawthorne; brothers Jimmy (Abigail) Clark of Pompano Beach and Jason (Karman) Clark of Deerfield Beach; sister Connie Clark of Keystone Heights; grandchildren Gavin and Caiden Bates; nieces and nephews Ashley (Derek) DiScuillo, Kaitlyn and Hannah Clark, Nicholas Zagami, and Jacob Clark; and grandniece Emma Elias.

Interment with military honors was in the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery. In remembrance of John, please consider a donation to The Blackhorse Association; Attention: Daniel M. Caughey, Treasurer; PO Box 1712; Mill Valley, CA 94942.

Lawrence J. Ames (Larry). Larry, 60, of Lackawaxen, PA passed unexpectedly on September 20, 2017. Born in Bad Cannstatt, Germany on May 31, 1957, Larry was the son of the late June Rowbottom Ames and the late Thomas L. Ames. Larry attended High School in Lockhaven, PA. He went on to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

While at MIT, Larry signed up for the Army ROTC program in 1975. After graduation, Larry continued his military career between 1979 and 1983; he was also a graduate of Ranger and Airborne Schools. As a US Army Captain, Larry commanded Infantry and Cavalry units. Larry’s last assignment was in Fulda Germany where he commanded a border camp that conducted patrols of the East-West Interzonal German Border, known as “The Iron Curtain.” Larry was in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the time he spent in the 11th ACR with his colleagues was a significant and enjoyable time and experience in his life.

After the completion of his military service, Larry attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Business Administration degree in 1985.

Larry went on to have a successful business career owning and managing many companies, but he is most remembered for his personal life’s mission to cultivate authenticity, kindness, humor and wisdom within his family and everyone he met. He led by example; he was lighthearted enough to laugh at himself, selfless enough to put others before him, and confident enough in himself to be humble. Anyone who had the honor of knowing Larry will agree that when you were with him, it was as if you were the only person on the planet that mattered. He was an exceptionally attentive listener, and always offered insightful, honest, and loving guidance to those around him. The essence of Larry cannot be put into words; instead, we all feel him in our hearts.

Among his survivors are his fiancée, Diana Newmier; his three sons, Patrick “Keaghan” Ames, Joseph “Connor” Ames, and John “Griffin” Ames; Keaghan’s fiancée, Kelsey Dean; his future daughter Andria Jansen and son-in-law Ciaran Kane; and his future grandchildren, Olivia 15, Leah 13, Erik 11, and Donnchadh 2. Other survivors include his brother Douglas Ames and his family.Gifts may be made in memory of Larry Ames to his favorite charities:

Wounded Warrior Project


Big Brothers and Sisters


Cystic Fibrosis Foundation



An Historical Note

OP Oscar

Volker Bausch asked a question: When and why had OP Oscar, the northernmost of the Regiment’s border observation posts (located in the northern part of 3rd Squadron’s sector), been shut down?

The following is the reply provided by Tom Swindell.

The OP was closed in 1976. This was the year after I left. When I was the Border Officer in 1972 and as the S2 in 1973, we had started to become concerned about the overall support of the OP. As you know, it was the northernmost OP. It was difficult to support from Bad Hersfeld. There were some in the chain of command who thought we could cover the OP AOR with daily patrols and frequent air patrols just as effectively. We had tried temporary OPs in several locations including the area just east of OP Romeo. These seemed to work fairly effectively.

When Oscar was fleshed out, it was probably the best equipped of 3rd Squadron’s OPs except that the billets and mess hall were built in a low-lying area and seemed to be muddy all the time. I felt that sustainability and supportability were probably its downfall. It was just too far from BH, and it took a long time to get a platoon of vehicles up there coupled with daily support runs. That is how I remember it from my time serving as the Border Officer, S2, and S1 of the Squadron.

Report on a Visit to Germany

by Greg Hallmark, Blackhorse Website Manager

Brothers, now that I’m back in the world, here is my situation report on my recent and personal Reforger.

Germany is way more beautiful than I remember it, and I remembered it being amazingly beautiful during my time in the Cav 40 years ago. It has to be the most beautiful country in the world, or at least it’s in the running. It is perfect in that regard. Ancient, modern, familiar, foreign. Just incredible what the German people have done through the centuries, up to the present day.

Germany is a “world resource”, a treasure house of history and culture, and the birthplace of the modern Western world and Christendom; it must be protected and preserved forever.

Germany is rich. It was rich back in the late 70s when I was there, and seems even richer now. Lots of infrastructure improvements going on: roads, bridges, etc. Lots of private construction, commercial and residential. Lots of money spent on infrastructure improvements in the former East Germany.

Germany will need these riches as it comes to grips with the huge demographic changes that have been unleashed by Merkel’s government and the EU taking in a million refugees from Syria and elsewhere. These refugees are very much evident in the two cities that I visited, Bad Kissingen and Fulda, and also evident in smaller towns such as Hammelberg. It seems that the former family housing area at Daley Barracks is being used to house some of these resettled persons. I might be wrong on that, but there seemed to be a substantial presence of middle easterners in that general area; mothers with children, young men, older men. The numbers of young, middle eastern men out-and-about in the BK Marktplatz during an average Friday mid-day was significant; seemingly more than the typical numbers of young American GIs on those same streets 40 years ago.

The autobahn is busier than ever and is freaking awesome. I was a 64C back in the day and drove my 5 Ton all over the area, but I don’t remember the autobahn being anywhere near as busy as it was during my recent stay. Very intimidating at first, but after the initial shock of having a Porsche pass you at something close to 170 mph, a truly great driving experience. The surface streets and back roads are perfectly maintained and marked. Much use of traffic circles at intersections, both in town and out in the countryside, allowing for the free and organic flow of traffic, avoiding the many bottlenecks that you find in American cities like mine (Nashville). Almost everyone is an expert driver. You don’t see people multi-tasking behind the wheel; no texting, smoking, joking, or hanging around. They are serious about driving. Wish more Americans were the same.

The local folks I came into contact with around BK and Fulda, especially those “of a certain age”, were very much nostalgic about the years that we were there. They miss us. Almost everyone I talked to had a story about their American friends. That was nice.Germany was surprisingly inexpensive. Meals, groceries, gifts, etc. were just slightly more expensive than similar things back home. Either prices are down or the exchange rate is favorable to us now. I don’t know, as that stuff is above my pay grade. Seemed cheap, though. Except for gas. Expect sticker shock at the pump.

Finally, Point Alpha is a must-see for every one of us. Please do yourself a favor and get over there and see what they have done. They have ensured that our days on The Border will never be forgotten.

Here’s a link to a video of my tour of OP Alpha, in case you haven’t seen it:




Below are links to other videos and photos of the trip:



An Invite from the RCO

We are beginning the initial planning for the next Regimental ball. I will be hosting the event on 24 February 2018 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas. Once all key details are decided, I will send you a formal invitation.

We would like to invite members of the Blackhorse Association to attend the ball. We have invited MG (R) Tucker (56th) to be our guest speaker. We look forward to having as many Blackhorse alumni as possible attend so that we can unite as Troopers past and present, and take a moment to relish in the memories of our heritage while sharing the accomplishments of unit today. Currently, we have 100 tickets reserved for the association. The Squadron Commanders, RCSM Stunkard, and I all enjoyed the opportunity that we had to visit with everyone in Atlanta and hope to instill that same pride in the Best Damn Regiment in our current Blackhorse Troopers.


Colonel, Cavalry
67th Colonel of the Blackhorse
20th Colonel of the OPFOR


National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation

New Monuments added to Pattons’ Park

Below are photos of new monuments added to Pattons’ Park. The Blackhorse Association was the first to add a monument, and now others are joining in. Following the photos, there is an update from the Foundation.


We look forward to adding monuments honoring the 14th Cavalry Regiment, the 3rd Armored Division, and the 2nd Armored Division in 2018. For more information about our growing monument park, please contact us at nachfexecutivedirector@nullgmail.com.

As we continue to mark the 100th Anniversary of WW I and the birth of our armored force, we are reminded that everyone has a hero and there is no better way to honor them than by participating in our Memorial Paver Program. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of WW I, you can participate in our Memorial Paver Program for a tax deductible donation of $150 ($100 less than the regular donation level). This offer applies to the next 100 Memorial Paver Program donors. This offer won’t last forever and is a great way to honor the service and sacrifice of those who served. All who donate before October 15, 2017 will have their paver dedicated during the Veterans Day 2017 Paver Ceremony; if received after October 15, dedication will be on Memorial Day 2018.

Please go to http://www.armorcavalryheritagefoundation.org/memorial-paver-program to participate in our Memorial Paver Program.

As this year winds down, please consider being a part of our Annual Giving Campaign, joining our Saber and Spur Society, or making a donation of any amount to honor the service and sacrifice of our mounted force. All donations are tax deductible.

Go to: http://www.armorcavalryheritagefoundation.org/annual-giving-campaigns or make your check payable to: “National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation.” Mail To: PO Box 5767, Columbus, GA 31906 and become part of our team today.

Share this, spread the word, and please donate today. Thank you in advance for your support. Preserving our Heritage… Honoring our Mounted Warriors!

Regards, Rick

Ricky W. Young
Executive Director
Email: nachfexecutivedirector@nullgmail.com Phone: 706-341-6123




The Opening of Point India By Craig Birchard

On Sunday, September 11, 2017, the Ludenbach Wandering Club conducted a Grand Opening Ceremony of Point India (formerly OP India). Unlike OP Alpha, which the Host Nation expanded into a educational and historic site, OP India was closed in 1989 and cleared of all support structures except the concrete tower. The tower over time was vandalized and became overgrown with trees and brush. Under the direction and initiative of Rainer Methe and the Ludenbach Wandering Club, Point India was cleaned up, cleared of all trees and brush, and linked into a number of local hiking trails and rest areas. (see photo below) The 1st floor of the tower had numerous photos and memorabilia that Rainer had collected and was an impressive display.




There were over 100 attendees plus 7 former Blackhorse Troopers (see photo below) at the ceremony. One of the Blackhorse Troopers in attendance was Roger Abshire, a 3rd Squadron, 14th Cavalry veteran from 1963-1967.



For anyone not familiar with OP India, it was located on the northern boundary of the 11th ACR and overlooked the former DDR town of Ifta. The original log tower was replaced in 1984 with the concrete and steel tower. On 16 June 1983, I was present in the tower (as Commander, L Troop) when a Soviet Hind-D helicopter crashed and burned on the DDR side about 200 meters from the tower. Fortunately, there were many pictures taken of the crash as it was one of the first sightings of a Hind-D. Needless to say, there was a lot of drama and adult supervision for the next couple of hours. I often wondered what would have happened if the Hind-D had crashed on the West German side of the border. The Opening Ceremony was the first time I had been back to OP India since September 1983, and it rekindled many memories of my time in the 3rd Squadron.


In Another Part of Germany and Another Former OP

Exhibition Showcasing Cold War Life at Fulda Gap Opens
By DAN STOUTAMIRE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 12, 2017






The Fulda Gap, a group of passes through hills about an hour northeast of Frankfurt, was for more than four decades the site one of the world’s most tense and heavily armed border standoffs.

Now, the place known as Point Alpha, where U.S. and NATO forces in West Germany kept watch over what was regarded as the Soviet Union’s most likely route to invade Western Europe, will be the subject of permanent exhibition.

Opening on Sunday at the memorial near Rasdorf, the event celebrates the everyday life of U.S. and German soldiers and civilians. It focuses on the role U.S. soldiers played in bringing American culture to Germany after World War II and the improbable relationships that bloomed here.

“The partnership was based on friendships of the people involved – it was a security partnership, sure, but it was mainly a partnership between people,” said Danny Chahbouni, a German researcher at the Point Alpha memorial.”So our mission is to bring Germans and Americans together and tell them about how this partnership evolved, how it was affected by the Cold War, and to show people how Americans here lived and about their commitment for the defense of Western Europe.”

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 rendered the border between East and West Germany and its many outposts obsolete. Today, Point Alpha is a historical site commemorating those years, when it was widely believed that if a third world war were to occur, it would do so here.

Jo Ator, a U.S. veteran who currently lives in Frankfurt, briefly served a rotational deployment in West Germany in 1986, when she visited the still-functioning observation post at Point Alpha.

“You wouldn’t think about it much elsewhere, but Germany had this wall,” she said. “You could see where people trying to escape East Germany died, and there’s the barbed wire, and the guard towers and everything and you think, oh man, this is the real stuff.”

The exhibition – which features signs in both German and English – will be housed in one of the two major barracks where U.S. soldiers once lived, Chahbouni said, and will feature items such as old American Forces Network microphones, uniforms of U.S. and German soldiers, contemporary comic books, and letters and other original documents from those who served at the post.

“Think about how AFN, Elvis Presley and all the popular American culture influenced Western Europe and especially the Germans,” Chahbouni said. “I think this is still a big issue. We are living a Western lifestyle, a style that was brought to us by the American soldiers that came as enemies and became our friends.”

In addition to the above article, the following photos of the opening were provided by Volker Bausch.


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