E-News — September 2023

Troopers Down

Wallace Hall Nutting

 

The 43rd Colonel of the Blackhorse

Wallace Hall Nutting. General Wallace Hall Nutting, 95, moved from life to life on August 17, 2023, at Seal Rock Healthcare in Saco, Maine, surrounded by family. He was born June 3, 1928, in Newton, Maine, the son of Gerry and Ethel Nutting.

Wallace attended schools in Saco and joined the Maine State National Guard at the age of 14 from 1942-1944. After graduation from Phillips Exeter Academy, Wallace attended West Point Military Academy. He graduated in 1950 in the last class of Cavalry Officers. Shortly after graduation, he married Jane Anne Walker in the First Parish Congregational Church in Saco where they first met when they were both twelve. They were married for 72 years until Jane’s death in 2022. While on their honeymoon, the Korean War broke out and Wallace was sent to Korea.

Wallace saw combat in the Korean War and received the Silver Star and the Soldier’s Medal. The latter was for rescuing a wounded Korean woman from a minefield. He also received two Purple Hearts for his service in Korea.

His commands included two tours in the Vietnam War with the 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1971; the 3rd Armored Division; United States Southern Command from 1979-1983; and United States Readiness Command from 1983-1985. The Division Support Command Commander said of him, “I have not served with a finer leader in my nearly 34 years of service.” Ambler Moss, Ambassador to Panama when Wallace served as Commander in Chief of the Southern Command recalled, “The times were challenging: the security issues too numerous to mention. It is no exaggeration to say that Wally Nutting set the tone and policies for SOUTHCOM’s successful management of the Panama Canal treaties.” Wallace and Jane spent seven years in Germany, four years in Latin America, and the rest either in the D.C. area or in “good tank country” including Kentucky, Texas, and Kansas. He retired in 1985, and Wallace and Jane’s 22nd move was back to Maine.

In Maine, Wallace continued his life of service. He was a member of the Maine Cancer Research and Education Foundation; York County YMCA Board; Pine Tree Council of Boy Scouts of America. He and Jane were active members of the First Parish Congregational Church. He was a member of the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, DC; Armor Association; Retired Officers Association; Life Member of the 11th Cavalry Association. He was a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Higher Defense Studies at the National Defense University and an Associate Fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He was a founding member and Chairman of the University of Southern Maine’s Senior College Board.

In 2003, Wallace was urged to run for mayor in Biddeford, Maine. Elected, he ran again two years later unopposed. The Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce president said, “General Nutting has set the bar to a new, higher level. He has done it by deeds, not words. He has led by example, and his legacy will be one of outstanding achievement.”

On May 28, 2008, Wallace Nutting received the West Point Distinguished Graduate Award from the Academy’s Association of Graduates in a ceremony at West Point. He was recognized as a soldier, statesman, educator, and civic leader who served his country with integrity and distinction throughout a lifetime of dedicated service and achievement. His life exemplified the principles expressed in the motto of the United States Military Academy: Duty, Honor, and Country.

His career accomplishments speak to his national and international impact. He always emphasized the importance of the next generations and the goodness in children. Though an imposing military figure, as one of his grandsons wrote in a song “He’s a gentle man with a steady hand-in spite of all he saw.” Wallace Nutting’s children and grandchildren are proud of his legacy, but he was just Dad or Grandpa. There are memories of beach days, camping trips, and hikes. He loved talking to young people and patiently explained current events and family history. He admitted in a 2001 interview that his career put a strain on his family and credited his beloved Jane with keeping the family together. Transfers of duty stations often led to side trips to ski or camp or visit historical sites.

The family requests donations be made to: Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute- University of Southern Maine, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104.

Lampen-Wolfe

 

James Dale Lampen-Wolfe. September 1, 1944 – July 26, 2023. James (Jim) Dale Lampen-Wolfe passed peacefully at home into heaven on July 26, 2023, at age 78. He was born in Bay City, Michigan on September 1, 1944, to Penny and Joseph Dale Wolfe. Jim attended the University of Michigan where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Psychology. He was very proud of his years in the University of Michigan’s Marching Band in the late sixties. He also treasured his 38 years of civil service with the Department of Defense, especially the years spent in Great Britain and Germany assisting soldiers to obtain their college degrees. He had many friends overseas due to his travel with the military. Jim is survived by Nancy Graham, his loving wife of 15 years; a step-son, Carlton Graham; a daughter-in-law, Laura Knight in California; an uncle, Dale Knipers in Michigan; and a sister, Pam Strictland in Florida. He was loved by many  friends and neighbors in Windcrest. He loved his German Shepherd and service dog,  Tess, and two rescue cats, Gypsy and Socks.

Jim was the education officer for the 11th ACR in Germany for many years. He poured his heart and soul into helping troopers. He frequently deployed with squadrons to training areas to better serve “his” troopers. He was immensely proud of his service to the Blackhorse and stayed in touch with many veterans over the years. He will be missed by many.

O’Bannon

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gareth Alan “OB” O’Bannon, 60, of Spotsylvania County, passed away on October 30, 2021 with his loving family at his side.A retired Master Army Aviator and Army Combat Veteran of the both the Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism, he was awarded the following medals during his 30 years of honorable service: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (5th Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (5th Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 bronze service stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on
Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device and 20-year silver hourglass, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Ribbon (3rd award), NATO Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), and the Expert Marksmanship Badge with Pistol Bar.

Gareth came to the Blackhorse as a brand new WO1 in the early summer of 1983. He served in the Combat Aviation Troop as an Aeroscout Pilot until the Combat Aviation Squadron was reorganized under the J Series Cav, at which time he was assigned to D Troop, 11th Regimental Combat Aviation Squadron. The Squadron was later named the 4th Squadron and D Troop became N Troop.

Gareth served with the Blackhorse from June 1983 to July 1986. A trusted friend, comrade and soldier, he was an OH-58 Pilot-In-Command (PIC), NVG PIC, and Tri-Border Pilot. He had acted as the Troop Commander’s pilot and participated in three REGORGER exercises during the Cold War.

CW5 Gareth O’Bannon was a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Assistant Scoutmaster, and Eagle Scout whose decades of selfless service to the Nation and Local Community have touched countless lives. He tirelessly volunteered with Boy Scout Troop 196 in Culpeper, Virginia nearly his entire life, where he earned his Eagle Scout award as a child, eventually becoming an Assistant Scoutmaster and Committee member. CW5 O’Bannon was also a professional photographer and avid Historian, earning his Bachelors of Liberal Studies, with Distinction, in History from Mary Washington College in 1993. During his highly decorated and busy military career, he always found time to
balance his family life with his military career and was always a loving and caring Husband and Father. He was an inspiration and Hero to all who knew him, especially his son and daughter. He is loved greatly by his family and will be dearly missed by all who were privileged to meet him.

Matthew A. McNally III. As a follow-up to our July E-News, details have been finalized for Matt McNally’s funeral. Visitation will be 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Friday September 29 at the Kingston Funeral Home, Northfield VT. Funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 30 at White Chapel, Norwich campus, with burial to follow immediately after at the Norwich cemetery. All are invited.

An Intrepid Icon

We posted an obituary for Jim Angelini in an E-News Special on August 28, 2023. That note elicited this tribute from the chaplain.

Chaplain Bill Karabinos
11th ACVVC, Vietnam 71/72

Four days before Christmas 2017, a frosty morning in Virginia, and before I could get out on my car, a “Blackhorse”-tattooed motorcycle pulled in beside me. Jimbo Angelini had arrived in time for Lily’s funeral. We were in the parking lot at the funeral home in Charlottesville for the burial of 11th Air Cav Trooper John Liljegren. Jim had motored from Louisville, seven hours away, and I thought I was making a great sacrifice driving only one hour from Williamsburg.

We both sported 11th ACR insignia; I on a suit coat, and Jim on a leather jacket. I was overwhelmed that an old veteran should make such a trip. Later Pete Walter, then Vice-President of the 11th ACVVC told me, “that’s Jim Angelini, pure and simple, a true to the end Blackhorse brother.”

We walked into the funeral home, and quickly noted that Lily, like many other Blackhorse troopers, was proud of his service. His coffin was emblazoned with 11th Cav paraphernalia and as we were to see, also on his bronze headstone. Jim told me to say something here (at the funeral home) “cause I do my thing at the burial.” He did.

Air Cav Scout John Liljegren was buried a half-hour down the highway in a small town of rural Virginia, halfway to Lynchburg with military honors. Jim spoke and recited a poem he had composed in 1998, and did so, without a script and with heart-warming emotion and warm affection. He had done it before, and he would do it again, anytime he could get to a Blackhorse brother’s funeral.

I will type it here, and you may read it with feelings of grief or not; but its real
impact was in Jim’s presentation. A power that silenced the highway noise, quieted the birds and squirrels, drained the blood out your face and made you forget that your snow-covered toes were freezing. Jim’s poem:

Dedicated to a Friend.
Many, many years ago, I found myself in a land I didn’t know.
Sent by people who didn’t care about me, to fight for others’ liberty
A land so strange and far away, I’ll remember it to my dying day.
While Vietnam is its given name, we veterans all refer to it the same.
The “Nam” became the call, for this land where so many would stand and fall. To risk our limbs and lives as well, we spent our time in that damn hell.
I tried hard and did my best, like all the others put to the test.
Some walked, some rode and others flew, doing jobs nobody wanted to do. We laughed, we cried, we were as scared as well, in the “Nam” our personal hell. Many years have come and gone, but inside of me the “Nam” lives on. Memories of the pain and the death, are still able to take away my breathe.
My buddies laying on the ground and the sight of their blood all around. Young bodies broken, torn and smashed, dying in the tall elephant grass. 12,000 miles from his home, he cried for his mother but died alone.
We loaded his body in a bag, and placed it on a chopper for his last ride. Silently watching as the chopper flew away, I wanted to cry but couldn’t that day. For in the jungle the battle raged on. And I had to go and kill the Viet Cong. Back home his mom and dad did cry. And asked each other Why? Oh. Why? The Honor Guard stood by the flag, that draped the casket with his body inside. The firing squad’s volley then did fly, one last tribute to he who has died.
Sadly, they listened to the sound of Taps, but nothing they could do could bring him back.
They opened the ground and laid him within, he was now back home with his family again.
Their tears flowed caused by their grief, but we are unable to bring them any relief. Another day, another death, another young soldier laid to rest!
As a young soldier standing strong, I mistakenly believed that crying was wrong. I held my pain deep within, awaiting the day it will rise again.
While my buddy is now dead and gone, my thoughts and love for him lives on. My buddy and I are never apart, I carry him always deep in my heart.
He’s found his Peace and for that I’m glad, for he’s my buddy, the best I ever had. The time will come, I just don’t know when, but I too will find Peace …
… and be with my buddy again.

Sergeant James Angelini, 11th ACR, Vietnam (69/70) is now, as of August 6, 2023, with his buddy.

2023 National Horse Cavalry Competition
Fort Reno, Oklahoma
Support the 11th ACR Horse Detachment from Fort Irwin
Plus
Vietnam Traveling
Memorial Wall Tribute

September 27-30, 2023
Open to the Public – No Admission Charge

The U.S. Cavalry Association, a nonprofit organization, will host its annual Bivouac and National Cavalry Competition September 27-30, 2023 at Fort Reno, OK. In conjunction with the event, the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall to be on display at Fort Reno. The replica Wall is 8 feet tall and 350 feet in length with the names of 58,000 soldiers who died for our country during the Vietnam War. All veterans and community members are invited to visit the display which will be free of charge. There are plenty of hotels nearby in El Reno and Oklahoma City.

2023 National Horse Cavalry Competition

Stories of Service in the Regiment
Courtesy of Don Snedeker

Perhaps this is the Longest Time of Service in the 11th Cavalry. Herman Lenke served more than 30 years with the 11th Cavalry Regiment. He enlisted four years after emigrating from Germany in 1904. He joined M Troop on pacification duty in Cuba, then returned to the States, serving at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. He was with Major Howze’s Provisional Squadron during the Last Charge at Ojos Azules in Mexico on 5 May 1916. In 1918, he refused a direct commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, preferring to stay a Sergeant. In 1927, he was promoted to Master Sergeant and appointed as the Regimental Sergeant Major. He held that position until he retired in 1938.

Perhaps this is the Youngest Person to Serve in the 11th Cavalry. Howard Brown enlisted in the 11th United States Cavalry in 1916, just in time to accompany the Regiment as a bugler on the punitive expedition against Poncho Villa. There was nothing remarkable about this fact – except that Howard Brown was just 13 years old. It wasn’t that unusual in the days before electronic records and the Internet for young men to lie about their age in order to join the Army. And the Army recruiters didn’t care that much either. Howard Brown told his recruiter that he was 18, and that was good enough to bring him into the Army. A year after chasing Mexican bandits, Howard Brown was in the trenches in France, dodging gas grenades and shooting at Germans. By the end of the war (and still only 15 years old), he had fought in the Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel campaigns, earning two Purple Hearts along the way.

He left the Army in 1920, only to come back in after a year, enlisting with the 3rd Infantry. But a year later he was wearing civvies again, this time as a student at the University of California. After earning an engineering degree, Howard felt the call to arms again. He served a tour in China and then in the Philippines. Howard still didn’t know what he wanted to do when he grew up, so he left the infantry in 1927, only to join the Army Air Corps until 1930. He put away his uniform at that point to become a civil engineer.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Howard Brown once again joined the Army. This time, he stayed in, serving through the Korean War. In 1957, Howard Brown, now 62 years old and a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, celebrated the 39th anniversary of his first enlistment.

Howard Brown was quite a character. In 1955 he told a reporter that there weren’t many “real” soldiers left in uniform. “Brown scoffs at the walking ability of the modern soldier. A much younger soldier told him recently of a $100 bet he had made that he would climb the Organ Mountains between here [Las Cruses, New Mexico] and White Sands Proving Ground and traverse the 28 miles in between the two places in less than 24 hours. Snorted Brown: ‘You should be able to do that before breakfast. Give me half the bet and I’ll go with you and carry you half of the way.’”

More from the Archives of our Regiment
Courtesy of Don Snedeker

In the fall of 1906, Regimental Headquarters, the Band, and 2nd & 3rd Squadrons were deployed from Fort Des Moines, Iowa to Cuba for constabulary duty. Their departure created some interesting news stories.

Archives

 

Archives

 

After the bulk of the 11th Cav was sent to Cuba in 1906, 1st Squadron remained at Fort Des Moines. The Squadron was redeployed to Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont about a year later. Some residents did not want them to go.

Archives

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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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