The 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Veteran Association

Description: Description: WW2 32nd Division insignia

History of the

32D ‘Red Arrow’

Infantry Division

During the Berlin Crisis

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The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters hosted an event at its Camp Williams armory on 15 October 2011 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division’s mobilization for the Berlin Crisis. There were historical displays at the armory, current equipment displays and an official ceremony on the adjacent parade field, and the exhibits of the Wisconsin National Guard Museum were available for viewing as well. Photos from the event are available on the Wisconsin National Guard's Flickr site. There is also some reminiscence about the mobilization from one of the veterans on WisGuard Live, the Official Blog of the Wisconsin National Guard.

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In some regards, the Berlin Crisis began on V-E Day, 8 May 1945, and continued until 9 November 1989, when the Berlin Wall crumbled. There were several contentious incidents involving the divided city over the years. The Berlin Airlift, from 27 Jun. ‘48 to 12 May ’49, was one of the more notable episodes of that 44 ½ year confrontation. This page is concerned with the significant chapter of that near five decade altercation that came to a head in the summer of 1961.
On 4 June 1961, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to implement actions that would restrict, if not end, British, French, and U.S. military forces’ access to Berlin.
On a then seemingly innocent and unrelated note, the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division, Wisconsin Army National Guard, conducted its annual encampment at Camp McCoy, WI, from 10 to 24 June 1961. Twenty-four of its 93 units earned ‘Superior’ ratings from the Regular Army evaluators and 60 units were rated ‘Excellent.’ The ‘Red Arrow’ was rated as one of the top National Guard units in the country, just as it had been during both world wars. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 25 July 1961, President John F. Kennedy, in a nationally televised speech, restated America’s commitment and resolve to help West Berlin. He stated, “We seek peace, but we shall not surrender.” That same day he requested that Congress authorize the Army’s strength to be increased from 870,000 to 1,000,000, to include 6 new combat divisions.  He also asked for substantially increased strength for the Navy, to include 2 more Marine divisions, and the Air Force. He also asked that draft calls be tripled and requested the authority to mobilize Reserve-component units and individual Reservists.
On 13 August 1961, East German President Walter Ulbricht ordered the border between East and West Germany closed and construction of the Berlin Wall began. The communists decided to halt the flow of East Germans escaping to the free West. The Berlin Wall completely surrounded and sealed off West Berlin from East Berlin and the rest of East Germany. Tensions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact dramatically increased and for a while it seemed like the Cold War in Europe would turn hot.
On 30 August, President John F. Kennedy issued orders for the mobilization of 148,000 Guardsmen and Reservists for up to a year. He also tripled the draft calls. It was deemed necessary for an overnight strengthening of our conventional forces for the possibility of a less-than-nuclear war.
On 6 September 1961, the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division of the Wisconsin National Guard was notified that it might be called up for one year of active duty. Several days later the Division learned that it would report to Fort Lewis, Washington, if it was called to active duty.
Three other National Guard divisions, 26TH ‘Yankee’ Infantry Division (New England), 28TH ‘Keystone’ Infantry Division (Pennsylvania), 49TH ‘Lone Star’ Armored Division (Texas), plus several hundred smaller, non-divisional units were alerted to the possibility of being called to active duty.
Nineteen September is the day that the 32D Division learned it would indeed be mobilized for the Berlin Crisis. Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Smith, the Division Commander, received a telephone call from the Adjutant General for Wisconsin, Maj. Gen. Ralph J. Olson, with the official notice around mid-day. However, Maj. Gen. Smith had no opportunity to notify his Soldiers through official channels. Most of them had already heard the news several hours earlier, at about 1000 hours, when television and radio broadcasters announced “President Kennedy announced this morning that units of the Wisconsin National Guard are ordered to active duty in response to mounting tensions…”
On 21 September, Rep. Vernon Thomson, R-Wis., asked Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to have the 32D Division train at Camp McCoy, WI instead of Fort Lewis, WA, when it was mobilized. Rep. Thomson believed the change would save taxpayer money and be good for the unit’s morale. Wisconsin’s Adjutant General Olson dismissed the idea outright, primarily because Camp McCoy’s training calendar for the next year was already full and training dates were planned a couple of years out. The 32D Division’s commander, Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Smith, knew the recommendation was well intentioned, but had several reasons to illustrate that the idea was impractical. The winter weather at Fort Lewis was said to be milder than at Camp McCoy, making it a little easier to train year round. While Camp McCoy was a fine installation, it was not large enough to support sustained division-level training. Plus the Division’s Soldiers were too familiar with the terrain at Camp McCoy, as Maj. Gen. Smith pointed out; they “know every blade of grass there.” Training for possible combat deployment would be more effective on terrain they did not know. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 25 September, about 500 Division personnel went on early active duty to start preparing for the impending mobilization. By 8 October that number had increased to 700 personnel.
On 27 September, a liaison group from Fort Lewis arrived at 32D Division HQs in Milwaukee in order to discuss billeting, training, logistical and administrative issues the Division would encounter when it arrived at Fort Lewis. The group was only in town for one day, but daily telephone conferences between Milwaukee and Fort Lewis commenced the following day.
On 4 October 1961, a liaison group from the 32D Division went to Fort Lewis for 3 days in order to see the facilities they would fall in on and coordinate with their counterparts. Members of this group included the G-4, Assistant G-1, G-3, Quartermaster, and Headquarters Commandant.
On 5 October, training was conducted at Camp Williams, WI, for the personnel who would supervise the rail loading of the Division’s equipment at 28 rail heads throughout the state.
On 15 October 1961, the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division began its mobilization and Soldiers reported to their armories. This was 21 years to the day that the Division was activated for World War II. This was 44 years to the day that the creation, the physical organization, of the 32D Division was completed. [updated 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
During World War II, then Lt. Col. Herbert A. Smith was the commander of the 2D Battalion, 128TH Infantry. When the Division was mobilized for the Berlin Crisis, there were at least 83 Soldiers who had been with the Division in 1939, shortly before it was mobilized for WWII on 15 Oct. 1940. At the height of the Division’s assigned strength in 1962, there were 734 WWII veterans and 207 Korean War veterans among its ranks.
By the middle of October, around 150,000 citizen Soldiers, airmen, and seamen had been activated for federal service. About 21,000 of those were officers and men of eleven Air National Guard fighter squadrons, and about 260 high performance jets, which were immediately flown to Europe to reinforce the Seventeenth Air Force. About 8,000 Navy Reservists, assigned to 40 ships and 18 air squadrons, were activated as well. [updated 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The National Guard’s 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division (Wisconsin), 49TH ‘Lone Star’ Armored Division (Texas), and 150TH ‘Second West Virginia’ Armored Cavalry Regiment (West Virginia), were activated and commenced training to be ready to replace the 4TH ‘Ivy’ Infantry and the 2D ‘Hell on Wheels’ Armored Divisions in their home posts at Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Hood, Texas, if it became necessary for rapid reinforcement of the Seventh Army in Germany, similar to the overnight reinforcement of Seventeenth Air Force. Army heavy equipment for the two Regular Army Divisions was prepositioned in Europe, so the personnel could be quickly flown to Germany if they were needed. The Army Reserve’s 100TH Division (Training), from Kentucky, was also activated to establish a new training center at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. In addition, 400 smaller, non-divisional units were activated to either prepare to replace their Regular Army counterparts, or to provide important support to the overall mobilization. [updated 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
At that time, the 32D Division, like all U.S. infantry divisions, was organized as a ‘Pentomic’ Division in accordance with the Reorganization of the Current Infantry Division (ROCID) concept developed by the Army in 1957. ROCID divisions had an authorized strength of 13,748 officers and Soldiers. In 1959, the National Guard and Army Reserve infantry divisions were reorganized around the five battle groups of the ‘Pentomic’ division, as opposed to the three regiments found in infantry divisions from 1940 until 1959. The ROCID concept would not last long; it was replaced by the Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD) concept in 1963.
On 16 October, a small advance liaison from the Division was flown to Fort Lewis to coordinate with their counterparts in the 4TH Inf. Div. to prepare for the arrival of the 32D Div. This group included the Deputy Brigade Commander, OIC, Assistant G-1, Assistant G-3, Assistant G-4, Assistant Quartermaster, and Headquarters Commandant.
Between 16 and 20 October, the Division’s equipment was loaded on 710 railroad flatcars and 40 boxcars at 28 rail heads throughout the state.
On 20 October, the Division’s advance party of about 500 personnel was flown to Fort Lewis to draw billets and other installation equipment to prepare for the arrival of the main body. The advance party included the Brigade Staff, G-1 Section, most of the AG Section, G-3 Section, G-4 Section (except for the G-4 himself), and similar representatives from all of the major subordinate units.
32D IBCT Historical Collection Photograph
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Send-off ceremony for a 32D Inf. Div. unit in Oct. 1961.
32D IBCT Historical Collection Photograph
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32D Inf. Div. Soldiers boarding a train bound for Fort Lewis, WA, ca. 23 Oct. 1961
32D IBCT Historical Collection Photograph
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Tearful goodbye from Family members as 32D Inf. Div. Soldiers board a train bound for Fort Lewis, WA, ca. 23 October 1961.

 

On the evening of 23 October, the first train of the main body left Wisconsin from Milwaukee. The Division’s units departed their home stations at staggered intervals. The majority of the Soldiers made the trip to Fort Lewis by train, 18 trains of approximately 375 personnel each. Some personnel were flown, approximately 1,300 Soldiers, on 12 chartered airliners. About 2,050 Soldiers were allowed to travel to Fort Lewis in their privately owned vehicles (POVs). The POVs were directed to take U.S. Highway 10, which at that time originated in Detroit, MI, and terminated in Seattle, WA.

 

At dawn on 25 October, a troop train transporting 385 of the Division’s Soldiers collided with a gravel truck at a frost-covered railroad crossing 3 miles east of Miles City, MT. Six people were killed in the accident, 5 railroad workers (W. G. Davis, E. A. Sims, K. P. Richie, Charles Thomas and H. Henry, all from Chicago) and the truck driver (Louis R. Everling from Terry, MT). The railroad workers were gathered in a smoking room. Several of the Soldiers received cuts and bruises, which were treated by their own combat medics. The 3 locomotives and 8 railroad cars of the 21-car train were derailed in the accident.

 

One or more of the Soldiers retrieved a damaged bell from one of the wrecked locomotives. That bell is currently on display at the Wisconsin National Guard Museum at Camp Williams/Volk Field, WI.

The Division HQs was officially established at Fort Lewis on the afternoon of 26 October.
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-HQ-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
Mount Rainier looms over the 32D Inf. Div. HQ at Fort Lewis, WA ca. ’61-‘62.
 

·         The Division HHC and majority of 32D Admin. Co. were flown to Fort Lewis on 26 October.

·         The 3D Battle Group, 127TH Infantry; 2D Battle Group, 128TH Infantry; and 724TH Engineer Battalion arrived at Fort Lewis on 26 October.

·         The 2D Reconnaissance Squadron, 105TH Cavalry, arrived at Fort Lewis on 27 October.

·         The 2D Battle Group, 127TH Infantry; 2D Battalion, 121ST Field Artillery; 2D Battalion, 126TH Field Artillery; and 132D Signal Battalion arrived at Fort Lewis on 28 October.

·         The 1ST Battalion, 120TH Field Artillery, arrived at Fort Lewis on 29 October.

·         The arrivals of the other units will be added when it is found.

Upon arrival at Fort Lewis, the Division occupied a cantonment area known as North Fort Lewis. These were WWII-era, wood-framed barracks, mess halls, and admin. buildings that had stood vacant for quite a few years, so the Soldiers immediately set out to clean them up, paint them, and make them a little more comfortable.

 

U.S. Army Photograph
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Commanders meet at 32D Inf. Div. HQ at Fort Lewis, WA, for a briefing on 27 Oct. 1961. (L-R) Brig. Gen. John A. Dunlap (Asst. Div. Commander, 32D Inf. Div.); Gen. Herbert B. Powell (Commanding General, United States Continental Army Command); Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Smith (Commanding General, 32D Inf. Div.); Maj. Gen. William F. Train, (Commanding General, 4TH Inf. Div. and Fort Lewis); and Brig. Gen. Francis F. Schweinler (Commanding General, 32D Div. Artillery). Photograph by Sp5c. Joseph J. Ray, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lewis, WA.
Twenty-seven October 1961 was probably the most contentious day of the Berlin Crisis. That was the day that ten U.S. Army M-48A1 tanks stood toe-to-toe with about ten Soviet T-55 tanks at Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse Crossing Point, more popularly known as Checkpoint Charlie. The world was anxiously fixated on Berlin while the U.S. and Soviet tanks aimed at each other for about 24 hours at a range of approximately 100 meters.
U.S. Army Photograph
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U.S. and Soviet tanks faceoff at Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie on 27 Oct. 1961.
This incident began when a U.S. diplomat was stopped by East German police while attempting to enter East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie. This was a startling move because it was contrary to agreements from the Potsdam Conference, which stated that Allied personnel would not be stopped by German police anywhere in Berlin. The Army sent tanks and APCs to the checkpoint as a demonstration of U.S. resolve, also because approximately 30 Soviet tanks had suddenly appeared at the nearby Brandenburg Gate. Soon after, about 10 of those Soviet tanks pulled up to the checkpoint. Then the diplomats conferred and both sides eventually agreed to stand down. First a Soviet tank pulled back, and then a U.S tank pulled back. This process repeated until all the tanks from both sides had been withdrawn.
It was about 30 October that the first of approximately 4,500 replacement personnel began to arrive at Fort Lewis to be assigned to the 32D Division. At that time, the Division, like most reserve component units, was not at full strength. In those days reserve units had two authorized strengths, peace-time strength and war-time strength (the former normally being about 70% of the later). Now that the 32D Division was being mobilized, and potentially could be deployed, it needed to be brought up to war-time strength in a hurry. Individual Army Reservists were mobilized and assigned as fillers to the 32D Division, as well as the other National Guard units that were being activated. Many of these Reservists were the 1961 equivalent of today’s Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), meaning they had served a 2, 3 or 4-year enlistment in the Regular Army but still had time remaining on their, then, 6-year mandatory service obligation. The Division received replacements from 39 states and Puerto Rico; the largest number came from Wisconsin. A few months into the mobilization, the military decided to release reservists who had served more than 5 years on active duty.
When the Division was mobilized on 15 October it had an authorized (war-time) strength of 13,781 Soldiers, but it had an assigned (peace-time) strength of 9,767. After receiving the replacements, the Division attained a peak assigned strength 13,782 Soldiers ca. Feb. 1962. Obviously 4,500 plus 9,767 equals considerably more than 13,782. This was due to some of the Division’s organic and replacement Soldiers being released from the mobilization due to hardships, medical, or other reasons.
Two of the replacements the 32D Division received were rather famous in their own right because they normally wore a different uniform, the green and gold of the Green Bay Packers. Packers’ linebacker Ray Nitschke (#66) and wide receiver Boyd Dowler (#86) were in the Army Reserve, and they were two of the Reservists who were mobilized and assigned to the 32D Division. Many professional athletes were in the National Guard and Army Reserve in those days. There was a military draft in effect; if they were serving in the Reserve components they couldn’t be drafted. However, they could still be activated if their assigned unit was mobilized or they could be mobilized as individuals and assigned to other units.
Pfc. Ray Nitschke was assigned to the 32D Division Quartermaster Company from Janesville and Pfc. Boyd Dowler was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 32D Division Artillery, from Milwaukee.
Brig. Gen. Francis F. Schweinler, Commander of Division Artillery, later recalled his first encounter with Pfc. Nitschke shortly after the later was assigned to the Division, although he did not know exactly who he was the first time he saw him. “I was making a check down on the quartermaster area and here was this great big, husky guy picking up 100-pound sacks of potatoes and tossing them up on a two and one-half ton truck with one hand,” Brig. Gen. Schweinler said. Admiring the Soldier’s strength, Brig. Gen. Schweinler went over to talk to the Soldier and learned that he was a Green Bay Packer.
Not long after Nitschke and Dowler were “drafted” by the ‘Red Arrow’ Division, Brig. Gen. Schweinler received an anxious telephone call from Vince Lombardi. The football season was already underway and the Coach was hoping to work out a deal so he could have his two football players on the weekends. The previous season the Packers had lost a close, well fought championship game and expectations were high for the current season (this was Coach Lombardi’s third season leading the Packers, the beginning of the glory years). Brig. Gen. Schweinler obtained the proper permissions and told Coach Lombardi that Nitschke and Dowler would be able to fly home on Friday evenings but would need to return before reveille on Monday morning.

“That’s great,” Lombardi said.

“But just a minute, Coach,” Schweinler replied, “There is a little kicker to this. I would like to get a game film by Tuesday night of the game that was played the previous Sunday.”

“I think we can work that out,” Lombardi said.

After that, the promised game film arrived every Tuesday afternoon and Nitschke and Dowler would take the films around to the different Division units to show and talk football. Of course the Soldiers loved it and it was great for morale.

There were at least nine other professional athletes who were Reservists called to active duty and assigned to the 32D Division as replacements. [updated 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

1.      Elgin G. Baylor, a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, not sure which unit he served with.

2.      John T. Gordy, an offensive guard for the Detroit Lions (#85) who was originally from Nashville, TN, was a 2d Lt. assigned to Co. D, 2D Battle Gp., 128TH Inf.

3.      Anthony C. ‘Tony’ Kubek, Jr., a shortstop for the New York Yankees who was originally from Milwaukee, WI, was assigned to Co. A, 3D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf.

4.      Eugene H. ‘Gene’ Leek, played third base for Los Angeles Angels and was originally from San Diego, was assigned to 32D Admin. Co.

5.      Douglas C. Mayberry, Minnesota Vikings fullback or running back (#35), was Pfc. assigned to Co. E, 2D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf.

6.      Dale Memmelaar, a tackle with St. Louis Cardinals who was originally from Goshen, NY, not sure which unit he served with.

7.      Ron C. ‘SobieSobieszczyk, a guard for the Chicago Majors professional basketball team who was originally from Cicero, IL, was a Pfc. assigned to Co. D, 2D Battle Gp., 128TH Inf.

8.      Robert D. ‘Bob’ ‘Hawk’ Taylor, a catcher and outfielder with the Milwaukee Braves, not sure which unit he served with.

9.      George E. Thomas, Jr., outfielder and third baseman for the Los Angeles Angles who was originally from Minneapolis, MN, was Pfc. assigned to Co. B, 132D Sig. Bn.

Ronald J. ‘Ron’ Mix, a tackle with the San Diego Chargers, was a Pvt. in the Army Reserve, was called to active duty, and did serve at Fort Lewis, WA. A Jul. ’62 newspaper article listed his unit of assignment as the 32D Division. A newspaper article from Sep. ’87 stated he served with the 977TH Trans. Co., an Army Reserve unit from San Diego, CA. It is likely that the author of the ’62 article presumed Pvt. Mix served with the 32D Division because the other four football players mentioned in the article were assigned to the ‘Red Arrow.’ [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
At the time, some of the elite professional athletes earned 5-figure salaries, most earned quite a bit less. Many athletes still had real jobs to support themselves back then. A 5-figure salary was quite a bit of money in those days, but it still pales in comparison to the exorbitant salaries today’s ‘professional’ athletes ‘earn.’ Many of the athletes who joined the Army Reserve held the rank of Pfc., so it was an unpleasant surprise when they realized their military pay would amount to $85.80 per month. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Most of the athletes maintained a positive and patriotic attitude about being called up and the corresponding pay cut, at least in their public statements. However then, as now, some professional athletes had an exaggerated sense of entitlement and didn’t hesitate to complain. One of them groused, “You can hardly blame anyone for feeling a little bitter.” Another one, one of the highest paid, moaned, “I do have a wife and family to support and I help my mother financially, too.” Was he so naïve, ignorant, or simply self-absorbed, to think none of the other Soldiers was in the same situation, with a considerably smaller salary? [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Soon after arriving, in-processing, and getting settled at Fort Lewis, the Division began training in earnest. Training obviously started at the individual and small unit level. Then it progressed to Command Post Exercises (CPXs), Field Training Exercises (FTXs), and Army Training Tests (ATTs). The training eventually culminated in at least two brigade-level maneuvers, Exercise ‘Bristle Cone’ at Fort Irwin, CA, and Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest’ in the rain forests of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, as well as a division-level one, Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ at Yakima Firing Center, WA.
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-1(t).jpg
The effects of a nuclear blast simulator tower above 32D Inf. Div. Soldiers during training at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-2(t).jpg
32D Inf. Div. Soldiers crawl under barbed wire as they negotiate an infiltration course during training at  Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-3(t).jpg
32D Inf. Div. Soldiers approach an infiltration course via a protective trench during training at  Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-5(t).jpg
32D Inf. Div. Soldiers conduct a tactical march along a muddy road in the rain during training at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/127-2-E-Beal-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
“Enough ammo to annihilate a battalion was draped around the neck of “ Sp4c. Roger H. Beal, a Wis. Army Nat. Guard Soldier assigned to Co. E, 2D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf. from Beaver Dam, WI, during training at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/128-2-C-Falk-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
Pfc. Richard Falk pulls security with his M-1918A2 BAR during an 18-hour field test at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62. He is likely Pfc. Richard F. Falk, from Fort Atkinson, WI, a Wis. Army Nat. Guard Soldier assigned to Co. C, 2D Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., from Fort Atkinson, WI. Either that or he might be Sp4c. Richard L. Falk, from Lomira, WI, a Wis. Army Nat. Guard Soldier assigned to Co. C, 2D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf., from Fond du Lac, WI.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/128-2-B-Dalke%20and%20Fulton-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
Sp4c. Henry H. Dalke and Sp4c. Robert Fulton prepare to engage the enemy their bazooka during training at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62. Both men were Wis. Army Nat. Guard Soldiers assigned to Co. B, 2D Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., from Monroe, WI.
U.S. Army Photograph
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32D Inf. Div. artillery Soldiers train at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. 1962.
 
 
 
 
Some of the equipment in use by the 32D Division at the time included:

·         M-1 rifle.

·         M-1918A2 BAR.

·         Browning .30 caliber machine gun.

·         M-2 .50 caliber machine gun.

·         M-9A1 protective mask.

·         M-38 quarter ton truck (Jeep).

·         M-59 APC.

·         M-56 ‘Scorpion’ SP 90mm anti-tank gun.

·         M-41 ‘Walker Bulldog’ 76mm light tank.

·         M-48 ‘Patton’ 90mm medium tank.

·         M-52 SP 105mm howitzer.

·         L-19 ‘Bird Dog’ aircraft.

·         L-20 ‘Beaver’ aircraft.

·         Around January or February the Division received 300 M-14 rifles and 60 M-60 machine guns for familiarization and training.

·         More information about the Division’s equipment will be added as it is found.

 
32D IBCT Historical Collection Photograph
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Looking over the Fort Lewis, WA, cantonment area toward Mount Rainier in 1962. These are some of the barracks that the 32D Inf. Div. occupied while they were there.
32D IBCT Historical Collection Photograph
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Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Warren P. Knowles meeting with Col. Donald P. Radde (Chief of Staff, 32D Inf. Div.) and Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Smith (Commanding General, 32D Inf. Div.) during his visit to Fort Lewis, WA, ca. 1962.
 
On 7 February 1962, the 32D Division’s Battery B, 3D Rocket/Howitzer Battalion, 121ST Field Artillery, from Milwaukee, WI, made history by being the first National Guard unit to live-fire the ‘Honest John’ rocket.
The ‘Honest John’ was an unguided rocket which was over 27 ft. long, 23 in. in diameter (the warhead was 30 in. in diameter, which gave the rocket a distinctive appearance). It weighed 5,820 pounds and had a maximum range of over 15 miles (a later version had a range of 30 miles). The ‘Honest John’ was the Army’s first nuclear-capable surface-to-surface rocket. It was normally armed with high explosive warheads, but it could deliver chemical warheads as well. The ‘Honest John’ was used by the Army from 1954 until 1973. It was used by some National Guard units until 1982 and some of our allies used it until 1992.
There are several web sites that claim the 49TH Armored Division’s 3D Battalion, 132D Field Artillery, was the first National Guard unit to fire the ‘Honest John’. However those sources state that they fired their first rocket in May of 1962, approximately 3 months after the ‘Red Arrow’ redlegs fired their first and second ‘Honest Johns’.
The Division suffered a training fatality on 15 February.  Sp4c. Duane Ludwig Winget, a Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier from New Auburn, WI, and assigned to Co. D, 1ST Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., Rice Lake, WI, drowned during river crossing training on the Nisqually River.  The unit was crossing hand-over-hand on a single-rope bridge about 6 feet above the water.  They hooked their pistol belts over the rope as a safety precaution, but Sp4c. Winget lost his grip, his belt unbuckled, and he fell into the rushing water.  He was caught by a safety rope downstream and a pair of comrades dove into the river to go to his aid, but he was swept past the safety rope before they could reach him.  A large search effort was launched, including his unit, Army divers, Army helicopters, the Pierce Co. Sheriff’s Dept., and local Native Americans with intimate knowledge of the river. His body was not found, he is still missing to this day. [added 11 Nov. ’16, TPB]
Winget was born on 13 Jun. ‘38 at Washington, the son of Neal and Opal Winget (both of whom were born in Wisconsin).  The family resided at Orilla, WA, at the ‘40 census, but they moved back to Wisconsin at some point.  Winget graduated from Chetek High School in ‘56 (some references imply ‘57). [added 11 Nov. ’16, TPB]
His parents were guests of honor at the dedication ceremony for the new Eau Claire, WI, National Guard armory on 23 Feb. ‘63.  For some unknown and seemingly bizarre reason, Sp4c. Winget does not seem to be listed anywhere in the Division’s mobilization yearbook, 32d Infantry Division - STRAC - Ft. Lewis, Washington - 1961-1962. [added 11 Nov. ’16, TPB]
Thanks are due to D. Berg, a great-nephew of Sp4c. Winget, for informing me of the Soldier and his sacrifice. [added 11 Nov. ’16, TPB]
On 15 February, the 32D Division was declared STRAC, meaning it was officially designated a unit of the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC). This was a rare designation for a National Guard division and it meant that the Division was prepared for joint Army and Air Force deployment to any trouble spot in the world on very short notice. This designation was achieved after 3 ½ months of intense training evaluated by inspectors from the Regular Army. Other units of STRAC at the time included III Corps, XVIII Airborne Corps, 82D Airborne Division, 101ST Airborne Division, 1ST Infantry Division, 2D Infantry Division, 4TH Infantry Division, 3D Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the 49TH Armored Division. At the time, all STRAC divisions were required to have at least a 300-man unit on constant standby, ready to move out within two hours.
The Division received dozens of congratulatory letters from high-level military and civilian dignitaries after their designation as a STRAC unit. Some of those dignitaries included Defense Secretary Robert McNamara; Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Herbert B. Powell, CONARC Commander; Maj. Gen. Ralph Olson, Wisconsin Adjutant General; Maj. Gen. William F. Train, 4TH Inf. Div. Commander; and governors of 15 states.
An excerpt from Gen. Lemnitzer’s letter was included in the 12 Mar. ’62 edition of the Division’s ‘Red Arrow’ newsletter: “To all members of the 32d Inf Div: I extend best wishes on the occasion of Operation Reward. The celebration…symbolizes the effort and accomplishment through which you have achieved your level of readinesss…an important contribution… to the total military strength of the United States…I express to each of you…hearty congratulations and sincere appreciation…”
It was around this time that the term ‘STRAC’ became Army slang for a unit or Soldier that was ‘squared away’, Skilled, Tough, Ready Around the Clock.
On 24 February, about 20,000 Division Soldiers and their Family members, plus Soldiers and dependents from the 4TH Inf. Div. and other Fort Lewis units, were treated to a USO-type show called Operation ‘Reward’. The show was recognition for their sacrifice resulting from the mobilization as well as the hard work and training they devoted to achieve the STRAC designation. Twenty of some of Hollywood's biggest stars of the day (including Mort Sahl, Tom Ewell, Denise Darcel, Ann Richards, Joi Lansing, Frank Gorshin, Leslie Parrish, and the Lettermen) gave the Soldiers a three-hour show at Fort Lewis’ Burris Field.
Operation ‘Reward’ had been preceded by a Division parade and review as well as Battery B, 3D Rocket/Howitzer Battalion, 121ST Field Artillery, firing its second ‘Honest John’ rocket.
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/121-3-B-Ft%20Lewis%20(19620224)-1(t).jpg
Btry. B, 3D Rok./How. Bn., 121ST Arty., fired its 2nd ‘Honest John’ rocket on 24 Feb. ’62 to kick off Operation ‘Reward’ at Fort Lewis, WA.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/121-3-B-Ft%20Lewis%20(19620224)-2(t).jpg
Btry. B, 3D Rok./How. Bn., 121ST Arty., fired its 2nd ‘Honest John’ rocket on 24 Feb. ’62 to kick off Operation ‘Reward’ at Fort Lewis, WA.
 
The 12 Mar. ’62 edition of the Division’s ‘Red Arrow’ newsletter included a summary of ‘Operation Reward’ as well as some powerful sentiments that effectively summarize why all 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division Berlin Crisis veterans should be proud of their contribution to this chapter of our Nation’s Cold War history.
“The appearance here of a million dollars’ worth of Hollywood entertainers for a performance for the 32d Inf Div was a national news event. [Numerous military and civilian] dignitaries used the occasion as an opportunity to extend their greetings and best wishes.
“But it was the spirit behind these expressions which made them significant. The performers were not paid for the show; they came voluntarily despite tight personal schedules to thank us, in the most tangible way they knew, for our sacrifices in the cold war call up. They wanted to show us that our bloodless but forlorn battle here is recognized and appreciated.
“We just want to make it clear that Operation Reward was much more than an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was meant to remind us that this lonely watch is truly a vital contribution to this country's security -- and that plenty of people care.”
It is likely that the above words are those of Sgt. Roger L. Bennett, who was listed as the editor and publisher of the Division’s ‘Red Arrow’ newsletter. Sgt. Bennett was assigned to HHC, 32D Inf. Div., from Milwaukee, WI.
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Siebert-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
Sp4c. Marvin Siebert bowls a game at a recreational center at Fort Lewis.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-8(t).jpg
The Fort Lewis Doughnut Shop was a popular spot with 32D Inf. Div. Soldiers.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-9(t).jpg
The Sport Shop a favorite stop for outdoor enthusiasts assigned to the 32D Inf. Div. during off-duty time while stationed at Fort Lewis.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-10(t).jpg
Fort Lewis’ assorted craft shops were popular diversions for 32D Inf. Div. Soldiers in their free time.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis-Gieg%20Stanfield%20and%20Hecht%20(1962)(t).jpg
Sgt. Maj. Carl J. Gieg, Sp4c. James L. Stanfield and Sp5c. Dennis Hecht had a good day fishing for Pacific salmon. Sgt. Maj. Gieg was Div. Sgt. Maj. Sp4c. Stanfield was assigned to HHC, 132D Sig. Bn. and also contributed some of his photographs to Div. Public Information Office.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Seattle%20(1962)(t).jpg
A color guard from the 32D Inf. Div. at the Seattle World's Fair, a.k.a. Century 21 Exposition, in 1962.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis-Baxter%20Beilke%20Gieg%20and%20Dunn%20(1962)(t).jpg
A group of 32D Inf. Div. Soldiers enjoy a beer at the Fort Lewis NCO club. From left to right: Sgt. Bill Baxter; M. Sgt. Henry G. Beilke, 1st Sgt. of HHC, 32D Div. from Milwaukee, WI; Sgt. Maj. Carl J. Gieg, Div. Sgt. Maj.; and Sgt. Phil Dunn.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Schweinler-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
Brig. Gen. Francis F. Schweinler, cdr. of 32D Div. Arty., plays some baseball with the Soldiers.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-7(t).jpg
The Fort Lewis baseball team ca. 1962. This team had 20 professional baseball players on its roster during the Berlin Crisis. Some of them were from the 32D Inf. Div., including Yankees’ shortstop Tony Kubek, a Pvt. assigned to Co. A, 3D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf.
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-11(t).jpg
The Fort Lewis baseball team plays against the Seattle Rainiers at Sick's Stadium ca. summer ’62.
 
 
On 28 February 1962, two 32D Division convoys departed Fort Lewis and headed south along Highway 99 destined for Fort Irwin, CA. There were at least four convoys, totaling 507 vehicles, to transport a brigade’s worth of the Division’s equipment for the upcoming joint Exercise ‘Bristle Cone,’ to be conducted in the Mojave Desert. The progress of the first two convoys was hampered by a heavy snowstorm. Two additional convoys departed Fort Lewis on 1 March. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Sp4c. Jerome G. Boor, assigned to Troop A, 2D Reconnaissance Squadron, 105TH Cavalry, from Black River Falls, WI, earned the title of 32D Division and Fort Lewis Soldier of the month for February 1962. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 2 March 1962, in preparation of the upcoming joint Exercise ‘Bristle Cone,’ Air Force aircraft began a strategic airlift of at least 4,000 troops from Fort Lewis, WA and Fort Riley, KS to George AFB, CA. This added realism to the exercise, but was primarily a test of the ability of the Western Transport Air Force (WESTAF) to rapidly move large numbers of troops. WESTAF was equipped with the Douglas C-118 ‘Liftmaster’ (military version of DC-6); the Lockheed C-121 ‘Constellation’ (military version of the civilian Constellation); the Douglas C-124 ‘Globemaster II’, a.k.a. ‘Old Shaky’; the Lockheed C-130 ‘Hercules’, and the Boeing C-135 ‘Stratolifter’ at that time. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
From 7 to 13 March 1962, a 32D Division brigade task force participated in Exercise ‘Bristle Cone,’ a joint Army and Air Force exercise conducted at Fort Irwin’s massive 1,000 square mile Armor and Desert Training Center in the Mojave Desert in CA. Around 7,000 Soldiers and airmen participated in the exercise. The Division’s 3,500-man brigade task force, about one-fourth of the Division, was commanded by Brig. Gen. John A. Dunlap, the Assistant Division Commander, from Milwaukee, WI. The 2D Battle Group, 127TH Infantry, commanded by Col. Donald P. Radde, was the major unit of the task force. Col. Radde was from Sparta, WI and his Battle Group consisted of units from Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Plymouth, Ripon, and Waupun, WI. About two-thirds of the task force’s personnel came from other units in the Division. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The ‘Aggressor’ force, mostly from various units of the 1ST ‘Big Red One’ Infantry Division, wore distinctive ‘Aggressor’ uniforms, employed different tactics, and even spoke a special language, all to add realism to the training. In addition to the expected offensive and defensive ground maneuvers, the training included long-range aerial reconnaissance, tactical air support, and airlift capabilities. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Some of the other units that participated in or supported ‘Bristle Cone’ included:

·         1ST Battle Group, 28TH Infantry, 1ST Division, Fort Riley, KS.

·         1ST Recon Squadron, 1ST Division, Fort Riley, KS.

·         4TH Cavalry, 1ST Division, Fort Riley, KS.

·         2D Howitzer Battalion, 33D Artillery, 1ST Division, Fort Riley, KS.

·         1ST Engineer Battalion, 1ST Division, Fort Riley, KS.

·         120TH Tactical Air Squadron, equipped with the North American F-100 ‘Super Sabre’, Buckley Field, CO.

·         507TH Communications and Control Group, Shaw AFB, SC.

·         651ST Communications Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC.

·         3D Radio Relay Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC.

·         727TH Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC.

·         Information about other units that participated will be added when found. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

J. Parmenter, a visitor to our web site who was a Soldier assigned to the 1ST ‘Big Red One’ Infantry Division, offered some of his remembrances of Exercise ‘Bristle Cone’: “In February and March 1962, the [32D] Division was at Ft. Irwin, California conducting Division Army Training Tests [ATTs] entitled Operation ‘Bristlecone.’ The ‘aggressor’ opposing force was a Brigade provided by the 1ST Infantry Division from Ft. Riley, Kansas. Good Training!,
Mr. Parmenter continues, “Our Brigade from the 1ST Infantry Division wore dark green “aggressor” uniforms (dyed WW II light wool shirts & trousers) and red garrison caps. At that time, as you might recall, Ft. Riley had the Army's ‘Aggressor Center’ which closed down, I think, in 1962. Air Force F-100s flew very low ground support for both sides. There were some tankers from a reserve Armor unit supporting the aggressors the first week or so then changed sides & supported the 32D Division. I remember being surprised at how cold the desert was at night. Happily, troops from the ‘side of right,’ 32D Infantry Division, overran positions of the nasty old aggressors on the last day of battle.”
 
32D IBCT Historical Collection Photograph
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: C:\Users\Tom\Documents\32nd IDVA\32nd IDVA web\history\berlin-crisis\Berlin_Crisis7(t).jpg
A Soldier from the 32D Inf. Div. provides security while another Soldier searches an enemy prisoner from the ‘Aggressor Forces’ during Exercise ‘Bristle Cone’ at Fort Irwin, CA, in early March 1962. The Soldier on the left is armed with the M-3, .45 cal. submachine gun (commonly referred to as the ‘grease gun’). The Soldier on the right is wearing a Sixth Army patch.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/105-2-A-Ft%20Irwin%20(196203)(t).jpg
Soldiers from Trp. A, 2D Recon. Sqdn., 105TH Cav., from Black River Falls, WI, use a Joshua tree to provide some concealment for their jeep-mounted machinegun during Exercise 'Bristle Cone' at Fort Irwin, CA in Mar. '62. The tank in the background looks like an M-41 'Walker Bulldog' 76mm light tank.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/120-2-A-Feathers-Ft%20Irwin%20(196203)(t).jpg
Cpl. Gerald Feathers, assigned to Btry. A, 2D How. Bn. (T), 120TH Arty from Waupaca, WI., reacts to the explosion of an artillery simulator during Exercise ‘Bristle Cone’ at Fort Irwin, CA in Mar. '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/127-2-B-Buetow-Ft%20Irwin%20(196203)(t).jpg
Sgt. David G. Buetow, assigned to Co. B, 2D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf. from Ripon, WI, takes a smoke break during Exercise 'Bristle Cone' at Fort Irwin, CA in Mar. '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/127-2-B-Lambert-Ft%20Irwin%20(196203)(t).jpg
Sgt. Allan H. Lambert, assigned to Co. B, 2D Battle Gp., 127TH Inf. from Ripon, WI, on a break during Exercise 'Bristle Cone' at Fort Irwin, CA in Mar. '62.
 

 

The 24 March edition of the Division’s bi-weekly newsletter, the Red Arrow, contained an article that listed quantities of some of the food consumed by the 7,000 Soldiers and airmen who participated in Exercise ‘Bristle Cone:’

·         97,353 C-rations “hot or cold, they all count.”

·         93,780 eggs “that’s 7, 815 dozen.”

·         29,761 lbs. of potatoes “What would the Army do without potatoes?”

·         133,406 half pints of milk “no doubt about it – the Wisconsin boys were there.”

·         3,339 lbs. of coffee “full strength – 43 ea. beans per cup.”

·         68,237 lbs. of fresh fruit.

·         11,703 loaves of bread “mostly fresh.”

·         total weight of all the food was about 460,000 lbs. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

Sp4c. S. R. Spitz, a legal clerk assigned to HQ, 32D Division from Milwaukee, earned the title of 32D Division and Fort Lewis Soldier of the month for March 1962. Sp4c. Spitz was awarded a certificate, a $25 savings bond, a 3-day pass and a helicopter tour of the post. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Around the beginning of April 1962, the 1ST Howitzer Battalions of both the 120TH and 121ST Artillery were issued M-52 self-propelled 105mm howitzers. The 24 April edition of the Red Arrow stated these were “the first every issued to a National Guard outfit.” Around the middle of April they became the first National Guard unit to fire these self-propelled howitzers. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
In April, the Dept. of Defense announced that the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division had been selected to implement a new counter-insurgency training concept. Until now, only the airborne divisions received this new training. Now all infantry divisions would be required to begin counter-insurgency training in the near future; the 32D Division would be the first to test out the expanded program. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 27 April, the military released the schedule for demobilizing the National Guard and Reserve units, as well as the individual Reservists, which had been activated. They announced that 11 August was the target date for completing the demobilization. The announcement included the obvious stipulation that the release from active duty might not occur as scheduled if the international situation deteriorated significantly. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
In April Sp4c. Dennis Hecht earned the title Fort Lewis Soldier of the month for April, the third consecutive 32D Division Soldier to earn the title. His unit of assignment and hometown were not included; he does not seem to be listed on the roster. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
From 7 to 21 May 1962, the entire 32D Division participated in Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ at the Yakima Firing Center, a 267,000 acre military reservation in south-central Washington. ‘Mesa Drive’, with over 26,000 Army troops and Air Force personnel from both active and reserve units, was the largest Army exercise since WWII as well as the largest joint field training exercise ever held in the Pacific Northwest, at least up to that time. It was primarily a defensive exercise with realistic ‘Aggressor’ forces attacking the friendly forces (mainly the 32D Division), with both sides employing the most modern weapons available, both conventional and nuclear. The majority of the ‘Aggressor’ forces, commanded by Brig. Gen. Norman B. Edwards, were drawn from the 4TH Division: two battle groups from 12TH Infantry and 22D Infantry, two armored companies, a reconnaissance troop, a howitzer battalion, plus training and headquarters personnel. The 1ST Division also provided some support teams for the ‘Aggressor’ forces. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Some of the other units that took part in or supported ‘Mesa Drive’ included:

·         15TH Artillery, a Hawk missile unit at Fort Lewis.

·         51ST Field Hospital at Fort Lewis

·         115TH Engineer Battalion, a Utah National Guard unit mobilized for the Berlin Crisis.

·         139TH Engineer Battalion, an Idaho National Guard unit mobilized for the Berlin Crisis.

·         211TH Engineer Company, a South Dakota Army National Guard unit mobilized for the Berlin Crisis.

·         121ST Tactical Fighter Wing.

·         117TH Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.

·         464TH Troop Carrier Wing.

·         Information about other units that participated will be added when found. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

Circa 11 May, a military news release from Yakima Firing Center detailed a few of the various ways in which color was used for identification and signaling during Exercise ‘Mesa Drive.’ [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Colored cloth bands where attached to headgear and sleeves to identify various special personnel:

·         White bands identified umpires or controllers.

·         Yellow bands identified support personnel.

·         Green bands identified security guards for restricted areas.

·         Violet bands identified test and technical support personnel.

·         Red and white bands identified personnel from Exercise Director Headquarters. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

A green star cluster or flare indicated there was an emergency and all action should cease. A green smoke grenade was used to request emergency air evacuation. The other available colors of star clusters, flares, and smoke could be used by units to control tactical actions and movements. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Friendly forces might use standard branch colors for signs and markings:

·         Blue for infantry.

·         Red for artillery and engineers.

·         Yellow for armor.

·         Orange for signal.

·         Brick red for transportation.

·         Dark blue for chemical.

·         Green for military police.

·         Etc. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

‘Aggressor’ uniforms had colored collar tabs to signify their branch:

·         Red tabs for infantry.

·         White tabs for artillery.

·         Yellow tabs for armor.

·         Black tabs for engineers.

·         Tan tabs for signal.

·         Purple tabs for chemical.

·         Orange tabs for propaganda. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

 

 

 

added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-4(t).jpg
32D Inf. Div. infantrymen prepare to board Air Force Douglas C-124 ‘Globemaster II’ (a.k.a. ‘Old Shaky’) at McChord AFB for transport to the Yakima Firing Center, WA to participate in Exercise Mesa Drive in May '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)-6(t).jpg
32D Inf. Div. Soldiers aboard an Air Force Fairchild C-119 'Flying Boxcar' enroute to the Yakima Firing Center, WA for Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ in May '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-HQ-Hirsch-Yakima%20(196205)(t).jpg
Sp4c. D. F. Hirsch, assigned to HQ, 32D Inf. Div. from Milwaukee, WI, pulls guard duty during Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ at the Yakima Firing Center, WA in May '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Yakima%20(196205)-1(t).jpg
32D Inf. Div. infantryman and his M-1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) in an expedient fighting position during Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ at the Yakima Firing Center, WA in May '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-Yakima%20(196205)-2(t).jpg
Soldiers from the ‘Aggressor Forces’ hastily board a Piasecki H-21C 'Shawnee' (a.k.a. 'flying banana') after a successful guerrilla mission during Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ at the Yakima Firing Center, WA in May '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/128-2-CS-Yakima%20(196205)(t).jpg
An M-56 ‘Scorpion’ SP 90mm anti-tank gun from Cbt. Sup. Co. C, 2D Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., from Platteville, WI, during Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’ at the Yakima Firing Center, WA in May '62.
 
A 32D Division news release on 20 May too-briefly summarized the pinnacle of Exercise ‘Mesa Drive’:

“Wisconsin’s 32nd Division won the Battle of Mesa Drive Saturday.”

 

Attacking after a barrage of Red Arrow mock nuclear and conventional fire power, two 32nd Division battle groups pushed a 6,000-man aggressor force out of its last stronghold at the Yakima Firing Center in Central Washington.

The assault began at dawn and was concluded in three hours. Referees said the main action of the two-week maneuver was concluded and mopup operations should be finished Sunday.

The division’s 2nd Battle Group, 127th Infantry, commanded by Col. Richard J. Ballman, Milwaukee, led the assault on the aggressor’s mountain position.

Riflemen cut a wide hole in the left defensive flank and an armored team from Antigo bulled through.

The battle group is composed of units from Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Platteville, Ripon and Waupun. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]

On 4 June 1962, 202 volunteers recruited from throughout the 32D Division left Fort Lewis bound for an isolated 200 square mile piece of mountainous rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula in WA. From 4 to 10 June they would be the beneficiaries of some elite guerrilla training in preparation for the upcoming Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest’. The training was led by a 14-man Special Forces team from the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, NC. The Special Forces instructors flew directly from Fort Bragg and parachuted into the remote training area. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
For most of the month, during both the training and the upcoming exercise, these volunteers wore no rank and were not required to shave. They wore dark green ‘Aggressor’ uniforms with arm bands and special caps with distinctive badges. They were formed into four groups and were issued fake ID cards that listed them as residents of the small communities in the area. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
When they went out to conduct operations they traveled very light, carrying a special pack with just bare essentials. They had 10 horses to haul supplies and equipment around the dense forest while they were out training or operating as partisans. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
They were issued two C-rations per day. The A-rations for their third daily meal were to come “off the land,” as would be typical for guerrilla forces. In order to get the most out of their limited training time, rather than devoting time to hunt wild animals, live domestic animals, over 800 chickens, 400 rabbits, and 4 calves, were delivered to their guerrilla camp to simulate living off the land. The guerrillas had to slay, dress, and prepare the animals. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
From 18 to 29 June 1962, over one-third of the 32D Division, about 4,000 Soldiers, participated in Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest’, a combined guerrilla warfare and counter-insurgency exercise conducted in over 200 square miles of rugged, desolate and mountainous rain forest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
As mentioned above, the Dept. of Defense announced in April that the 32D ‘Red Arrow’ Infantry Division had been selected to implement a new counter-insurgency training concept. Until now, only the airborne divisions received this new training. Now all infantry divisions would be required to begin counter-insurgency training in the near future; the 32D Division would be the first to test out the expanded program. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The guerrilla element, named ‘Gerlach's Guerrillas’, consisted of 202 volunteers gleaned from almost every major unit in the Division (their training is briefly described above). It was named for its commander, Maj. Charles J. Gerlach, from Elkhorn, WI, the Division’s Assistant G-3. Maj. Gerlach was a graduate of jungle warfare school in Panama, as well as other “extensive ranger-type training.” The primary goal of ‘Gerlach’s Guerrillas’ was to be the ‘Aggressor’ force in order to test the effectiveness of the counter-insurgency training their opponents, Task Force Robin Hood, had received. The guerrilla force was divided into four 50-man groups. [added 23 Aug. ’14, TPB]
Cassity's Commandoes,’ were commanded by 2d Lt. Robert C. Cassity, from Reedsburg, WI, a platoon leader in Troop B, 2D Reconnaissance Squadron, 105TH Cavalry. Many of his volunteers came from the 2D Battle Group, 128TH Infantry. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Kocos' Mountaineers,’ were commanded by 1st Lt. Gustave A. ‘Gus’ Kocos, from Fond du Lac, WI, a platoon leader in HHC, 2D Battle Group, 127TH Infantry. Many of his volunteers came from that battle group. The name was inspired by the group’s feat of crossing the Humptulips Mountain Range early in the training. 1st Lt. Kocos served during the Korean War as a Sgt. with the 11TH Airborne Division and made 2 combat jumps. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Rulf’s Raiders’ were commanded by 2d Lt. Donald Rulf, from Hewitt, WI, an assistant communications officer in 2D How. Bn., 121ST Arty. Many of his volunteers came from the 3D Battle Group, 127TH Infantry. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The fourth group was known as the ‘Road Runner,’ because of a 30-mile foot march they were proud of. Many of these volunteers came from the 1ST Battle Group, 127TH Infantry. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The counter-insurgency element was named Task Force ‘Robin Hood’, centered around the 1ST Battle Group, 128TH Infantry, supplemented by various Division units. The battle group, with units from Arcadia, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Hudson Menomonie, Mondovi, Neillsville, New Richmond, and Rice Lake, WI, was commanded by Col. William G. Kastner, from Shell Lake, WI. Cl. Kastner had been a Pvt. in HQ Co., 127TH Inf., at Milwaukee, WI when the 32D Div. mobilized for WWII on 15 Oct. ’40. Task Force ‘Robin Hood’ had been conducting special training since April, when it was chosen to be the primary Division unit for this counter-insurgency training mission. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Brig. Gen. William P. Yarborough, commanding general of the Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, NC, observed some, if not all, of Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest.’ On at least one occasion he became personally involved in the training. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/32-GG-Olympic%20Peninsula%20(196206)-1(t).jpg
One of Gerlach's Guerrillas hurries back to his unit’s position after a mission during Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest’ in the rain forest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in Jun. '62.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/128-1-A-Richard-Ft%20Lewis%20(1962)(t).jpg
Sp4c. David C. Richard, from Niagara, WI, crosses a deep gorge via a single-rope bridge during training at Fort Lewis, WA, ca. ’61-’62. Sp4c. Richard was a Wis. Army Nat. Guard Soldier assigned to Co. A, 1ST Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., from Menomonie, WI.
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/128-1-A-GG-Witt-Olympic%20Peninsula%20(196206)-1(t).jpg
S. Sgt. Donald G. Witt, one of Gerlach’s Guerrillas, is about to lob a teargas grenade into an enemy fighting position during Exercise Sherwood Forest in the rain forest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in Jun. '62. S. Sgt. Witt was assigned to Co. A, 1ST Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., from Menomonie, WI.
 
added 5 Sep. ‘14
32D Div. Public Information Office Photograph
http://www.32nd-division.org/history/berlin-crisis/photos/128-1-A-GG-Witt-Olympic%20Peninsula%20(196206)-2(t).jpg
S. Sgt. Donald G. Witt, one of Gerlach’s Guerrillas, laying in wait for the enemy during Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest’ in the rain forest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in Jun. '62. S. Sgt. Witt was assigned to Co. A, 1ST Battle Gp., 128TH Inf., from Menomonie, WI.
 
If the legend is accurate, the unique headgear worn by S. Sgt. Witt and Sp4c. Richard was created by Gerlach’s Guerrillas, by modifying the standard-issue Ridgeway cap, to make their uniform more distinctive.
 
One of these unbelievably rare caps was part of the 1-128TH Inf. history collection at the Eau Claire, WI armory for nearly 50 years. Then one day a few years ago, someone at the armory threw it away because they didn’t know what it was.
 
Exercise ‘Sherwood Forest’ was the last major training exercise of the 32D Division’s mobilization. As soon as it was over, preparations for demobilization began in earnest. Each of the Division’s 13,750-odd Soldiers required a separation physical before 15 July. Over 344,000 personnel forms needed to be updated, verified, and double checked. All of the Division’s equipment and supplies had to be cleaned, inventoried, and packed for shipment back to Wisconsin. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Pfc. Thomas P. Daly, assigned to HHB, 32D Inf. Div. Arty., from Milwaukee, WI, earned the title of 32D Division Soldier of the month for June 1962. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 9 July 1962, the professional football players assigned to the 32D Division were released from active duty and headed home from Fort Lewis. They were released a month before the rest of the Division’s Soldiers so they could join their teammates when pre-season football practice started the following week. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 18 July, the final Division review was conducted at Gray Field on Fort Lewis. One of the dignitaries present was the new Secretary of the Army, Cyrus Vance, who bestowed the Legion of Merit upon the Division’s commander, Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Smith. Numerous personnel were bestowed with awards. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 25 July, a large advance party departed Fort Lewis bound for Wisconsin to prepare for the return of the 32D Division main body. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 1 August 1962, the main body of the 32D Division began the move from Fort Lewis back home to Wisconsin. The Division did not return home by troop trains, military convoys, or aircraft; the Soldiers were issued travel pay and almost all of them made the journey home by POV. As mentioned above, 2,000 Soldiers had driven their POVs from Wisconsin to Fort Lewis when the Division mobilized. Since that time, many more had purchased POVs while they were at Fort Lewis to make it easier to get around when they were off duty. Plus, many Soldiers’ families had moved to the Fort Lewis area during the mobilization. So this was deemed to be the easiest and most efficient way to get the Division home. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Lt. Col. Joseph R. Santimays, the forward-thinking and safety-conscious Division Provost Marshal, wisely “requested” that units perform safety inspections on all POVs making the 2,100 mile trip back to Wisconsin. He was rightly concerned about Soldiers traveling in cheap “unsafe, older model cars purchased here for local transportation.” He urged owners of such cars to sell them rather than attempt to drive them back to Wisconsin. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The 4,000-odd individual Army Reservists who were recalled to active duty and assigned to the 32D Div. where separated at Fort Lewis on 1 August. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
Between 1 and 11 August, this de-mobilization process was duplicated by 400 other Army, Air Force, and Navy units from the Reserves and National Guard. The military released the demobilization schedule back on 27 Apr., with the stipulation that it might not happen if the international situation deteriorated significantly. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
On 10 August 1962, the 32D Division was released from Federal service and reverted to State control. The Wisconsin Army National Guard units resumed their normal drill schedule by the end of August. In those days the National Guard still conducted drills for about 4 hours one night per week. The concept of combining those 4 monthly weeknight drills into a single drill weekend was still several years away. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
The last 32D Division Soldiers departed Fort Lewis for home on 18 August. About 2,000 Soldiers had stayed behind after the main body departed in order to clear the post as well as finish packing and loading equipment. There were no troop trains for the Soldiers, but the Division’s equipment, everything from tanks, trucks, and howitzers to typewriters and staplers, still had to make the trip back to Wisconsin by train. The equipment was loaded onto 900 railroad cars which were split into 14, or more, trains for the journey. [added 5 Sep. ’14, TPB]
As the 32D Division prepared to return home, President John F. Kennedy issued a personal message to the ‘Red Arrow’ officers and men: “From the time when it was first alerted for duty in September 1961, the Red Arrow Division has achieved an exemplary record – one in which you may take great pride. In attaining the high state of combat effectiveness, the Division has lived up to its excellent reputation and, in so doing, has added materially to the readiness of our forces… When the free world needed increased military strength to meet its challenges, you responded. Having met the emergency and accomplished your mission, you can return to your civilian pursuits with pride in your hearts.”

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Sources include:

The Minute Man in Peace and War
The 1962 Wisconsin Blue Book

History of the Wisconsin National Guard

At Ease

Maneuver and Firepower - The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades

32d Infantry Division – STRAC – Fort Lewis, Washington – 1961-1962

Red Arrow newsletter

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revised 11 November 2016
created 29 December 2001