Friendship - Communication - Participation
It's been just over two years now since several former members of the 47th IPSD met through the Vietnam Dog Handler Association (VDHA) and then got together in San Antonio November 1996. From that beginning, we have identified 120 individuals who who have served with the unit, located 67 of those and are looking to locate the others. Thirty Eight (38) have become members of the VDHA.
New VDHA Members include Roberto Miller, Edward S.G. Hicks, Craig Haverfield, Donald Jestes and Elmer Fisk who served with the 47th IPSD in WWII. John Pinezaddleby wrote us a nice long letter which contributed much new information and insight into the platoon during his time with the unit. John, thank you very much for taking the time to write down your recollections for us.
Congratulations to each of you who have joined the VDHA and/or sent us letters or provided information that is helping us to record the three year history of the unit's Vietnam service record.
To that end, I hope that you have had the opportunity to view our Platoon Diary that is located on our Web Site. The Diary is the vehicle that we are using to gather the facts and pieces of information that is disbursed throughout the members in their individual and unique experiences. Help us to complete this task by sending in what information you can remember.
Call For Orders:
If you served with the unit between June 1968 - July 1971 and can find orders naming unit members, we need copies of those orders to keep our search going. Please check through your basements, garages and closets to determine if you may still have any such records. This is a primary goal of ours to obtain these orders. Your contributions will significantly improve our chances of locating the rest of the guys.
For The Record:
In our search for the facts, can anyone provide information on any of the following:
- Who was Baby-san? Nicknamed because he looked to be only about 13 or 14 but was actually married with kids and believed to be 19-21 years old.
- Who was the Native American Indian (Lakota) handler who was with the unit one month between 8/70 - 7/71. He had to leave the unit due to an emergency back home. Believed to be from around Rosebud, South Dakota.
- Who was the handler who had the dog named "Dutch"? Dutch is reported to have attacked and bit an Army Captain while on a mission south of Fire Base Tomahawk.
- Does anyone know what happened to the two platoon mascots (Flexible and Sally-J) when the unit stood down? Both dogs are reported to have still been with the unit when it was deactivated.
- Can anyone help us locate William Bumgardner (possibly Bumgarner)? Nicknamed Billy, he was wounded and returned stateside. We believe that he was from West Virginia.
GRB Entertainment is producing a documentary on War Dogs to be released in early 1999. For providing information, pictures etc. they will give you a free Video when it comes out. They can be reached at 12001 Ventura Place, Sixth Floor, Studio City, California 91604, Tel: 818-753-3400, Fax: 818-753-3401. They are working with the VDHA and would welcome your participation
Bobby Railey from the VDHA has informed me that while the 47th IPSD has 38 VDHA members, a good number of those members have not renewed their membership by paying the annual dues. The VDHA is very flexible on money issues if that is a problem - they will fix it. If there are other issues - give us a call to discuss - we will try to fix it.
SAN DIEGO REUNION UPDATE
November 5-8 1998
Reservations: 800-869-0674 ( Talk To Joan Elder)
The Reunion is fast approaching. Remember the good times and friendships that were rediscovered in San Antonio and St. Louis. Don't miss it. Make your plans to come to San Diego. Be sure to bring your pictures, records, orders and any other items that would be of interest to your former buddies. See Itinerary below for details.
47th Scout Dog Platoon - Reunion
November 5, 6, 7 & 8 1998
LOCATION: Holiday Inn (on-The-Bay)
1355 North Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101
Telephone: 800-869-0674 (Reservations)
Thursday Nov. 5:
Travel Day (Arrival & Check-In)
(Complimentary Airport Shuttle To Hotel)
Meet in Wicker Room to locate your Old buddies
6:00 pm Move to the Elephant & Castle Restaurant & Pub (at the Hotel Main Entrance) for Food, Drink & Conversation
Friday Nov. 6:
Breakfast at own option
Unstructured - VDHA Hospitality Suite & 47th IPSD Wicker Room.
VDHA Organized Tours of USMC Museum, MCRD and Camp Pendleton (Optional)
Sightseeing of local attractions at own interest: Sea World, Etc. (If interested in sport fishing see Herman Allen or Joe McMahon who would like to get a group together).
6:00 pm Dinner: Pizza Feed in the Wicker Room for 47th/59th people. Estimate $7.00 contribution per person.
Saturday Nov. 7:
Barbecue picnic at Mission Bay Park, 11am - 3 pm (Local K-9 Units will provide a Demonstration)
6:00 pm Reception at the Hotel
7:00 pm Dinner & Ceremonies at the Hotel
Sunday Nov. 8:
Breakfast at own option
8:00 - 10:00 Business Meeting (all welcome)
12:00 Good-bye's, Check-out and Departure
Our headquarters during the Reunion will be the Wicker Room which is adjacent to the pool and the VDHA Hospitality Room. See you there............
Take Care Of Yourselves.
Author: Bertram M. Hubble Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl © 1998 Bertram M. Hubble