Bert Hubble

Bert Hubble's


September 2000


Friendship - Communication - Understanding

Distributed Quarterly: March - June - September - December
To Former Platoon Members of the 47th & 59th Infantry Platoons (Scout Dog)


47th Scout Dog Platoon

VDHA Unit Director: Bertram Hubble,
Webmaster: Jonathan Wahl,
Historian: Bertram Hubble,
Membership Director: Bertram Hubble,

59th Scout Dog Platoon

VDHA Unit Director: Bertram Hubble,
Webmaster: Dean P. Harrison,
Historian: William Whitehouse,
Membership Director: Bertram Hubble,

Fellow Platoon Members:

The Washington DC Reunion:

The Message Board installed on their respective web sites. This is a very useful tool as anyone can log-in and leave a message or request information. Respondents may reply to you via e-mail with an answer. It is a very easy and cost efficient method of communication. Jonathan has also installed a Quick Navigator facility on the 47th site.

Since the last report we have completely re-written the Brief History for the 47th site. The revised Brief History is about 6 pages of straight narrative that will guide you to the Platoon Diary for more details and insight. Also check out John Pinezaddleby's letter which has been posted in the Documents section of the web site. I think you will find the letter very interesting and informative.

The Platoon Diaries have a tremendous potential for gathering and recording facts and information. Each of you have something interesting to contribute to these documents. We would like to have everyone from all years mentioned in them so feel free to send us information that we can use to expand the diaries and recognize each and every platoon member.

Kenneth Whitecotten of the 59th IPSD wanted to sponsor Tommy Clay as a new VDHA Member as he had not been able to join before he died on April 6, 2000. Randy Kimler, Bobby Railey, and Craig Lord of the VDHA went to work and were able to have Tommy Clay added to the VDHA Membership Roster for the 59th IPSD (posthumously). We thank you fellows in the VDHA who really considered this unusual request and found an appropriate response with no corporate BS. That was terrific.

Recent Contributors:

I am always very happy to give special recognition to those of you have responded to us with pictures, stories, information etc. This quarter's contributors were Howard Hayes, Larry Proper, Robert L. Menist, Steve Lemish, Bruce Carroll, Toni Gardner, Jesse Mendez, Randy Kimler, and Refus "Champ" Combs. Each one of these persons took the time to send us very important information much of which will be displayed on the web sites. Bruce Carroll must have sent me 60 or 70 pictures from his year in country which spanned January 1969 to January 1970. Many of these pictures will be posted as soon as we can get them up. Howard is helping us to complete our Dog Roster, Larry and Robert provided pictures, Steve sent in a story which has been added to the Diary, Toni sent us a WWII History she had gotten from Jesse Mendez, Jesse sent us information on an Experimental Program about Radio Controlled Dogs, Refus sent us some newspaper clippings and Randy is always there to do searches for us and facilitate any questions with the VDHA. All of your contributions are meaningful and appreciated.

It is only through your contributions and input that we can gather the facts and information necessary to complete the unit histories and record the actual events that occurred in the daily life of a Scout Dog Platoon. I know that Dean would like to gather stories that he can display on the 59th web site as well as a good many more pictures which he needs. Don't be bashful, your pictures will be scanned and returned to you.

I think it would be interesting to have some of you just write down and submit some comments (a profile of the unit) about the general state of affairs during your time with the unit(s). Who was in charge, what was going on in the unit, what was the morale like, did you have confidence in the dogs, were the dogs healthy or was disease or sickness a problem, dominant personalities in the unit, troublemakers, Vet Tech issues, the day-to-day things. Can anyone provide information that will help us locate Lt. James Bradshaw who was Commander of the 47th IPSD from July 1969 to February 1970? We still need pictures of Tim Edwin Newell and Lt. James Bradshaw. If you can provide either of these pictures, please send to us and we will scan them and return to you undamaged.

I am particularly interested in matching every handler to his dog. We have many handlers not matched to a dog and many dogs not matched to a handler. This information is not available from any official source and will not be recorded without your help. Just take a piece of paper and write down all the handlers you remember and the dog you remember they were assigned send it to me. This will help a great deal to fill in some missing information in the Dog Roster. Your replies on this will be very much appreciated. Remember no guessing, just what you still remember were the match-ups.

For those of you who are coming to Washington DC in October, be sure to bring your pictures, orders, documents or anything else that will help us fill in the missing pieces to the story. Dean may bring a scanner and a laptop computer to scan your pictures on the spot. Jonathan and I want to pick your brains.

VDHA Membership:

VDHA Membership continues to grow and our platoon(s) continue to add members also. Congratulations go out to Dan Tupper and Refus "Champ" Combs who joined from the 47th IPSD and George Long and Tommy Clay (posthumously) who joined for the 59th IPSD.

Toni Gardner:

Please take the time to reply to Toni's questions (see June Bow-Wow) and forward your comments to Toni on-line at or mail your response to Toni at 602 Hollen Road Baltimore MD 21212. Toni may also be reached at Tel: 410-532-7996. This is an excellent opportunity to contribute in a meaningful and lasting way. You can also reply to her through the Message Board of the 47th web site where she has the questions posted. Remember this is not a book about the platoon history but a book about important aspects of the human/animal bond.

Special Request:

Does anyone have a picture of Willie Jones' Dog Colonel 5M17? The original owner of Colonel was Mary Jo Duffy who lived in the south suburbs of Chicago. When she was 5 years old her dad who had been in the Navy during the Korean War sold the dog to the Military in 1966-1967. Mary Jo and her brother are trying to find out what happened to their dog Country Colonel (Colonel was his short name). If we could find a picture, we may be able to determine if Willie's dog was the same dog. This would solve a question that lingers in a little girl's mind who was five years old at the time.

The Ties that Bind:

Catherine Leroy was 21 years old and a French Photojournalist who covered the Vietnam War. She witnessed the horrors of war, yet she also experienced the brotherhood that sometimes comes with it, "It was a unique comradeship" she recalled, "one that was based on life and death, not money and power. I learned that war is not a normal circumstance. It's the biggest game of all. One that only those who survive can talk about".
Source: Vietnam Magazine August 2000.

In Memory:

It is with great sadness that I must report to you the passing of Mr. Russell Erickson, Senior who died in early June this year. As many of you know Russell Erickson Junior was the first handler Killed in Action from the 59th Scout Dog Platoon on July 24, 1968. Russell Senior was a fine man and VDHA Supporting Member. Mr Erickson had been ill and was not sure if he could make it to the Reunion but was looking forward to seeing us if we could make it to his home in Virginia. He will be missed.

We have also learned that Larry Baker who served with the 47th IPSD in 1970 died in November 1980 - no other details known.

Bert's Commentary:

After my two year enlistment was over and my tour in Vietnam ended my brother and I were discharged in Oakland CA and bussed over to San Francisco International Airport where we immediately went to the restroom and changed into civilian clothes before heading home to visit our family. I never talked about Vietnam or my experiences and just sort of put it in my past - a subject to be revisited at a later date. I was always grateful that neither my brother or I were injured physically or mentally scarred. We were very lucky. I had no contact with other veterans and never joined any Veteran Organizations. I may have been living in denial but I sort of thought that most of the guys who got back must have adjusted and resumed normal lives. As the VDHA Unit Director for the 47th and the 59th Scout Dog Platoons, I have since learned that this is not the case. Many of our own Platoon Members still suffer to this day from physical scars and mental wounds that will not go away. Many have not been able to bring themselves to join the VDHA for reasons that only they can know.

Call one of your buddies today and say hello.

Take care of yourselves,


Author: Bertram M. Hubble
Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl
2000 Bertram M. Hubble