October 2004


Friendship - Communication - Understanding

Distributed electronically as Often as Possible
To Former Members of the 47th & 59th Infantry Platoons (Scout Dog)

Fellow Platoon Members:

Your Recollections

"We were young and strong, we were runnin' against the wind."

---Bob Seger, "Against the Wind" (1980)

"Our squad has been supporting "A" Company at a camp named Pinky and "B" Company at LZ Sally. The area around Pinky is real quiet these days. They have not made contact with the enemy in about two months. I went out on about 5 short patrols but they did not amount to much. It is difficult to work the dogs there because there are farmers, water buffalo, and villages to distract the dog. In a few days Pinky is being turned over to a Battalion of ARVN and the Americans are being relocated to Camp Eagle. When I had Butch staked out at Pinky, the Vietnamese interpreter made the mistake of walking too close to him. Butch went after him and landed a bite but it proved not to be too bad of a bite. Our squad is being split up to support the other three squads who are operating out of places named T-Bone, Mongoose, and Omaha."

---Bert Hubble in a letter home, July, 1968

It's time we all sat down and wrote down some of our individual recollections of our time with the 47th and shared them with our brothers. Over thirty years have passed since each of us rolled into base camp at LZ Sally or Phu Bai and began our tours. Some of us received our training at Fort Benning and some were reassigned from other units as OJT handlers. What do you remember about those times? What were the physical conditions like, who did you bunk with, what kind of missions did you pull and with what units? What did you eat? Who stands out in your memory? What was unique and/or special about your dog(s)? What were the toughest times? What were the most amusing (if any)? What missions were unforgettable? What was frustrating? How did you handle the danger and loneliness? What did you do during your down time, both in the field and in camp? How did you feel coming home?

Some of the guys have already taken a pass at putting some of their memories in writing. See John Carter, John Pinezaddleby, and others in the web site diaries. It's never easy to reach back in time but doing so can be rewarding to yourself and the others you served with. Our reunion gatherings have proven how good it is to be with guys who understand where you're coming from. Now let's take another step at recalling our experiences.

Write down what you remember, the facts, the feelings, the outcomes. There are no rules, no minimums or maximums, and no deadlines - just whatever you want to share. We'll post our recollections on our web site where everyone can have access. Send yours via e-mail to Jonathan at

Thanks. Our unit is very special. Let's stay together


A War Dog Memorial will be dedicated on Friday, October 29 at 10:00am, at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, New York. The 47th's Michael Yalango will participate as one of three attending Staten Island dog handlers.

It all started with Michael Hames signing the 47th web site guestbook. Michael Hames and Rusty Allen have been in contact via email and plan to get together soon at Rusty's Texas home.

47th and VDHA supporter Dixie Whitman has produced two new striking War Dog t-shirts as part of her continuing efforts to raise funds for Jesse Mendez' War Dog Pedestal Fund (note - as of September 2005 these shirts are no longer available).


This is a watershed period in our nation's history. Two major candidates for President have staked out sharply different positions and agendas. Don't sit this one out. Think about the reasons you served your country. Think about the sacrifices that have been made to preserve our freedoms, including the right to vote and to have every vote count. Think about the America that you want us to be. When our liberties and welfare are threatened we must all stand and be heard. Vote this November.

Go in Peace,


Author/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl
2004 Jonathan D. Wahl