Forward Observer team

Over the years there have been monthly collages. Most saluted different contributors to the Album. This new forum is just to keep the collages and remarks about them from being totally forgotten.
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Niner Alpha
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Forward Observer team

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:25 am

A pretty good percentage of former FO team guys have been in contact with the site. A couple of them, in addition to me, actually post here. I thought this might provoke some comment .

This picture was taken on the dock at Ben Luc in the early months of 1970. The bridge is off to the right and a few hundred yards away. It's wait for the boats time. The guys in the photo are the last full FO team to serve with Alpha. To the left is Gene Cruise as acting Recon Sgt. The center is 1st Lt. Jerry Holderness..West Point grad FO. To the right is me Robert Stewart. PFC radioman.

Cruise was wounded a week or two after the photo and no Recon was appointed after him. Holderness was FO until he got promoted Captain in late May. That left me..still PFC at the time ...as the whole team. I got an RTO named Delgato who was wounded shortly after coming to the field and then got a last RTO...with the help of some strong requests from Captain Olsen of Alpha with an assist from Col. Gearin. His last name was...I think...Bell.

I have heard nothing from Cruise from the moment he got on the Dust Off with a bullet in his knee. I had contact with Holderness years ago. At the time, before the first Iraq war, he was in an engineering firm out west and a part time battalion commander in a Reserve or National Guard unit. I think he is now thought to live ...retired...in Florida some place.


Any of the other FO guys that look in have a photo of your "team"?

Oh...one other thing while I'm thinking about it. Gene...if you see this....we killed the guy who shot you. He was in a bunker. I actually held the "destroyed" AK in my hands before it was reported "destroyed". Don't know who ended up with it....maybe the guy who got to it first. Think it was a gunship firing rockets right over our heads who actually took the VC out.... and it was really close. Holderness, while on his back, just tossed a smoke in the general direction of the firing and told the gunship to start shooting. John Bullock, who was a few yards further away than we were, got a lip full of shrapnel from one of those rockets and was dusted off with you or after you. He visits here from time to time.
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