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Air Cavalry Vehicles in Korea 1959-1960


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My grandfather, Spec. 5 Steven Koonter, was stationed in South Korea along the DMZ while attached to the 5th cavalry regiment, 1st cavalry division. I was recently digitizing his photo album and came across some interesting photos of vehicles that he took while he was over there.

 

What I believe is a 1952 Dodge 1/4 ton and some 2 1/2 ton GMCs. I found it really interesting how they camouflaged almost all of their vehicles. I believe the photos here were taken in the fall or winter of 60; my grandfather told me that at that time North Korea was doing what it does best-- lining up all of its troops on the border and threatening to invade. As a result my grandfather's unit was called into the field for a week or so.

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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All of these photos depict some of the division's M56 Scorpions traversing the water under "Freedom Bridge". The divisions sent over a couple for DMZ duty and ended up giving some to the South Korean military. Note the camouflage masking.

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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The first two show one of the division's M113 APCs

 

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This one is of my grandfather in front of what seems to be some sort of GMC 2 1/2 ton

 

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The last one I'll post is of a Pershing left in Korea. My grandfather said the story behind it was that it was disabled near the end of the Korean War around Porkchop hill. Repair crews never got around to fixing it so the infantry ended up just making a gun position out of it, using the turret and building up defenses around it.

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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Interesting. I did not realize the Scorpions were ever deployed to the field.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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These have to be the earliest photos of the M113 APC in use I think, the Army was in the main still, using the M59 APC in 1959-60. and with a camo job, which was somewhat unusual for that date on AFVs.

 

Those bumper Nos ICAV IB5, and on the other side CSI, will stand for 1st Cavalry Division 1st Battle Group 5th Cavalry (PENTOMIC era you know) and the company and vehicle number within the company, in this case CSI, Combat Support Company vehicle 1, which I believe since it's a CS vehicle, maybe is a 82mm mortar carrier. Uncertain what the Cav Guidon with the 18 designates, that 8 could be a B, thus IB, 1st Battle Group.

 

(FYI Alex, the 1st Cav Div was not "Air Cavalry" at this time, it was your standard Infantry Division. It was in July 1965 at FT Benning Georgia that it went Airmobile when the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) was incorporated into the 2nd Infantry Division, with the whole deal being reflagged as the 1st Cavalry Division and sent to South Vietnam).

 

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Allow me to add this photo with Quote I posted in November 2015 in the Patches in Action topic for emphasis on the 1965 reflagging of the two divisions.

 

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Just found this unbelievably great foto of GIs of the 1st Cav Div in South Korea with their new 2nd Inf Div patches in July 1965. 1st Cav Div reflagged as the 2nd Inf Div at this time. The unit is the 1st Battalion 15th Armor, this will be redesignated as the 1st Battalion 72nd Armor.

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Allow me to add this photo with Quote I posted in November 2015 in the Patches in Action topic for emphasis on the 1965 reflagging of the two divisions.

 

Posted Image

Just found this unbelievably great foto of GIs of the 1st Cav Div in South Korea with their new 2nd Inf Div patches in July 1965. 1st Cav Div reflagged as the 2nd Inf Div at this time. The unit is the 1st Battalion 15th Armor, this will be redesignated as the 1st Battalion 72nd Armor.

Thanks for the info patches. Yeah I hadn't remembered seeing any earlier photos of the m113 before his album, and thought it especially interesting with the paint job (which seemed to be popular with the division vehicles at this time). Yeah I wrote air cav out of habit and forgot to edit it lol.

 

Most people seem to forget that the cavalry had dmz duty for so long and only remember the ones in Vietnam. Here is a link to the rest of my grandfather's digitized photos with so captions I tried to add or he remembered and told me to add.

 

 

https://goo.gl/photos/3bPUN8F6END7sz1x9

 

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

 

 

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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Allow me to add this photo with Quote I posted in November 2015 in the Patches in Action topic for emphasis on the 1965 reflagging of the two divisions.

 

Posted Image

Just found this unbelievably great foto of GIs of the 1st Cav Div in South Korea with their new 2nd Inf Div patches in July 1965. 1st Cav Div reflagged as the 2nd Inf Div at this time. The unit is the 1st Battalion 15th Armor, this will be redesignated as the 1st Battalion 72nd Armor.

Just remembered probably one of my favorite photos he had. He said the division painted a bunch of rocks and made a huge insignia on a nearby mountain overlooking the base.

 

Posted Image

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

 

 

GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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Those are some fantastic fotos Alex.

 

I took the liberty of posting this one of a front view of that Track, as we see the company and vehicle code is more view able, we see CS 18, vehicle 18 within the Combat Support Company. This now explains the Cav guidon designator on the sides, it will be 18, the vehicle number.

 

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We see in some of the first fotos of the 2nd Div patch being worn, whats the background on that, as this unit was stationed at Ft Benning, was this their previous unit?

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We see in some of the first fotos of the 2nd Div patch being worn, whats the background on that, as this unit was stationed at Ft Benning, was this their previous unit?

Honestly not sure. From how my grandpa made it sound, they were entirely separate from his unit, he says he was never attached to it but sent directly to cavalry. He says he met them along the way to Korea. Why they were there? I have no idea. He just met them (presumably on his boat)

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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Honestly not sure. From how my grandpa made it sound, they were entirely separate from his unit, he says he was never attached to it but sent directly to cavalry. He says he met them along the way to Korea. Why they were there? I have no idea. He just met them (presumably on his boat)

 

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So to be clear, none of those 2nd Div men are your Grandfather, these are just photos he took of them?

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So to be clear, none of those 2nd Div men are your Grandfather, these are just photos he took of them?

Exactly. He was 1st Cavalry the whole time. He just remembers meeting then and talking with them. So at that point they were still part of a separate unit.

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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Exactly. He was 1st Cavalry the whole time. He just remembers meeting then and talking with them. So at that point they were still part of a separate unit.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

Right, there are a few reasons, 1: All these guys were previously assigned to the 2nd Div at Benning and were reassigned to South Korea for a tour of Overseas duty, with them in short order being assigned either individually or all together to either the Cav or the other South Korean based division, the 7th Div

 

2: They are of the 2nd Div, and the division had elmts doing some kind of training in Japan or South Korea.

 

3: In the very late 50s very early 60s, certain units of the 2nd Div conducted a Basic Training program, and I believe an 11Bravo/Charlie AIT program, these guys maybe grads of that course. Since none of these guys has rank and are 11Bravos (the Blue Stuff) or are not wearing French Ropes (The trademark of permanently assigned 2nd Div troops) perhaps this is this third reason.

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  • 6 months later...

This one is of my grandfather in front of what seems to be some sort of GMC 2 1/2 ton

 

Thats no 2 1/2 ton, its a 5 ton. In fact, it appears to be a M386 Truck, Rocket, 762mm. Also known as a short tail Honest John transporter erector launcher! Very cool pictures

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This one is of my grandfather in front of what seems to be some sort of GMC 2 1/2 ton

 

Thats no 2 1/2 ton, its a 5 ton. In fact, it appears to be a M386 Truck, Rocket, 762mm. Also known as a short tail Honest John transporter erector launcher! Very cool pictures

 

You are correct. I meant to update this post a couple of weeks ago but my grandpa found some other photos, two of which show his buddy that he enlisted with in front of the truck. His buddy was with the then designated, 2nd Rocket Howitzer Battalion, 20th Artillery of the 1st Cavalry Division in Korea.

 

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GEN. David R. Atchinson- MO State Guard              ACW

PVT. John H. Drury- Co. A, 27th Ky IR                      ACW               Died of Typhoid

PVT. Henry E. Thomas- Co. I, 17th Ky IR                  ACW

PVT. Joseph E. Drury- Co. E, 356th IR, 89th ID       WWI                WIA

SGT. Edward P. Drury- 51st QM Training Co.           WWII

PFC. Delmer C. Koonter- Co. I, 142nd IR, 36th ID    WWII              WIA

SC3c Michael C. Drury- LCS (L) (3) 70                     WWII

SGT. Steven D. Koonter- 5th Cav, 1st Cav Div         Vietnam

SGT. John M. Drury- 227th AVN Bn. 1st Cav Div     Vietnam

 

Contact me with items from the 36th Infantry Division or any IDd uniforms of European Theater Infantry Divisions

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