Sunday, June 12, 2011

Banshee Gazette - June 2011

VOLUME XIII               June 2011                        Issue 2


The Banshee Gazette is the Official Publication of B Troop 2nd 17th Cavalry Regiment Association

Presidents Message
by David Martin

If you missed this years Reunion at Ft. Campbell…you missed the largest gathering of Banshees since the Vietnam War. It was to say the least fantastic! What an honor to welcome our brothers of Task Force Saber back from deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom X-XI.

On May 13 we attended the 2nd Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment Memorial Dedication Ceremony. It was unveiled by COL (Retired) Hawk Ruth the 24th Commander of the Squadron and LTC Hank Taylor the 34th Commander active. Thanks go out to Cindy LaPointe Dafler for laying the wreath for the B Troop Alumni Association. What a piece of art and wonderful way to remember all the men and women past, present and future of the 2nd Squadron 17th Regiment. The Memorial is completely funded thanks to all that answered the Bugle Call for Donations…this Mission proved that B Troop past and present can and will be “OUT FRONT”.

What a pleasure to have Captain Irving, 1st SG Riley and their wives stop by the hotel Thursday evening for a visit. I know they had a busy schedule during the Reunion so I certainly appreciate their personal time to join us.

Also on the 13th some of us attended a B Troop awards ceremony at Hanger 14. I can certainly say based on what I witnesses that the current Banshees held to the traditions of the units past. You may not know but some of the current members of B Troop have served with the unit for 8 years. They are a proud bunch of Banshees…HOOAH!

Thanks to everyone that went out of the way to make this the best Reunion ever. Jim Reaneau was on a Mission to get Bush Gangsters ’67-’68 to the Reunion and he did. Rob Switzer and Larry Allen made many calls and sent numerous letters...even got back in touch with 1st Sergeant Sheldon Heinz who made it up from Florida.

Thanks to all that helped at the Reunion Jinger and I appreciate it!

Vice Presidents Message
by Larry Allen

I cannot express enough, how proud I am of this organization and the men and ladies who help keep it running. We continue to find and bring together the warriors of B Troop 2/17th Cavalry. As your vice president, I will continue to help find as many people that we served with, so long ago. This was the greatest number of Cavalry people we have ever had at a reunion. I ask that each and every one of you try to bring just one more Veteran to the next reunion in Branson, Missouri. If you have names but can't find a person you'd like to have join us, let me know and I will do my best to find that person. Since I've been home I have already found one more.......George Kirschner from here in Illinois. See you all next year, God Bless you and yours.

E-mail Message from David Larcomb LTC USA (Ret)


First off I thank you and your fine organization for keeping B Troop 2/17 Air Cavalry alive. You did a great job in organizing this event. Keep up the good work. "Air Cav Pats" on the back to you, Larry Allen, Jim Matthews, Randy Kunkelman and webmaster Dan Schave.

As you know, I will not be in attendance this year at the Associations reunion at Fort Campbell, but I would appreciate it if you would pass along some of my thoughts. Several of the troopers who were with us in 1969-70 have passed. Our former XO Rosie Rosenthal and the Squadron commander, Bob Molinelli have
passed. But you can be sure that they are proud of you all. I do communicate frequently with our former XO William David Livingston who has recovered from his gunshot wound and is living in Colorado. As you may recall, he was flying cover with Blake Shelters assisting a Marine Long Range Recon Unit when he got shot in
the head and his ship crashed in the A Shau Valley. I also hear from Chuck Detchon our former Infantry platoon leader who was shot and evacuated from country. I've heard his replacement, Cpt. Brooks also passed on some time ago.

I never had the opportunity to say, "Thank You, Job Well Done." Seems that we drifted in, did our jobs and then drifted on. There wasn't a lot of time to say thank you. We were in the middle of a long 24/7 war and we didn't get the opportunity to meet and greet. Sometimes when we arrived, we went straight on a combat mission and didn't get a chance to unpack. So I want to thank you for all you did when you served in Vietnam.

I want to thank the brave Infantry Platoon members who didn't hesitate to fly out on a moment's notice into the dark, foggy nights, trusting the aircrews to get them there and back safely. I want to thank the Scouts for their extreme bravery. As you know we were authorized ten scout pilots and crew, but because of the great danger in their jobs, one time we were down to one pilot. There isn't enough words to pay tribute to
the bravery of these great horsemen of the skies.

I admired the Cobra crews, as no mission was too tough and when we had to penetrate the clouds they were ready. As I recall on one mission to the south A Shau, a Cobra gave me cover. After he was out of ammo, he used his ship to create noise to give me and my crew cover, while we rescued two scouts deep in enemy territory.

Dan Hilliard said we took over 100 hits in our HUI and was still able to fly it to the Division Helipad some 45 miles to the east. I thank those men who gave us protection that day and all the days I was fortunate to serve as your commander.

Noteworthy were the crews who participated in the rescues of the Rangers and Marine Long Range Recon members especially during periods of no visibility and often in light rain and fog. I want to thank all the maintenance men who devoted long hours to ensuring our aircraft were ready for flight on a moment's notice. Their job was thankless, but I can assure you without their competence and dedication to duty we
couldn't have performed our missions.

I thank the supply people, the ammunition specialists, the cooks and mess personnel. The cooks always had some chow available and a cup of hot steaming stiff "Army Coffee" at the ready. I thank the operations and headquarters personnel and especially the guy who blew the "air horn" telling us to saddle up for a "hot

I thank my HUI crew for having my aircraft mission ready at all times. I thank my bodyguard, as I was one of the few commanders not to worry about my back. He wore a bulls-eye on his shirt to take the hit for me. I thank my Artillery FO who manned the radios in my ship. I thank my crew chiefs and gunners who kept the ship flying.

Finally, I thank all of you who took time out of your busy life to come to the Reunion and celebrate. You deserve it. It is fitting that you are here at Ft. Campbell, where just a few days ago, our President and Vice President thanked the brave men of the 101st for their mission to get bin Laden. I want you to remember always, when the President of the United States thanked them he also thanked you.

We were like those men. We did missions, like they did. We put our lives on the line, like they did. We were rough men, who stood ready in the dark of night. We saw many dawns approach, when returning home. We operated in no horizon, pitch black night and watched it turning to purple then light at the break of day. That was us and we were always "Ready and Out Front." We were the eyes and ears of the 101st Division. Airborne.

David Larcomb LTC USA (Ret)

2nd Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment Memorial Dedication Ceremony
May 13, 2011

More Photos are on our Facebook page

2012 Reunion

2012 Reunion will be held in Branson, Missouri in September 2012. Finally details will be available by after Jinger and I go to a Military Reunion Planners meeting there August 15-18th.

Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University

by David Martin

I hope you will consider donating Vietnam related materials to The Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University which is the Official Repository for B Troop 2nd 17th Cavalry Regiment Association. The Vietnam Archive is the second largest archive for Vietnam only to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. They will be happy to make copies of your materials so you will still have your memories.

Items especially pictures and clothing are subject to natural deteriation… The Vietnam Archive keeps all holding in a climate-controlled environment for protection. All items donated are available on-line also. Just think you grand children and future generations will be able to learn about you and B Troop if you donate items to Texas Tech.

As we grow older it becomes even more important to donate items that you have. The Vietnam Archive also has an on going Oral History Project that I highly recommend. If you are interested in donating items or providing an Oral History let me know and I will get you in contact with whom you need to talk to.

Reunion Comments

I would like to thank everyone that gave Jinger and me a hand preparing for and at the Reunion.

Jim Reaneau “BUSH GANGSTERS”, Larry Allen and Bill Crawford made great efforts to get people to the Reunion and it paid off.

Bill Crawford ran errands during the year to pickup items plus made a great deal for Association purchases thru the Cav Store. Thanks for that effort we were able to get all Spurs needed for the Spur ride…the Cav Store had neither Spurs nor Stetsons available because of numerous sales for Troops returning home. The Cav Store had 10 sets of Spurs FedEx in for us, which did not cost us a penny for shipping…Thanks Cav Store.

Also the Cav Store provided many items this year for our Auction! Helen Kunkleman, Janice Baldwin, Rob Switzer, Carol Reaneau and Jim Reaneau for helping in the Hospitality room.

Rob Switzer our Chaplin for doing his job and all the others that I delegated at the Reunion.

Thomas Green for being our auctioneer.

Bill Crawford for doing the 50/50 raffles each night.

Randy Kunkleman our money guy!

I know there are others that leant a hand and I apologize for not remembering everything that you all did! Thank you all that helped in any way.

There were numerous comments over heard at the Reunion that I feel need to be addressed so that all members have a better understanding of what it takes to plan our yearly Reunion.

House Keeping – I am aware there were issues with the Hotels House Keeping Staff and I assure you I let the Hotel Manager Ellis Copeland know. There again he was not on site while we were having our Reunion so I did not have direct contact with him during our visit. The problem is that most problems Hotels have…they know prior to our arrival and we have little if no recourse other than not staying with them again in the future.

Why doesn’t the Hotel have a TV and VCR that we can use?
Hotels charge for everything! A TV rental charge of $75.00 per day is the current norm. Add a DVD player your looking at 150.00 per day times 3 equals a cost of $450.00 each Reunion.
SOLUTION: I will attempt to purchase a small TV/DVD for the Association. Just remember that if the Association President flies in it might not be at the Reunion. I am leaning toward a personal DVD player, which is less expensive and we could purchase in the Christmas season when prices are cheap.

What did the Association spend $9000.00 on last year?

Good question Maxie Roberts…sometimes the Officers of the Association assume too much (we know where it went but we just gave you a total for the year and take it for granted you know where it went).

The biggest expense each year for the Association is Reunion costs. Reunion gifts, Dinner charges (last year we had to guarantee 50 meals, which were not all used but we had to pay anyway) snacks and drinks for the Hospitality room, Hotel fees for Podium, Ice, Bartender, etc.

Last year we had a considerable amount of Scholarship Funds that had not be sent to Texas Tech, which was shown as an expense to the Association (In fact it is all donated or acquired through donations, auction and/or 50/50 Raffles).

So here is a breakdown of last year’s expenses;
  • Advertise (Reunion Shirts)                                      1525.00
  • Hotel Fees for Banquet & facilities, ice, bar service 2555.37
  • Misc Reunion expense appx.                                    348.62
  • LaPointe Endowment at Texas Tech                        4929.50
  • Association Office Supplies and Postage appx          200.00
  • Grand Total 2010 Expenses                                    9558.49
SOLUTION: If you are a paid member and have questions about the Association expenses please ask Randy to show them to you at the Reunion or he can e-mail them to you any time. He has all the records since the Association was formed.

Why don’t they have canned drinks?

As Officers of the Association we attempt to keep costs under control. We can get a larger variety of drinks if we buy litters plus we do not waste as much.

SOLUTION: There is no easy solution…the Association Officers will continue to do things in a cost efficient manner for the good of all members. Many Reunions our hands are tied by Hotel Policy, which can greatly increase the cost of the Reunion.

Jim Matthews and I have attended many Reunion Planner Conferences (at our own expense) to do the best job we can setting up Reunions. We attempt to improve things every year. Not to say every thing runs smoothly!

At next years Reunion we will have Comment Cards available for your input but, until then you can always email me at There are no bad comments…this is your Association! We like to hear from you so we can improve areas that can be corrected.

Challenge coin Competition

We are in search of a design for the B Troop 2nd 17th Cavalry Regiment Association “OFFICAL CHALLENGE COIN”.

Entries must be in no later than July 15, 2011. To enter you must be a paid member of the Association or an active duty B Trooper. We will attempt to put the designs on our web page and then all paid members and current B Troopers will be able to vote once at
The winning design will be used for the “OFFICAL CHALLENGE COIN” of B Troop 2nd 17th Cavalry Regiment Association. By submitting an original design you give all rights of those designs and rights to make any changes to B Troop 2nd 17th Cavalry Regiment Association.
Please remember when submitting a design we have a wide range of years and various aspects of the Unit to account for.

The winner will receive a proof of the new coin.

This is the Design I am submitting:
               FRONT                                                   BACK

New Banshee T-shirt

We plan on designing an Association T-Shirt also. We will do the design process the same as the challenge coin.

Banshee Supply Room

We are attempting to get the Supply room redesigned and updated. Jim Matthews volunteered to take on the challenge of updating it and working with Dan to get it on the web site.
Items will not be available until we have a stock of the items. That way you can order what you want and save on postage by purchasing more than 1 item at a time. We will do our best to have the Supply Room stock by September.
We will also have the Supply Room open at various times during the Reunion so you can purchase any items that you desire.

Banshee Patch                             Bush Gangsters                                        Guidon

Where to send things:

Dues, Endowment Fund Donations and Reunion Registration Fees (any monies)
Randy Kunkleman
2395 N. Conant Road
Elida, OH 45807

David Martin
3018 Hickory Glen Drive
Orange Park, FL 32065


17th Cavalry Regimental Coat Of Arms

 Follow the Association on Facebook

Just type in B Troop 2/17 Cav in search then request to become a member

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