Saber Article Index

2017 Nov-Dec

I received a telephone call from Bob Tortolani who was the 1-7 Cav Battalion Surgeon from 9-’68 until April of 1969. Bob said he was originally at Camp Evans and then made the move south to III Corps with the division. He said that his remaining months in Vietnam were with 15th MED in Tay Ninh, which had to be A Co. He said that he didn’t remember with whom. Bob said that he needs to bring his diary out of the attic. Bob lives in Brattleboro, VT and his phone is (802) 257-1575 if anyone who knew him wants to get in contact. He has retired from medical practice and his e-mail and other information with the 1st Cav Association needs to be updated.

I got another phone call from William “Bill” Dolinger. Bill was a two war Army Medic and a career Soldier from 1948; his ETS was as an E-8. Bill called about the jackets showing on the 15th MED Assn website. I had to say I didn’t know anything about them and I must have made a reference because Bill later said that he had made his decision about them when I called him for more of his information. Bill is at (804)861-3951 if you want to contact him.

Bill was in the 2nd ID in the Korean War functioning as a 91B. In Vietnam he was originally in HHC 15th MED and made the move south to III Corps from Camp Evans bringing the safe and three legged dog “Tripod” to Phouc Vinh. Bill was in HHC S2. Because LTC Turner who was 15th MED Battalion Commander which was Division Surgeon needed something to report on in division staff meetings, he assigned some- one from S2 to go out to field units to bring back enemy captured medical supplies and info. That S2 Soldier was Bill, who said that he went out with units like 1-9 Cav to bring in what they had captured.

Bill eventually transferred to A Co. 15th MED in Tay Ninh. Bill mentioned that A Co. and the MEDEVAC unit received the Valorous Unit Award for August 12, 1969 but he said that he didn’t know why and what specifically had happened to warrant that. I said that I would research it.

Although I have not yet found the citation, I did find something online about August 12, 1969 in Vietnam: from <http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ vc-launch-new-offensive> “Viet Cong forces launch a new offensive with attacks on 150 cities, towns, and bases, including Da Nang and Hue. The heaviest attacks were aimed at the area adjacent to the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon; an estimated 2,000 Communists attacked Tay Ninh, Quan Loi, Loc Ninh, and An Loc. Further north, North Vietnamese commandos fought their way into the U.S. First Marine Division Headquarters in Da Nang. They were eventually driven out by the Marines, who killed 40 Communist soldiers, sustaining five killed and 23 wounded in the process.”

If there were a lot of casualties in Tay Ninh as it says where heavy attacks were, then A Co. 15th MED and MEDEVAC had to be overwhelmed and performed well as usual on the occasion to receive any citation. The 1st Cav Division as a whole received the Valorous Unit Award for later actions in the Cambodian Incursion in May 1970.

Yet another phone call came from Stephan Vogt who was a Medic in B 2-12 Cav from August 1970. He said he went home on leave for R&R and when he returned the 1st Cav Division had started to go stateside so he got assigned to the dispensary in Bien Hoa and wanted to know if that was 15th MED which would give him a reason to go to the 15th MED Assn Reunions. I suggested getting a copy of his 201 File to see what units he was assigned. That’s where I left off with him. His phone is (636) 240-4581. Anyone who knew him or wants to tell him what they know, give him a call.

From Terry McCarl terryamccarl@gmail.com  “At of the time of this writing, it is only about six months until the 20th 15th MED Bn Assn Reunion, April 26- 28, 2018 in Williamsburg, VA. Reunion Coordinator Dan Toothman is a busy guy, putting together a terrific program for us!

“Registration forms and other information are now available on our website: <www.15thmedbnassociation.org>. Just click on Reunion info. The detailed schedule is still being prepared and is expected to be available around January 1. What is being arranged is a group visit to Langley AFB for an F-22 Raptor Flight Demonstration by the East Coast Flight Demo Team which is part of the First Fighter Wing stationed at Langley. If they are not on the road for air shows they do practice demos each week all spring and summer. What is not yet known is whether the practice demo during the reunion will be on Thursday or Friday. This is expected to be known in early 2018, and the detailed schedule will be posted on the website.

“For planning purposes by reunion attendees, reunion activities will begin on Thursday morning April 26 and end after the banquet on Saturday night. Williamsburg is in one of the most historically significant areas of the U.S. Reunion attendees will be able to choose from a multitude of available tours.

“The reunion will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. Check the website or the 15th MED column in the September-October issue of Saber for detailed hotel reservation information. Call 1-800-551-9653 or go to www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg . Our group rate is $111.89 per night which includes all taxes and fees. Be sure to specify our group code which is ‘15thMED’ (no spaces between figures) to get the group rate.

“Check the website frequently for updates. If any questions, contact Dan Toothman, Reunion Coordinator at <danmedevac19@outlook.com> or call (757) 872-8504. It’s going to be another great reunion! Our 20th! Don’t miss it!”

From Terry: “New historical documents: Two new historical documents have recently been acquired from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) which were apparently not available when former historians Bill Downey and Paul Trout visited NARA in College Springs, MD in 2008. These documents are Activities Report 1 Jan 66 - 31 Dec 66 and Annual Historical Re- port 1 Jan 70 - 31 Dec 70. They have been posted on our website. To see them, just go to <www.15thmedbnassociation.org>, click on ‘Informational,’ and then on ‘Historical Documents.’ Thanks to Corky Walsh for generously donating the funds for these documents ‘on the spot’ at the Executive Committee at the Branson Reunion! Check them out along with other historical documents that were originally posted on the website. We are advised by NARA that we now have all 15th MED Bn documents that it has on file.

“Second anniversary of www.15thMEDBnAssociation.com: October 15, 2017 was the 2-year anniversary of the 15th MED Bn Assn website www.15thmedbnassociation.org . Congratulations and thanks to Webmaster Ron ‘Baby Huey’ Huether for creating and running this outstanding website! If you haven’t done so, take a look through the whole website. You’ll be amazed at the wealth of information on it!

“BG Turner to honored at Madigan Army Medical Center: The 15th MED Bn Assn has been informed by the Family of BG Guthrie L. Turner Jr. (26 May 1930 - 9 January 2014) that a new building on the Madigan Army Medical Center Campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Olympia, WA will be named in honor of the General. BG Turner was 15th MED Bn Commander and 1st Cavalry Division Surgeon June ‘68-June ‘69.

“The building to bear BG Turner’s name will be the Preventive Medicine Clinical Services Building (Building 9025). BG Turner completed his medical internship at Madigan Army Medical Center in 1953, and served as the Commander of the facility from 1980-1983.

“The date for a ribbon-cutting ceremony has not been set as yet, but is expected to be in January or February 2018. When the date and details are determined, they will be posted on our website <www.15thmedbnassociation.org> and Facebook page <15th Medical Battalion Association>

FIRST TEAM!
Garryowen,
Mike Bodnar C 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE