Thursday, June 05, 2008

Knock Out 40!

Submarine U-505 Boarding Party, 4 June 1944

On the 5th of June 68, Ranger was commissioned a 2LT of Infantry through the Bowling Green State University ROTC program. Twenty four years earlier, on 4 June 44 my father, Stephen, was a member of Capt. Daniel Gallery's' Task Force 22.3 that captured the German Submarine U-505, now displayed in the Chicago Science and Industry Museum.

The day of graduation was also my BPED (Basic Pay Entry Date), and marked the beginning of my date of rank. This was my EAD (Entry on Active Duty). From there I reported to the Benning School for Boys and shortly thereafter began writing this blog. Important dates which make me reflect on the incredible fact that 40 years have since passed.

Of those years I remember fondly one Master Sergeant Wilbur O Davis RA. Sgt. Davis was a Korean War CIB, Silver Star type, and a three-year instructor in the program. He was a self-described "crackerjack" -- a term he proudly taught us through his own example.

He also taught us PT with the M-1 rifle / close order drill and all other basis skills. Under his tutelage we became "crackerjack," too.

Sgt. Davis was also a Civil War history buff, which he frequently utilized as teaching points every chance he had, which was often. He had a Reserve commission as an 0-3 and was activated in '67, first going to Ft. Benning and from there, the Republic of Vietnam as a Company Commander.

The last time I saw Davis was at his quarters where I proudly showed him my new Ranger tab. The big smile on his face was exactly the same as when he used to drop me for push ups.

MSG Davis, I hope you are still alive and as full of piss and vinegar as you were in '68.

Your student, Jim.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one of the proudest moments of my service came the day i went to meet a helicopter that was dropping off some new folks for our team. the first one off was the master chief who had commanded my UDT/BUDS class. he recognised me and said "good to see you lad."

made me feel 10 feet tall.

Thursday, June 5, 2008 at 4:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm..."Special" Forces...as in "Special" Olympics?

Just kidding! I had a friend when I was a kid who was obsessed with militaria; I remember we went on a class camping trip, and he hung a big banner on our tent with a death's head and reading "Special Forces." Neither of us had any idea what Special Forces were, they just seemed 1337 (google it) to us.

I still don't really know what they are, except for a vague perception that they are involved in recruiting friendly populations in the war zone to fight common enemies.

Friday, June 6, 2008 at 3:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thanks for teh cute story. You were right to refer Ranger, but yer humble editor already had a piece "1337 Speak" a while back.

Keep pushing us to the pop cultural edge, though...I have a feeling you're uniquely poised to do so,


Friday, June 6, 2008 at 12:44:00 PM GMT-5  

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