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TAPS Check List
Birthplace: Chicago, IL 23Oct30 5th Child
PARENTS: HENRY & MARY EDITH (MCJilton) Dinwiddie
EARL WILLIS, JEAN LUCILLE, Jimmy, Robert (ALL DECEASED)
Tilden Technical Highschool June1947
EAGLE SCOUT, TROOP 653
Wilson Junior College 1947-8
ENTERED US AIR Force 28 Oct 1948 Served till 3Jun 1951 Corporal Discaharged to enter USMA. Last assignment USMAPS
CONGRESSIONAL APPOINTMENT TO USMA
Roomates: Don A. ANDREWS 3yrs, Brewer H. YOUNG 4yrs, Pete VANN & John A. Viney - Beast Barracks, Beast Detail Senior Year - Jim McIntosh,
Brewer (REB) Young, my best friend then Don Andrews.
Wife: PATRICIA JANE Newcomb. Met on Blind date Set up by REB YOUNG IN NEW YORK CITY Manhattan, Married at WEST POINT Catholic Chapel 2 1/2 hours after graduation 7June 55.
Six Children: Richard Wayne Jr., Catherine Gail Malicki, Jayne Ann Greer, Thomas Newcomb, Ellen Marie Smith, Charles David.
Wrote my own taps Article (Below). Probably shoud be edited by our class editor.
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Dick's BIO: RICHARD W. DINWIDDIE 1930- ?
Born in Chicago's Lying In Hospital then part of the University of Chicago on 23 October 1930 Dick entered BEALE Elementary School At the Ripe old age of 4-1/2. Then Entered Englewood High school a the age 11-1/2 . AFTER 1 YEAR dick transferred to TILDEN TECHNICAL HS and graduated at 15-1/2. Wanting to obtain a degree Dick entered Wilson Jr College. An after 1 year, the 'draft fear' drove him to enter the United States Air Force 4 days after his 18th birthday on 6 month active duty and 6 year reserve contract. While enjoying basic training at Lackland AFB a BG Rosy Grubbs Formed an organization called the Command Assistants' under his command at Bolling AFB in Washington, D. C. To join I had to reenlist for 3 years. This decision started me on the road to the United States Military Academy. 'Rosy' was a graduate and actively recruited young men to enter West Point. After he flew some of the Command Assistants' to West Point for a tour, from that moment forward Dick wanted to apply for West Point.
Through the efforts of his mother who knew a Ward Boss in Chicago's 23rd district, Dick secured a principal appointment to West Point from his Congressman, Neil J. Linehan, and the Air Force transferred Dick to Stewart AFB, Newburgh, NY where Dick joined The United States Military Preparatory School for intense physical and mental preparations for passing all tests needed to enter West Point. The school was commanded by Army Officers on an Air Force Base and provided outstanding training for the purpose which it was organized and developed. On 2 July 1951 the Air Force discharged Dick for the Conveniency of the Government to enter West Point.
Beast Barracks began promptly at 9 AM the next morning at West Point with all its rigors and training which seemed almost the same as Basic Training in the Air Force to Dick except for the bracing part which really helped every new cadet's posture. Time seemed to fly by and soon the entire corps was back at the Academy, which just increased the number of people available to harass the Plebes. Academics began and everyone settled into their own routines of time management. Roommates were chosen and Dick who had met Brewer H. Young, Jr. when visiting him in the Hospital due to his broken leg (classmates were encourage to visit classmates who were hospitalized). Brewer was formerly in the Air Force as was Dick they were best buds from that time on. Donald A. Andrews was the third roommate of the three until firstie(senior) year when Don was selected to the Brigade staff.
During Plebe year everyone found out that by entertaining the upperclassmen, plebes could relax and did not have brace while eating (called, 'falling out'). Dick together with his roommates developed a skit based on 'old time radio' programs and plebe mathematics. The skit is presented here for your enjoyment. The Presentation is Half the enjoyment. Dick's voice was strong and loud-- he could reach almost the entire mess hall with his voice. Recall this was 1951, years before 'Spudnick', Astronauts, Intercontinental rockets and Star Trek. Each Captain Cosine adventure began in a very strong loud voice as follows:
'FROM THE DEPTHS OF ALL TIME - FROM THE FAR REACHES OF SPACE, WE BRING YOU ADVENTURES IN PLANE TRIGONOMETRY - STARRING 'CAPTAIN COSINE', BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. BUT FIRST A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS --- THE MAKERS OF DAYTON COOL FOAM FALSEIES (SING TO THE TUNE OF____) USE DAYTON THE COOL FOAM FALSIE ,–YOU'LL START FEELING THE WAY YOU SHOULD, WHEN YOU USE A DAYTON HO HO THAT'S GOOD, SO USE DAYTON, THE COOL FOAM FALSIE - POPS YOUR CHEST RIGHT THRU YOU SHIRT. DIT-DIT-DA DIT(LIKE H B CALLBORN'S VOICE) GOODEVENING MR. & MRS NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA AND ALL THE SINKING SHIPS AT SEA. THE 1952 DAYTON'S ARE ROLLING OFF THE ASSEMBLY LINE AS OF NOW! WITH NEW DUAL HEAD HIGH COMPRESSION PERFORMANCE, POWER WHEN YOU WANT IT! WHERE YOU WANT IT! AND HOWW YOU WANT IT! LISTEN TO WHAT J. P. SCHICK OF BALTIMORE, MARYLAND HAS TO SAY ABOUT A DAYTON COOL FOAM. KISS, KISS, KISS, KISS! ARTHUR P. SCMALLTH OF RAT GULCH. COLORADO HAS THIS TO SAY. BULLGY, BULGY, BULRALGY! SO REMEMBER (SING) USE DAYTON, THE COOL FOAM FALSIE, POPS YOUR CHEST RIGHT THRU YOUR SHIRT! AND NOW FOR CHAPTER 69 OF PLANE TRIGONOMETRRRRY. AS WE LAST LEFT YOU CAPTAIN COSINE WAS ABOUT TO TAKE OFF IN HIS SUPER ROCKET SHIP THE 8898 98 98 989X 98-9XXXXXX(DROP VOLUME DURING XXX'S. LISTEN AS COSINE CALLS STEWART TOWER FOR WEATHER & LATEST FLIGHT INSTRUCTIONS. CAPTAIN COSINE TO STEWART TOWER WHAT IS THE LATEST WEATHER & FLIGHT CONDITIONS, OVER (WITH LOTS OF STATIC) STEWART TOWER TO CAPTAIN COSINE, BE CAREFUL OF HIGH VELOCITY WINDS AT HEIGHTS OF SIXTY TO SEVENTY MILES USE FULL POWER THRU THIS WEATHER DISTURBANCE! USE LAUNCH PAD 20! TOWER OUT! (COSINE) INTERGALACTORS ON, TEST ROCKET 77! (HEAR ROCKET TEST) AUTOMATIC TIMER ON! TIN TIN TIN TIN TIN! SOUND OF ROCKETS FIRING. NEXT WE SEE CAPTAIN COSINE IN FREE LIGHT IN OUTER SPACE! (FLOATING APPEARANCE OF CAPTAIN COSINE, APPROPRIATE SOUNDS TO) STRAP SAFETY BELTS ON! ANNOUNCER - WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LITTLE INFINITY?? - WILL SHE BE TRAPPED FOREVER IN POLAR COORDINATES??? - WILL THE MONSTER SECANT CAPTURE EARTH?? - DON'T FAIL TO TUNE INTO THE NEXT THRILLING CHAPTER OF CAPTAINNNN COSSINNNNEEEEE!
He would make additional chapters as necessary in the contining chapters, but the basic theme was maintained. The continual changing of tables within the mess hall, made it easy to make minimal changes to the chapters of Captain Cosine. From then on Dick was Known as CAPTAIN COSINE by his classmates. He presented the Skit During the 100th Night Show and... Later When he returned to teach mathematics.
THE ARMY YEARS
Dick was married 2 1/2 hours after graduation in the Catholic Chapel to the wonderful Patricia Jane Newcomb from Manhattan, New York. Father Swalbenberg witnessed the ceremony which upon completion the exit of the chapel was mobbed by so many photographers that Dick exclaimed to Pat, 'Which one is Ours'?' (Meaning their photographer of course). The newlyweds headed for their reception at the Officer's Club to find out Their wedding cake was caught up in traffic because of President Eisenhower's motorcade. Eisenhower gave the Address to the West Point Class of 1955. After the wedding and reception the happy couple went to their Seven Dwarf Motel to spend the night awaiting 'Reb' Young's (Dick's 4 year roommate) wedding to Betty White the next day returning the Honor of being Best Man to each other. In the time of Dick's attendance at West Point the graduation leave was approximately two months before reporting to the first duty station. Dick and Pat traveled to New York City to spend the night with Pat's Mom before heading to Washington, D. C. for a visit to all the sites' there. The majority of the Honeymoon was spent on Long Island at her Brother Dick's cabin on Pecoic Sound. Then a stop in Chicago to visit Dick's Mom on the way to Fort Sill, Oklahoma his first duty station and attendance at the Field Artillery Officer's Basic Course- then Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia in December 1955. We celebrated Christmas in North Miami Beach with Gram Newcomb and the Hyde family. That was a real vacation. During the vacation I repainted Gram's house. Back to Fort Sill and Dick's first duty assignment with the Third Battalion, Sixth Field Artillery Regiment. LTC Lyon was the commander who promptly assigned Dick to C Battery Commanded By All American football player from Oklahoma, LT. Billy Vessels. This Battalion had a proud historic history extending back to the revolutionary war. Most importantly, was the fact that the Battalion was on an Army Training Program(ATP) and not Artillery school support. The Battalion was equipped with 18 - 105mm Self Propelled M107 howitzers. Three months later Dick was appointed as Assistant S-3 on the Battalion Staff and was assigned to do all the battalion's training under the ATP. Shortly thereafter Richard Junior was born on April 7,1956. Col. Lyon, battalion commander, remarked, ' Lt. you have to be there when the keel is laid, but not at the launching.' Meaning we were in for a lot of field training. This assignment provided Dick with one of his most enjoyable assignments of his career. The S-3 relied on Dick to do all the planning for the battalions' training requirements. Making all the Training schedules for the three 5 batteries; picking firing positions all around Fort Sill for the training of the Battalion was most enjoyable. Effectively was no higher headquarters to watch over the Battalion as the 97th Group headquarters was under staffed with very few officers. While the 6th Bn. was under staffed also; the 97th group was really short of officers. While assigned to th 6th, Dick only had one visit from the 97th's staff over his tour with the bn. After passing Btry & Bn tests; the unit's mission was changed to school support and each firing battery was equipped with 4 additional 105mm towed howitzers. Towed Howitzers were much less expensive to move around for operational school support. At this time Dick was given command of B Battery as a 2nd LT.
After 6 months of successful command Dick received orders to the Field Artillery's Battery Officer's Course at Fort Sill. This was a nine month course that was completed with Dick as seventh in the class. Catherine Gail was born on August 26, 1957 in Lawton, OK. Upon graduation Dick was assigned to Korea with the Mortar Battery, 5th Battle Group, 1st Calvary Division organized under the ROCID concept; many classmates were assigned to Korea at this same time. While on leave between assignments Dick and Patty went to visit his mother in Chicago their car was stolen with all Dick's hold baggage and uniforms in it. Fortunately we were insured, when the car was recovered everything was gone except his orders and a pair of his dress shoes and his Official Army Orders which were left on the front seat. Apparently, size 12 shoes were too big for the thieves to use or sell, and the official documents & orders frightened them into not taking them. The Port of Embarkation assured Dick they had all the uniforms available for sale there. But this did not turn out to be true! Upon arriving at Oakland, CA this was far from the truth. So Dick arrived in Korea with the minimum of uniforms, barely enough to qualify as an officer and no Class A's at all. Dick was fortunate to be able to leave his family with his mother-law in Miami, FL. Patty was Pregnant with Jayne Ann, his second daughter. Dick flew to San Francisco, and the Port of embarkation enroute to Korea by Air via Hawaii and Wake Island, where a Typhoon Hitting Japan kept Dick on this WWII historic place for 5 days. Not much to do but sun bathe and sleep. There Dick became A courier with a pouch handcuffed to his arm. Arriving At Tachakawa, Japan Dick experienced his first flight on a C-123 enroute to Korea. The plane randown the runway 7 times only to reverse props and rerun down the runway again and again. The pilot said,'he had to get the moisture off the spark plugs.', but it was very nerve racking - never knowing if the plane was going to crash or take off. In Korea at the 1st Cav. Division Headquarters everyone was kept for a 5 day orientation, prior to being sent to their units. There Dick was able to obtain the necessary field uniforms & insignia to look like a 1st Lt. and qualify for field duty.
Upon arriving at Nop-a-Dong where the Mortar Battery' encampment was located Dick was given a bunk in a James-way along with the battery executive officer. It was late in the evening and He barely got chow before retiring. He hadn't even met the Battery Commander when he went to bed.
Without warning early at 4 AM the following morning an Alert was sounded. Dick had no idea where the Alert positions were; he quickly dressed and just jumped into the first vehicle he came to; it turned out to be the lead vehicle in the convoy of the battery. Fortunately, the Driver knew where the Alert positions were located - smack in the Middle of the Turkish Infantry Battalion's Compound. Apparently, they had only recently arrived, but were not considered combat ready at this time and were not participating in this Alert.
Dick's First Great Korean Adventure: Low & behold, as the ¾ ton approached the Turkish compound there was a Turkish guard, armed with a loaded M-1 rifle blocking the road. Dick dismounted, but didn't speak Turk and the Guard didn't speak English. Hence, the entire convoy was held up while Dick attempted to make the guard understand where the convoy was going. Finally, after quite some time the guard allowed the convoy to pass. Then Dick was advised the Battery's alert positions were in the hills inside the Turkish compound. As dawn broke the Turks had reveille. Troops awoke and formed up in company formations. Their Commanders soon realized we were in our mortar gun positions, and they invited Dick and the XO to their breakfast which consisted of an Orange and some type of yogurt drink of sour milk that had the appearance of pus. Dick smelled it- it smelled OK, but one taste Dick stomach flipped over and it was all Dick could do to keep from throwing up on the Turk Commander's table. Dick quickly spat the liquid back into the glass discreetly, so as to not offend his hosts. He quickly picked up the Orange and began to peel and eat it. Thanking his hosts for their kindness, without speaking Turk or English, but by gestures. We soon realized that the Turkish troops were using the mortar gun positions for latrines. Dick advised Battle Group Headquarters of the problem. They sent the Battle Group XO, who had been in Seoul at the time of the alert and was sent come to Mortar Battery's position to investigate. He was in Khakis. Sure enough he stated, 'I don't see the problem!' and then he stepped in the middle of a pile that squirted up his leg to his knee. Then He understood the problem! The troops were laughing under their breath profusely as the BG XO tried in vain to clean his trousers.
Shortly, thereafter an Interpreter who was from Istanbul who spoke English arrived to explain the problem to the Turkish Company Commander, but the Turkish Troops never changed their behavior- it was too convenient for them to poop in the gun positions. Dick and Interpreter became fairly good friends as they both liked to play Ping Pong or table tennis at the Battle Groups' Officers Club.
Second Adventure: Shortly after arrival the Corps Commander, LTG Bad Ass Trapnel, wanted to look at the positions of the Battle Group. Every available officerof the Battle Group were gathered at an Observation Point overlooking the infantry positions of the Battle Group. From this point we could all see clearly three lines of intrenchments. Apparently over the years different commander's had different views of where to fight the battle, if one every occurred there. Bad Ass asked The Battle Group Commander, 'When are you positions going to be finished?' Unfortunately the Battle Group Commander Gave the school book answer, 'Of course we will never be finished working on our positions!' This answer sent Bad Ass into orbit and he proceeded to chew the BG commanders' ass down to nothing. I thought I would Never see this event in front of all the BG commanders' subordinates. But we were all given the lesson that we had better be ready to fight at any time, instantiously. Meanwhile Patty was staying with her mother in North Miami Beach, FL and Jayne Ann was born on September 30, 1958.
While in Korea Dick converted from protestant to Roman Catholic*. But Dick never told Patty so as to surprise her when he returned from Korea. His EX O served as his God father. This event was a turning point for Richard's religious life. The next Adventure was in Korea was when Dick saw his first and only hanging. In Korea it seems that it was not considered bad to steal, unless if you were caught! The compound of the Mortar Battery was located on small ridge next to a creek with the village of Nop-a-Dong on the other side of the creek to the East. One day a very large crowd for the size of the village erupted with very loud shouting by it's people. With such a ruckus almost all of us ran to the fence overlooking the village to see the village crowd stringing a man up by a rope around his neck and over a tree limb. He had evidently stolen a cow, but was caught. Justice was sure and swift. We had no idea if there was a trial or not? There are more adventures to numerous to relate: The Yellow Moths, Giant Rats; Toe shooting; Honey Well; Firing at Bull's Eye range; Pulling a live round from a mortar tube that was really hot; Nose biting; Running the gauntlet: Etc. All war stories of a sort!
Upon return to the states after Korea Dick surprised Patty by receiving Holy Communion beside her the first Sunday after his return to North Miami Beach, Florida The new baby Jayne was born while Dick was in Korea was a pleasure to behold at almost one year old. Dick was assigned to Fort Sill, OK in the Gunnery Department of the Field Artillery School after Korea. Dick used the Phrase, 'I flunked the mind Readers' Course!' while instructing The Officer's Basic Field Artillery Course where upon his student's picked up on it and printed the Headline on a fake newspaper stating: 'LT Dinwiddie passes Mind Readers Course'. Thomas Newcomb was born at Fort Sill, OK January 6, 1959. The next assignment was to the Officer's Advanced Course at the Fielder Artillery School Fort Sill. Ok & Fort Bliss, TX. At the end of the Advanced Course Dick, was without orders. An officer who was assigned to West Point's Mathematics Department was killed in a car accident. He had finished Graduate School. But the death left the United States Military Academy short A Math instructor. Dick was selected with the recommendation of his Classmate, Jack Campbell.
The Dinwiddie's were off to West Point's Math Department. And the crazy Quarter's drawing system used by West Point to make one move around to different quarters for months until the quarters you were assigned became available. Captain Cosine became useful tool to entertain the cadets. Most of the time Dick was only a day ahead of the cadets in his first year because he taught subjects that were as new to him as they were to the cadets. Ellen came into our lives as our fifth child that qualified us for larger four bedroom quarters, but that put us back into the crazy quarters moving business for a second time. The new quarters' gave us a chance to invite cadets to our quarters to see what they might be in for after graduating. Dick used the system that those who maxed the exams where invited to a Saturday or Sunday meal with the family. After three years though Dick was asked to stay another year, Dick decided to return to the Army in the field and Dick was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, Sixth Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Division located at Gelenhausan, Germany. The entire family boarded the USS ROCKWALL in New York sailing to Bremerhaven, Germany. Two of the five children were harnessed to keep them from swimming the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the trip was traveled with the ship's fog horn blaring, which was much better than rough seas. XXXX Only off post quarters were available in Meerholtz, Germany, approximately 1 ½ miles away from the battalion's location in Gelenhausan, Germany. Hence, Patty with five children moved into a small furnished three bedroom apartment above a business. With Army cots for the children and instant hot water heaters for the kitchen & bathroom Patty managed beyond human reality. We only had one car that Dick took to work every day so Patty could only shop when Dick was away in the field or when Dick was home on weekends. The Cold War was on, so field equipment was always packed ready to go. Patty had to be ready to drive Dick to the Battalion on any alert. Dick was the Battalion S-3 and later Ex O. The battalion was equipped with 18 M-109 155mm Self Propelled Howitzers capable of firing nuclear warheads. The battalion passed battalion tests and was selected to participate in a special test called 'Frontier Shield' as the best Field Artillery unit in the 3rd Armored Division. While on duty we had to ride in our jeeps and trucks with the windows down. The artillery wore red scarves around their necks. Patty knitted me a scarve that showed the silk material outside but was knitted red wool on the inside. The Battalion was the first unit overseas to be totally camouflaged painted. Later the entire Army adopted camouflage painting. LTC Raymond Reinbaum was the CO who could stay awake for several days at a time with out sleep. He was a fine commander. During this time because I Had prefix 5 I taught the refresher prefix 5 course at Oberammergau, Germany for all Prefix 5 holders. XXXX The family enjoyed their visit to Garmish while I was teaching; ice skating in the former 1936 Olympic facilities While Dick worked. Patty gave birth to Charles David, the sixth child, born in Frankfurt, Germany while we were still in Gelanhausn. Dick was then reassigned to the 3rd Armored Division Headquarters as the Assistant G-4. In Frankfurt. The G-4 developed Cancer and was evacuated to the States, but retained his title as G-4. Dick became the defacto G-4. A new Division Commander took over shortly after Dick's arrival at Div HQ. He had been the former Armor School Commander on his previous assignment. He Stated,'Any Battalion Commander worth his salt will go through firing qualification with all his tanks or Artillery howitzers participating in Battalion Tests!' And this was a real challenge for all the logistic battalions in addition to the line units. Many times Units would move tanks or howitzers between units to meet this requirement. Then he stated, 'We are going to have a Mounted Review and every commander better have all vehicles participate.' Wow! That was a real challenge and all vehi
cles in every unit started down field at the review. Only four dropped out of all the Division 's Vehicles which was due in no small part of the Division's Logistics Battalion's working very hard to repair and supply the necessary repairs parts needed. Meanwhile, Patty managed somehow to remain sane with six children under 10 years old running her ragged in a foreign country. She did a magnificent job, but how, I'll never know!
Orders, arrived unexpectedly reassigning Dick to the 101st Airborne Division, Division Artillery en route to Vietnam. Our Cathy was away at Girl Scout camp. The day she arrived home, 10 days later Patty & Dick were at Fort Campbell, Kentucky or Tennessee depending on how one looks at it, signing in for training for 'warin Vietnam. This time the family was shipped by Air from Frankfurt, Germany to Fort Campbell. Patty was taken to the Commissary to get food by the Commanders wife. When she went into the store she said she almost fainted, due to the smell of fresh bread, and she and I ate garden grown tomatoes for a week. Wow! It was good. The ground seemed much harder than it had been when Dick attended Fort Benning's Jump School 15 years earlier. Dick was placed in charge of running Battery tests of the 105mm towed howitzers units of the Division. Each unit had to parachute jump into Fort Bragg, NC, conduct the requirements of the tests to place accurate fire on assigned targets while maintaining perimeter security. All units after passing the test were certified as combat ready for Vietnam. In December, the 101st was airlifted to Vietnam. Patty and children moved to North Miami Beach, FL to stay with Grandma Newcomb for a second time while Dick was sent overseas. God bless Gram and the Hydes.
Vietnam. Dick traveled to Vietnam via Air Force Troop carriers through Alaska where the planes were refueled. Then on to Bien Ha just outside Saigon. When we unloaded our aircraft we were Bused to our camp on the East side on Bien Ha Airfield. 175mm Guns opened up while we were unloading the buses and everyone of us immediately fell as flat as pancakes, scared out of our wits at their thunderous sound, believing we had just been fired upon. The quarters were just newly constructed by engineer unit prior to our arrival and consisted of screened in wood one story buildings holding about thirty troops each, unless the building was being used as an office of some type. Units were positioned around Bien Ha, and operations were set up quickly. There were sandbagged bunkers placed every so often in case of a mortar attack, but only had corregated sheet metal roofs, insufficient protection if a direct hit occurred. Everyone had cots to keep us off the ground while we slept. I arrived at this camp December 8th, 1967, about 2 months before TET. The scariest time for me was New Year 1967-8. The paratroopers were really drunk and began their celebrations by shooting their live ammo in all directions and you could hear the crack of rounds whistling thru the wooden buildings in which we were billeted. It was scary to say the least. The Division Chief of Staff went around arresting drunks and taking their weapons until they sobered up. It was amazing no one was injured that I heard of that New Years Eve.
Such was not the case during TET. We were given an alert status the day before Tet that there were enemy troops on the move and our Division Artillery TPS-25 Radar spotted Troops on the move that were engaged by our artillery. One of our Infantry platoon units became surrounded by NVA while I was on duty in the Division Artillery Operations Center WE supported the unit with 5 batteries of artillery including 3- 105mm, 1-155mm and 1-8 inch batteries I talked directly with the forward obsever and relayed his frequency to the firing units. In the morning there were 101 enemy soldiers bodies found while the unit only had three wounded soldiers. I was off duty and got into one of our OH-1 Helicopters and flew to the unit. The helicopter took two of the wounded paratroopers to the Medics while watched the stacking of the NVA bodies found killed by artillery units the night of TET. During Tet our units literally wiped out the NVA units, while WALTER CRONKITE touted the North Vietnamese victory. There was no NVA victory They lost their ass on every battle ground and their was no Pearl Harbor victory as the Media described.
The 101st was ordered to Hue to help the Marines out there. I went on the advance party to establish Camp Eagle( The Division Headquarter of the 101st Airborne) near Hue. The pilot of the Huey let me fly the helicopter for several Hours enroute to the New Base which was nothing but an old French base during their war with the Viet cong years earlier. There was an old French concrete bunker there, but that was all on what was a rather bleak small ridge when I arrived there. Another soldier and I on the advanced party spent our first night sleeping in that bunker. Then I proceeded to dig a hole into the hill side for my quarters. It was rather rocky ground and tough digging, but when you out in the open you dig pretty fast. Soon Division Artillery's new Headquarters took shape, and Camp Eagle was my home for the remainder of my stay with the 101st.
The reason for the 101st move was also because The 3rd Marine Amphibious Force Commander believed He did not have to report to General Westmoreland. So Westmoreland placed the 101st Airborne, 1st Cavalry and 3rd Marine Divisions plus the 1st ARVN Division under A New Corps, 24th Corps, Commanded by LTG Stilwell. That circumvented the 3rd MAF Commander so he would report to the Commander of all forces in Vietnam, General Westmoreland. I was Transforred to this New Corps as an Assistant G-3 for reports. In this capacity I reported all combat activity that took place within the Corps plus all planned future operations on a daily basis to to the Commanding General Vietnam, and 3rd MAF with a copy sent to the White House via secure phone followed by a hard copy. I soon be came aware of how each Divisions' Cdmr thought. For example the 101st was always positive and can do, the 1st Cav was cautious and somewhat hesitant. The 3rd Marine Division was very inconsistent and made frequent errors in their report. For example a company from the 3rd Marine division was in the DMZ patrolling and was about to take up positions for the night when the Air Force stated: 'There was an ARC LIGHT scheduled to be dropped there.' Instead of cancelling the drop there they insisted the unit move. Which showed me how stupid the Air Force was for not canceling or changing the drop location because with our unit there, there obviously were any enemy there. But the insisted the unit move. Unfortunately the unit had to move and it moved right into an ambush of the NVA it had 121 killed, more 24 wounded as a result, But the Marine Division insisted it was another unit. When General Stillwell saw the report he told me of the error, but when I asked the Marine Division G-3 to confirm, they insisted it was a different unit than what General Stillwell (who had personally landed at the units site.) had told me for three days. It showed me marine units tended toward being Bull headed and really failed to check their facts.
24th Corps Had a plan to end the war but the White House would not let the Corps implement the attack. The 1st ARVN Divison was to attack North up the coastline while the 3rd Marines would conduct an Amphibious assault fifty miles up the coast , the 1st Cav Division would attack North East of the 1st ARVN while the 101st Aiborne Div sat Astride the HO CHI Min Trail. It would have ENDED THE WAR BUT, PRESIDENT JOHNSON SAID 'NO'! The funny part about my assignment with 24th Corps was I had no weapon of any kind while assigned there. Unfortunately, my clerk was killed during a rocket attack on the Corps Headquarters. The rockets bracketed where I was at but the shorter round hit his location. I returned to the States in December 1968 with five campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and all those Vietnamese Awards, and received the same welcome all my other comrades in arms received when they returned. My beloved family met me at the Airport in Miani. Shame on the American People for that attitude!
My next assignment was to Fort Sill and Combat Development Command's Doctrine Division writing Field Manuals for Artillery. After flying back to Miami, where my Wife surprised me by losing 65 lbs. the family did greet me with a cheery welcome that was really appreciated. Then we travelled to Fort Sill. Upon arrival in Fort Sill Patty wanted to get some books from the Post Library I had to park with my brand new Pontiac Stationwagon in a difficult parking place in a curved street. Everyone plied out of the car leaving me with Little Charlie who, while I tried to improve my parking spot, leaped from his car seat I unfortunately was in reverse gear and while trying to catch Charles from falling, Ipressed the gas and backed up crushing a Volkswagen Beatle almost flat. The owner never came back to his car while I was there even after I had made a report to the MPs. But I am sure it was totaled. It was hard removing my car from the little beetle despite its crushed condition, I was promoted to LTC during this assignment and received orders to Hawaii. It was one of those places I had given up ever being assign to after checking it almost every chance I had. The family was happy about the assignment because we all were going together.
CDC gave me a nice send off. We we assigned the biggest set of Quarters I ever had with every child with their own bedroom. Seven bedrooms including my bride, PATTY's and mine. Also we had a Lanai and Dining room in what were old wood Buildings that were certainly constructed during WWII and were used in the John Wayne Movie 'In Harms Way.' I was given Command of Fort De Russey, The Armed Forces Recreation Center, The Armed Forces Recreation Centers of Wainai & Mokalia Army Beaches, Plus The Recreation Center at Volcanoes' National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii some 200 miles away from Oahu, the main Island. Just visiting all these place was a task. I had two offices one at Schofield Barracks and one at Fort De Russey. There was another controversial task involving the building of a 25 story hotel on Fort De Russey. The Commander of Headquarters Command long before didn't have the balls to go ahead with the construction of the hotel sent the project up to higher HQTRs for comment delaying the construction for years. At current prices that reduced the Hotel by 8 stories from 32 to 25. The funds for the hotel were all PX funds, no federal money was involved. No go ahead was given while I was there.
It took Dick several weeks to visit all my sites of his responsibilities. One thing Dick found out is that just about everyone complained about one thing or the other about something when you run a recreation area. Everything went fine until the Glen Campbell TV Show wanted to do a show at Fort de Russey. Dick was responsible for all the various armed forces during the show. A Platoon of Infantrymen from the 24th Infantry Division was assigned to Police the grounds before and after the show. Dick had promised the troops that they could watch the show from a place close to the stage during the actual performance. It rained all day the day of the taping of the Show, but late in the day the rain slowed to a light drizzle and crowd was enormous. The Colonel in charge of me wanted the platoon to keep cleaning up during the show, but I had promised the troops they could watch the show from a spot close to the stage. So I disagreed with his counter-manding my promise to the troops. So I Felt I couldn't work for him and I was relieved and reassigned to the Services Division in Charge of 2 laundries, 2 cemeteries (including The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific), a mortuary (which included recovery of War dead through-out the Pacific), and the Army Commissaries in Hawaii.
My Church activities increased significantly upon my return from Korea. My assignment to Fort Sill 1960 I was asked to be the chairman of the first annual carnival for St. Barbaras' Church in Lawton, OK. IT raised over $10,000 the first year. I was also a Lector/Reader at every Church I attended from there on throughout my life. When stationed in Hawaii, for reasons unknown to me, a priest asked me to assist distributing Communion at one vdery crowded Mass one Sunday. (evidently the Church allowed lay persons to assist in the distribution of Communion at Mass). I a convert, without any previous instruction, was asked to help the priest distribute communion; what an honor. From then on I was a lay Eucharistic minister at all Catholic Churches I attended. In 1974 was assigned to Fort Hood , TX where I retired in July 1976. We attended Mass on Post until 1979 when a Priest said they no longer wanted retired soldiers to attend mass on Post. We moved to Saint Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church in Harker Heights, Texas. Sister Anisita and old Nun asked to make this more to help her. This was a small newly formed Catholic Church built by Korean families that lived in the area. I served there for the remainder of my life as reader/lector, Eucharistic minister, church board member, advisor, Pathfinder, Bible study leader, Santa Claus and anything Father asked me to do. Father Richard O'Rourke arrived at St. Paul's in 1997 and He was a dymamic leader, under whose leadership the church began to grow exponentially .He made all Eucharistic ministers attend two weeks of instruction on how to be a Eucharistic minister. It was great instruction and helped all who attended to really understand what it meant to be a Eucharistic Minister. I became 'Father Christmas' for Father O'Rourke serving at all 4 Masses at Christmas. All though I was reluctant to join the Knights of Columbus at St. Paul's, I finally did and rose to 4th degree within a year, and served as Council 9930 treasurer 2010-11.
I had joined the Kiwanis Club of Killeen shortly after I retired from military service and served as President 1982-83. I later transferred to the Harker Heights Club. I Joined the Heart of Texas West Point Society (HOTWPS) when it was Formed in 1989 and Served as its President in 1995, after being its sec/treasurer for six years. I wrote the By-laws necessary to become a non-profit organization. I served in some capacity with HOTWPS to date.
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Patricia Jane Dinwiddie
A Mass celebrating the life of Patricia Jane (nee Newcomb) Dinwiddie, 83, will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church in Harker Heights. The Ladies of Charity Bereavement Committee will hold a reception in the parish center after the Mass.
Mrs. Dinwiddie died peacefully July 2, 2016, with her loving family at her side. She was born Sept. 2, 1932, in Yonkers, N.Y.
Mrs. Dinwiddie enjoyed volunteering in many different capacities for the Catholic Church, Meals on Wheels, Girl Scouts of America, the Red Cross, her children's schools, and leading Bible study classes at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church. She was given the Lumen Gentium Award by Bishop Gregory Almond in 2006. It is an award given to individuals who made significant contributions to the life of the Catholic Church.
She graduated from Cathedral High School in New York City in 1950 and received her diploma from Packard College. She worked as an executive secretary at the Empire State Building in New York City. Patricia was married to Richard W. Dinwiddie the day he graduated from West Point in June 1955 and spent many years traveling the world with the U.S. Army. The family settled in Harker Heights in 1974, where she raised her six children and later worked for 10 years at Sallie Mae.
Mrs. Dinwiddie was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and sister, and her beloved son, Charles David Dinwiddie.
She is lovingly remembered by her husband, retired Lt. Col. Richard Wayne Dinwiddie; her children Richard W. Dinwiddie Jr. (Ramona Dinwiddie), Catherine Dinwiddie Malicki (Rick Malicki), Jayne Greer (Milton Greer), Thomas Dinwiddie and Ellen Dinwiddie Smith (Mark Russell Smith); 10 grandchildren: Joshua Greer (Melissa Greer), Annie Greer, Catherine Greer, Chrystal Malicki, Heather Malicki, Garreth Regazzi, Alexander Smith, Noah Smith, Colin Dinwiddie and Chloe Dinwiddie; and two great-grandchildren, Timothy and Zachary Greer.
Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Heritage Funeral Home in Harker Heights, which is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her name to St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church, 1000 East FM 2410 Road, Harker Heights, TX 76548.