Dave Morris ---- Recon Platoon 1st Battle Group 22nd Infantry 1960-1962
Col. James McCoy commanded 1/22
Inf during its battle group days with the 4th Division at Ft.
I don't know the exact dates, but he was CO when I arrived in late December 1960
and was still in command when I departed in May 1962. His nickname was "Big Jim."
When the Berlin Wall went up on
13 August 1961 we went on alert immediately.
The 4th Division at that time was part of STRAC (Strategic Army Corps),
the army's rapid deployment force - along with the 82nd and 101st Airborne,
18th Airborne Corps and support units.
The division had five infantry
battle groups from the 8th, 12th, 22nd, 39th and 47th Infantry
as well as armor, artillery and support. We prepositioned equipment in Germany
and moved three (I think) battle groups over to Mannheim/Frankfurt area right after New Year 1962.
The 22nd was at Spinelli
Barracks, but we lived, when not in the field, in the rusting
of an old refugee camp behind the main kaserne,,,along with a billion crabs!!!
I was with the scout section of the recon platoon. Conditions were so bad at Spinelli
that I looked forward with pleasure to time in the field...it was a mostly rainy
rather than snowy winter. Our mission was to plug any hole in the line in Southern Germany
if the Soviets and their buddies decided to invade. We moved around the area,
with stops in or near Stuttgart, Ulm, Munich, Regensburg and good old Hohenfels.
We were only in Deutschland for
a few weeks. I got two afternoons off in Mannheim
and spent that free time eating my way through the schnitzel, etc. in every restaurant I could get into
on Der Plancken and adjacent streets; I was at that time SKINNY, hard, lean, mean and always hungry!!
I had previously served with an all-volunteer recon unit inside the Korean DMZ,
and with the 1st Recon Squadron 9th Cavalry (1st CavDiv) in and along the DMZ.
In the mid-sixties I was with
the recon element of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in'Nam
then the 6th Armored Cavalry Regiment at FT. Meade and took part in the suppression
of the disturbances in DC after ML King was assassinated in April ' 68.
I then worked for the Pentagon and got out in November ' 68.
Dave Morris - Yakima
Firing Center 1961
Exercise Lava Plains, a joint tactical training operation, was conducted in the spring of 1961.
It involved TacAir and about 25,000 troops, across 286,000 acres of rough, arid country.
"I was bright-eyed
and bushy tailed that morning...we'd been in the field for
several days and some time during the night
they had taken our Recon Platoon off tactical and let us sleep all night ! WOW ! And a hot breakfast to boot.
Recon guys had a pretty relaxed uniform policy...we loved those field pants."
1/22 grunts trudging up a hill.
The rugged and barren expanse of the Yakima Firing Grounds is readily apparent in this photo.
Note vehicles raising dust in the background.
"This hombre was plumb tuckered out, pard."
Recon Platoon packing up
just prior to going back to Ft. Lewis.
"We had M38A1 jeeps in those days. Note the .30 cal Browning machine gun on the rear jeep"
Dave Morris on an M47 tank at Yakima, 1961.
SGT Dave Morris, Ft.
Lewis April 1962
"We wore a mix of WW2 field jackets (w/buttons) and next pattern (w/zippers).
This had to be early morning and first day out, because I'm neat, clean and dry."
in Recon were M1 rifle, Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), M2
Carbine, M3 sub-machine gun,
.45 pistol, 3.5 inch Rocket Launcher (bazooka), M1919A4 and M1919A6 Browning machine guns."
Dave Morris, Ft. Lewis
early April 1962
"Because it rained almost daily from October through April, line doggies at Lewis were issued US Navy
rubberized canvas two piece rain gear...pull-over top and overalls...extremely cumbersome with all the
other gear we usually wore. We didn't have camo helmet covers...we used cloth sandbags."
Note M3 (Grease Gun) sub machine gun.
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