Defense Mapping School
3 Aug 18
Greetings T3 Folks -
Got a couple things to pass on -
First and I think the most important - on July 17th in Washington DC the Baseball All Star Game took place. I followed the score on my phone but recorded the game to watch the next day. Hence on 18 July I watched the pre-game introductions and ceremonies. When the announcement that previous Medal of Honor winners were being honored I watched with anticipation. Sure enough several names in the name “Colonel Bruce Crandall” was mentioned. COL Crandall to the best of my knowledge was the only student in our School’s history to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was a student in Wheeler Hall in 1954. The following two paragraphs are a cut and paste from the “More than a School” tab on our www.Belvoirdms.org website. The citation accompanying the Medal of Honor is as follows:
“Bruce P. Crandall, Major, Corps of Engineers, while serving as an aviator with 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), La Drang Valley, Vietnam, 14 November 1965. Major Bruce P. Crandall distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism as a Flight Commander in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). On 14 November 1965, his flight of sixteen helicopters was lifting troops for a search and destroy mission from Plei Me, Vietnam, to Landing Zone X-Ray in the la Drang Valley. On the fourth troop lift, the airlift began to take enemy fire, and by the time the aircraft had refueled and returned for the next troop lift, the enemy had Landing Zone X-Ray targeted. As Major Crandall and the first eight helicopters landed to discharge troops on his fifth troop lift, his unarmed helicopter came under such intense enemy fire that the ground commander ordered the second flight of eight aircraft to abort their mission. As Major Crandall flew back to Plei Me, his base of operations, he determined that the ground commander of the besieged infantry battalion desperately needed more ammunition. Major Crandall then decided to adjust his base of operations to Artillery Firebase Falcon in order to shorten the flight distance to deliver ammunition and evacuate wounded soldiers. While medical evacuation was not his mission, he immediately sought volunteers and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, led the two aircraft to Landing Zone X-Ray. Despite the fact that the landing zone was still under relentless enemy fire, Major Crandall landed and proceeded to supervise the loading of seriously wounded soldiers aboard his aircraft. Major Crandall's voluntary decision to land under the most extreme fire instilled in the other pilots the will and spirit to continue to land their own aircraft, and in the ground forces the realization that they would be re-supplied and that friendly wounded would be promptly evacuated. This greatly enhanced morale and the will to fight at a critical time. After his first medical evacuation, Major Crandall continued to fly into and out of the landing zone throughout the day and into the evening. That day he completed a total of 22 flights, most under intense enemy fire, retiring from the battlefield only after all possible service had been rendered to the Infantry battalion. His actions provided critical resupply of ammunition and evacuation of the wounded. Major Crandall's daring acts of bravery and courage in the face of an overwhelming and determined enemy are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”
All pilots, especially combat pilots have "nicknames". Bruce's was SNAKE. His huey crew gave it to him because he flies lower than snakeshit.
If you saw the 2002 Mel Gipson movie "We were Soldiers" Bruce was played by Greg Kinnear
Bruce Crandall's Story YouTube Video
Crandall's Home Page
In reading info on the Colonel I was saddened to hear that his wife passed away some years ago and that she was interred at Arlington National Cemetery. COL Crandall resides in Washington state so opportunities for him to visit his wife’s grave are probably few and far between. Had I known ahead of time that he was going to be in Washington DC for the All Star game I would have went out of my way to try and meet him. I talked to him once some years back and told him about our web site and his story being there. Seeing him on TV was awesome.
Heard from another DMSr a couple weeks ago. LTC John Crossman. An email I received from him (as I continue my shortcut cut and paste operations) is as follows:
From: jcrossman <email@example.com>
Date: July 15, 2018 at 11:50:49 AM EDT
Subject: Re: Data for "DMS Contacts" Page
Thanks for the response. Yes, you were correct about the common roots. After a round of promotions in '80, TSD found itself with an excess supply of LTCs, of which I was one. So the decision was made to do something unusual: put one of those excess LTCs in GAD and I guess I was the guinea pig for that experiment. I think there was a gap after Mr. Mac retired, which was temporarily filled by Dave Miller until I was moved out of TSD. Once my stint in GAD was over, I wound up in Stuttgart, Germany, where I replaced John Shane....whom I had initially replaced in TSD back in '78.
Your guess on my age is pretty close; I'll be 76 in October. You're also correct about my connection with the 30th. Right out of grad school, I was sent to the Army Topographic Command (later known as DMAHTC), where the heavy-breathers realized that I needed company command time. Sooo, on 1 Jan 72, I found myself in the 30th as the S-3, at least until a company command become available, which turned out to be the 99th Engr Co (Base)(Repro). During that stint, the resident Warrant Officer in the 99th was Stan Payne and the 1SG was Billy Peoples. After that, I did an 18-month stint as the XO of the 30th before going off to ROTC duty. During that XO stint, at first the Bn Cdr was Ed Wintz, then later Don Reeves took over that slot.
And, no, I'm afraid I don't recall a competitive shooter named Bob Johnson from those days. But a couple of guys I would surely like to re-establish contact with would be Dave Knox (Carto Warrant, I think) and Stan Payne (Repro Warrant). I kept up Christmas-card-correspondence with Stan after he retired (He later worked at selling printing services in Indianapolis.), but even that trail has grown cold. Do you have any contact info for either of those guys?
Thanks again for the response to my earlier e-mail...will do my damnedest to keep that trail from growing cold too.
Welcome back aboard Sir!! Ray please add him in!!
Personal interjection - sorry but I have to do it - this past June, as some of you knew, my wife and I celebrated our fiftieth year of marriage (poor woman). We were surprised by family and given a party in southwest Virginia. As expected after such type of events thank you cards were purchased by us to send out to the 32 folks that blessed us. With postage being fifty cents it seemed like a fifty cent stamp would be more than appropriate for our fiftieth anniversary. I was shocked to find out that the post office didn’t sell fifty cent stamps - you had to buy a forever stamp - its bad enough my bride has been stuck with now for what probably feels like forever to her but to have it affixed to every thank you card?? I wanted some sort of personal touch so I got some mushy stamps with “Love” on them. Anything for brownie points.
I still have uncontrollable busts of random smiles thinking about our School celebration this past May. Early plans are for another large get together in two years. 2020 is in perfect sight. I’m going to try and pick out a date that works for the folks that May 11th didn’t work for this year. Input is requested. Speaking about May 11th I still have to get out a couple refunds. I have that info in my laptop computer that is still packed up since May 11th. Bad Jack………….
Next monthly get together is Monday evening, approximately 1830 hours, 13 August at the same place - China King in Woodbridge across Opitz Blvd from the Olive Garden. Even numbered month equals evening dinner. For those of you that have met my super vet, Gene Tatum, his birthday is that week. And if you haven’t met him his birthday is still that week. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to word that right. Anyway a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, he will be 93. He doesn’t get email so its safe for me to say I am planning on getting a card for all who attends to sign and if possible I may sneak in a birthday cake. For safety reasons I will not have 93 candles on his cake. Hope to see many of you there.