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Richard Raymer
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  • Copperas Cove, TX
  • United States
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Profile Information

What unit(s) did you serve in with the 2d Cavalry?
HHT 1/2 ACR.
Where were you stationed?
Bindlach
What MOS or job description did you have?
11D Driver/Operator of AVLB that were assigned to the S-3. Also Driver operator of TOC,
What was your rank/title?
Prior to my PCS, I was a Sgt/E5
What years were you assigned to the 2nd Cavalry?
1971 till *Aug 1975
Tell us a little about your cav days.
Drafted 12Feb1971, Assigned to 1/2ACR,HHT. Years later was assigned ti 1/4 CAV, CSC,Troop. Desert Storm was in limbo and assigned to the EOC at Ft. Knox as NCOIC. Move on to Hoenfels as a observer controller for Scouts. Retired 1Mar1993.
Tell us a little about you now.
After retirement, worked with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a Sgt. of corrections for 21 years and retired again.
Name a few buddies you served with that you would like to find.
Sorry to say many whom I served with have passed on. But looking for anyone who may have HHT, Troop photo. between 1971-1974. I'm not in the Troop photo for 1975 due to PCS.

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At 1:56pm on August 5, 2017, Dave Gettman said…

That would be great, if he is still alive. He was pretty old when the accident happened and I'm pretty sure the severe burns took several years off his life.

I ran from my tank about 70 yards away and tackled him in front of C-15, extinguishing his flames with my poncho.I got him on his feet and gave him a good shove in the general direction of the road and then ran the opposite way towards where the outside handle was for the fire suppression system. I was looking around for signs of other crew members and thinking maybe somebody was still inside but the fire was too intense and I couldn't get near the tank. Then something went off inside like a rocket motor and flames shot out of all the hatches like jet engines roaring. The field sloped slightly down to a large depression surrounded by a split rail fence and as that was the only cover around I ran for it. Just as I was diving over the fence head first the tank exploded. The whole thing from the time I jumped off my tank had taken less than 30 seconds.

Somehow Brow made it back to the road without getting hit by any flying debris or later small arms fire cooking off from the burning crates scattered around the field. I just stayed hunkered down behind that fence until things got real quiet.

This diagram is from the investigation. Each number on the diagram corresponds with a numbered photo showing the position and direction the photo was taken. I ended up just over the fence above #4. This is the photo from that position. I am on the far left in the poncho I used to tackle Brow with, standing right about where I tackled him. Behind me where everyone is standing is about where the front of the tank was. The engine is still right where it should be had the tank still been sitting there.

At 1:48pm on August 4, 2017, Dave Gettman said…

I see you found Jim Smaaland. Here is his home e-mail address if you want to try that. jdsmaaland@midco.net

At 12:44pm on August 4, 2017, Dave Gettman said…

Will do, Richard.

Do you happen to recall the C Troop Sheridan that exploded in July 1974? It was a pretty big deal at the time. C Troop was on the border at Pitman and Gates, but had been relieved at the camps to take part in a big field exercise. Our vehicles were still fully combat loaded with live ammo when C-15 caught fire and exploded.

An E-6 and E-7 were sleeping in the vehicle when it caught fire. The E-7 got out with minor burns, but the E-6 got caught in the driver's compartment for awhile and was severely burned. He was flown out by helicopter and we never heard about him again. I figured he probably died of his injuries, but about 1999 I was contacted by my former platoon leader, then 1Lt. Andy Stilley but now a retired lieutenant colonel, who informed me that SSG Brow had been flown to a burn center in Texas, survived his injuries, and was living somewhere in Copperas Cove but he couldn't locate him.

At 11:16pm on August 3, 2017, Ronny O. Littlejohn said…

Welcome to the site Richard. My 1st. cousin lives in your city ( Copperas Cove ). Retired Sgt./Major William ( Bill ) Littlejohn. When I was station at Hood two different times back in the sixties. Copperas was just a small place where the airport was, now he says I wouldn't recognize the place. Pop. 50,000 four lane highways and all that. One of my girlfriends lived in San Saba so went by Copperas quite often. Wonder what ever happen to her?

At 8:27pm on August 3, 2017, Dave Gettman said…

Welcome to Dragoon Base, Richard.

Closest I can come on that troop photo is the HQ Staff from 1973. A couple future 4-star generals in the bottom row, Pete Schoomaker and Tommy Franks. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

My dad was with HHC 1/2ACR 1953-55, Battalion Motor Officer.

 
 
 

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