1st Recon Battalion Association
Fall/Winter 2014
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Robert G. “Doc” Buehl

Charles Kershaw

Gary Maxam

Curtis Gruetzmacher

David "Doc" Snider

Bob Morris

Arnold Gasper

Larry Feldman
Ken BenckwItz
John C. Clary
Steve "Doc" Lakernick

Dave Backer

Ray Bael

Gilbert Perez

Contact Information:

HELP! Only a complete, up-to-date mailing address and email address will ensure you receive your copy of the Patrol Report. About 1000 Patrol Report email notices and 450 printed copies are mailed each spring and fall. Unfortunately, many are returned by the USPS as “Undeliverable; no known address” or by your internet provider as incorrectly addressed. Help us help you to receive the Patrol Report! Go online to our website and check your contact data; submit changes/corrections with  Charlie Kershaw at:  


"The Purple Foxes" Last Flight

The CH-46 was the Marine Corps’ medium lift helicopter for 50 years. It was the primary recon insert/extract helicopter in Vietnam. HMM 364, the “Purple Foxes”, the Marine Corps’ last operational CH-46 squadron, was deactivated and its colors cased in October. Marine Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 364, flying the MV-22 Osprey, will carry on “Purple Foxes” legacy.


Message from the President
    Some fifty-seven men of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association came to Charleston, SC in August to reunite with friends and team-mates. The Charleston Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association did a superb job planning and conducting reunion activities and showcasing the Charleston area.
   A special thanks to Lt Gen Chip Gregson, USMC (Ret), for joining us as our Guest of Honor, and delivering an insightful presentation about Vietnam-then and now.
   The success of our reunion is due in large measure to the voluntary efforts of many Association members. Our thanks to: Rod Kicklighter and Dennis Swick for conducting our most successful auction ever; Ed & Pat Rowland for managing payment of the winning auction bids; Gene Lashley for his leadership and management of the hospitality suite and the Association Directors who pitched-in where needed.
   Congratulations to newly elected Secretary Dave Snider, Historian Arnold Gasper, Associate Director Larry Feldman and Sergeant-at-Arms Ray Bael. Our thanks and appreciation to Fred Arthur, who leaves the Board of Directors after three years of dedicated service.
   I invite you to review the Commandant’s Birthday message at the following link:

   Keep the Marines and Corpsmen of 1st Recon Battalion, especially those deployed, in your thoughts and prayers.
   God bless America! God bless the United States Marine Corps! God bless 1st Reconnaissance Battalion!
Semper Fidelis,
Charlie Kershaw


       Fifty-seven commemorative bricks line the pathway in front and on the flanks of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Memorial; an additional twenty-six bricks are placed on the concrete pad surrounding the memorial. Commemorative bricks, honoring a reconnaissance Marine or Corpsman, living or deceased, may be ordered through the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association with a donation of $215.00. Each brick inscription may have three lines; each line is not more than 20 characters in length (this includes all letters, punctuation marks and spaces); each line must end with a complete word or name (words and names will not be hyphenated or continued on the next line).
       Email or call Charlie Kershaw with commemorative brick questions at:  or 760 402-8638.
       The following are two examples of 1st Recon commemorative bricks:


The Old, The Bold, The Faithful
Hu Campbell and Bill Hay

In 1955, on completion of Boot Camp and Infantry Training School, Korean War era Marines Hu Campbell and Bill Hay volunteered for Recon Company, 1st Marine Division. Hu and Bill joined
the Recon Company following 1st Marine Division’s return from Korea and served together until
1957, when the Division Recon Company was stood down and later re-designated C Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion.

Hu, Bill and a number of Korean War-era Recon Marines joined 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association and rallied at the 2006 Denver Reunion. In the ensuing years, Hu Campbell and Bill Hay have been active, participating members of the Association and they epitomize Recon’s “Semper fi” spirit.



Pfc Ralph H. Johnson, MOH
  • On 15 August 2014, Recon team-mates and family gathered
    at the grave of at the grave of Pfc Ralph H. Johnson, MOH, Beaufort National
    Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina to honor his memory and
    Beaufort National commemorate his sacrifice. Clebe McClary, Ralph’s Platoon
    Commander, three Texas Pete team-mates, Helen Richards,
    Ralph’s sister, a niece and many 1st Recon team-mates
    attended the remembrance.

Battalion Memorial


1st Reconnaissance Battalion is located at the 41 Area, Camp Las Flores, Camp Pendleton, California.. The Battalion is currently composed of A, B, C Companies, 1st Force Company and a
Headquarters and Service Company. A Company and the Force Reconnaissance Company have detachments deployed in support of MEU (SOC) deployments.

For a comprehensive overview of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion leaders, mission, operations and training, visit 1st Recon’s official website:


1st Reconnaissance Battalion Change of Command

Lt Col Brian J. Von Herbulis relinquished command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion to Lt Col George D. Hasseltine in June. The change of command also served as the retirement ceremony for Lt Col Von Herbulis. Our thanks and appreciation to Lt Col Von Herbulis for his strong leadership and service to 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and the Marine Corps. Best wishes in their future endeavors to Lt Col Von Herbulis and his family. Lt Col Hasseltine, an infantry officer, has enjoyed a distinguished career, highlighted by deployments for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in the Adriatic Sea and Kosovo, two combat deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom and a deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Best wishes for continued success, Lt Col Hasseltine.



VIETNAM 1965-1971

Vietnam War Reconnaissance and Combat Helicopter Veterans are invited to Recon 50 - a commemorative reunion of reconnaissance and combat helicopter crews who served in Vietnam in the period 1965-71. The reunion will be held in Camp Pendleton and Oceanside, CA, 21-24 April 2015. Reunion events include reconnaissance capability exercises (CAPEXs), weapons and equipment displays, visits to reconnaissance and training units, a "Welcome Aboard" reception at the harborsite, reunion meeting space and a Recon 50 dinner. The Recon 50 harborsite is SpringHill Suites, 110 N. Myers Street Oceanside, CA 92054 Suites with one king or 2 queen beds are available at the following rates: City view room $119.00 + tax; partial ocean view room 129.00 + tax Reserve your Spring Hill suite by calling :760 722-1003, ext 1. To register for Recon 50, complete and detach the form below, enclose a $25.00 confirmation fee payable to Recon 50 and mail to: Recon 50 PO Box 130753 Carlsbad, CA 92013 Space is limited - reserve early! Name_______________________________________________ Address________________________________ City______________________ State________ Zip____________ Phone (____)_______________ Email________________________ Unit ______________________ Dates of Vietnam Service ______________

“The Marine Corps is an ideal being chased by flawed men. None of us are perfect and none of us will ever be equal to the ideal but what makes us Marines is that we will never stop trying”. Anonymous

New Members
Alan Lorton Bravo & Charlie 84/87
Boris Lederer 84 /86 & 89/92 C, H&S, & DPR
Chris Purney Charlie 84/89
Cruz Trevion Alpha 63/66
Eli Smith Echo 67/68
Gary Connolly Echo 69/70
Gene Huddleston H&S 65
George Hasseltine H&S 14 - Present
Henry (Hank) Wiley Delta 70
Jacob Snell Charlie 05/09
Matthew Strong H&S 06/07
Mitchell Leak Delta 67
Peter Jidas Charlie 69/70
Peter Vavricka Charlie 86/88
Richard Willard Charlie 86/89
Rodney Hunter Alpha 68
Todd Sellner Alpha 83/86
William McBride H&S 60/61
Zachary Holm A, C, D, 1st Force 2012/Present




"Gunny Pu" Gy Sgt Rodney Harry Pupuhi, USMC (RET) 1st, 3rd and 5th RECONNAISSANCE BATTALIONS 1st, 5th and 6th Force Recon Companies RVN 1965 & 1968 Silver Star & Purple Heart

David Vasquez, C Company, RVN 1967-68

Harlen (Skip) Cooper, XO 1st Recon Bn 1970-71

Robert "Doc" Stomp, D Company, 1967-68






2014 Marine Corps Birthday Cruise

Forty-four Marines, Airmen and Sailors embarked on Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Brilliance of the Seas for the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association and Vietnam Battlefield Tours’ fourth Marine Corps Birthday Cruise. On 10 November 2014, the 239th Marine Corps Birthday was celebrated off the coast of Grand Cayman island. The Marine Corps Birthday celebration was highlighted by an onboard dinner and the traditional formal toasting and singing the Marine Corps hymn. Following dinner, the celebrants retired to the private club for the reading of the Commandant’s 2014 Birthday message and cake cutting. The youngest Marine aboard, Sergeant Ron Huegel and the oldest Marine, Master Gunnery Sergeant Don Griffith, used Captain Rod Kicklighter’s sword to cut the birthday cake. The Marine Corps Birthday Guest of Honor was Kim Greenberg, a Gold Star Mother.

Tex Stitler, President of Vietnam Battlefield Tours, and Marcy Brown, Vice President of Zenith Travel Consultants donated $1200.00 to the 1st Recon Battalion Association General Fund.
The combined proceeds from the four Birthday Cruises are more than $6000.00.

The next Marine Corps Birthday Cruise will be in November, 2016. 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association members, family and friends are cordially invited to participate in this unique Marine Corps Birthday experience.