1st Recon Bn. Association
Spring/Summer 2009
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Robert G. "Doc" Buehl

Charles Kershaw

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Curtis Gruetzmacher

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David “Doc” Snider

Robert Morris

Jim Richards
Denis Baker
Phil Peters
Tom Hyder

David Backer

Charles Howdyshell

Looking For

I am looking for anyone who was on a 24-man Recon Team that was extracted by two CH-46 Helos on 19 August 1968. I was on one of my first missions in country, and had the pleasure of plucking 12 of the team members off the mountain top (surrounded by NVA), and going in to find a missing team member (miscount) the second time. This was an emergency Recon extract called into DaNang, and we (two CH-46 helos from HMM-164), diverted to pick the “Marine’s Finest” off a hill top. After the mission we shut down to check for hits and then proceeded to the 1st Recon compound to offload the team members. As I remember, no one was hit and all got out. I just wanted to say “Semer Fi” to those men and to let them know I was proud to have been able to support them.

Ron Knowles
Crew Chief YT-20


Trying to locate: JAMES TAYLOR
Branch of Service: Marine
Unit was: 1stbn,1stmarines,istRecon bn
When served: 1967-1968
Please contact: JOE "WOP' caracappa
Mailing address: 7009 crease lane
City, State, Zip: 19128-1514
Or send email to JOE "WOP' caracappa


I'am looking for information on Felipe Herrera service #2341619 casualty date 680920 SVN, I'am looking for pictures or where I can purchase a copy of his basic training album, I hope you can help me in this matter or lead me to where I can find the information. .
I use to go to school with Felipe back in San Antonio, Tx. He was a little older then I, He looked out for me against the school bullys. I moved to California in 63 and lost track of him, In 73 I was in Lackland AFB, Tx. I went to look for him in the old neighborhood I asked one of the guys if he had seen Felipe around and he told me that he was gone I remember the guy's name was Joe and what he meant to say was KIA. I found his marker at Mission Burial Park, It had his company as Echo Co Recon Bn etc, DSC.(Army) no mention of the Navy Cross. The Catholic school we went to was an old Indian Spanish mission San Francisco Dela Espada. I remember him drive a 1954 Black Ford coupe and remembered him as soft spoken, athletic, Kaki wearing guy! we had to wear a uniform. The short years that I knew him and I never told him thank you for looking out for me. Those mission schools were rough. When ever I'am in San Antonio I stop by his grave, I wish I could have said something when he was around.
I f I can help in any way to honor this Hero let me know, and yes you can give my email. One question. Do you have to be a Marine to join the Association?

Jose Ramirez


Dave Ludwig

Anybody out there with 1st Recon that ran under Lynch Law Feb 68-May 68 & August 68? I was the team leader and former 2nd Lt. Let me know As it turns out I was with 5th Recon (Camp Pendleton) and we got called up after Tet 1968 hit. We were attached to 1st Recon as Company B, 5th Recon/1st Recon. We just figured it as 1st Recon when we got "in country."

Semper Fi!


Message from the President
   The 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association’s annual reunion, held in tandem with the 1st Marine Division Association reunion, will be in Anaheim, California, August 26-30. The 2009 reunion is dedicated to the reconnaissance marines and corpsmen who in 1969 served in “in harms way” in the Republic of Vietnam.
1st Recon Battalion recently returned from its fifth deployment to Iraq; elements of the battalion are forward deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) and support Marine Corps operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This reunion affords us a unique opportunity to meet the men of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Our Association luncheon will be held at Camp Pendleton, 28 August (details are on page 3). Lt. Colonel Michael Mooney, Commanding Officer of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion is our Guest of Honor. I encourage Association members to sponsor a recon Marine or Corpsman as your guest at the luncheon. After the luncheon, Lt Col Mooney and 1st Recon Battalion will host us at the battalion command post for a capabilities display and demonstration.
Join us this year and make Reunion 2009 one to remember!

God bless America! God bless the United States Marine Corps! God bless 1st Reconnaissance Battalion!

Semper fidelis,
Charlie Kershaw

2009 Reunion Essential Elements of Information
    REUNION 2009
    26-29 August 2009

    Reunion Registration: The 1st MARDIV Association Reunion will be 24-29 August at the Marriott Hotel, Anaheim, CA. Register on line with the FMDA at:
    1st Recon Battalion Association members and guests may register at our Marriott hospitality suite or email Charlie Kershaw indicating you plan to attend the reunion at:

    Lodging: The Anaheim Marriott Hotel is the official reunion site for 1st Marine Division Association and 1st Recon Bn Association. Accommodations are available at $98.00 (with tax and resort fee it is $113.16). Parking is $10.00 per day. Hotel reservations may be made by calling: (800) 228-9290 or on line at http: //

    1st Recon Bn Assn CP/Harbor Site: Visit with 1st Recon Battalion Association teammates 26-29 August in our CP /hospitality suite at the Marriott Hotel.


    The 1st Marine Division Association (FMDA) offers members attending the reunion a full schedule of tours and special events. Anaheim reunion events include visits to the Regan and Nixon Libraries, the Queen Mary, and an Angels baseball game. Consult the “Old Breed News” for details or check the web site:

    1stRecon Bn Association Luncheon and Visit to 1st Recon Battalion: The South Mesa Club, Camp ,Pendleton is the site of our reunion luncheon Friday, August 28th, 12:00-2:00 pm. Lt Col Michael Mooney, USMC, the CO of 1st Recon Battalion, is our reunion Guest of Honor. The buffet meal costs $35.00 per person. RSVP for the luncheon and/or sponsor a Marine or Corpsman, by Sunday 24 August; checks or money orders should be made out to “1st Recon Battalion Association”; mail your reservation and check to: Charlie Kershaw 2527 Unicornio Street Carlsbad, CA 92009. Bus transportation (55 passengers) is reserved for travel to Camp Pendleton and return ($5.00 per person).

    Silent Auction and Raffle: Our Association’s operating revenue comes from your donations and reunion activities such as our raffle and silent auction. Please donate items for our silent auction and reunion raffle. Proceeds from the silent auction go to the 1st Recon Battalion Association General Fund, while raffle proceeds will be divided between the 1st Marine Division Association Scholarship Fund and our General Fund. Past auction/raffle items have included Marine Corps uniform items, memorabilia, K-Bars, books, military art, & gift certificates. Help your Association. If you can donate something for the auction or raffle, contact Charles “Howdy” Howdyshell at:

    1st Recon Bn Association Annual Membership Meeting/Election of Officers: Saturday, 29 August, 1300 -1500. Members attending the Annual Membership Meeting will elect an Associate Director and FMDA Unit Director. Our Association needs directors willing and able to give their time and talent and accept the responsibility of Association leadership. Will you accept that challenge?

    1st Mar Div Association Banquet and Grand Ball. The Division Association banquet and grand ball is at the Marriott Hotel, Saturday 29 August. 1st Recon Battalion Assn will have one or more tables. For reservations, visit the FMDA web site:

Did you serve with 1st Recon in 1969?

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of your service in the Republic of Vietnam.
    “Doc Snider, our Association Historian, is asking members who served with 1st Recon Battalion in Vietnam, anytime during 1969, to send him their memories of that year. Anything that tells 1st Recon’s story – your personal histories, electronic photos, scanned documents and news articles. Email your personal histories to: or mail your stories and memorabilia to: Dave Snider 885 Glendora Rd. Kissimmee, FL 34759
  • The 1st Recon Battalion Association will place its memorial in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Garden of the National Museum of the Marine Corps. We honor the two hundred sixty-two Marines and Corpsmen, serving with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, who gave their lives in service to their country during the Korean War, Vietnam War and Iraq.

    Our thanks and gratitude to the one hundred five 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Association members and friends who generously donated to the Memorial Fund, transforming our dream into a reality.


    The memorial will be a black granite slab standing 101 high and 36 wide, mounted on a 48 x 20 base. The rank, name, age at death and home state of each KIA will be engraved on the monument in letters. A memorial ceremony is planned when the monument is placed on site. Members will be informed of the day and time of the dedication. 
    1st Reconnaissance Battalion, less elements supporting MEU (SOC) deployments, have returned to Camp Pendleton. 1st Recon Battalion is composed of A, B, C Companies and 1st Force Company (formerly D Company) and Headquarters and Service Company.

    Raider Report, the battalion’s newsletter, is available on line at 1st Recon Battalion’s official website: The Raider Report is also posted at our Association web site: RR (email).pdf 1st Recon Battalion’s website is comprehensive and very informative. The Raider Report is an excellent newsletter filled with useful information about the battalion. To learn more about the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, visit their website!


    Warriors mourned by their comrades in arms

    Fred Joseph Balester Jr., January 13, 2009

    Fritz, as he was known by many, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, from December 1941 to March 1945. As a scout in the First Scout Company, First Marine Division, he participated in the first amphibious invasion of the war at Guadalcanal and later served on Cape Gloucester, New Britain. He achieved the rank of Corporal.

    Ken "Pony" Monell Charlie Co. 68 2/13/09

    Jim Giles Echo Co. 68 2/09

    Joe Keegan Alpha Co. Feb. 68 - March 69 1/12/09

    Aron Speck Team Hanover Sue Delta 69-70. 6/18/08

    Raymond Duncan Delta 67/68 12/9/08

    Steve Aaron Bravo Com. June - Oct. 68. 12/16/08

    Donald Sexton A;pha 70/71 4/16/08

    Walter Hutchens, Bravo 68/69 4/29/09

    Rodney Poston Bravo 66/67 5/09

    Joe Molosky DRP (Deep Recon Platoon) Commander 84 Feb or March 09

    New Members

    is looking for anyone who served with 5th Force then 1st Recon or 1st Force in Nam.


    Roger LaRue

    This summer I received the news that Aron Speck one of my team mates had died, as a result of multiple Agent Orange related cancers. Aron had asked that all of his Viet Nam stuff be sent to me. Along with a large batch of pictures was a zippo lighter inscribed (probably at Freedom Hill PX) with the Recon Death from Above wings on one side, and the inscription "ARON, FROM , SCOOTER, VIET NAM" on the other. Aron stayed in our team when I went to another as a Ass't Team Leader, and then I took over another team in Delta. We were both in 2nd Platoon, but I don't know that "Scooter" might not have been in another Platoon, my guess he would have been in Delta from late 68, 69, on into early 70. I would like to find Scooter, and get this lighter back to him. I have sent this message to 1ST Recon Bn net, and the FRA net, but those guys who are connected to the other Recon Nets from Viet Nam, please forward to them. Semper Fidelis, Walrus


    2010 Recon Cruise

    Our Recon Reunion committee, Dave "Doc" Snider, Carole Snider, Bob Morris and Don Streeter has put together a Recon Reunion for November of 2010 that will be a little different from what we have done before. We are proposing a Caribbean Cruise to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday. Doc and Carole are taking the lead and are working with a travel agent and have found the best value for a cruise to be: November 8 - 13, 2010 Royal Caribbean 'Radiance of the Seas' - a 5-star ship Sailing out of Tampa, FL for 5 nights Attached is a flyer that outlines the itinerary. The same PDF has a second page that is a form to fill out if you want to make a reservation We are currently holding 30 cabins of various types including Balcony, Ocean View & Inside. We need to see what the interest level is fairly quickly. This pricing is only guaranteed for several months so reserve now to assure the lowest fares. The per person pricing based on double occupancy for the 5-night cruise is: Inside Cabin (Category N) $359 plus $51.19 tax Outside Cabin (Category H) $459 plus $51.19 tax Balcony Cabin (Category E3) $549 plus $51.19 tax This is an excellent price for this quality of ship. We will also continue to watch to see if a better price or military discount becomes available. If we get enough people signed up to get a free room or on-board credit, this would all be divided between the group. My wife and I are organizing this purely as volunteers. The refundable deposit for this cruise is $200 per cabin. This is 100% refundable up until the final payment date of August 30, 2010. If you want to sign up for this great cruise please contact Marcy Brown at Zenith Travel, Altamonte Springs, Florida at or (407) 862-1313 or (800) 336-5355. You can fax the enclosed form to get started. Or, give me a call at (863) 427-1394. Dave 'Doc' Snider

    Cruise Flyer