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A.A.R.

“Double agent Danger”

Battle for Wadi Zigzaou

On 3/14/14 elements of the L.R.D.G.P.S. met at my place for another desert adventure in California City. This year was a special year for us as this would be the first time we would be able to field 4 of our 5 jeeps at one time at one place. We were going to look really good on patrol and during the battle and all of us were very excited. Jerry would have his new jeep there, Paul’s jeep was out of the shop and ready to fight and Jack was towing his jeep all the way from Pebble Beach to participate. Bill was already at site and Jack was to meet us there. The rest of us Arnie, Jerry, Paul, Monty, Kelly and me left from my place and in 2 short hours were in the desert.

The weather was perfect, in the low 80’s day time and the mid 40’s for the night time lows we couldn’t ask for much better.

We found Bill on the way in and Jack caught up to us shortly. Both were in good spirits and ready to go.

We spent Friday setting up camp, catching up on each other’s lives and just enjoying that we were all in the desert and that this would be the most troopers and jeeps we have ever put in the field at one time. After set up and a bite to eat we decided to do a little scouting of the area. We had just driven off; all 4 jeeps in a row looking like a real patrol when Jack’s jeep stalled. We towed it back and luckily Kelly was able to by-pass the fuel filter and Jack’s jeep was up and running and although we did have a few problems the remainder of that day and Saturday Jacks jeep was running. We started out again and Jerry’s jeep started having problems. Eventually on Saturday we discovered a radiator leak so Jerry’s jeep was done for the weekend. Now it was Paul’s turn to have a few problems and by mid-day on Saturday his jeep was done for the weekend. All in all it was a real LRDG desert experience having vehicles break down, towing them through the desert back to camp. Even though these problems were a little disappointing we took it all in stride.

Saturday morning we had our safety line up and Axis and Allies looked evenly matched at about 70 on each side. There were 8 or 9 jeeps total, medical trucks, troop carriers, Kublewagons, 3 German motorcycles with side cars it was a pretty good showing on all sides. There were Italians, Germans, French, American and Commonwealth troops all involved in the battle.

As the sponsoring unit for this battle it is up to us to come up with a scenario or something different to make the battle more interesting and so that everyone involved has an objective or two. Well last year we made the Axis defend the last fuel dump in Tunisia and I was racking my brain trying to come up with something a little different, something that all sides would be interested in, something to create more of an open filed battle rather than groups of soldiers just waiting in ambush behind the rocks. I was flipping the channels on the T.V. one day and an old re-run of Gilligan’s Island was on, you know the one where the hunter comes to the island and wants to hunt a man “Gilligan”. I didn’t think much about it until a week later when I sat down to watch “The Man Who Never Was” and I put 2 and 2 together. A Secret Double Agent I mean a real person who was code named “Long Sword” who during the safety line up snuck away changed his dress to civilian and went in hid in the desert right in the middle of the 2 camps. Thanks to our youngest member Monty for taking on the role of the double agent. Monty was equipped with water, a pistol with 6 shots, and a satchel with secret documents I wrote that would need to be decoded to get an answer. Since Monty was a double agent neither side new if he was to deliver his message to the Allies or the Axis so all sides wanted to find the double agent. When one side did find the agent it was up to the other side to mount an attack on the captures camp to retrieve the double agent. About an hour or so into the battle S and T patrols were on patrol when we spotted the Secret Double Agent being man handled by some Italian forces. We were too far away to capture them. We devised a plan to attack the Italian camp but not right away. In a sick sort of way I was hoping that the evil axis powers would capture him so that they would decode the top secret message Long Sword carried. We went the long way around the hills of Mahatma and to the backside of the Italian camp. We saw that only a few Italians and a poor little nurse were in camp so we came in guns blazing and took the camp after a small but fierce fire fight. Gunners manned our guns while others of us looked through each tent shouting for Long Sword but no reply, they had moved the double agent to the German camp and it seemed like our effort was for nothing until we realized, hey we captured the Italian camp, Awesome man. It did not take long for the Italians and Germans who heard the gun fight at the camp to turn around and soon they were right on us. We barely made it out of there in time as we would have easily been outnumbered 3 to 1.  “Good show Mates”

The Germans had taken possession of the double agent and there was no telling what terrible fate awaited Monty. It was now perfect, the Germans had the double agent and they had to decode the Top Secret message. I had typed a message about U.S. and British troop movements and throughout the message I removed certain letters. To decode the message one had to read it while figuring out what letters were missing while someone wrote the letters in to their words and sentences, what was the Top Secret Message “Remember To Drink Your Ovaltine”. From what I heard it took them about 20 minutes to figure it out and they were not very happy although not really mad either, that this is what the message said and still others totally got the joke and thought it very funny. The joke of course comes from the classic Christmas movie “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie waits and waits to receive his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring in the mail only to have the secret message read “Remember to Drink Your Ovaltine”

Many other battles continued on mainly over a once held allied machine gun nest on top of a once held allied hill. All in all the fighting was great. At times we dismounted from the jeeps and helped to take a hill or two and it was all great fun

We had a full moon on Saturday night and some night fighting did take place but for the most part we enjoyed a great dinner, cracked a few woodies and had a great time.

Sunday we resumed battle until about 11:00 or so packed up and left the desert. It was another fantastic weekend all around. Thanks to everyone for showing up, pitching in and helping to make this battle a great success.

Our next event, the first weekend in May is the Planes of Fame air show in Chino Hills California. It’s a great show and this year there are many great things happening. I hope to see many of you there.

Thank Kim

 


 

 

After Action Report of the

California Historical Group Desert Battle

March 27th 2014

          On March 13th, I left Monterey at 1:00 PM with my LRDG Jeep in tow, heading for California City and the CHG “Desert Battle”. It was a six hour, 300 mile trip one way, down Rt. 101 to Paso Robles then east on Rt. 46 through Wasco to Bakersfield then east on Rt. 58 over the Tehachapi’s to Mohave and left to California City. I arrived at the only hotel (Best Western) in town, checked in, had dinner then crashed and burned.

          Got up early on Friday and went looking for the “battle site”. This was a real daunting task for someone like me; traveling alone, with limited “desert” experience. California City is a small city (pop. 14,000 +/-) and I do believe most of their revenues come from issuing permit for off road use. The city must have great plans for expansion because as I left the city limits, and eleven miles out of town I came across streets (dirt roads) with 135th Street and higher.

          I found the cross road (Tulane and 20 Mule Team Blvd) for area H (where the battle was to be held) and thought I would wait for someone else to show up.  After waiting an hour and a half and not seeing anything but a few birds, I began to think I was in the wrong area. So I headed out 20 Mule Team Blvd (which was paved but unmaintained) until a got to the end of the road. I saw one of the few road signs that said Area H 9 miles, back the way I came. So I backtracked the 9 miles and ended up where I was to begin with. 

          By then it was getting close to lunch time, so I headed back to town and was hoping cell phone reception would put me in contact with others headed for the battle. I found out that those in charge had not gotten there yet and the “direction signs” were not in place. So I had lunch and met up with some others on there way to the battle site.

          Ended up at Tulane & 20 MT Blvd, turned right and followed the signs, 5 more miles into the desert. After passing an on coming Axis convoy I found the Allies camp area.      

 

          Now Friday was a set up day and the battle was to held on Saturday, so I stayed and helped out the best I could (mainly by staying out of the way). As the sun began to set, I headed off to see if I could find my way back to town and the hotel.

          Now, say what you will about a GPS , but here I am in the middle of #$&@ nowhere and all that I know is the sun is setting in the West, in a few minutes it will be pitch black out there and I won’t have a clue where I am, so I punch in the hotel’s address in, and low and behold if it didn’t guide me out and got me back into town.

          Next day, I headed out early as troop line up was at 9:00 AM, both Axis and Allied forces were pretty much evenly matched. Plus there was an assortment of both Axis and Allied vehicles.

 

 

          The scenario for the battle was that there was a “double agent” that both sides wanted to capture (he was our own Monty Shaw). He had in his position a document that needed to be deciphered, a revolver for self defense and a whistle if he got into trouble.  As it so turned out he was captured by an Italian unit and interrogated by the Germans. So it was up to the Allied forces to liberate him. We spent the rest of the day trying.

 

          While the LRDG was in a fire fight with an Italian unit, the Italians had the high ground.

 

          We suddenly found that we were surrounded by the German Motor Cycle unit, coming up from our rear. I saw them and tried to warn our unit but they were scattered and didn’t hear my warning.

   

          We were either killed or captured along with our vehicles (only for 10 minutes, which are the rules of engagement). Then we departed to start again at some other part of the battle field.  

 

 

We raided the German camp and caused a great commotion but were not able to find the spy. And at the end of the day we thought that it would be fun to take some photos of all of the jeeps together.

All in all I found this an interesting and enjoyable event, but feel that I am getting a little old to go “running around in the blue” with the young guys. 

Oh! By the way; the secret message when deciphered said “Be sure to drink your Olvatine”.

 

Jack

 

 


After Action Report
Joint Action of LRDG; PPA & S.A.S.
MVPA Convention, Portland, Or.
July 25th – 27th 2013



On July 21st I departed our base in Monterey with “Gunner” (John) Dick, heading for a rendezvous with T-8 & T-9 (Wireless) trucks at their base in Yreka. Even with a last minute efforts T-9 was not ready for this mission. So it was left behind hopefully to participate in a future mission. T-8 headed North on the evening of the 23rd and we followed on the morning of the 24th, arriving about noon; already on station was a PPA Jeep (Popski’s Private Army) owned by Kevan Bowen from Moose Lake, WA.

    Kevan had with him a number of “Troopers”; i.e. family members; that pitched in and were of a great help in setting up the display. While in that process, I had occasion to depart the building and found “Trooper” John Neuenburg (who has been talking about doing a S.A.S. Jeep for years) unloading a S.A.S. Jeep. Since he was not sure where they intended to place him in the hall; I suggested that he join the LRDG and PPA for joint display; which he decided to do.
The display was finished by on Thursday about 12:00 PM and tiding up and looking at all of the other vehicles and displays in the hall we all went out for “Pizza”. Seemed like the right thing to do after a hard days work.

    On Friday and Saturday all of the show attendees came by our display at some point in time; we were in the back of the building, but they couldn’t miss the “Palm Trees”. We got many positive comments and fielded many questions about the LRDG, PPA and the S.A.S. and there activities during the war in North Africa. The show ended at Saturday at 4:00 PM (the awards banquet was at 7:00PM) and with the assistance, again of all involved, both of our vehicles were all packed up and ready to go the next morning for an early departure. I had the Jeep and T-8 judged but didn’t have any high expectations that they would win in there class as there were many other vehicles that were better qualified for an award. However on Saturday night when there were only three more awards to be given out; I was pleasantly surprised as we were honored with the “Best Display” of the 2013 MVPA Convention.


Jack


 



Chino Hills Planes of Fame Air Show

May 2013

 

Well what can one say about this event that has not already been said in past A.A.R.’s. This event continues to be one of the premier events on our schedule and for good reason. It draws over 10,000 people for the weekend. It is an international event. Nowhere else that I know of will you see 5 P38’s flying in formation, B17, B24’s, Mustangs, Zeros, WW2, Korea and Vietnam aircraft all in one place flying right over your heads and then there are the stunt flyers and wing walkers, the flying wing. If you are like we are and love to talk history there are thousands willing to listen which makes the day unfortunately go by way to fast. Many are amazed that we have taken the time to set up such a historically accurate camp with all the bells and whistles. This year in our camp was the first appearance of Dan P’s “Y” patrol L.R.D.G. jeep. It was great to have two of our jeeps at one show and Dan has done a good job putting his jeep together, congratulations Dan.

One of the most amazing moments of the show occurs during breaks in the flying action. This is when they have WW2 veterans come up to the microphone which can be heard throughout the entire airport and tell their stories of courage, daring, hardship and glory. I wish I could recall the name of the WW2 nurse who was stationed on the front lines during the “Battle of the Bulge” She gets my vote for one of the most courage’s people I have ever heard speak. Her story moved the entire airport to tears as she explained that she was a nurse when the war broke out and had been at many different front line locations however, she and the other nurses and doctors had never seen or witnessed such destruction anywhere else as at the Bulge. Her stories of holding a G.I.’s hands as he would not make it home to see his family, the lengths she and others went through to comfort and treat as best they could so many wounded and dying was nearly too much to hear , but there is great reason to listen. The lesson we can all learn from our elders who served with such distinction and courage as they helped to fight against the world’s worst enemies will serve us and our children in that if we wish not to repeat the past or are forced to change our present course to defend ourselves we may know that in generations past we have also gone through such hell and prevailed. In these stories there is courage and wisdom and we too can call upon their courage when called upon to defend our freedom.

This is also one of the few events in which we really feel that what we are doing is appreciated as we talk to veterans, adults and children who really want to know the history behind who we represent.

The management at this show is also appreciative of all the different groups who attend and they know how to show it. They feed us a BBQ lunch each day, drive around and deliver water and ice to all the reenactment units and it’s all free to us as their thank you to all who take time out of their busy lives to live at the show for that weekend.

I understand that next year they plan on an even bigger show including a possible WW2 style para drop and a few other surprises. There are so many reasons to continue to support this Air Show but one of the best reasons I can think to attend would be that each year as the WW2 generation, the greatest generation continues to decline and fewer of those who served are with us, it really is of the utmost importance to listen to what they have to tell us if for no other reason than they have more than earned the right to speak and to honor them we should and must hear what they have to say.

Kim Calvert




After Action Report

April 2013 Desert Battle

The Defense of Fuel Depot X”


Preparation for this battle began in November of last year or maybe even earlier. Since the L.R.D.G.P.S. became members in the C.H.G. I had been told about a gem of a spot out in California City off highway 395 by Paul Denton one of our life members. It appears another group he is affiliated with who does a “Mad Max” event known as “Wasteland Weekend” out there each year loves the site and the officials are really easy to work with. Our normal desert sites are usually on B.L.M. land. Now no offense to the folks over there I know they are busy people but they just don’t seem too interested in accommodating us. The CHG would send in the permit paper work 6 months in advance and sometimes not know if the permit was given until the last week before an event, now that’s no way to run an army right. On top of that we are not allowed any tracked or heavy vehicles and jeeps and the like must stay on the road works. Although we all like the B.L.M. spots and applaud the great job those officials do, Paul has always known there is a better place, California City.

I started an email campaign with Cal City officials and let me say are not your normal city officials, I mean that in a good way. They were easy to work with. I filled out their permit and gave as many exact details as possible. Along the way I feel I struck up a good friendship with all these folks. I wanted them to know exactly what they were signing up for and I wanted to make sure everything was done correctly right from the start.

This past January Paul, Arnie and I went out to look over the proposed site which was “H” park and to meet with Officer Craig of the Cal City P.D. to go over the plans as we saw them. By the end of the day he agreed to everything we needed and the ball was rolling. 100 or so emails later the final date was set for April 13/14.

Since I was deeply involved in this it seems like it took forever to get here but finally on Thursday morning 4/11/13 Arnie, Paul, Jerry and I started off to the battle site. I was towing my jeep, Paul was towing his and Jerry drove a third vehicle pulling a trailer full of movie props to set up the German fuel/supply depot that would be the main focus of the battle.

Did I already mention how great the Cal City officials are? Do you know we can have any vehicle we want during our events in Cal City? Do you know there is so much land that we can use we could have a battle there and never see a German. Do you know that a Cal City P.D. officer sat on top of the highest hill in his four wheel drive truck not to be in our way or pass judgment on us no, no, no my friends, he sat up there all day to chase out any dirt bike riders or dune buggies. We had a permit and exclusive rights to use the land for two days, wow great service. We were also visited by the Cal City F.D. and his only concern was “Could he go for a ride in one of those jeeps” yes he got his wish, okay on to the battle.

As none of us had ever been here before we made the battlefield a little small and narrow so there would be more battle and not so much sightseeing. The Germans (who were on the defensive) had nearly all the high ground positions and they used them to great effect installing machine gun nests and mortar emplacements with perfect military effectiveness. The Axis had a supply dump to watch over so they tasked the Italian troops with guarding it along with the machine gun nests they were pretty well secured. There were around 65 German/Italian troops along with one Kubelwagen and 3 motorcycle sidecar with machine gunners. The battlefield had a large flatter expanse in the center and both the Allied and Axis camps butted up against the Buttes and it was on top of these small hills and behind these small hills that most of the battle took place.

On the allied side there were about 65 troops including American and British Para’s. U.S. G.I.’s as well as Aussies, French. British and New Zealand troops. Now normally at these battles the different German and Italian groups always seem to work well together, they always seem to have a plan whereas the Allied troops well, not so much so this battle I wanted to be different. A couple of weeks before I started emailing unit commanders as to start the ball rolling on communication and this was the first battle I have attended in which an Allied battle plan was constructed but the best part was when that plan didn’t work we went right back and devised another. It was great working with all the allied commanders.

We had our Saturday morning safety line up and the battle started.

Our first plan was to hit them from their left and at the same time come from behind. Well as I mentioned the Axis had all the high ground and could see for miles so it was pretty much a full scale slaughter, at first anyway until we discovered other areas to come at them from behind. The battle was going very well we got close to the ammo dump but just out of range for our cup discharger. It was getting late in the day and windy and that is when I said lets go right up the middle with 4 jeeps. We went the long way around and although I am sure they could see us moving quickly to the opposite side or the battlefield they were not too sure. The concentration of Axis forces was on the other side of the hill we need only get by a Kubelwagen patrol and hill top machine gun nest and charge at the dump (our mission was to destroy the dump) and throw some grenades. As we made a right turn Arnie and I engaged the Kubelwagen. Our gun misfired and we took light weapons fire enough to take out Arnie and I, we were done but from behind came a British 1st Para jeep with Bren gun firing and alongside was a U.S. jeep with a 50 caliber blazing away. Between the two they took out the Kubelwagen and 3 out or 4 jeeps proceeded to the dump. All started taking heavy machine gun fire taking out one more jeep I believe. As the remnants of our brave force got closer to the dump Paul and Jerry were able to throw some mills bombs into the dump and blow it up.

On Saturday it got really windy and that forced some to tear down and leave but for those of us who stayed Sunday was a bit unusual. The wind had died down somewhat so we all took advantage and packed up everything except what we needed for battle and those who remained went back out and took it to the evil axis forces for a few hours more.

Even though I have to say the battle was won by the Axis we did complete our mission and blow up “Fuel Depot X”

All in all I know everyone had a great time. We received many complements for a job well done and I have to thank Paul and Derek and all our lads for their help.

There is already talk about going back in March of 2014, I know I will be there.

Kim

 


 

After Action Report August 25/26 2012

C.H.G. Italian Front Battle for

Casino

 

On Friday morning 8/24/12 Jerry, Arnie, Monty and Wayne meet at my place and we caravanned the 1 ½ hour drive up to Big Bear Mountain.

This would be Arnie and Wayne’s first event with S 1 Patrol as well as their first C.H.G. battle so we were all excited and looking forward to this adventure.

Arnie is a good friend of mine whom I have known for more than 10 years or so. He became a “Life Time Member” a few months ago. Arnie kitted up over the last several months and had everything he needed ready to go and I think he really enjoyed himself.

Wayne is the father of one of our younger members Monty. As you know they are from N.Z. and both are welcomed additions to our group. Wayne fit right in with the rest of us and I could tell by the look on his face and conversation in camp that he and Arnie as well as all of us were having a great time.

To this point in our brief re-enactment career we had only done desert battles so this was going to be a different hill for us to climb so to speak also this was a different location than previous Italian battles so no one new what to expect.

As I have stated before the C.H.G. requires each group in its membership to have a “Primary” and “Secondary” impression so that your group is not locked into just one part of WW2. Since our primary impression is L.R.D.G. it only makes sense to us that our secondary impression be the P.P.A. this gives us another chance to participate in another theatre of operation in which the L.R.D.G. were not present.

I had done some major adjustments to the jeep, pulled off the condenser, jerry cans off the hood, more boxed storage and I attached a green camo net across the hood as well as fabricating a P.P.A. emblem for the jeep grill.

The Drive getting to the Holcomb Valley Boy Scout Ranch was an adventure unto itself. Towing the jeep up the mountain road to an elevation of 7500 feet with the last 5 miles of the journey being a dusty, dirty, muddy road was, well “Awesome” and part of the fun and adventure. I had not been to Big Bear in at least 7 years and when I was there it was winter and we went to play in the snow. I had not camped in the wilderness like that since I was a kid in the “Y” Indian Guides so when we pulled into our camping area I thought it was awesome. Nothing but mountains and wilderness as far as the eye can see. Bill had gotten to the site the day before and the ranger warned him about a bear in the area. At night I know I heard his growl from some where some where on the mountain. Hundreds of coyotes baying at the moon were announcing their latest kill and horses from the Boy Scout Ranch nervously whinnying. One thing that struck me was all the beautiful birds that were never silent.

We had our camp set up within several hours after our arrival and others were starting to show up. We had a relaxing Friday as we looked over the battle area ate some snacks, barbequed and “cracked a woody mate”.

At the pre battle safety meeting on Saturday morning there were 60 participants and it was nearly evenly divided. The 12th SS were there as well as German mountain troops. There were several small U.S. units as well as 10 commonwealth troops.

At first looking over the battle field I was slightly disappointed as there was one main dirt road right down the center of the battle field with a couple of left hand dead end roads so no matter where we drove the jeep our life expectancy would be very short so off and on during the battle we staged the jeep as to use the Breda to give machine gun support to our infantry. Remember I said only slightly disappointed, not having many roads to drive and wanting to help the Commonwealth any way we could we strapped on our Enfield’s, grabbed a water bottle and took off on foot. I ended up having a great time crawling on my belly, hiding behind rocks, trees and shrubs helping to move the Germans back as far as possible. I did things I had not done since playing army as a young boy it was fantastic.

At the end of the day we had pushed the Germans back over and onto the other side of the hill they started from. It was a good feeling.

Saturday evening we had some sausages, pork chops, and Bill’s now famous slaw. We had a few drinks and for dessert, brown bread and raisins with a touch of rum drizzled on it “Oh Ya”. Great tales of the day which each one of us had several great experiences and stories to discuss as well as battle plans for Sunday.

Sunday we got up and prepared for the days events. We had lost a few from the U.S. units so numbers on the Allied side declined but we in the Commonwealth never waivered. We took it to the Germans as best we could but in all fairness to the Jerry’s they kicked our butts a little on Sunday.

The battle ended at noon on Sunday and we had some food and drink and tore down the camp. All in all everyone had a great time. Derek and I walked around the various camps and all were in agreement it was a small but even fight and the push and shove on the battle field was kept friendly and within all safety guidelines. There was not one complaint that I heard of and yes even the Germans were happy and had a good time.

This battle has inspired me to branch out a little bit and try some other battle scenarios in which I or all of us can kit up for and fit in. Falling in with Brit 1st Para at one of the really large events would be a blast and now that I know or at least think I know that my 51 year old body can still move, crawl, and jump around a battle field I am ready to go to the next battle.

 

Thanks Kim

 


AFTER ACTION REPORT

Old Fort MacArthur Days

July 6/7 2012

 

 Let me start this report by saying for most of 2012 I had thought I would not make this event due to family obligations which I was fine with, after all family comes first right. When we received a change of plans/dates 3 weeks before the show and I found out I would be attending I could not believe my luck. Bill, Jerry and Monty had planned on participating without me so the LRDGPS would have a presence at the show even if I could not get the jeep there and really the show must go on and I would like to thank Bill, Jerry and Monty for planning on going no matter what. This one was important to me as this would be my 10th year in a row participating at this great event and I really wanted that to happen besides after our great showing last year I did not want to loose momentum. When I discovered I could attend I emailed Lou Lopez the show coordinator to inform him I would be there and I would be bringing the jeep and I asked “by the way has anyone done anything about a WW2 Battle scenario for the public”, his response “what WW2 battle”, game on.

Last year I thought of trying something really unique and different. I wrote a script and narration and asked Gary Archer (a true Brit) to read the narration as the voice of Radio London to the public as the battle took place. We got all the other WW2 groups on board and it worked out to be a real crowd pleaser and Lou loved it. This year with 3 weeks to go if we were going to pull off another great public demonstration we would need to work fast. I started an email campaign and soon everyone was on board. We were going to do the same script and narration as last year but our good friend Derek Vlasek from British 1st Para had an even better idea, lets pre-record a Radio London style narration on CD to be played through the loud speaker and use what I wrote last year as the script or direction of the battle. Derek got busy writing and recording and he did a great job as the voice of Radio London, the end of the narration read something like this “if you move in close to your wireless and close your eyes you can hear and imagine the sights and sounds of the battle witnessed by this reporter” All hell brakes loose and the LRDG are ambushed and the battle is on and we are saved by our Mates from the British 1st Para as well as a few of those “Blokes from Down Under” helping us out. It worked out fantastic and even better than last year. Why bring all this up? This is a real exercise in team work and a great view of what can be done and accomplished when people pull together for a common cause because you see not all the units involved belong to the same historical groups and there have been some mixed feelings amongst some who were not sure of working together. By the time we were done we had really proved that planning, good will and friendships can over come anything else and this made the moment all that more special. I would like to say a BIG Thank You to Hugo and Walt for bringing your “Jerry’s” and the Kubelwagen out to have fun, without you guy’s there wouldn’t be anyone to fight with so thanks for everything.

 Bill I. (who always portrays a member of the A.F.P.U. attached to the LRDG) is our photo and video guru. Bill set up 3 stationary video cameras around the battle field and then participated in the battle as an AFPU camera man and got great footage which we will be editing together to create a short movie. When we have this done I will let all of you know and if you would like a copy just let me know and I will send them out to all who want one.

 On to the show: This year there were more than 800 living historians involved at the show. Caesar was there, MacArthur, Lincoln, Truman and many others. Sixty different living history groups in all representing many different time periods and doing a fantastic job of teaching history to the public. Nearly 4000 spectators crossed through the gates of the park and all were treated to a fantastic day of living history.

There were many different battle scenarios presented to the public including American Civil War, Mexican American War, Revolutionary War, our WW2 battle and many others. There were shooting demos, cooking demos a “Fashions through the Ages” demo that was a big hit with everyone. This year the show made it to a mainstream news channel and when that happens we always see an increase in public spectators and this translates into more dollars for the museum which is the goal of this show each year. We in the LRDGPS set up our camp which continues to grow each time we meet with new and unusual pieces of history that fill out our camp and are a great crowd pleaser.

We also continue to grow our membership here which is really great but one of the best things about it are the comments from other re-enactors who see us as very different not only in our presentation and our teaching abilities but simply in the way we handle ourselves at these events. We have really worked hard to portray the LRDG in a fashion which all can appreciate and many from other units comment that they wish their units (which also do fantastic jobs) were ran in the same way we run the LRDGPS and this we can thank Jack for. Jack has spent many years laying the ground work for this Society and because of his efforts and abilities it is very easy to continue on in a manner that he would expect us to. Also we seem to attract the best people in re-enactment to our door steps not only those who wish to join but also those who have become our friends over these past several years and it is all these good people that make it so easy and fun for us. To all of you go out a big Thank You from me and I am sure Jack as well.

 2014 will be the 100th Anniversary of Fort MacArthur and this will be the biggest and best show the museum has had in the 26 year run of “Old FT. Mac Days” planning for this show will start this October. It would be great to see and meet as many of you as possible and there is plenty of time for planning. If you have ever wanted to participate with the LRDGPS this would be a good one to come to. This August 24/25/26 we will be participating in an Italian themed battle near the Big Bear area here in California. We will be going as our secondary impression (we are required by the California Historical Group to have a secondary impression) as PPA and it is going to be a lot of fun. If you would like to join in the fun please feel free to email me.

 Marching Through History: MTH which is held the 1st weekend of October in Chino Hills California has been faced with financial issues and at this point I am not sure it will happen this year however this much I know, if this event does happen the location will be changed to the Great Park at the El Toro Marine Air Station in Irvine California. We are working hard to insure this event goes on but we still are not sure. I will keep you all up to date as this show is another great one and it would be a shame if it did not take place.

I would like to say a big Thank You to Bill, Jerry, Monty, Justin and our great friends Rick and Yvette as well as there kids who always join us for FT Mac as well as Derek. Paul, Gary and all the members of the British 1st Para as well as the fantastic ladies who share space with us from the U.S. field hospital. It is all of you who make these events so awesome for us and we in the LRDGPS look forward to working with all of you very soon.

 

Kim


 

Planes of Fame Air Show 2012

After Action Report

 

 Wow, what a difference a year can make. Last year was S 1 Patrols first experience with the Chino Planes of Fame Air Show and although it was a lot of fun we were stuck about 300/400 yards away from the actual show so very few visitors ventured down our way to see us, in fact we probably only had about 200 people the entire weekend, well what a difference a year can make.

 The show was May 5/6 and on Friday morning Jerry and I met at my place, we loaded up the truck and jeep and off we went. Bill I. had arrived on site Thursday afternoon and staked out our spot and it was a good one. There were many changes for the re-enactors/ historians this year and the biggest one; they moved us from the last field in the air port to the first field right at the beginning of the show where each visitor must pass right by us. This year they had us set up camp right at the main entrance and we were almost the first thing visitors saw as they entered the show. By 10:00am Saturday morning I had already talked to more people then I talked to the entire weekend last year and from that point on it never stopped. The inquisitive crowd never stopped coming by all the WW2 encampments and there were quit a few all of us belonging to the California Historical Group. There were German units, Russian units, American and Commonwealth all in a row, all flying the flags of the country’s they represent as a whole we looked really good.

 In attendance for S1 Patrol was Bill, Jerry, Monty, Justin (new member) and myself

Justin is a friend on Monty’s and another great young man who right from the start got involved with us from beginning to end. Justin it was great having you and we look forward to seeing you again real soon. Saturday morning as we were cleaning up and getting ready for a huge crowd a lone gentleman named Dan pulled up next to our encampment, said he was Aussie and could he put his tent and display with ours. Normally such walk-ons are not permitted at the air show but after a brief discussion with show organizers he was aloud to camp with us. Well to make a long story short he was great, Dan fit right in with the rest of us. He set up a great tent with many period correct artifacts and by the end of the weekend we had a new life time member. It was great to have Justin and Dan with us for the first time.

 This year the organizers really paid attention to us re-enactors and we would like to thank Paul, Cindy and the rest of the crew. If you were a re-enactor you were well taken care of. Free lunch each day (thanks to the cooks for BBQing in the heat for all of us). On Saturday night we were treated to a really good spaghetti dinner with all the fixings and after dinner a large movie screen was set up in the re-enactor area and we all enjoyed a few drinks and laughs while watching “1941” what a funny movie.

 As I stated the crowds were huge, the biggest I have ever talked to at one of our events. The weather was perfect (in the 80’s) and the actual show was awesome. This show really spot light’s WW2 war birds. Flying each day were B-24’s, B-17’s, P-38, Japanese zeros, and many, many more with the occasional jet and wing walkers as well as trick flying and once again the flying wing flew over the air show, it was an awesome sight. One of the best parts of doing this show is while we are working the crowds and doing what we do best we are treated to one of the top Air Shows in the country. Everything went off without a hitch, no accidents, no malfunctions just smooth sailing as far as any of us could tell. Saturday was very busy and I would estimate that several thousand spectators came through the re-enactment encampments. This is what I personally enjoy the most about these show, the chance to talk L.R.D.G. history and meet some great people. We talked to people from all over the world, Chile, Australia, Germany and many more but on Sunday morning I was actually moved to tears as an elderly couple visiting from France came to our camp and spoke to me. The Gentleman spoke enough English for me to understand him and when I didn’t his wife stepped up and translated as she spoke near perfect English. They loved our camp, the jeep and he went on to tell me that he has a jeep back home in France. Just before they were ready to move on the woman took my hand and with a tear in her eye (as well as her husband’s eyes) she proceeded to thank me. At first I did not understand after all we just met “why the tears I asked her” She looked at me and said “I want to say thank you for 1944” (just writing this gives me a good feeling and teary eyes all over again). I reminded her that no matter how I look I was way to young to be in France 1944 and that is when she said “No We French would like to thank all Americans then and now for saving us from disaster, with out the Americans we would not be here in California visiting as free people we would be dead or slaves” okay that is actually where I lost it and from that point on all 3 of us were crying, hugging and sharing a very important moment especially for me. The couple went on to tell me that their generation was very grateful to us as a Nation and that their generation is teaching younger generations to feel the same and to be just as grateful as they are. Well it is moments like that which makes me get up every day and look forward to our next adventure.

The rest of the show was fantastic and we probably posed with people for several hundred pictures, many folks took our info and were happy to learn all they could about the L.R.D.G. and I felt the public really appreciated the time we took with them and especially their children.

 I would like to thank all of our S1 patrol members and I would really like to thank Monty and Justin for staying until the very end and helping us with tear down. We actually got it done in 2 hours rather than 3 or 4. Also, Dan it was great meeting you and we look forward to having you with us on a regular basis.

Our next outing will be at FT MacArthur the second weekend in July. I will not be able to attend and this will be my first miss in 9 years however we will have an encampment at the show and I believe that Bill, Jerry, Monty and Justin will be representing S 1 Patrol.

 Once again I would just like to say thank you to all those who put on the Planes of Fame air show we can’t wait for next year.

 

Thanks

Kim

 


C.H.G. Desert Battle
September 17/18/2011
After Action Report

One of the best parts of becoming and staying C.H.G. members is participating from beginning to end in the battles they create. As a C.H.G. board member and LRDGPS Unit Leader I get to speak about where and when a battle is held. We (the Board) then vote on the motions presented. This year we were co-sponsors along with the British 1st Para (who all came as 8th Army) for the September desert battle held in Barstow California. This is the 2nd time the L.R.D.G.P.S. has attended such an event and one that we had been waiting for since April of 2010.

 At the event would be 108 participants which is a smaller number than usual at a CHG desert battle but they had never had a battle in September where the temps could go over 100 degrees and this contributed to the small number of participants. The weather turned out to be beautiful and never reached over 93 and was perfect as far as the LRDG were concerned. Of the 108 participants about two thirds were Axis troops made up of various German and Italian units. There were around 30 Commonwealth troops and only a handful of U.S. troops and this is what contributed to lower numbers and a rather lopsided battle as far as even numbers are concerned.

 Jack and Rick were scheduled to attend the battle but days before Jack had fallen ill and would not be able to make the trip. Before we left we new that Jack would be okay which made going to the battle a little easier. When we arrived at the battle site and various groups started to show up all had heard about Jack and the main topic was inquiries into his well being which I found to be most up lifting as members from other groups showed genuine concern for Jacks health.

  The battle location is about an hour and a half from my house and when Jerry and I arrived Bill was already there and ready to go. We set up camp and went out on a scouting trip.

 The battle field is actually a 2 mile radius with the Allied camp at one end and the Axis camp at the other. The terrain is perfect there are river beds, wadis, hills, rock formations some low shrubs. This year we wanted to try and force the battle to be more in the larger open areas so to do this we set up an objective, a secret fuel dump which was made up of Bills trailer with camo nets over it, 4 empty 55 gallon drums and 15 or so Jerry cans. Now the trailer was used to make it look bigger than it was and the objective was that the Axis had to retrieve the 55 gallon cans and smaller Jerry cans which the Allies must hold. Since the Allies new the local of the dump we gave the Axis a 15 minute head start, Big mistake: they located the fuel dump and before we got there to defend it they had pulled up their Kubelwagon and truck and were loading the fuel. A large fire fight broke out and lasted for around an hour but in the end the Germans and Italians confiscated the fuel. Part two of the objective for the weekend was someone on the Allied side had secret documents that could not fall into enemy hands. As the battle went on throughout the weekend many people were searched after being shot or taken prisoner but the documents were never found, where were they? In the jeep with Jerry and I. Even though we had been knocked out of the battle several times and searched the documents were never found.

 It has just occurred to me that a brief explanation of the rules may be needed. To be shot you must have been shot from a reasonable safe distance but a visible distance so that you know it is you who have been hit. There are many rules pertaining to the game but in a nut shell if you are killed in action by small arms you must take off your helmet or hat, sit down where you were shot and you are out for a set amount of time, for this battle it was 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you may get up and fall back to either a unit starting point or back to camp and start over. If you are hit by a grenade, mortar fire, tank round then the time you are out is larger maybe 20 minutes and so on.

The rest of the weekend was a blast as Jerry and I were bound and determined to get as much of the fuel back from the Axis camp as possible. We drove the jeep to the edge of the battle field and came towards the Axis camp from the rear via a dry river bed which was shaded on one side do to the hill it was going through. We crawled the jeep along the hill side through the river bed as we approached the rear entrance to their camp. On the hill top above us we could see 2 German officers 2 German troopers a machine gun nest and mortar emplacement. We were less than 100 yards from the rear of the camp and had not been detected. We had one chance to get in, get the fuel and get out: it was a suicide mission but we were determined. In one motion I whipped the jeep out from the shadows as Jerry opened fire on the top of the hill with the Breda scoring hits on all 4 Axis troops. I drove right into the back of the camp guns blazing. One more officer was shot and unfortunately a nurse was wounded we rounded the corner of the camp but quickly found that the truck holding the fuel was still 100 yards away at the other end of the camp. By this time we were getting small arms fire in our direction I quickly turned the jeep around and got us out of there. We did not get the gas but we did score some major hits and got out of the camp without a scratch. It was disappointing but also a lot of fun and in a small way a victory for the Allies as no one else came that close or drove into their camp for that matter.

There were various battles throughout the weekend and Jerry, Bill and I pulled road watch, set up ambush spots and at times offered infantry support.

 

The Aussies and 8th Army tried a last ditch effort to invade the Axis camp which ended up in a gallant bayonet charge which was awesome to watch even though so many were cut down (for at least 10 minutes that is). Due to superior numbers the Commonwealth troops fell and never fully recovered.

 

All in all the battle was a great success and a lot of fun. Jerry, Bill and I can’t wait for the next one which will be held at the same local in March 2012 so make plans now to attend.

Kim


Marching Through History
2011 After Action Report.

  

On September 30th Jerry and I met Bill at Prado Dam Park for another M.T.H. “Time Line Event” This year this event would be a very special one as not only were Jack and Rick scheduled to come down with the jeep and truck, Grant Thompson (Thomo) and his family from N.Z. Kiri (his lovely wife) Kiani (their oldest daughter) Kintea (their middle Daughter) and Tamati (their son who also plays a mean guitar) would be with us for the weekend. We also had others coming to this event: Monty was with us for the first time and was a great asset to our unit. Yvette and Rick joined us for their second time and there were also several from the 8th Army in our camp and I would just like to say thank you to all of you for your contribution to a great weekend.

 

We had one minor glitch in that the truck towing the Chevy truck broke down so the truck did not make the show however Jack did and it was a happy moment when Jack arrived at the park safely. Thanks to Jack for coming and bringing his jeep it really makes our camp look even more impressive and just having Jack there is a big moral booster for us down here in S 1 Patrol.

 

Friday we set up camp, talked and caught up on our lives and had a relaxing time.

 

At this years event I was the WW2 coordinator so I would be very busy all weekend long but I still found sometime to sit and talk with our members some of which were just meeting Jack for the first time. On Saturday Thomo and his family joined us. What a great family they are. All seemed to have a good time and they stayed with us for dinner and late into the night. No “Time Line” experience should be over looked and bearing that in mind I had to take Kiri to the I.R.A. camp to do a little taste testing, I think, no I am sure she had a good time and so did we all.

 

I had planned our WW2 battle (which is always the biggest and last each day of the show) down to a fine script with good historically correct narration. It all went off without a hitch, it lasted 20 minutes or so and was performed in front of the biggest crowd I have ever seen at MTH. I would like to thank Derek V. for his wonderful reading of the narration.

 

Speaking of crowds this years event was very, very well attended thanks to some new programs that were implemented. We had several large Boy Scout Troops camp for the weekend and come to the show both days on a same note we had the Home Schooling community camping out as well. These kids were great and it was a pleasure to speak to nearly Each and Every one of them.

 

I had been given the heads up about Channel 5 news reporting from the event on Sunday morning and sure enough at 5:30 am the news van pulled up right in front of my tent. Having been woken up I decided to get up and I was glad I did as I was asked to assist with the news crew and wound up on the Sunday morning news. I was able to get a good plug in for the L.R.D.G.P.S.

 

All day both days it was non stop action in our encampment as I am sure several thousand people passed by over the 2 days.

 

At these types of events awards are given out in eight categories and groups or individuals are judged by a 30 member “secret” judging team mainly made up of teachers, historians even the public has a say so in who wins what. I must say that in the many years I have been participating in re-enactment no group that I have been in, no matter how hard we tried has ever won anything, well that changed this weekend as the L.R.D.G.P.S. won the “Best World War 2 Encampment” award. We were judged on several different levels, interaction with the public, look and feel of the encampment as well as historical correctness. I just want to give out a huge thank you to all of you who participated in this event. It is a great honor to win such an award, oh by the way there were 14 WW2 units at this show all worthy of the award so this is really something for us all to be proud of and it was a perfect ending to the 2011 re-enactment season.

 

Again I would like to thank all of you for participating and supporting us such as you all do.

 

A special thanks to Jack for driving all the way down to support us,

 

Thanks to Thomo and his wonderful family it was a great pleasure meeting all of you and just one more time thanks to all of you for all your efforts.

 

Kim

 

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2011 “Old Ft. MacArthur Days”
After Action Report

 

 On the weekend of July 8/9/10 elements of the L.R.D.G.P.S., S 1 Patrol attended “Old Fort MacArthur Days”. This would be the second appearance for S1 Patrol at this event. As I had stated in last years report this is a “Time Line” type event and this year was the biggest I have seen in the 10 years I have been participating in this event.

 

There were 940 participating re-enactors from nearly every period in time. Each one living (at least for this weekend) in proper camps and giving public demos on everything from sword play to Gladiators battling, period cooking as well as two outstanding WW2 battle scenarios (more on that later).

 

Jerry, Bill and I met at the fort around 11:00am on Friday the 8th to start erecting our camp. This would end up being a special weekend for S 1 Patrol as we were invited to set up camp with the British 1st Para ’s.

 

Now the 1st Para’s have been attending this event for a decade and have always enjoyed just about the best spot in the whole show under shade and right at the main entrance. This spot gets much more public traffic than the spot we were in last year. Bill, Jerry and I talked all day to the inquisitive public about the L.R.D.G., the S.A.S., the jeep and many other topics. By the end of each day it was hard to speak as so many great questions were asked from all ages.

 

It is a fact that this event had not enjoyed this amount of public or re-enactor attendance in 5 years or so but this weekend there was almost an electric type feeling in the air. The estimate I was given was 3000 spectators crossed through the gate over the weekend. When we passed through the Parade of Troops (this year I made sure not to run out of gas) the audience was really big and super appreciative of our group. All through the day we were given words of praise from individuals as well as families who were some what taken a back at the time we spent with their children. Jerry, Bill and I carefully lifted kids in and out of the jeep, putting helmets on their heads and occasionally letting the older ones hold the Thompson. The smiles on their faces as well as those of the adults are certainly award enough for all of us and makes for a very enjoyable day.

 

I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the battle scenario we put on last year. It did not look especially good and was put together at the last minute. I did not wish to repeat this mistake again this year so I started an email campaign weeks before the event between the WW2 units. I had written a 15 minute script/narration which would include the 1st Para ’s, 2 German units and us. Now these battle scenarios are set up to give the public just a taste of what it may have been like to be close to the real action. One of the 1st Para’s ( Gary ) who is really English (sounds like the voice of the B.B.C.) agreed to read the narration during the battle. The one thing that the show coordinators want is narration as to educate the spectators. Well I think the preparation, script and the reading of the narration really paid off as the head coordinator Lou Lopez came to our camp after the battle shook our hands and said it was the best WW2 battle the show had seen in a long while, the key organization. We all felt it was great and the battle was a big success and a huge Thank You to all those who participated and understood what I was trying to achieve for all of us.

 

Our hosts the 1st Para ’s were very accommodating towards us and the two groups combined were a big hit with the public and with the management of the show.

 

Saturday night we had a “Pot Luck” which included the 1st Para ’s, a fantastic bunch of younger folks who make up the U.S. Field Hospital and ourselves. Great food, great people and even “Swing Dancing” added to the great fun that was had by all. At one point I looked out as there were about 30 people in the camp and I could not see the jeep. I asked Bill. to quickly grab his camera and take a picture. The jeep had become the “Bar” so to speak and was at one point barely visible as many folks stood around it and had great conversation and a very relaxed time.

 

Sunday morning came fast as we got up, had breakfast, cleaned up the camp and prepared ourselves for the day’s festivities. Usually Sunday can be expected to be a lighter crowd but not this year. There were just as many spectators on Sunday and in fact some people had come for both days. Sunday was another fantastic day and by that afternoon we were pretty much exhausted but it felt good. We walked over to the flag lowering and award ceremony and awards were handed out and in the end an “Espirit De Corps” award was given to our two groups for representing the British Commonwealth, well this was just icing on our cake for both the 1st Para’s and S1 Patrol.

 

Throughout the weekend several people inquired about our membership and I believe that at least a couple of them will be contacting us and will become members.

 

The weekend was a huge success for all who attended and I would like to thank Jerry, Bill, Rick and Monty for participating and putting your time in and helping to make our weekend fantastic.

 

Just an FYI for all of you, in 2014 the fort will be celebrating it’s 100th Birthday and we are all planning on a great celebration and the organizers  say it will be the biggest and best show in the 24 year history of “Old Fort MacArthur Day’s”. I would strongly urge that we the LRDGPS show up in force if possible so make your plans now it is going to be really special.

 

Thanks once again to the 1st Para ’s for their hospitality, to the members of the U.S. Field Hospital and to Lou Lopez and all the staff at Ft Mac. See you next year.

 

Kim Calvert

 

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After Action Report:

 Planes of fame:

May 14/15 2011

On Friday 5/14/11 I left my house at 7:00am to pick up my reserved U-Haul trailer to tow the jeep to the Planes of Fame event. When I got their, there was a mix up so 3 U-Haul locations later I finally got my trailer and raced back to my place around 9:30 to find George S. and Jerry F. patiently waiting for me. We loaded up the truck and jeep and off we went.  

This event is only a short 25 minutes from my house so even though I was running behind schedule it would not really affect us much. We got to the Airport/ Museum to find Bill I. was already their and had staked out our spot.

 We would need more room them ever before as our display has really grown. Bill has really out done himself this time as he has put together picture/story boards on easels that we set around a recruitment and information table. We had not really done this before and it worked out really well. I am not sure if we will pick up any new members but many people took our info.

We also set up our historically correct encampment which had a few more additions as well. Bill has purchased another beautiful period tent. It is Canadian Peaked type and was made in 1939. It is a perfect addition to the other tent and really helps to fill out our space.

 This was the first time S1 Patrol has participated in this or any air show and it is my first as well. I was amazed while walking though the facility as just about every where I looked there was some vintage aircraft being restored. It was really amazing. We got to see many vintage aircraft and all day Friday while we were setting up the pilots practiced the maneuvers they would employee during the show. It was a real treat. It took Bill, Jerry, George and I most of the afternoon to set everything up but when done we had time to sit and enjoy the rest of the day. 

The show started at 8:00am Saturday morning and before long the crowds started rolling in. There was a reported 18,000 + on Saturday and many of them came down to see us. That morning we were joined by Trooper Paul D. and Trooper Bruce W. who came for the day and greatly added to our impression. We had good crowds around the camp and at one point I found myself speaking to a crowd of around 50 people that had gathered around the jeep I gave them a loud demo of the Breda gas gun as well as L.R.D.G. and S.A.S. history. Many questions were asked and History was the subject of the day. We were all busy as we had a steady flow of patrons asking questions. I have to say that on Saturday at 1:30 I had to leave in the name of Domestic Harmony and Tranquility so as I understand the rest of the day went off without a hitch and the air show was amazing. There were many different planes that flew as well as static displays. For me some of the highlights would be to get up close and personal to the B-17 my favorite plane. Also they flew the B-25 all 3 days and that was amazing. There were many WW2 fighter planes including a Japanese Zero many Corsairs, the Flying Wing and so many others.

 I came back Sunday morning to find everyone up and about but also it had started to rain. Everything was getting soaked and we were on orders to stand down. Finally at about 9:30 am we got the word to tear down as the show may or may not go on and the field we were in would soon turn to mud. So in the rain Bill, Jerry and I began the tear down of the event, unfortunately we would be rained out on Sunday and it looked like the show would end early, or would it? Just as we were nearly finished with tear down the sun broke and the planes started flying and people started arriving. All the reenactment groups had already torn down so the day for us was done but this opened up another opportunity. As we are normally busy we don’t usually get to fully enjoy the shows we attend but that is exactly what the 3 of us did. We went down to the volunteer center, ate our delicious free lunch, bought a beer and walked the whole show; it was a lot of fun.

 This event will be a yearly event for S1 Patrol as it is so interesting and so much fun. Our display garnered many compliments from the other groups and one really large compliment. On Saturday a gentleman who had listened to my ramblings for 15 minutes or so asked me if I new a so and so. The name did not stick then he said that this gentleman was a friend of his an the author of the book “Killing Rommel” he told me that he had been to each encampment but no one was teaching history like we were and he shook my hand, for me that was one of my big highlights of the weekend as he paid us all great compliments. 

I want to thank Bill I, George S, Jerry F, Paul D. and Bruce W for your help and participation.

 Our next event will be FT MacArthur in San Pedro California July 9 and 10. More details to come soon also, I am not ready to make any big final announcement yet but big things are being worked out for the LRDGPS which will probably take place in Early Fall here in the SO CAL area. As the details are not final I don’t want to give away too much but try and keep these dates in mind Sep 23/24 and the following weekend Oct 1, 2. As more definite info comes my way I will email everyone.  

Kim Calvert

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After Action Report 

Marin Sonoma Concurs  

 

            While S-1 Patrol (Southern California) started their “attach” on the Chino Air Field on May 13th for the “Planes of Fame” event, T-1 Patrol didn’t make it’s approach until Sat. night, May 14th, to the Marin County Fairgrounds, for it’s early morning attach on the 15th to the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance

            T-1 Patrol was lead by yours truly, accompanied by the Chief Fitter Rick Butler and Trooper George Escobedo. There were two “camp followers” to this event, my wife LaDonna and Rick’s friend Della Frost. The ladies were in charge of setting up the picture “story board”; which ended up as quite a chore through out the day, as we had a 15 mph wind most of the day, with an unstable air mass and light rain in the morning. The photos kept blowing off of the story board; I must come up with a better idea.

            The Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance was a late scheduled event for us as we had just received a special invitation on April 25th to bring the Chevy truck only (not the jeep) since they were going to celebrate 100 years of Chevrolets.  So we quickly changed all of our other plans to squeeze in this event. I am not quite sure what I expected but I had visions of the Truck being on the “green” with the other Concours cars. We took special care to bring more “supplies and kit” to outfit the truck to the fullest for this event.

            To my disappointment we were not on the green, but were regulated to the area which in fact gave tribute to 100 years of Chevrolet, so we were in good company, just not in with the Rolls, Bentleys and other exotic cars.

There was only one other vehicle at the Concours that came close to us in “armament”. It was a 1925 Red Rolls-Royce built for an Indian Maharajah as his “hunting” vehicle. There was a “Howdah” pistol, several rifles and shotguns, mounted vertically in the passenger’s compartment but the kickers were the “elephant cannon” on the rear bumper and a Gatling-type machine gun (I do not know the caliber) with carriage in tow.

Front view of the Rolls in question. The open mouth “snake’s head” is the horn; the center headlight moves side to side and the other two swings up and down. The next photos shows the “elephant gun” mounted on the rear bumper. It does not look like it could be brought into action very quickly, looked like a muzzle loader. You can also see the tow hitch and part of the machine gun and carriage.

This last photo shows the complete gun carriage and machine gun. I am not familiar with weapon and not sure what game you would hunt with a machine gun.

            We had many folks stop by admiring our truck and the gear and asked many questions and took plenty of photos.

  

Jack Valenti

 

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After Action Report:
Marching Through History
Oct 2nd & 3rd 2010

On the weekend of Oct. 2/3 elements of the L.R.D.G.P.S., S 1 patrol participated in the 2010 Marching Through History event in Chino Hills California at Prado Dam Park.

Our adventure started on Friday Oct. 1 at 10:00 am as Trooper Jerry Finney and I met at my house to load up the jeep and equipment. This event is very similar in nature to the Ft Mac time line event we did this past July. There were around 60 groups participating this year. There were several reasons why the event was a bit smaller than in the past. First there is a C.H.G. Italian campaign battle the following weekend so several units had to make the decision on which event to participate in. The crowds were also down this year and I attribute that to the weather. It was near 100 degrees and around 90% humidity. It was brutal. However being true to the region each afternoon a good wind picked up and made us all feel a little better. 

For those of you who participated or came as a spectator last year and remember the nice shady spot we were located at, well let’s just say we were not at that same spot this year. No matter what the conditions Bill I., Jerry F, and myself were not going to let the heat of the day or a slightly less than desirer able spot put a damper on our weekend. Jerry and I got to the park around 11:00 am Friday and Bill I. was already there and ready for action. 

It took us several hours in the heat of the day to set up our camp. As this last year has gone by Bill has acquired some very nice pieces of equipment to put around our camp.A theodolite, map tables with maps, range finder and several other great pieces that help make our camp come alive. I have not been sitting around either. I have produced several NO36 Mills Bomb crates (with Mills Bombs) I managed to finally finish the twin Vickers and the Breda gas gun which we used for the first time in the battle reenactment. 

Each day starts with officer’s call and the show opened at 10:00am. Saturday there were around 1000 spectators throughout the day. Once again our display and the S.A.S. jeep were a big hit. Many many questions were asked of us throughout the day and the best part, there were many young people asking and some already knowing the history behind who these men were and the amazing things they accomplished. 

As with all these type events there were re-enactors from Roman’s to modern day. These various groups participate in living history demos as well as several battle scenarios put on for the public. I must say that if you have never been to one of these events you owe it to yourself to attend. It is Top Notch History. This year they even had a Stage Coach with horses giving the public rides around the event. The Wild West area was one area that seemed to really grow since last year. Throughout both days we had a non stop crowd around our camp and by Sunday night I could barely speak. That could also have something to do with the Irish Moonshine I tried on Saturday night. Good stuff but don’t light a cigarette right after you take a drink.   

Both days we participated in the WW2 battle which is always the last battle of the day and the icing on our cake. Even though the battle lasts about 20 minutes it is well scripted and always an intense experience. This year Bill set up a “jeep cam” on the jeep and hopefully got some good up close video of the battle. 

Throughout the weekend we were joined by other friends from the WW2 Foreign Legion group as well as a couple of other’s who once seeing we were there came back dressed in uniform and helped to add to our over all look and feel.  

I would like to thank Bill, Jerry, Eric and Steve for participating, helping and adding to our group. 

I would like to close this report with a rather somber note. In the first paragraph I wrote that there were less re-enactors at the event this year.

On Friday Oct 1 while loading up the Sherman, Stuart and type 90 Japanese tanks at the Chino Air Museum (where they are stored) to make the 5 mile or so tow to the event, one of our re-enactment brothers from the 2nd Armored Div was seriously injured when he was struck in the head by one of the tanks while loading it on the trailer. I don’t want to get graphic and still details are a little fuzzy but when we left the park Sunday night the info I had was he was not going to make it. Please keep Jim and his family in your thoughts as this is a terrible tragedy and set a very somber tone for the weekend. Let me also remind anyone reading this who participates in this hobby that we love that re-enactment is a dangerous and full contact hobby and no matter what part we play we must always be aware of safety first, fun second. Stop and think before you point that gun at someone who may be to close to really fire on. When loading and un- loading vehicles from trailers clear the crowd from around your trailers. Let’s all be safe and alert before we think about just having fun. 

Hopefully we will see everyone at the Tunisia battle in the Barstow desert in April. 

Kim Calvert 

P.S. On Oct 5th at 11:00pm James Frey lost his battle to stay alive. He will be greatly missed by his Family and Friends as well as his extended re-enactment family.

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Rolex Motorsport Event  8/13/2010

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Cherry's Jubilee  Sept. 8th 2010

Someone's driving my jeep!!!
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Photos of those that attended the Marching Thru History Event (click pic properties for name)

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Calvert, Kim.JPG (34326 bytes)  Chris Cone.JPG (88405 bytes)  Cone, Tony.JPG (32685 bytes)  Escobedo, George.JPG (18153 bytes)  Irwin, Bill -The Photographer.JPG (31327 bytes)

 

All of us - except John Tiley - He was manning the booth.
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1) Who made the Hotel Reservations? 2) Sat. Morning Camp site. 3) Coffee Will be ready in a minute. 4) Passing in Review.

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Battle on Saturday: 1) On Patrol. 2) Taking Fire. 3) Trucks hit - crew bales out. 4) Reinforcements show up.

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Sunday Battle traveling with the French, 1) On Patrol with the French. 2) On Fire Again. 3) Trooper Down. 4) Monday - Breaking Camp.

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Morgan Hill July 4th with Ray Mayeir

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Pacific Grove Concours, Aug. 14th 2009

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Castroville Parade with George Sicre, 5-15-09

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Rick in Tulelake


2008 MVPA Convention, Portland OR.

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Jack & Donna at the LRDG Memorial at the NZ S.A.S. base at Papakaru, N.Z. (April 2006).

2. Jack with surviving LRDG Troopers, Ian Judge, Tom Ritchie & Basil Greenstreet

3. New Zealand Special Forces Memorial

4. Military Truck unknown

5. Valentine Tank

6. Ditto

7. Some CMP's waiting for restoration.

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More photos

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Wine & Roads  August 12th weekend

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Travis Air Show 2005

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Whisky Springs meet and Prospect parade, Oregon, Aug 2005.

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 July 4th Parade in Hornbook, CA 2005 and Southern Oregon Military Vehicles collectors at Whisky Springs camp out, Oregon July 2005

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Movie pulling out stuck ambulance at Whisky Springs
Oregon Meet July 2005 (65 mg's big)


Benicia, CA 2005

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Photo from 2005 War & Peace Show in UK

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Collins Foundation B-17 & B-24 in Monterey  May 25th 2005

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Castroville Parade - May 15th  2005

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Tower Park 2005

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Pacific Grove Good Old Days 2005

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Nov. 2004, Las Vegas Veteran's Day Parade and post parade activities

Rick with Lewis.JPG (125631 bytes)2004 Las Vegas_0680.JPG (182913 bytes)2004 Las Vegas_0682.JPG (228194 bytes)2004 Las Vegas_0685.JPG (207240 bytes)Al & Andrea with Sub gun.JPG (254037 bytes)Andrea - I broke it.JPG (278156 bytes)Andrea behind the Lewis.JPG (293828 bytes)Copy of 2004 Las Vegas-Rambo.jpeg (52532 bytes)George - What do I do now.JPG (110585 bytes)Jack Behind the Vickers.JPG (77864 bytes)


July 4th, 2004 Parade at Central Point, Or.

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Idaho Motor Pool and Warhawk Museum 2004

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Casa de Fruta meet June, 2004


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Marine Corp League of Monterey had a barbecue locally at Toro Park and was looking for some MV's for a static display.


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Hi everyone

 

A few photos from my Memorial Day outing in Livermore. The Collins Foundation's  B-17 & B-24 where at the airport giving rides (at $400.00 per person) and walk through tours at $8.00 @.

 

I didn't charge the kids anything to sit in the Jeep. My guess is that there were at least 1000 folks went through the planes while I was there on Monday. Gave out a few MVCC membership applications and talked a lot about the LRDG & MVCC.

 

Jack  


Tower Park, CA June 2003

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Las Vegas Veteran's Day Parade 2003

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


Livermore had a parade on Aug. 16th to honor the troops that have served in Iraq. We were chosen to carry the Grand Marshal - Rick Leventhal - Rick is a Fox TV News Reporter that was with the troops and reported from the front lines. After the parade there was a number of events at a local park, where the names of the 175 who died in combat was read, a 21 gun salute to honor them was presented by the troops from Camp Parks.

     
     
     
 


Jack, Rick and the "Mail Call" dude (center) at the
MVPA Convention in Alameda CA, July 2003.


"War & Peace - 2003"
Click on each thumbnail to see full size picture

         
        
        


Some new photos from the Las Vegas Veterans Day Parade

     
     

First pic - Lewis Gun mounted on the LRDG Truck. Second - Jack on the Lewis. Third - George checking operational readiness. Fourth - Down town static display after the end of the Parade until 4:00 PM. Fifth - As the sun goes down - clean up the area.

 

When you remove the color - It looks like it was taken 60 years ago.

 


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These are photos of the "static" display at the Presido and the Korean War commerative services.

     
     


        

Seaside parade, 2000


1999 MVPA International Convention - San Jose, CA
"LRDG Sand Box Display"
The Scot is Fred Klink, PR Officer of the Commemorative
Historical Society World War II Living History Museum


     
  

Casa de Fruta meet October 1999


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San Jose 1999 MVPA convention


        

Fourth of July parade near Medford Oregon 1998.


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First pic Seaside parade, second Monterey parade (both in 1999).


     

1999 Great Western Show


     

1999 Waterford Meet


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1999 Riverside Air Show
George, Rick and Jack in winter uniforms and
corresponding LRDG beards.


 
Casa de Fruta meet!  


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First and second photo: Posing for photographer Hans Halbenstadt for inclusion in his up coming book "Military Trucks" in 1998. Taken at the Woodson Bridge meet Sept 1997. Third photo: Tacoma WA display (fall 1997).


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Third photo: Rick's tow vehicle and custom trailer loaded with the LRDG truck (Big Bear meet spring 1997).


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First photo: The infamous dual Rick (left) the unit's fabricator and mechanic and LRDG Preservation Society CO Jack, outfitted in original British cool weather gear. Note the scruffy LRDG issue beards! Third photo: LRDG lunch time at the "Celebrate History" show (February 1998, San Francisco).


     

     

     

Photos from the "Celebrate History" show (February 1998, San Francisco).


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