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Dave Berry | all galleries >> Galleries >> Vietnam War '67 - '68 > Brothers
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Some of the gang at a small Black Lion gathering at West Point in 2003. Top left is Lt (now COL, retired) Tom Grady, who was a platoon leader and XO of Alpha Company. Tom led a rescue force out to the ambush site during the Battle of Ong Thanh and took over what was left of Alpha Company. I'm standing next to him. Brigadier General (retired) Jim Shelton, who was Operations officer for 2/28th Infantry in 1967 is on the far right. Jim, who is highly respected by all of us, wrote "The Beast Was Out There", about the Black Lions and the Battle of Ong Thanh. Jim was an outstanding college football player at Delaware. He and Major Don Holleder played against each other and became good friends. My friend and fellow medic Tom Hinger is sitting. Since Tom and I are the only ones not smiling, all I can figure is that somebody must have either told a medic joke or told us that we were paying for breakfast.

Top middle is David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "They Marched Into Sunlight" about the Battle of Ong Thanh and the anti-war protests going on at the University of Wisconsin, Madison during the same time in Oct. 1967. David is a true gentleman who has been a good friend to the Black Lions since he started researching the book. Next to David is Coach Hugh Wyatt. Hugh established the Black Lion Award in honor of Major Holleder, who was killed while trying to rescue wounded soldiers during the battle. Many junior high, high school and college football programs throughout the country (including the US Military Academy) now present the Black Lion Award to the player who best exemplifies teamwork and willingness to sacrifice (not necessarily the best player). At the time, Coach Wyatt was coaching at Madison High School in Portland. As you can see, Madison Football shirts were popular with the group.

You can find out more about the Black Lion Award here

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Dave Berry28-Feb-2015 03:25
It has been a long time and sometimes events blur together, but Charlie Co. wasn't with the battalion on the 16th. They were airlifted in as reinforcements on the afternoon of the 17th. Delta Co. was point on the 16th and they were decimated on the 17th, along with Alpha Co., with over 90% casualties.
SGT. Marvin Wilson 12-Nov-2014 23:06
IwAS WITH CHAR.CO 8/67 TO 8/68 AND TO SET IT STRIGHT WE WERE POINT ON THE 16 THAt found the bace camp. on the 17 we were support for mortor plt.but we went in to help get the rest out. on the 19 they hit the base camp with b52.
Robert Dembro 09-Nov-2012 00:10
I was with the "Black Lions" from 06/66-06/67. I was at home base when the battle of June 17th occur. I was getting ready to go home. While I was still there the company arrived back at the home base and I was informed of the June 17th battle (Operation Billings). I lost some friends on the day. One of them was my best friend Michael Morrow. I was very distraught in finding out this information. Just to let you know that particular day was my birthday also. (June 17th) I pray every morning for all the soldiers who never made it back. Thank You for listening. Still trying to forget...
Dave Berry17-Jan-2008 19:13
Major Holleder grew up in Rochester and attended school there. In 1973 his high school, Aquinas, renamed Aquinas Stadium as Major Don Holleder Memorial Stadium. On October 1, 1988, the U.S. Military Academy dedicated Holleder Center. Near the Holleder Center is another monument. On it are carved these words of General Douglas MacArthur: "Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields, on other days, will bear the fruits of victory."
Guest 17-Jan-2008 07:02
I have a question, I, excuse me, I have not introduced myself My name is Hank Yasses and I live in Rochester, N.Y. At one time, we had a sporting stadium named Holleder Stadium, could this be the same Don Holleder? Please advise.
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