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Oct 1, 2011

Oklahoma D-Day E-Zine

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D-Day 2011 1st infantry and 238th joined by 2nd Armor swimming Sherman tanks Come ashore at Omaha beach.

WELCOME TO D-DAY 2012 Event History Oklahoma D-Day 2012 is dedicated to preserving the memory of Enos Armstrong and to those who fought for their country on both sides during WW II. Enos served with the 238th Combat Engineers and landed in Normandy France on June 6, 1944, D-Day. After the war he shared his stories about the war with his grandson. These stories later inspired Dewayne Convirs, his grandson and the originator of D-Day to use the event to preserve the memory of his grandfather, as well as the sacrifices made by those involved in WWII.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 3…………………………………….Index Page 6……………………………….Field Map Page 7…………………………...…Camp Map Page 8…………………………….Vendor Map Page 9………………………..Schedule, part 1 Page 9…………………………………….Trivia Page 10………………………Schedule, part 2 Page 17…………………….Wild Bill Donovan Page 21………………………..Camp Crowder Page 22………………………………….SPAM Page 24……..…….Les Fleurs de la Memoire

D-Day 2012, dedicated to the memory of Enos Armstrong

October 2011 E-Zine Edition Welcome to the October 2011 edition of The Oklahoma D -Day Stars and Stripes E-Zine. This month’s issue offers a glimpse at what lays in store for next June’s 15th Anniversary D-Day Event., along with vendor’s ads and loads of photos highlights from the 2011 D-Day Event.

If you’ve got some photos from 2011, or a story about the event or the unit you belonged to and you’d like to share it with the rest of us, please get in touch with us so we can insert it in the next issue. Same thing applies if you’ve got a suggestion or idea for a story you think we ought to cover.

‘Crapgame,’ one of two amphibious Sherman tanks comes ashore at Omaha Beach

Finally, I’d like to take just a moment to wish everyone who helped make our third print edition such a big success this year. May we all get the chance to meet up again in June, 2012 for the 15th Annual Oklahoma D-Day 2012 Event.

82nd Airborne Pathfinders

2011 Allied Army Award

82nd Airborne 507th PIR

Brent Keller's Killer PAC 36 Antitank Weapon

Brent Keller, a 4th ID member, has put together a full scale copy of the WW II German PAC 36 . Developed in the mid thirties, this weapon was largely obsolete by the time hostilities in Poland broke out. Despite this, the weapon still served as a decent bunker buster throughout the second world war Brent says he’s looking for an Allied unit which has use for his heavy weapon, otherwise he may be forced into enlisting in a German unit.


JUNE 11th 17th

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Boonslick Lodge - 1602 Industrial Drive, Neosho, MO 64850 417/455-0888 The Place Jake & Martha McNiece stay

MAY 2010

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done. His questions are direct, insightful, and he is not afraid to hit the big issues head-on.” –Craig Miller, Ultimate Airball CONTACT Wayne Montle, Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast is a show about paintball that is distributed over the internet using podcast technology. Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast listeners can hear the episodes whenever they want, at home or on the go – even on the way to the game. BRWP is available on iTunes or directly from the website

Web: Email: Voice: 303-952-0274 Twitter: @brwp_studio Facebook:

THE SHOW A new episode of Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast is released about once a week, and each show is about 20 to 30 minutes long. The show contains information that is useful to both experienced players and those that are new to the sport. The content is always family-friendly, making it easily accessible to all ages.

D-Day’s Allied Commander

Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast features a wide variety of topics related to big games, recreational paintball, and scenario play. Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast is best known for its in-depth interviews. BRWP features discussions with players, field and store owners, tournament directors, and paintball industry innovators. The conversations always dig deep and get the whole story – this allows the audience to hear the true voice of the guest.

D-Day’s German Commander Andy Wofford started playing paintball in 1995 with a Stingray before moving up to a Rainmaker. He soon moved to tournament speedball and picked up a hot pink Angel as his primary marker. Because The Bunker was close to his home, he began playing there on the speedball field. During this time, he worked for five years for JT Sports, first running their warehouse in JT’s Neosho complex and later moving into Quality Control. Andy first played in OK D-Day in 2000 as a member of the 101st Airborne. Andy was immediately hooked on the game, but he wanted to see what the game was like from the other side so he joined the St. Lo German defenders which later became the 726th Infantrie. After two years of protecting the German HQ in the 726th, Andy accepted command of the unit and served faithfully in that role until after the 2007 game. After many beverages with friends following that game, Andy was told he had agreed to become the German Field Marshall, a position he has held from 2008 to the present. In those three years, the OK D-Day German Army is undefeated. Andy is currently a member of the Third Reich Army and is also associated with the Land Shark Group, a group of DDay commanders that wreaks havoc together in events outside of D-Day.

Throughout the podcast the themes of safety and sportsmanship are emphasized. Guests that appear on the show are selected based on their reputation in the industry and on the field. Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast is produced and hosted by Wayne Montle in Boulder, Colorado. Color commentary is provided by co-host Ben Holder from Brisbane, Australia. Ben is a knowledgeable and respected member of the Australian paintball community.

Juan ‘Beetle’ Parke

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING Blast Radius Woodsball Podcast has been met with great approval in the woodsball community and the paintball industry. Here are a few of the comments: “I was just listening to your coverage of last year’s Oklahoma D-Day event. I really like what you are doing with your podcast, definitely the best paintball related podcast I have heard.” –Aaron P. “Wayne Montle’s podcast interview is extremely well

Juan aka ‘Beetle’ Parke has been promoted from his pervious post as Commander for the 1st Infantry Division to the position of SAC for the Allied Army, following the successful close of the 2010 D-Day campaign. His prior military background, combined with his ability to organize and motivate players under his command are two of the most notable attributes he’ll be bringing to the Allied Army in the months leading up to D-Day 2012.

Andy Wofford

have been over 7,600 graves adopted by the people of Normandy and many other places in France. We owe them a debt of gratitude for undertaking this task, which they do of their own will and are happy to do so, to pay tribute and respect to some soldier, whom they do not know, but HE gave his life for their Freedom and Liberty. They do not know who this young man is, who gave his life in the prime of his life, but they consider him as “Their adopted son”. They visit his grave frequently during the year and place flowers on his grave as a sign of respect and honor for what he did 65 years ago. I am very fortunate to have been asked to return to Normandy to speak to the 5th Congress of “Les Fleurs de la Memoire” at the beginning of April, to express my appreciation to all of the members of this organization for their undying appreciation of the effort that these Heroes who gave their lives for the Liberty and Freedom that they and their children and grandchildren enjoy today.

Les Fleurs de la Memoire For those of you who do not speak French, this title means “The Flowers of Memory”. The Flowers of Memory for what?? This is a long but interesting story. Many years ago there was a far sighted man in Holland who thought that it would be a nice gesture to pay tribute to the many fallen American heroes who were lying in the Netherlands-American Cemetery at Margraten in Holland. Here there are 8,400 American soldiers lying at rest, with nobody to ‘care for them’, and it is too far for their next-of-kin to visit them very often, if ever. He organized the people of Holland to adopt these graves, and the result was an over-subscription by the people to adopt these graves. The result being that every single grave was adopted, some by more than one family. This tradition of adoption is being handed down to the next generation, and in some cases it is in the hands of a third generation. I dwelled on this wonderful idea and thought that it might be a good idea to try to initiate this type of program in other American Military cemeteries. Having a very good and close friend in Normandy, France, I approached him with this idea, and we discussed it in much detail over several days. At the end of this time, he, Mr. Claude Lavieille, agreed to attempt to do this in the nearby Normandy and Brittany Cemeteries, where a total of about 15,000 American soldiers – I mean Heroes – are buried – forever! Seldom will any of their next-of-kin ever be able to visit these graves, but, They Are NOT Forgotten!! It has been over ten years since” Les Fleurs de la Memoire” was conceived and as of the last count, there

Tablets listing MIA from Normandy Beaches

It is very important that we make every effort to keep the memory of these heroes alive for as long as we can. However, since we are 3,000 miles away, it is not practical to believe that we can visit and pay tribute to these heroes very often, if ever, so we are very fortunate to have this organization, “Les Fleurs de la Memoire” to lend a hand in keeping this memory alive for us. If any of you readers are interested in learning more about this organization, and if you have access to a computer, please look at: and you will have a better concept of the goals of this organization.

Normandy Cemetery Headstones

Les Fleurs de la Memoire is aimed at the education of the younger generation and they discuss the cause and effect of WWII of their area, and how this has affected them today, and they are taken on educational trips to the Normandy & Brittany Cemeteries, particularly in the time period just before Memorial Day, and each child places a floral tribute on a grave of his choice. It is a wonderful experience to be there on Memorial Day, when on special occasions, each child, stationed behind the grave marker on each grave site, has a white pigeon which is released upon command. Such a tremendous sight, and the expression of the outpouring of Love of these children towards their Hero, is more than heart-warming! Long may “Les Fleurs de la Memoire” live”! Vive l’Ameirique! Vive la France! So it goes with the people of Normandy and most all of France – They still Love and Admire us as their Liberators who gave them Liberty and Freedom in 1944, and they have not forgotten us after all of these past sixty plus years, and they instill the thought into the minds of their children: “Never Let This Happen Again”!

Frank W. Towers

Misty morning cemetery view


by Christopher Larsen

It is said that since the days of Christ, the foot soldier has fought with 60 pounds of battle gear. Let’s talk “battle rattle” by looking at it in various forms, keeping in mind that each variation is designed to aid the modern warrior carrying and using a range of battlefield operating systems. First we need to dispel with the myth that there will be a one-size-fits-all solution for battle gear. That’s simply not practical. Warriors carry a variety of weapons, from rifles to carbines to crew served machineguns, rockets and mortars. They carry various radios, night vision devices, medical equipment, plus breaching tools and explosives. This equipment requires specialized carrying gear. Furthermore we have to consider the battle environment as well as how the warrior entered the battlespace. Mechanized and motorized infantry battle gear may look very different from airborne and air assault forces. And mountain warfare battle gear may look significantly different than urban warfare or jungle warfare equipment. That being said, the US military has for the past 100 years projected itself across the globe in every conceivable battle environment. As such, there is an understandable effort to develop a system that effectively manages various demands on our Armed Forces. This requirement for flexible, modular battle gear is not necessarily a requirement for all forces. Troops who are dedicated to a given geographic and environmental fight – such as the Alabama Home Guard or the Israeli Army – may not agree that battle gear needs to be so flexible. That is understandable. So again, let’s be careful to avoid a “silver bullet” solution when we think about battle rattle.

Soviet BCP In it’s simplest form, a warrior needs to carry his weapon, ammunition, and water. Two hands and a bandolier manage most of this.

An advancement over this hodge-podge system was the Bandolier Chest Pouch (BCP), first introduced by Soviet forces toward the end of the Second World War to accommodate for various weapons using “box” or “stick” detachable magazines. And since virtually all modern weapons use detachable magazines today, the BCP is still a relevant form of battle rattle. The advantages of the BCP are its simplicity and affordability. It is used extensively by communist militaries throughout the world, and more recently has been introduced to the United States as viable battle gear. The BCP does what it was intended to do – carry ammunition. Of course the limit of the BCP is also its disadvantage. It does not carry much else. And when beefed up versions of the BCP came out, they were so hopelessly front heavy and bulky that these variations were useless to everyone except those motorized troops who’s mission dictated that they would remain seated until the very moment before engagement, and even then it was only really suited for urban warfare. Troops certainly couldn’t crawl around in the dirt or comfortably hike up mountains with this large, unevenly distributed BCP. Another disadvantage of the BCP is that it is not particularly easy to get in or out of this equipment. Straps go over the head, cross at the back of the shoulders, and another strap circles completely around the midsection. That can prove disastrous in the event a troop fell into deep water, or a wounded casualty had to be stripped to get to the wound. The very recent introduction of PALS webbing, heavy duty nylon strips sewn onto various strap and pouch surfaces, attempts to address the shortcoming of modularity for the BCP. While small additions are appreciated on the shoulder straps and front of magazine pouches, as previously noted the weakness of the design rests with the unevenly distributed weight of the BCP. Further recent additions of quickly detachable buckles make the BCP easier to get on and off. However, with between three and six buckles to hit in sequence, the warrior could still drown or bleed to death before the BCP was removed! These shortcomings recognized, the BCP is still a decent choice for battle gear. It is affordable, simple, and with recent advancements it is a comfortable piece of gear. Coupled with a modern hydration bladder, the BCP is a streamlined, lightweight, minimal approach to battle rattle.


Commonwealth Army Kit The British Army introduced what may be the first modern effort to modularity for various warriors and their weapon systems by the Second World War. This effort sees considerable improvement in the now-famous 1958 Pattern webbing, called “kit” and “web gear” by warriors literally around the world. It was copied by various militaries throughout NATO, as well as carried by common wealth armies in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. Influence of the ’58 Pattern webbing can still be seen today in the militaries of North Africa, the Mideast, and the Indian subcontinent. Sturdy and comfortable, the British kit could carry various types of equipment. Yet it also had a significant disadvantage in that trying to be all things to everyone, British kit “fit everything, but fit nothing well.” Since then the British have upgraded their kit multiple times, including the current Personal Load Carrying Equipment (PLCE) webbing introduced in 1988. PLCE is heavy duty nylon webbing rather than the old canvas webbing. Notably it includes pouches, scabbards and holsters tailored to specific gear while maintaining its modularity and a reasonable distribution of weight. The downside is that as British kit advanced in its capabilities, it became more expensive and harder to find! When you can find British PLCE outside of the UK, you will pay a kidney for it. Yet it is incredibly formidable battle gear. ALICE LBE About that same time the Americans also enter the fray in earnest with the canvas M1956 and subsequent nylon M1967 All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE), a.k.a. Load Bearing Equipment (LBE). The LBE is a modular approach to battle rattle. Like the British counterparts’ kit, the LBE pistol waist belt and shoulder straps are adjustable to fit a wide range of warrior sizes and heights. Unlike the British kit, though, the American LBE was suited to specific equipment and weapon systems from its very start. LBE has the advantage of being an open system, that is, the straps make it a rather cool system for carrying equipment. When on parade LBE straps are tightened and the pistol belt fastened, lending to a very sharp uniformed appearance in the tradition of Roman Legionnaires. When going into battle, the LBE straps are lengthened and the pistol belt is often left unfastened or significantly extended. This lowers the ammunition pouches to below the hips, giving the LBE a bit of a “gunfighter” appearance. The modularity becomes a personalized to fit each warrior, and the entire rifle company takes on the look of helmeted cowboys. Here in the United States, anyway, the LBE is readily available in both generations and is incredibly affordable. It never fit well around body armor, however, and because of this many US Soldiers and Marines found it somewhat uncomfortable to use with body armor.

LBV-88 Now there are those who insist senior US leaders couldn’t stand the “wild cowboy” image of US troops with unfastened pistol belts and low slung pouches. Individuality is an affront to the sensibilities of such armchair warriors. Still others insist it was simply the LBE’s lack of design considerations for body armor, and the prevalent use of body armor that sent the designers back to the drawing boards 30 years later. Whatever the case, the result was the M1988 Load Bearing Vest (LBV). The LBV-88 departed from the modularity concept of ALICE, though to be certain LBV used the ALICE pistol belt and many of the pouches, notably 1-quart canteens continued to be used with the LBV-88. From the onset the LBV was a welcome piece of gear. It maintained its fit of a wide variety of troop sizes and wore more comfortably over body armor, as designed. Furthermore, with the magazine pouches up higher on the chest, the LBV harkened back to the BCP concept – but with a much nicer distribution of load weight, some modularity, and the ability to get the LBV on and off with the click of just two front buckles. Not a bad design at all. Still, the LBV-88 was a dedicated vest. It didn’t suit machine gunners, grenadiers, radiomen, mortar men or medics very well. It needed greater modularity. It saw only 12 years of service.

Tactical Vest & Camelbak Recognizing this shortcoming, Eagle Industries in the United States championed the TAC-V1 series vests – though clearly there are far too many competing manufacturers to note in this space. The TAC-V1 series vest attempted to do for every warrior what the LBV-88 had done for the rifleman. TAC vests tailor a specific, dedicated piece of battle gear to each warrior’s needs.

Cont’d. The idea was pretty sound. And certainly the uniform (non-modular) appearance of the TAC vests would get a nod of approval from those leaders concerned with a stylishly clean look on the parade grounds. However the expense and logistics of the TAC vests very quickly became a major headache! TAC vests aren’t as adjustable as their earlier predecessors. There is a separate vest issued for warriors of tall, regular and short heights. This is true as well for large and small girthed warriors such as one might expect in the difference between a 40-year-old, 220-pound male warrior and a 18-yearold, 115-pound female warrior. And for those warriors who were in the middle range of sizes, they might very well need two TAC vests – one worn with body armor, one worn without. And what if a machine gunner in the platoon was reassigned as a grenadier? There is no guarantee that they’d fit the same vests. So the idea of simply swapping battle rattle wasn’t going to work. Obviously a new vest must be issued for the new job. There is little modularity with the TAC vests because the pouch configuration is sewn permanently into each vest. Additionally, the troops complain that TAC vests are too hot and that any serious physical exertion quickly causes overheating. Though comfortable and sturdy, TAC vests simply don’t ventilate well in hot climates. Understandably the US Army, Marine Corps and Air Force adopted the TAC-V1 only on a very limited basis, almost exclusively issued to special purpose military police and security police. The TAC vest has seen greater success with civilian police departments, in particular with SWAT because specialization is precisely their requirement. Yet an interesting and wildly successful development did come from the TAC-V1 series battle gear, and that was the introduction of the back-mounted hydration bladder, tube and valve. This item is commercially recognized by the name Camelbak, though again today there are numerous manufacturers of this fantastic yet simple evolution in canteen technology.

MOLLE Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE), pronounced “Molly”, replaces the older generation of “Alice”. American troops have a history of naming their equipment after women, and understandable fascination for healthy young males. Commonwealth forces are also using a variation of MOLLE called the Osprey modular system. The MOLLE system incorporates an ample use of PALS webbing throughout, making this battle gear extremely modular and flexible for a variety of warrior missions as well as warrior sizes. Even the body armor and rucksack employ PALS so that pouches and equipment can be directly attached. The Marines call this MOLLE system the Improved Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE) while Soldiers simply call it MOLLE. Though different names, both the US Army and Marine Corps use two-piece vest panels, known commercially as the Modular Assault Vest (MAV). The MAV also comes in a one-piece panel configuration that offers more room for equipment, but this variation is less popular because it suffers the same design flaws as the BCP. Namely that would be a somewhat unequal distribution of the load weight to the front, and difficulty in getting the battle gear on and off quickly. Still, the two-piece MOLLE MAV gear has been in service for a decade now and appears well liked by troops of various nationalities who’ve used MOLLE in the deserts and cities of Iraq, and the mountains of Afghanistan. It is robust, modular, allows for excellent distribution of weight and specialization to each warriors role in the mission. And the MOLLE MAV fits a wide range of warrior sizes, both with and without body armor. The single criticism of the MOLLE MAV so far is that it is apparently designed for use with body armor, and some complain that it is difficult to lower the warrior’s profile and crawl on the ground. Still, the MOLLE MAV is modular enough to handle this by simply adjusting more equipment to the sides of the vest panels and back of the hydration bladder pouch. And MOLLE gear is considerably less hot than the earlier TAC vest variations! Does it look good on the parade ground? No, not surprisingly. Wearing the MOLLE MAV the warrior assumes something akin to a potato shape. It is relatively comfortable, but the tradeoff is that because the modularity allows each warrior to custom fit their ammunition and equipment management, no two MOLLE MAV set ups are identical. Surely as combat patrols fade in frequency, more an more senior officers and NCOs will insist that the MOLLE MAV stop doing what it does best – being fantastically modular.

[Christopher Larsen is the author of The Small Unit Tactics SMARTbook (The Lightning Press 2008) and a founding member of One Shepherd's Technical Institute of Leadership.]

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October 2011 Oklahoma D-Day E-Zine