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1st 50th Infantry Association

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PAGE INDEX

1. Battalion S4 (Supply) Section
2. Battalion Maintenance Platoon
3. Battalion Communications Platoon
4. Battalion Support Platoon

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Combat Service Support (CSS)

Combat Service Support operations were a vital part of mechanized infantry operations in Vietnam. They consisted of the logistical functions needed for to sustain the battalion's ability to fight. Soldiers well supplied with food, water, ammunition, shelter, and medical care are more successful in accomplishing their missions than those who are not.

This page covers the combat service support functions that sustained the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry in combat in Vietnam. These important functions were provided by the following units:

Supervised battalion supply, transportation, and field service functions. It coordinated requisition and distribution of supplies to company supply sections and turned in captured supplies and equipment as directed.
Provided maintenance activities which included inspecting, testing, servicing, repairing, parts requisitioning, and recovering and evacuating disabled vehicles.
Installed, operated, and maintaind the communications system for battalion command and control and support elements; established and operated the battalion radio and wire communications systems, and provided couriers.
Provided medical support to the battalion's assigned and attached personnel; prevented, sorted, treated, and evacuated casualties, or returned them to duty; provided all Class VIII support.
Provided organic transportation, as well as Class I, Class III, and Class V resupply to the battalion.

S4 (Supply) Section

The S4 section was responsible for supply, transportation, and field service functions. It coordinated requisition and distribution of supplies to company supply sections and turned in captured supplies and equipment as directed. The S4 section was supervised by the S4, who was assisted by the property book officer and the battalion supply sergeant.

The supply sergeant was responsible for obtaining and delivering supplies to the company. He delivers small items and depends on the assets of the support platoon to deliver bulky or high-expenditure items. In combat, the S4 concentrated on seven classes of supply: Classes I, II, III, IV, V, VII, and IX. The support platoon leader, working with the S4 and HHC commander, coordinated the requisition, receipt, preparation, and delivery of Classes I, III, and V. The supply section coordinated the requisition, receipt, and delivery of Classes II, IV, VII, and IX.

The S4 section and the support platoon were responsible for obtaining water and maps. Using task force transportation, water is obtained from water supply points or from sources tested and approved by the medical platoon leader. Maps were stocked by the supply and service company of the main support battalion, and were requested through the supply company of the forward support battalion. The S2 was responsible for distributing maps as required. Classified maps were obtained through Intelligence channels.


1/50(M) Battalion S4 Personnel

Battalion S4

Property Book Officer

Supply Sergeant


CPT Jim Delemeester 9/67-8/68
CPT James Lockhart 8/68-1/69
CPT Jesse Orta to10/69
CPT Ray Sarlin 10/69-1/70
CPT Carter -12/70


CW2 Andrew J. Hammond Sep 67-Sep 68
CW2 Verl D. Lantz, Oct 68-Sep 69
CW2 Gene Quimby, Sep 69-
CW2 Mills -Dec 70
SFC Alfred R. Ludwig 5/68-5/69
SFC Jim Hobbs 9/69-9/70
Davis , Gilbert, SP4, 76A10, Supplyman
Cassell, Richard A, SSG, 76Y40, Unit Supply Specialist
Foye, William R, SGT, 76Y40, Unit Supply Specialist
Miller, Buddy D, SGT, 76Y40, Unit Supply Specialist
White, John D, SGT, 76Y40, Unit Supply Specialist


Classes of Supply

CLASS

DESCRIPTION

RESPONSIBILITY

Class I
Rations and gratuitous issue of health, morale, and welfare items

Meals (C-Rations, LRRPs, rice supplements) were stocked on board each vehicle in a basic load prescribed by SOP (usually three to five days). Rations and water were delivered daily to the line companies by the supply section. Hot meals were served when possible. Water was provided in water trailers or blivits provided by the supply sergeant. (Water was a critical item and must be replenished daily.) Rations were automatically requisitioned and issued by the S4 section, based on daily strength reports sent to the S1 by the companies.

S4
(Rear - Mess Section)
(Field - Support Platoon delivered)

Class II
Clothing, individual supplies and equipment.

Class II items (clothing, individual equipment, tentage, tool sets, and administrative and housekeeping supplies and equipment) were requisitioned by the S4 based on needs identified by company supply sergeants. The supply sergeant normally received these supplies in the rear and moved them to the field as required.

S4

Class III
Petroleum, oil, and lubricants

Class III bulk and packaged products were delivered to the field by the support platoon. Resupply was accomplished as requested by the first sergeant. Small amounts of packaged products (hydraulic fluid, lubricating oil) were stored on each combat and tactical vehicle.

Support Platoon

Class IV
Construction materials

Class IV items were requested through command channels. Basic loads of materials required for the construction of individual fighting positions were part of each vehicle load plan and specified in the company SOPs.

S4

Class V
Ammunition

Class V resupply is based on a report of expenditures submitted to the S4 by the first sergeant. S4 coordinated requisitioning and delivery. Where practicable, ammunition wasl prepositioned or distributed as part of service-station or tailgate resupply.

S4

Class VI
Personal-demand (PX) items

Class VI items were requested from the S1 by the first sergeant.

S1

Class VII
Major end-items

Class VII items were requisitioned and issued through the S4. Crews were assigned by the receiving company and combat vehicles were normally turned over to the receiving unit in the rear. Occasionally, they were delivered direct to the field.

S4

Class VIII
Medical supplies

Class VIII items were coordinated, requisitioned, stored and provided by the medical platoon. Requests were submitted to the battalion task force aid station by the company medics and issued to the medics by the aid station.

Medic Platoon

Class IX
Repair parts and documents for equipment maintenance.

Class IX items were requested through the prescribed load list (PLL) clerk. They were usually picked up and delivered by the maintenance platoon to line units.

Maintenance Platoon


Battalion Maintenance Platoon

The battalion maintenance platoon provided maintenance activities which included inspecting, testing, servicing, repairing, parts requisitioning, and recovering and evacuating disabled vehicles. The battalion maintenance platoon was structured to maintain, evacuate, and repair the vehicles in the battalion. Proper maintenance is the key to keeping equipment and materiel in good condition. The maintenance platoon performed unit maintenance on all task force equipment except communications security (COMSEC) and medical equipment.

The mechanized infantry battalion's maintenance platoon consolidated all organizational maintenance assets, including communication and electronics equipment maintenance. The responsibility for operator and crew maintenance remained with the line companies, which each had their own highly skillful maintenance teams.


1/50(M) Battalion Maintenance Personnel

Battalion Maintenance Officers

Maintenance Technician

Motor Sergeants


CPT Mortimer Murphy 6/68-8/68
CPT Vilnis Gailitis 8/68-12/68
1LT Theodore Dennis 12/68-5/69
1LT Ray Sarlin 5/69-6/69


CW2 James B. Woodruff 1/67-9/68
CW2 James A. Turner 9/68-9/69
CW2 Gus Ettledorf -12/70
1SG Kenneth Lee, 5/68-5/69
SFC Edwin Jackson 8/68-8/69

MOS 63B20

MOS 63C20/30/40,
General Vehicle Repairman

Other Maintenance MOS

Christian, Fred L, PFC
Douglas, George R, SP4
Ebert, Robert E, SP4, 63B20
Lynch, Stanley S, SP4, 63B20
Paynter, Danny, SP4, 63B20
Wilson, Lawrence B, SP4, 63B20
Clark, Richard D, SP5,
Credeur, Walter R, SP4
De Maria, John P, SP5
Jones, Gary D, SP5
Kinsey, James D, SP5
Meek, Fred V, SP4
Sullens, Clarence, SP4
Thomas, Joseph W, SP4
Barnett, Michael L, SP5
Calhoun, Joshua, SP5
Congdon, Woodrow W, SGT
Hill, Gerald, SGT
Duke, Elmer, SP4, 63F20, Recovery Specialist
Woodward, Jenner M, SSG, 12B40, Engineer


MOS 52B20, Power Generation Op/Mech
English, Eddie, SP4,
Miller, Melvin D, SP4
Ostrom, Patrick, SP4
Yazzie, Hugh, SP4

Montgomery, Cecil, SSG, MOS 65C40 Diesel-Electrical Repairman


Battalion Maintenance Platoon Organization

The platoon is organized as follows:
  • Administration section. The administration section maintains Class IX (repair parts) and the Army Maintenance Management Systems records. The prescribed load list (PLL) stocks are maintained for each company and managed by the administration section's PLL clerks. To facilitate rapid repair, selected high usage PLL items may be on the tracked vehicles supporting a company team.

  • Recovery Section. The recovery support section provides limited welding, metalworking, and backup recovery support to the maintenance teams.

  • Services Section. The maintenance services section provides maintenance support to the rear elements of the battalion, plus backup support to company maintenance teams.

  • Company Maintenance Teams. Company maintenance teams provide maintenance support to each of the line companies. This support includes automotive, turret, and communication-electronics maintenance, as well as recovery.

Based on the weapons systems within a company team, maintenance teams were task organized, with maintenance teams supporting the same company as far as possible. Maintenance personnel might be attached to the Scout Platoon or line Rifle Companies when they operated detached from the battalion, and they would be equipped with a supporting maintenance package that included thetools, test equipment, and PLL stocks necessary to support the line unit.


Battalion Communications Platoon

The battalion communications platoon installed, operated, and maintained the communications system for battalion command and control and support elements. It was responsible for establishing and operating the battalion radio, wire and courier communications systems.


1/50(M) Battalion Communications Personnel

Battalion Signal Officer

Battalion Communications Chief


1LT Noel Allgood Jun 68-Aug 68
1LT David Bess Aug 68-Oct 68
CPT James Filson Oct 68-Sep 69


Battalion Communications Platoon Organization

The platoon is organized as follows:

  • Administration section. The administration section under the Battalion Communications Officer advised the commander and staff on electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM), signals security, communications training, communications planning, and selection of CP sites from a communications standpoint, and prepared the command and signal paragraph of operations plans. They coordinated with signal units for communications support, and supervised the communications activities in the battalion, to include the installation, operation, and maintenance of the battalion communications system and equipment. They controlled the COMSEC equipment and served as the battalion COMSEC custodian, issued and accounted for COMSEC equipment, key lists, codes, ciphers, SOI, SSI, and authentication systems.

  • Wire Section. The wire section installs, operates, and maintains the landline communications system for battalion command and control.

  • Radio Section. The radio section installs, operates, and maintains the radio communications system for battalion command and control. The combat net radio was the major means for passing command and control and fire control around battlefield. The battalion used AN/PRC-77 and AN/VRC-12 series radios for short-and intermediate-range communication (up to 50 km) and the AN/GRC-106-based radio sets for longer ranges (up to 80 km and farther with proper antenna and frequency selection).

  • Organizational Maintenance Mechanic. The organizational maintenance mechanic (MOS 31V) assigned to the platoon performs organizational maintenance on battalion headquarters communications and night vision equipment. He also provided organizational maintenance, calibration and assistance for the line units. Defective radios and other communications equipment were turned over to the battalion communications platoon; the equipment was either repaired or forwarded to the support battalion for repair,

Battalion Support Platoon

The support platoon provided organic transportation, as well as Class I, Class III, and Class V resupply to the battalion. It was composed of a platoon headquarters, ammunition section, POL section, transportation section, and mess section. The platoon provides the majority of the battalion's combat service support, and it transported ammunition, POL, and supplies to battalion units, and prepared and issued meals to battalion personnel.


1/50(M) Support Platoon Personnel

Support Platoon Leader

Platoon Sergeant (Truck Master)

Mess Sergeants


1LT Howard Goldstein SGT Julius Thomas, 64C40 SFC Joseph Lagree 7/68-7/69
SFC Herbert Jones 12/68-12/69

SSG Michael N, Decker
SSG Jack Kerley

Headquarters Section

Transportation Section
MOS 64A10, Light Vehicle Driver
MOS 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
MOS 64C20, Motor Transport Operator

Mess Section
MOS 94B20, Food Service Specialist

Gravatt, Edward L, SP5, 71H20, Personnel Specialist
Shelter, Gary R, SP4, 71L20, Administrative Specialist
Koons, Roger, PFC, 64A10, Light Vehicle Driver
Adams, Thomas J, SP5, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Barnes, Dennis, SP5, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Blad?, Richard A, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Blof?, Donald J, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Brown, Johnny, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Burke, James P, PVT, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Costa, Timothy, PFC, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Finders, Sammie, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Georgeson, Fredric, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Haas, Richard W, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Hasz, James P, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Herrera, Larry, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Miller, David G, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Ramirez, Albert R, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Stalkach, Jan, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
T**Kow, Bryant W, SP4, 64B20, Heavy Vehicle Driver
Green, William A, SGT, 64C20, Motor Transport Operator
Vogel, Richard J, SP4, 64C20, Motor Transport Operator
Anderson, Ronnie D, SP4,
Avala, Greg L, SP5
Bernard, Frederick, SP4
Briscoe, Joe W Jr, SP5
Bronson, Richard L, SP5
Coble, George R, SP6
Davis, Steven E, SP5
Dodson, Paul D, SP5
Dozois, Richard C, SP4
Duarte, Rafael A, SP4
Elde, Byron R, SP5
Garret, Rondal D, SP5
Garza, Ruben, SP5
Gilbreath, Therman, SFC
Hall, Wilbur S, SP4
Hardwick, Donald Jr, SP4
Hathaway, Larry B, SP5
Luton, Lloyd, SP4
Mandas, Steven M, SP4
Mendez, Jose A, SP5
Soto, Bernabe, SP4
Stewart, George R, SP4

Battalion Support Platoon Organization

The platoon is organized as follows:

  • Headquarters Section. Although the support platoon leader works for the S4, he is under the supervision of the HHC commander in the field trains. The platoon leader is assisted by the support platoon sergeant, who is also the truck master of the transportation section. The support platoon also has the task force decontamination vehicle and operator to assist in unit decontamination.

  • Transportation Section. The transportation section is organized and equipped to transport fuel, ammunition, and supplies to the companies. The section normally transports a portion of the unit basic load of ammunition plus fuels and lubricants. The transportation section has a POL vehicle supervisor and, in armor battalions, an ammunition sergeant. It also has drivers assigned to operate the section's cargo vehicles.

  • Mess Section. The mess section is organized and equipped to prepare meals for all elements of the task force.

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