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Military Heritage Gallery
- ADAB, Roberto Abad
- Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
- Of Los Angeles, California. Abad died
due to enemy action in An Najaf Province, Iraq. He was assigned
to Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit,
I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Died
on August 6, 2004 at age 22.
- ACOSTA, Genaro
- Specialist, U.S. Army
- of Fair Oaks, California. Acosta was on
patrol when his Bradley vehicle hit and detonated two improvised
explosive devices in Taji, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion,
44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division (Mech),
Fort Hood, Texas. Died on November 11, 2003 at ange 26.
- ACOSTA, Steven
- Private First Class, U.S. Army
- Of Calexico, California. Acosta died from
a non-hostile gunshot wound in Baqubah, Iraq. He was assigned
to C Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry
Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Died on October 26, 2003 at age 19.
- AITKEN, Lowell A
- Colonel USA, CA SMR, Ret. I was drafted
in 1943, and assigned to the Tank Destroyer Command in Texas.
Due to need in the Pacific Theater for Amphibian Tractors to
overcome Japanese beach obstacles and coral reef barriers, my
battalion was transferred to Fort Ord for training as an Amph
Trac Battalion. Upon completion of training, we were shipped
to Bouganville and joined the 37th Division for the upcoming
invasion of the Philippines. In January 9th, 1945 we took part
in the assault landings on Luzon Island and continued the attack
to Manila. After the liberation of Manila, the Battalion joined
the 11th Airborne Division to liberate the prisoners of the Los
Banos Internment Camp. Together the two American units rescued
2,654 US prisoners without any casualties. After the Luzon campaign,
I was transferred to a new unit in Luzon. It was the 3rd Battalion
of the 123rd Infantry, 33rd Division. The division had just been
pulled off the line to prepare for the Kyushu landings in Japan
when the war was ended. My role as a rifleman ended there, happily.
The whole division was loaded onto transports and sent to Japan,
Osaka and Kobe, as the occupying force. It was enjoyable for
the six months I was there and as luck would have it, I was given
the job of Battalion Operations Sergeant.
- I returned to California in February 1946
and re-enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley,
graduating four years later.
- The Army offered me a regular commission
as a 2nd Lt., and off I went, again to Fort Ord. Three weeks
later somebody started the Korean War and for some reason Infantry
2nd Lts. Were in great demand. I ended up jumping out of airplanes
at Fort Benning, GA, and then was headed toward Korea with the
187 Airborne Regiment. Needless to say I eagerly awaited the
assignment but by the time I arrived in Japan, the 187 had been
pulled back to Japan in reserve. I didn't want to sit in Japan
so volunteered for assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division in
Korea. I ended up as a platoon leader in the 9th Infantry and
later was transferred to the G 2 Section of the 2nd Division
headquarters as Operations Officer. I served until the day the
truce was declared and returned to the US. After Korea I went
to the 11th Airborne Division in Kentucky, then to the Infantry
Advanced Course at Ft. Benning. After attending the Army Language
School, Presidio of Monterey, to study German, I was assigned
- I had an intelligence assignment which
allowed me to travel all over Germany. Then I was given an assignment
as the Liaison Officers post to the West German Army. After three
years I was transferred to Vietnam. There I was assigned as an
intelligence officer, 7th Corps covering the Highlands of Vietnam.
Afterwards, I was again returned to Germany, to my previous post
as Liaison Officer to the West German Army. After my tour, I
again returned to Vietnam. After that assignment, I retired from
- Returning to California I was requested
by the Adjutant General of the State to aid in establishing the
State Military Reserve. Strictly a volunteer position, I served
as the G3, Operations, for over five years, until I again retired.
- ALVAREZ, Ramon F.
Sergeant, U.S. Army
U.S. Army, December 1981-July 1995. My time there was truly an
experience to remember. I volunteered to serve and if I had to
do it again I would. Along with my buddy Sgt. Barry O'Donnell
we went to serve after arriving at Ft. Jackson, got trained and
ready for war. I was with the 333rd Special Troops Co. under
Col. Gruatzmacher. Was in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia & Southern
Iraq. Was the Aerial Port of Debarkation NCO for incoming soldiers,
I was proud to serve and be part of history!
- ARNBERG, Wilber Harding
- Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (retired)
Born: November 2, 1920, San Leandro, CA. Raised: Oakland, CA
Died: June 8, 2004, Walnut Creek, CA
Entered Service: Enlisted regular Army Medical Service from Santa
Cruz, CA April 1937 and September 1939. Graduated Medical Administrative
Corps officers Candidate School Class #2, Carlisle Barracks,
PA. Discharged as Technical Sergeant. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant
Medical Administrative Corps, Army of the United States, 24 December
Served in all positions in 34 1/2 years: Field Administrative,
Dispensary and Hospital Units in grades 2nd Lieutenant through
(My husband phrased this info in another way-as follows: Duties
were Adjutant, Administration of Military Justice, Food Services
Supervisor, Inspector General and Commander, Military and Civilian
Personnel, Operation and Training).
11 th Medical Regiment, Schofield Bks, T.H. Station Dispensary,
Ft. Kamehameha T.H..Station Hospital, Hamilton Field, CA, Officer
Candidate School-Carlisle Barracks, PA, 63rd Medical Battalion,
Ft. Ord, CA, 63rd medical Battalion, Ft. Lewis, WA, 596 Ambulance
Co., Ft. Lewis, WA, ETO and PTO. Oakland Regional Station Hospital,
Oakland, CA, 2nd Medical Battalion, Ft. Lewis, WA, 155th Station
Hospital, Yokohama, Japan, U.S. Army Hospital, Camp Roberts,
CA, 6513 ASU Reserve Gp, Los Angeles, CA, Student Det AMSS, Brook
Army Med. Ctr., Ft. Sam Houston, TX, 56th Medical Bn (Sep) EUSAREUR,
Crailsheim, Germany and Neu-Ulm, Germany 10th General Dispensary!,
Frankfurt, Germany; TOY University of Maryland, MD; 43rd Medical
Group, Ft. Lewis, WA, Madigan General Hospital, Ft. Lewis, WA
(Detailed Inspector General), Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu,
HI (Detailed Inspector General), Hq. U.S. Army Medical Laboratory,
Fort Baker, CA. Medical Holding Company, Letterman General Hospital,
San Francisco, CA Retired: on Medical Disability at Letterman
General Hospital 10 December 1971. * On retirement lived in Alameda,
CA and then Walnut Creek, CA. Award: Received Surgeon General's
Bronze Medallion for over thirty years service. Please see also
enclosed papers re other Awards and Decorations. Other U.S. Army
assignments: My husband also went to Korea, and I know he was
stationed in England early in WWar II.
- Other awards also received:
ADSM; ACM; EAME; APCM; WWII Vic Med; Overseas bars; AOM (Ger);
AOM (Jap); KSM; CRWMP; UN Svc Med; Af Res Med; NDSM (OLC); Merit
- AMUNDSON, Carl
Colonel (Retired) Honorary Brigadier General.
- When I was a senior in
High School, Pearl Harbor was attacked and World War II was declared.
I was ready and willing to go. I listed in a Service Command
Unit School where I completed a course in Radio Theory, which
was sponsored by the U.S. Signal Corps. In 1943 I volunteered
for active service and was sent to the Asiatic Pacific Theater.
I was a communication specialist serving as transmitter electrician
and repairman, inspected both high and low frequency transmitting
equipment and a facilities designer with the 3910th Signal Company.
- I participated in the
capture of Saipan Palan Islands and established a fleet and air
to ground station on Imian and received the Presidential citation
for outstanding service. I also was sent to the Island of Fiji
to establish and design communication units. Also served in Guam,
Santo Domingo, and Guantanamo Bay. To perform assigned duties,
I was often at the top of a telephone pole installing an antenna
when an air raid siren was blasting away. My duties were also
to ensure that all communications systems were properly installed
and in working condition. I was given an honorable discharge
at the end of WW II. Following my service, I was employed by
the Department of Defense, providing technical assistance to
various posts, camps and stations in the United State. I volunteered
for service in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and was assigned
to the 221st Signal Corps Division in the photo combat unit covering
all aspects of the war. Following this assignment I served as
Chief Engineer for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Station
Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- I followed in my parent's
footprints. In 1914, my father, Carl P. Amundson Sr. joined the
National Guard in WW I and was attached to the 42d "Rainbow"
Division in New York. The Division served under General Pershing,
they were shipped to France and he was in the last battle in
the Argon Forest, which lasted from 26 Sep to 11 Nov. 1918. He
was wounded during the onslaught in the muddy trenches for days
full of shrapnel. My father Carl Sr was "gassed" by
chemical warfare used by the German army troops. The American
troops were issued gas masked but they were not effective against
the mustard gas, which caused extreme blistering on bare skin.
My mother Leah was a registered nurse and was on duty at local
hospitals to care for the wounded soldiers upon their return
to the USA.
- I stayed involved with
the Signal Corps Headquarters in Fort Monmouth N.J. until 1972.
I served as a Technical advisor/inspector for the Western U300nited
States National Guard Units to support Major joint forces field
exercises such as Desert Strike and the National Guard Armories
to assist in the readiness programs.
- In 1979 the Governor of
the state of California appointed me as Colonel in the California
State Military Reserves. During a ceremony at the National Guard
Headquarters on November1992, I was further presented a promotion
to Honorary Brigadier General in the California State Militia.
Staff Sergeant, USMC Iraq Veteran
December 12, 1973 to April 15, 2004
Staff Sergeant Jimmy Javier
Arroyave was born on December 12, 1973 in Cali Valle, Columbia.
He grew up in Northern California where he enlisted in the Marine
Corps on September 17, 1993 under the delayed entry program. On
December 7, 1993, he attended Marine Corps Recruit Training in
San Diego, CA.
On March 9, 1994 after completing
Boot Camp, Prorate Arroyave was assigned duty at the School of
Infantry, Camp Pendleton, CA for Marine Combat Training.
After the completion of
Marine Combat Training he was ordered to the Marine Corps Engineer
School at Camp Lejeune, NC where he earned his MOS as a Hygiene
Equipment Operator 1(1171). His first duty station as a Hygiene
Equipment Operator raps with Marine Wing Support Squadron-372
aboard Camp Petodleton, CA.
In December 1998, Corporal
Arroyave was directed to report to Headquarters Battalion, Camp
Fuji, Japan for duty while station there he was promoted to Sergeant.
After a tour of duty overseas, Sgt Arroyave was assigned to I
MEF Headquarters Group, Camp Pendleton, CA. While assigned to
I MHG, he attended the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy's
On November 1, 2002, Sergeant
Arroyave was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He graduated
from the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy's Career Course
at Camp Pendleton on October 1, 2003. SSgt Arroyave was transferred
to 7th Engineer Support Battalion in December 2003. He was assigned
to Utilities Platoon, Support Company as a Water Team Leader.
In February 2004, SSgt Arroyave deployed with Combat Service Support
Battalion - 1 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
SSgt Arroyave was involved
in a non-combat vehicle accident in AR Ramadi Iraq where SSgt
Arroyave died April 15, 2004
His awards include a Navy
Achievement Medal, three Good Conduct Medals, three Meritorious
Unit Commendations, two National Defense Medals, a Presidential
Unit Citation, a Sea Service Deployment ribbon, and a Navy and
Marine Corps Overseas Service ribbon.
From: Carmenza M. Brennan
- ATKINSON, Stan
Korean era Veteran
Retired Sacramento news anchor and reporter.
- In those days the Pentagon drafted in
regional call-ups, so Stan volunteered for the draft in November,
1952 - probably a few months before they would have normally
"gotten" him - so that he could go through basic with
the buddies he grew up with in Santa Barbara and Ventura.
- During his 16 weeks of basic at Fort Ord,
at the urging of his company commander, Atkinson signed up for
OCS. Then, he married his high school sweetheart and decided
against the added time commitment for becoming an officer. In
spite of his change of heart, he was still in the pipeline to
attend "leadership school", a 6-week "prep school"
for OCS. But he wasn't headed for OCS. So, in an exit interview
when he was asked what he did, Atkinson said he had been a radio
announcer. "Oh, good," was the response, "You'll
make a good instructor!"
- Stan was sent up to the base "faculty"
(that was the teaching system then - base instructors, not cadre
- as an assistant instructor. Before long he was teaching classes
for the "general subjects committee", himself. Classes
like "rules of land warfare", "personal hygiene",
"military intelligence" and the like. They were all
indoor classes, a blessing with Fort Ord's bad weather.
Thus, as soon as 300 hot and sweaty, sleep-deprived, tired and
dirty recruits showed up in class and took a seat, many would
promptly go to sleep. The trick, Atkinson found, was to keep
them awake. Like - after saying quietly to those awake - "Don't
respond to my command" - hollering "tenn-CHUNN!"
The sleepy culprits would spring to their feet! Big laugh from
- Atkinson and 3 other privates had arrived
at "general subjects" at the same time. They all became
known as the "golden boys" for their success at getting
"superior" grades (the best possible) after periodic
"armed force field forces" inspections. In fact, Fort
Ord base commander, MG Robt Mc Clure sent word to the "golden
boys" that if they kept getting "superiors" he
would keep their fannies out of Korea - and more - give them
waivers in rank. Thus all 4 of the "boys" ended up
as sergeants in their last 5 months of service (as draftees,
2 years then).
- "General subjects" was an interesting
place. EM's, NCO's and officers essentially were all doing a
fairly "rarefied" thing so rank wasn't really a factor.
Socializing was the rule - a great bunch of guys having a pretty
good time together.
- Gen Mc Clure was an avid golfer (daily,
we heard - and why not in the Pebble Beach - Monterey area).
He was responsible for building, on base, what today are regarded
as two exceptional courses "Bayonet" and "Back
Horse". So when Ken Venturi, already a top amateur golfer,
came out of basic, Mc Clure snapped him up and 'buried' him for
a while in the "general subjects" supply room.
His comrades in arms didn't see much of Ken but the general and
his golfing pals did.
- There was some real talent in the group.
Ray Cortines, who became superintendent of schools in both New
York and San Francisco. And then there was Clint Eastwood - greatly
envied by us regular instructors.
Not because he would become one of the world's top actors - back
then, who knew? Atkinson and all the 'line' instructors were
obliged to look "perfect" - creases on shirts and bloused
trousers that would cut your finger. Brass and boots so highly-polished
that they would reflect an object miles away. Clint was a swimming
instructor. Uniform of the day, every day, blue sweatshirt, khaki
pants, and tennis shoes, messy or otherwise. Clint always said
he was going to be an actor. So upon discharge, he and another
"general subjects" pal set off for Hollywood. Clint
made it, the other fellow didn't.
- Stan was discharged in November of 1954
- a sergeant, honorably, having had an experience that in many
ways would help prepare him for a lifetime in television. Standing
in front of 900-1200 trainees a day, trying to make often boring
material interesting, and being "on stage" and "in
charge" were all experiences that contributed to his success
in his career.
- In the summer of 2002, Atkinson satisfied
a life-long desire and spent a day at the beaches at Normandy.
For him like entering the ultimate "cathedral" of patriotism
and sacrifice. To Stan, those are his heroes.
Just a few years before his retirement, Stan was awarded the
California Military History Medal by the California State Military
Museum for his long and ongoing dedication to the military of
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