Summary of the Fourth Annual Reunion
Company C, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry
The Cold Steel Cobra Company
The Fourth Annual Reunion of Cobra Company was held this past summer in Catlett, VA at the 14 acre spread of Ken & Angie Ihle, the host and hostess. Ken was a machine gunner in the ‘original’ company to go to Vietnam in July 1965. In 1987 Ken and 7 other ‘boat people’ (a self described moniker to denote the ‘originals’ who endured the over crowed USNS Eltinge voyage to RVN) began meeting to reminisce and to enjoy the fellowship common among airborne soldiers. The gathering of these 8 troopers evolved into an annual event with 70 in attendance this past July. The increase in participation can only be attributed to the superb hospitality of the host and hostess and their select group of hard working helpers.
This past reunion, however, was particularly special: It marked the 30 year anniversary of the unit’s entry into combat in Vietnam; it ended a 10 year search by both members of the unit and the sons of the late Platoon Sergeant Charles Davidson (KIA March 1966); and it reunited the battalion chaplain, Colonel Curt Bowers, Retired, with the troopers he ministered to and care for.
At the time P/Sgt. Davidson was killed, his sons, Charles, Jr. and Michael were young and recollections of their father, the soldier and the paratrooper, were meager at best. But the son’s interest in their Dad’s service persisted, and they sought out those who had served with him at the time of his death. We are confident that Charles, who attended the reunion, and his brother, Michael, reconnected by phone, know that their Dad has never been forgotten by those with whom he served and by the troops he ably led in combat; and that P/Sgt. Davidson is remembered by us as one of the tallest among men, and one of the very best combat leaders and senior noncommissioned officers of the Army.
Chaplain Bower’s presence at the reunion was also very special. He left his mark on all of us. Everyone knew him because he was always there, in the next hole to yours, just in front or just in back of you on operations, and with you before the shooting started, when it was raging, and when it was over he was there with the infantry soldier doing his share of the heavy lifting.
Former troopers wishing to attend the coming reunion in July 1996, and or wanting to locate former members of the company should call Ken Ihle at 1-703-788-9560 or David Cook at 1-207-377-2186. If you need help deciding what’s best for you, Ken or David will arrange a call from the first sergeant. Although a bit mellow, he’s still nine feet tall, and he’s still helpful!