COBRA/BRAVE RIFLE/HEADQUARTERS Companies ’67/’68
I was commissioned through ROTC in 1966 and after training at Ft Benning I was assigned to the 3rd Bn 187 Infantry (Airborne) (Rakkasan) with the 101st at Ft Campbell. After five months, I was assigned to Vietnam and the 1/327. I was a line platoon leader with the Cobras of C 1/327, joining them as the Brigade arrived at Duc Pho. My first company commander was CPT William Northquest; and I learned a lot from him. In less than a month, I was the senior platoon leader in the field. (When everyone else gets hit, you move up rapidly) In August of 67, I was wounded and evacuated to Cam Rahn Bay. I returned from my medical vacation in October and became the XO of Company C. By that time, CPT Roger John was the CO, the Brigade had moved to Chu Lai, and I spent most of my time in the battalion rear, with a few trips to be platoon leader when needed. I was the XO until April 1968, during which time we moved to Phan Rang, Phan Thiet, Song Be, Hue/Phu Bai and finally to Camp Eagle. I extended my tour and served on the Tac CP (FSB Vegel, Bastogne, etc.) as Assistant S-3 (Air). I was promoted to Captain in July 68 and in September assumed command of Company B. I served as the CO until December 68 when I rotated to the US.
I was home long enough to pick up a Green Beret and returned to Vietnam with Co C of the 5th Special Forces, working out of DaNang. I picked the SF Company out of DaNang because I thought that I knew I Corps fairly well, and that paid off on numerous occasions when the SF units worked with the 101st, 1st Cav and Marines in and around I Corps. I came home as an Army officer for real in 1970. In 1971, I was admitted to Pilot Training in the USAF. My first Air Force aircraft was the F-4 Phantom; and in late 72 early 73 I returned to the war as a fighter pilot for 88 days during Operation Linebacker II.
I alternated flying fighters, staff jobs, and jump status for the next 20 years before retiring from the Air Force in 1992. I had the honor of making my 101st parachute jump in 1987 with the LRRPs of the 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell. I visited the 327th Regiment and Company C, 1/327 on several occasions during different Week of the Eagle celebrations. No matter the mission or the job; my time with and the great troops of 1/327 shaped how I approached the task. My time with the 1/327 defined who I was and how I got there. ATR.
CPT. Steve Stevenson (L) and 1Sgt Barker, both from B 1/327 during a stand-down at Eagle Beach in November 1968.