Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Any of you on this site who are veterans...God Bless you!

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I'm a Vietnam era Veteran. I just recently bought a tack head banjo kit from Terry. I saw your CD in the kit. I can't wait to give it a listen.

Hope the rest of you all had an equally fine Veteran's Day.  Free lunch at Applebee's  is always a nice treat.  We followed it up with the walking tour trail at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park where my wife's great-great-grandfather fought on Dec 7, 1862.


CTR2, US Naval Security Group, 1968-72

I had a very nice Veterans Day and it was peaceful in my little neighborhood, still having nice memories of the Veterans Creative Arts Festival just two weeks earlier. I was invited to in Reno, Nevada this year through my local VA facility. It was great to be with my fellow Veterans and sing for the concert there. What a great bunch. My mothers side were Scots/Irish immigrants that were Cavalry officers from South Carolina is a little of what we know about them.


SK3 USS Ticonderoga CVS-14 1971-75

1970-'71, Co B, 1/5 Cav Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Vietnam. The 5th Cav was deployed back home while I was a member. Few, if any, members went home with the Colors, most of us were transferred to other units staying in Vietnam. I was transferred to  Co C, 2/327 Infantry, 101Airborne Division, Vietnam.

Awesome. Thank you Paul.

Thanks Paul. My Father flew members of the 101st Airborne in Gliders behind the beach heads on D-day. A proud unit.


Y'all are welcome. During  the night before D-Day, all 4 regiments of the 101st Airborne went into France, 2 by parachute, and 2, including the 327th Inf,  by glider. The 82 Airborne , and British Commando Regiments, also went in by Parachute the night before.  We did none of that stuff while I was in the 327th, in Vietnam. We functioned as an Air Cavalry unit, essentially using helicopters instead of horses, then functioning as an Infantry Regiment once on the ground.

My Dad said they had very high casualties among the glider pilots and the troops on board. Since the Germans put up telephone poles with wire strung between them. Also the fields they landed in were too short and many wooden gliders hit the hedgerows that had earth and stone walls inside the hedges. My father was quick thinking and stomped on the aerlerons scraping trees on the way in. He put one wing around the command hut and spun it around on its nose to avoid ending up hitting the hedgerow walls. All the troops from the 101st landed safely in my fathers glider, although a little beat up from the jeep inside rolling towards the nose of the craft. My Dad said they had a metal skid plate on the bottom, but were made of wood so any pot shots taken by the Germans went quickly threw the aircraft like nothing was in the way. They also busted up when they hit a phone pole or hedgerow killing the people inside. I wouldn't be here if he hadn't have made some clever quick decisions. I can see where Helicopters are a quicker and more practical method. Makes much better sense and you can extract the men from the scene. During Vietnam my carrier was at Yankee station in the Tonkin Gulf on two different West Pac cruises, launching aircraft while I was serving. Most of the air crews worked past exhaustion, and there horrible accidents under stress. It was frightening to see the toll it took on their units around all the dangerous equipment. I had many friends among the airdales.

I guess at some point the gliders were released from the tow plane, and the pilot was on his own as far as landing it. The tow plane went back to base in England, perhaps to bring another glider in the next flight.  The gliders were known as Flying Coffins, as there was little the pilot could do but steer it and try to avoid whatever was in their path. They went in at night, so how far they could see ahead of them was limited. Not sure if the paratroop regiments fared better or worse. Each regiment in the 101st had a card suit painted on their helmets for recognition after landing. The 327 was Clubs. Each paratrooper also had a cricket- a kids toy that clicked making a cricket-like noise. If someone approached without the cricket noise, they were likely German soldiers. I don't recall if the glider troops carried the crickets. I assume your Dad piloted the tow planes, I think after the gliders landed the troops operated as infantry units from then on.  It was just to put some troops on the ground ahead of the invasion, and behind German lines to tie up as many German units as possible. I don't think the gliders were used much other than just before D Day.

Yes the DC3 was called the Gooney Bird and they were the tow planes for the Gliders. Like modern Gliders these had all the flaps and controls for controling the glide. My Dad was a Glider Pilot and he had a co-pilot for his craft. They were released over the channel and glided in, the Americans used the British Gliders as my Dad told me. They did indeed go in at night just before dawn. The landing field was just becoming visable as my father landed his craft. After the invasion on the beach happened after the Glider landings the Glider Pilots were gathered together with a group of Paratroopers to head back to the beach to be picked up at night several days later. That was an adventure of its own just getting back across the channel. My father said they had many close calls just getting back. My Dad said they used Gliders on a smaller scale in the Pacific during WWII. That was the last time.

I would imagine during the Civil War the days before penicillian must have been horrible, since any small wound could go septic. As a Veteran that scares me more than many things. You'd either die of the infection back then or you'd end up having one of your limbs amputated. Unless you had a monster immune system to fight off such a thing. We have re-enactment groups in Utah as well, mostly Mountain Man, but Civil War era and Pioneer to mention a few. In Utah Johnson's Army stayed at Camp Floyd for several years to keep the Mormons in check and most of the soldiers died of things like influenza or infection. Very few actually died in the Utah War with the Mormon Militia and Nauvoo Legions. They were called back east at the outbreak of the Civil War and Johnson became a General for the South.

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