|De Calvert, CO Company D, 2/12 Cav posted a message on the VDHA bulletin board about
an incident in October 1970. This page is about his history with a CTT from the 62nd
IPCT attached to the Cav in 1970/1971. It is also an example of what all Trackers
accomplished during their service in Viet Nam. It is a special tribute to Estel
Matt, Ray Everhart, and the rest of the Team (whose names I will get for you soon) and it
is a tribute to every Combat Tracker. Our deepest thanks to De Calvert for his
efforts to find the Tracker Team and the Tracker Lab, Otis (T019).
November 5th - 2001 Rex Hill sent the two following photos. One shows Otis receiving his Bronze Star with his Team and the second is the same Team hitching a ride on a tank:
|OTIS (T019)- Receiving his Bronze Star with his Team members from L to R: George Franklin, Raymond Everhart, Larry Lawless, Dieu Phouc and Rex Hill.|
|Here are Otis and the guys riding "in style"! Thanks to Rex Hill for the great photos!|
|De Calvert wrote: "This may be a 'shot in the
dark', but recently I have been trying to find some information on a tracker team whose
dog alerted and prevented my unit from walking into a potentially deadly ambush in
October, 1970. The dog's name was Otis, and I thought I remembered his handler
telling me that Otis was a beagle. I posted a message on the VDHA bulletin board regarding
the abovementioned incident, and a Ken Besecker responded that he was the CO of the 62nd
IPCT in October, 1970, and remembered a dog named Otis, but that he was a black Lab.
Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I thought the Otis was a beagle. The reason I say this is that when the team arrived at my location, they had to rappel from a helicopter, and Otis was strapped to the back of his handler-so he wasn't very large. I do remember that he was a dark color, so he may very well have been a small Lab."
Handler Ray Everhart and Otis
|Otis at play - with Ray Everhart?|
|More of the incident:
De Calvert wrote later, "As further information, the incident I mentioned took place near Song Be in Phuoc Binh province on or about 11 October 1970. We happened across a small base camp in which were two VC; we were able to capture and evacuate one, but the other had gotten away. It was then that I requested the Tracker Team to help us find the one who had escaped. There were several trails leading out of the camp, and on the one we thought the VC had gone, Otis alerted. His team immediately hit the ground; the rest of us were slower to get down, but when we did, the VC blew the ambush. We had some wounded but fortunately no KIA. If Otis had not alerted, we would have walked straight into the ambush and I can only image what the consequences would have been."
|In his last note on the incident, De Calvert wrote, "I believe (Lt,)
Ken Besecker wrote me that he believed the Team won the BSM with "V" device.
They certainly earned it."
I believe, and so do those who know of your service, that the United States Army Combat Trackers served with heroism every time they went out on a Mission. You all say that you were only doing your job - that is so - but it took a real man of honor to do that job. And it took men of great physical and inner strength to be able to form bonds of total trust to work as you did - One Entity made up of four or five men and one crazy Lab. God bless you all! And thank you, De Calvert for bringing this to us. Welcome to the Combat Tracker Family, Sir.
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