1960 Timeline
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This Page Last Updated  3 November 2015
4th U.S.
720th MP
     All major theater improvements, Cold War events or incidents that affected the 720th MP Battalion’s force allocations, training, operations, deployments, morale or history are shown in blue American Typewriter Font.
STRAC Duty At Fort Hood, Texas

     At the start of the year the battalion’s organic units, HQ & HQ Detachment, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta (active without personnel or equipment) Companies commanded by LTC Ward B. Waits were headquartered at Fort Hood Texas under the 4th U.S. Army.

     The new decade found no change in the location and mission of the battalion. Throughout the year they performed discipline, law and order post patrols, traffic duty, town patrols into Killeen and Temple, and security duty at the Main, East, and west gates to the post.
     The post was still open (access), and traffic was very seldom restricted. They also conducted prisoner escorts that were referred to as "Round Robins," and many escorts to Mexican cities and towns to pick up AWOL’s. At times they were assigned to long distance prisoner transports with the mode of transportation being the ever-reliable Greyhound Bus line.
Personal Reflections

     “CPL Voight and I were assigned to a Round Robin and we were on our way back to Fort Hood after picking up six prisoners. Our transport vehicle was an old Chevrolet pickup truck we used as a paddy wagon, it had a covered bed like a camper, with bench seats down both sides. There wasn’t much room in the back and with six prisoners it could get uncomfortable.

      We were on the highway between Dallas and Houston, and had been traveling for several hours when the prisoners complained that they needed to relieve themselves. CPL Voight decided to stop at the next service station and let them use the rest room. As we were unloading them one broke away, and ran across the highway. I gave chase and fired off a warning round while crossing the highway scaring the hell out of passing traffic. The prisoner didn’t stop so I took careful aim and fired, the round struck him in the leg and he went down ending the brief chase.
      As per procedure, the shooting was investigated and to my relief the Provost Marshal ruled it justified, however I did get a verbal reprimand for firing the warning shot while crossing the highway. CPL Voight received a verbal reprimand for violating procedures resulting in the attempted escape. We were later told that the unforeseen benefit was that a lot of prisoner attitudes changed at the stockade when word got around that you didn’t dare try to run from the MP’s
      The battalion barracks and mess hall, as were most of the buildings on post, still the old wooden framed, two story of World War-II vintage. The junior enlisted troops lived in open bays with rows of double decker bunks down each side, the showers and rest rooms were communal since there were no female MP’s at the time.
     On off duty days reveille was at 0430 hours, the troops fell out for morning chow followed by a formation, physical training, followed by work details that consisted of: policing the grounds; cleaning the barracks; KP duty (24 hour shift); preventative vehicle and equipment maintenance at the motor pool
     The patrol vehicles were ¼-ton trucks (Jeeps) and 1957 Chevrolet, six-cylinder stick shift, four door sedans. The seasonal uniforms consisted of, Class A with white hat, Khaki (summer) with white hat, and OD’s woolen winter field uniform.”     SP/4 Gordon S. Propes, Charlie & Bravo Companies, 1960-1963.
Exact Date Unknown At the Fort Hood Post Commanders Conference the battalion was presented the December 1959 Fort Hood Reenlistment Award for non-divisional units participation. LTC Waits was present to accept the award.
Exact Date Unknown Headquarters U.S. Continental Army Command (USCONARC) in Fort Monroe, Virginia designated 137 units of the 181 units in the STRAC command as qualified for the 2nd Annual STRAC Unit Award (1960). Of the 137, eight are 4th Army units located at Fort Hood, they are, 1st Cavalry 13th Cavalry, Company A 1st Quartermaster, 1st Armored Division, 720th MP Battalion, 418th Medical Company, 87th Ordnance Company, and the 149th Ordnance Company.
     In this year’s competition for the award, only two of the Fort Hood units qualified as “superior” STRAC units, the 13th Cavalry and the 720th MP Battalion. Both units are two-for-two in winning back-to-back awards. The awards are aimed to honoring the combat ready, highly mobile STRAC forces to even finer operational readiness. The program is set up as a competition against STRAC-wide standards established by USCONARC, rather than competition of units against each other. The selection of winners was based on recommendations of major commanders upon application made by the individual units. To be designated a superior STRAC unit, a unit is required to achieve a rating of at least “excellent” in all activities pertaining to administration, operations, training, logistics and overall combat readiness.
     The following factors were taken into consideration: STRAC readiness inspections, STRAC mobility exercises, command maintenance inspections, annual general inspections, the performance of recommended units in matters of savings program participation, disciplinary matters, accident and injury rates, and other information submitted with the unit application. The units designated as superior will be presented certificates and streamers for their organizational banners in the upcoming Armed Forces Day ceremonies.
Exact Date Unknown At El Paso, Texas, the Fort Hood Pistol Team showed well against marksmen from the greater Southwest in the Sun Carnival Pistol Tournament. SFC Dewey M. Watts of the battalion was one of the 8-team members who won team, and nineteen individual awards.
15 January In the Post Units 1959-1960 Basketball League, the battalion team bumped out the Hospital team to move into 2nd place in the American League Division by beating the 46th Engineer’s (6th place) 53-27. The battalion’s record was 10-3.
25-27 January The battalion was one of twelve Fort Hood STRAC units called out for alerts and engaged in STRAC mobility exercises. A 4th Army test team was present on post to administer and evaluate the exercise. The battalion, 3rd Army Postal Unit, 418th Medical Company, 108th Finance Disbursement Section, 149th Ordnance Company, and the 54th Signal Company were called out at noon on the 25th. The other post units were called out at noon on the 26th. The battalion finished its exercise on the 27th.
29 January The 185th Ordnance remained locked into 1st place in the American League Division of the Post non-divisional Basketball League, maintaining a two game lead in the win column over the battalion team. During the preceding week the battalion team maintained its lock on 2nd place over the Hospital team, and improved its record to 11-3 by downing the 35th Engineers 46-3.

     Fort Hood’s three parade fields were renamed, two for Medal of Honor Winners, and the other for the general who lead the 2nd Armored Division in 1943 when it landed on the shores of Sicily. The main parade field located west of Hood Rd. and north of South Ave. was named Sadowski Field in honor of SGT Joseph Sadowski, a member of the 4th Armored Division, and a Medal of Honor recipient.

     Parade Field No. 2, located generally between Headquarters Ave. and Battalion Ave. from 42nd St. to Hood Rd. was named in honor of LT Thomas W. Fowler, a Medal of Honor recipient.

     Parade Field No. 3 located generally between Headquarters Rd. and Battalion Ave. from 52nd to 56th St. was named in honor of the late MG Hugh J. Gaffey.

Shootout With Robbery Suspects In Killeen
Personal Reflections

      “My partner and I were on the midnight shift at the post stockade picking up the head count when our attention was drawn to a light blue 4-door car passing the stockade at high rate of speed. We ran to our 1957 Chevrolet patrol car and gave chase. Within minutes we received a radio alert of a robbery having just occurred at the Post Exchange. I can’t recall now if the actual crime committed was an armed robbery or burglary, however at the time the call specified “robbery,” so we proceeded on the premise that they were armed and dangerous.”

       The vehicle we were chasing continued to disregard our siren and overhead light, and passed through main gate at a high rate of speed towards Killeen. We still were not positive that they were the PX robbery suspects. As the chase continued we received another radio transmission where they gave the description of the robbery suspects car. It matched the one we were chasing towards Killeen.” “I was in the passenger seat and rolled down the window and fired several rounds at the suspect’s car during chase. They reached Killeen and turned into a residential neighborhood where they lost control of their car, left the roadway, and ended up on a front lawn. We pulled up on the street just behind them blocking any chance of escape. As we exited our patrol car both suspects exited their car shooting at us, one with a 38-caliber revolver, the other with a smaller caliber revolver. Using our patrol car as a barricade we returned fire with our .45’s. When the shootout was over we realized we each emptied both of our clips and were out of ammunition. Fortunately for us, both suspects were wounded and out of commission. One received a shoulder wound, the other a flesh wound to the side. My partner and I were unharmed, not a scratch.
       We secured the suspects and in searching their bullet-riddled car discovered that the pregnant wife of one suspect had been hiding on the floor in the rear, somehow during the shootout she avoided injury. Both suspects, who were in their 20’s, and the female, turned out to be local area residents. The Killeen Police arrived at the scene and took custody of the suspects and the shooting investigation.”   SP/4 Gordon S. Propes, Charlie & Bravo Companies, 1960-1963.



5 February CPT John G. Collins, commander of Bravo Company received a Letter of Commendation from LTG Edward T. Williams, Commanding General of the 4th U.S. Army, for his exemplary performance during the December 1959 funeral services of Mr. Walter W. Williams, the last surviving veteran of the Civil War.

     The letter said: “It has come to my attention that during the funeral services of Mr. Walter M. Williams, last surviving veteran of the Civil War, you distinguished yourself in an exemplary manner.”

     "At both Houston and Franklin, Texas you commanded the United States Army troops which participated in the services and last rights. You were confronted with problems of extremely delicate and public nature which were solved instantaneously and in a commendatory manner."

     "Exhibiting at all times a calm and dignified appearance you discharged your duties in an outstanding manner, reflecting great credit upon yourself and the United States Army.”

      Also extending his congratulations to CPT Collins was MG Earl G. Wheeler, Fort Hood and 2nd Armored Division Commander.
     The battalion once again won the Fort Hood non-divisional units reenlistment award for January. MG Earl G. Wheeler presented the plaque to the battalion commander LTC Ward B. Waits at the commander’s conference.
12 February The U.S. Department of the Army officially announced the distribution of the new M-14 rifle (7.62 mm NATO round) to STRAC units by the end of the year. The 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky was designated as the first unit to received the new rifles. The M-14 replaced the M-1 rifle (.30 caliber), M-2 carbine (.30 caliber), M1918 Browning Automatic rifle (.30-06 caliber), and the M-3A1 submachine gun (.45 caliber Grease Gun).

     The Army selected the design for the M14 rifle in 1957. Production of the M14 rifle was halted in 1964, by which time 1,380,874 had been manufactured.

     The M14, 7.62 mm rifle is a magazine-fed, gas operated shoulder weapon, designed primarily for semiautomatic fire. It was the standard service rifle and the last of the wooden stock rifles until it was replaced in the late 1960's by the 5.56mm M16 rifle.

Length: 44.14 inches (112.12 centimeters)
Length of Barrel: 22 inches (55.88 centimeters)
Empty magazine: 8.7 pounds (3.95 kilograms)
Full magazine and sling: 11.0 pounds (5.0 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 7.62mm
Maximum effective range: 1,509.26 feet (460 meters)
Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
Cyclic rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds
Unit Replacement Cost: $576
      In the Post Units Basketball League, the battalion team won their game and the 185th Ordnance lost two allowing the battalion to lock into a tie for 1st place in the American League Division. Both teams now have a season record of 13-3.
      SFC Eldon O. Bullock of Bravo Company was honored for graduating highest in an air transportability course at Fort Eustis, Virginia. MG Ear G. Wheeler, the Fort Hood and 2nd Armored Division Commander, presented a commendation for his achievement. Present at the ceremony were LTC Ward B. Waits, battalion commander, and CPT John G. Collins commander of Bravo Company. The commendation letter from BG F. D. Atkinson, commandant of the U.S. Army Transportation School, stated, in part: “Your diligent efforts throughout the course have contributed toward a high standard for all students and your scholarly attitude has served as an inspiration to the other members of your class.”

      Dual awards were presented to members of the battalion in a ceremony held by battalion commander LTC Waits. The first awards were Army Commendation Ribbons with pendants presented to SFC Eldon O. Bullock of Alpha Company, and SFC Walter E. Shipley of HQ & HQ Detachment, for their service in Germany.

      SFC Bullock of Bravo Company was cited for his services as first sergeant with Company A, 385th MP Battalion, and also as temporary battalion sergeant major. The citation read in part, “Sergeant Bullock’s professional knowledge, thoroughness, and attention to detail greatly aided his unit in achieving high ratings in the annual Army training test and command maintenance and annual general inspection.”

     SFC Shipley was cited for his meritorious service as battalion supply sergeant, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, from March of 1957 until November of 1959. The citation read in part, “SFC Shipley’s foresight, intensive efforts and forceful leadership greatly increased the expedient processing of new troops assigned to his battalion prior to its gyroscope to the European Command, and assisted materially in the movement.”

     The second group of awards were, battalion pistol and rifle trophies presented to CPT Roy K. Williams, commander of Company A, the winning unit of the battalion competition. The high scorer’s for pistol were SP/4 Hugh G. Shouse, and SSG Lowell C. Ulery, also of Company A. SP/4 Shouse won top individual of the pistol competition with a score of 239. SSG Ulery followed with a score of 228.

     The top individual score for the rifle competition was SFC Clinton M. Bizzle of Company A with a score of 219, followed by SFC Nerberto Hernandez of Company A with a score of 201.

13 February The two classes of the Fort Hood NCO Academy, Regular Army and National Guard and Reserve, graduated their classes and SP/4 Clay O. Williams of Alpha Company received the honors of placing 2nd in the Regular Army class.
19 February In the closing games of the Post Units Basketball League, the battalion team fell from 1st place in the American League due to a win by the 185th Ordnance over the 53rd Signal, and a loss by battalion to the Garrison team 52-26. The battalion then went on to win their next game, however, in a head-to-head match up, the 185th surged after a close half time score of 33-32 to beat the battalion 64-50, holding their 1st place position.

    With the threat of a communist government on our back step in Cuba, and before diplomatic ties were officially broken, President Eisenhower authorized plans for a covert CIA financed paramilitary operation to train a small invasion force of exiles and paid mercenaries to gain popular support to overthrow the repressive Castro regime.

     The training and operation was to be launched off shore (Guatemala) to hide the U.S. government’s direct involvement. With Central, South America and Mexico becoming an incubator for the Marxist movement, it didn’t remain a secret for long.

3 March Battalion commander Ward B. Waits was promoted to the rank of Colonel. Before he departed for his new assignment as Provost Marshal at Fort Bliss, Texas. MG Earle G. Wheeler Fort Hood and 2nd Armored Division Commander pinned on COL Waits new insignia at a ceremony conducted at the Division Headquarters.

4 March The battalion bowling team was coming to the close of a dismal season tied for 11th place of the 12 teams in the Fort Hood Classic League with a record of 4-12.

     Twenty-six Fort Hood Riflemen participated in the San Antonio Big Bore Rifle Matches in San Antonio, Texas. The other contestants hailed from Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, and Fort Rucker, Alabama. Also participating were civilians from the area, and the all-Air Force rifle team. The Fort Hood contingent consisted of twelve men from post units, and twelve men from the 2nd Armored Division.

      A two-man team composed of MSG Floyd O. Burgess, 6th Infantry, and SFC Clifton M. Bizzle of the battalion, placed third in the team match. SFC Bizzle also won the offhand match, and finished first master in the aggregate match. In addition SP/4 Joel T. Padrick of the battalion classified as expert class in the aggregate scorecard, and also took honors in the 200-yard rapid-fire expert class. The shooters were provided .30 caliber high-powered match rifles to compete with.

    The battalion won its second Fort Hood non-divisional units reenlistment award plaque, this time for the month of February. The battalion produced a reenlistment average of 80 percent. MG Earl G. Wheeler presented the plaque to LTC Waits at the commander’s conference.

10-11 March MG Earle G. Wheeler the Fort Hood and 2nd Armored Division commander departed the post after a two-day farewell ceremony. The farewell pass and review parade was held at Sadowski Field on the 10th. Along with the other major commands, the battalion provided a detail of troops to participate in the pass and review. President Eisenhower nominated MG Wheeler for his third star, and his new duty assignment was the director of the joint staff in the office of the Joint Chief’s of Staff at the Pentagon.

     BG Robert Q. Brown, 2nd Armored Division Artillery was selected as the provisional commander of Fort Hood and the 2nd Armored Division.
31 March Just as they bade farewell to MG Wheeler on the 11th, the battalion honor guard detail again participated in the welcoming parade pass in review for MG Edward G. Farrand, the new Fort Hood and 2nd Armored Division commander.
     The communist government of Ho Che Minh in North Vietnam initiated a universal military conscription. The tour of duty was indefinite.
6 April At the Fort Hood Post Commanders Conference MG Edward G. Farrand, Fort Hood and 2nd Armored Division Commander presented a Commendation Ribbon with medal pendant to MAJ Howard D. Laymond the battalion executive officer. The award for the period of June 1958 to April 1960 cited; “Due largely to his efforts, the Battalion received, in the fiscal yeas 1958 and 1959, the Post Commander’s Maintenance Award and superior ratings in the Annual Inspector General’s inspection and the Fourth U.S. Army Training Inspection for the year 1958. A superior rating on STRAC Mobility Tests, conducted by the 4th U.S. Army and HQ Fort Hood was also received in 1959.”
     The citation continued further, said, “He (MAJ Laymond) gave unstintingly of his time in the training and counseling of Reserve Forces Act Junior Officers to ensure their accruing a full measure of training despite the limited period of time each would serve.”
     MAJ Laymond also accepted the 1st quarter Fort Hood Post Safety Award for the battalion, and CPT Roy K. Williams, commander of Alpha Company accepted a Certificate of Merit citing the company for having no private or military vehicle accidents from 8 March 1959 through 8 March 1960.
8 April SFC Robert E. Ehrhardt, a platoon sergeant of Alpha Company was honored as Fort Hood’s Top NCO for the month of March. SFC Ehrhardt entered the Army in 1948, and came to the battalion in August 1959 from the U.S. Army MP Garrison, Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.
29 April SGT Harold E. Thompson of the battalion was one of several officers and NCO’s at Fort Hood who retired during a formal ceremony held at Sadowski Field.
   Exact Dates Unknown CPT Baxter M. Bullock the battalion operations officer completed an intensive three-week course on Traffic Safety at the Traffic Institute at Northwestern University, Evans, Illinois.
     At the Post Commanders Conference the GEN Edward G. Farrand presented the April Fort Hood Reenlistment Plaque for non-divisional units to battalion commander LTC Waits for a 75 percent reenlistment rate.
     The Colonel Ward B. Waits Trophy was awarded to LT E. G. McConnell, commanding officer of HQ Detachment for attaining the highest score (98.65) among the battalion’s organic units in the Battalion Annual Command Maintenance Inspection. The trophy was name by the men of the battalion to honor the soon to be departing commander, who made the presentation.
     Eighteen units at Fort Hood to include the Battalion’s HQ Detachment, Alpha and Bravo Company’s received superior ratings for the 1960 Annual General Inspection. For their diligence they were informed they were excused from the 1961 inspection.
13 May LT John Cummings of the battalion was selected to coach the Fort Hood tennis team in the June 28 through July 1 Fourth Army Tennis Tournament to be held at Fort Bliss, Texas. The team will be selected from the participants of the June 1-3 2nd Armored Division and Post Units Tennis Tournament at Fort Hood.
14 May It was being called “Black Saturday” by the soldiers of Fort Hood after the highway death toll from several vehicle crashes involving military members near the post resulted in 7 killed and 20 injured. The deaths occurred from two head-on collisions. Five of those injured were battalion family members of SFC David A. Seagraves of HQ & HQ Detachment, his wife Josephine and daughters Ann, Mary and Joan.

20 May After the traffic mayhem occurring on 14 May, an announcement was posted in the Armored Sentinel Newspaper that military police patrols on highways adjoining Fort Hood in Temple, Belton and Killeen were being increased for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

     With 14,000 registered vehicles on the post the MPs planned to beef up their patrols with six additional vehicles and two radar teams working around the clock on Highways 190, 439 and 440. This increase was in addition to the normal complement of patrols within the post footprint.

20-21 May Festivities, equipment demonstrations and other events were set in motion to celebrate the 11th annual observance of Armed Forces Day at Fort Hood, Texas. Approximately 2,500 soldiers were scheduled to march in review during the grand ceremony. The soldiers were to be organized into composite companies of 180 men, to include troops from the battalion.

23 May LG Edward T. Williams Commanding General of the 4th U. S. Army presented the STRAC Superior Unit plaque to the battalion. The award was accepted by the battalion commander Ward B. Waits during a formal ceremony at Sadowski Field.           Photo Right >

28-30 May LTC Waits participated in the annual Biddle Trophy Handicap Golf Tournament on Fort Hood and played his three rounds in Flight A. At the start of the third round LTC Waits with a total score of 143 was tide for fourth place. The colonel had problems making par on several of the last holes and dropped too far down the leader board to be a contender as the third round finished.


6 June The battalion reenlistment percentage for the month of May was 40 percent.
Prisoner Shot During Attempted Escape
Personal Reflections

Exact Date Unknown "CPL Voight and I were assigned to a Round Robin and we were on our way back to Fort Hood after picking up six prisoners. Our transport vehicle was an old Chevrolet pickup truck we used as a paddy wagon, it had a covered bed like a camper, with bench seats down both sides. There wasn’t much room in the back and with six prisoners it could get uncomfortable.

   We were on the highway between Dallas and Houston and had been traveling for several hours when the prisoners complained that they needed to relieve themselves. CPL Voight decided to stop at the next service station and let the prisoners use the rest room. As we were unloading them one broke away and ran across the highway. I gave chase and fired off a warning round while crossing the highway scaring the hell out of passing traffic. The prisoner didn’t stop so I took careful aim and fired, the round struck him in the leg and he went down ending the brief chase.

   As procedure the shooting was investigated and to my relief the Provost Marshal ruled it justified. I did get a verbal reprimand for firing the warning shot while crossing the highway. CPL Voight received a verbal reprimand for violating procedures resulting in the attempted escape. We were later told that the unforeseen benefit was that a lot of prisoner attitudes changed at the stockade when word got around that you didn’t dare try to run from the MPs." SP/4 Gordon S. Propes, C & B Company, 720th MP Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, 1960-1963.

Wanted: Photographs of SP/4 Propes and CPL Voight, please contact the History Project Manager via the Email Link at the top of this page.

Exact Date Unknown The battalion personnel officer 2LT John Cummings, Jr. was promoted to First Lieutenant.
1 July The Fort Hood branch of Mary Hardin – Baylor College announced that 22 officers and enlisted men reached the honor roll for the term ending 26 May. Among them was the battalion's SP/4 Loren R. Axtell.

6 July COL Waits passed command of the Battalion to LTC Harold K. Reynolds at Fort Hood. COL Waits was reassigned to the position of Provost Marshal at Fort Bliss, Texas.

     LTC Reynolds came to the battalion from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York where he served as a member of the superintendent’s staff. He served during World War II in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and Austria. He was with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea during the conflict there. His decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Army Commendation Medal.

     LTC Reynolds holds a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan, and his Army education includes attendance at Infantry School, the Provost Marshal General’s School, and the Command General Staff College.

     Editors Note: It's believed that LTC Waits departed Fort Hood for his new duty assignment as Provost Marshal at Fort Bliss, Texas before the arrival of LTC Reynolds. If so, the interim commander has yet to be identified.

LTC Reynolds
Wanted: Photograph of LTC Reynolds, please contact the History Project Manager via the Email Link at the top of this page.
8 July At the Post Commanders Conference LTC Harold K. Reynolds was presented the June Fort Hood Reenlistment Plaque for non-divisional units by 2nd Armored Division and Fort Hood Commander MG Edward G. Farrand. The battalion’s reenlistment program resulted in a 66.67 percentage.
15 July 1LT John Cummings, Jr. of HQ & HQ Detachment was assigned responsibility for representing the battalion as one of eight members of the campaign committee of the Fort Hood 1960 Joint Annual Fund Campaign of Army Emergency Relief and Army Relief Society. The campaign was scheduled to start on 25 July and their goal for 1960 was set at $18,200.55.
19 July The Commanding General, Fort Hood, awarded the battalion the Installation Commanders Organizational Maintenance Award (trophy) for the fiscal year 1960.
22 July Members of Bravo Company had dinner with the Frantz Floor Show troupe from Dallas, Texas as part of the a weekend full of entertainment, music and dancing at the many service clubs on Fort Hood.
Exact Dates Unknown In Bravo Company LT Oliver J. Powell was reassigned to Panama; PFC's Leonard R. Schilling and Raymond B. Peterson were promoted to Specialist 4th Class; 1SG Jack Chaney was assigned; and CPL Gene W. Rodgers was selected as Battalion Soldier of The Month for August.
     Three South Vietnamese National Police officials visited Fort Hood to see how military and civilian law enforcement personnel cooperate in traffic and criminal investigations. Lieutenant Vu Da Lai, Inspector Le Quang Bang and Assistant Inspector Dam Trung were visiting under a program sponsored by the International Cooperative Administration of the U.S. Government and the International Chiefs of Police Association. Members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, State Police, and LTC William R. Howard the assistant post provost marshal escorted the visitors during the tour of the post.
    SFC David A. Seagraves of HQ & HQ Detachment was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for his outstanding service as the supply sergeant.
Exact Date Unknown SFC Eldon O. Bullock of Bravo Company was promoted to the rank of captain in the Army Reserve. SFC Bullock is a veteran of 15 years and was first commissioned in August 1952. His military record showed service in Italy, France, Germany, Trinidad, British West Indies and Korea. He held the Army Commendation Medal, European Theater of Operation Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, American Theater, Korean Service Medals, and the U.N. Service Medal.
Dog/Delta Company Deactivated

10 September The battalion was once again reorganized, this time to a 19-35D TO&E, Army MP Battalion. It now fielded a HQ & HQ Detachment, and two letter companies, Alpha and Bravo. Charlie Company was still active, but without personnel and equipment. Dog/Delta Company, for years a paper company, was finally deactivated.

     At full strength the battalion was now authorized twenty-one officers and warrant officers, and 627 enlisted men. The change was made to facilitate a better response to its STRAC mission.

26 September Military Police units throughout the Army celebrated the 19th anniversary of the Military Police Corps. To kick off the battalion’s celebration on post, LTC Reynolds cut the cake and made a few remarks concerning the history of the Corps and congratulated the troops for their performance in STRAC and military police duties.

     The main event of the day was softball. The NCO's were beaten by the PFC's and PVT's. In the second game the SP/4s, PFC's and PVT's beat the officers. Other events included tournaments in pinochle, volleyball, table tennis, touch football and horseshoes. The winners of each event were presented prizes. The Battalion Communications Officer who acted as the disc jockey, played records for the gathering.
     After all the events were finished refreshments and a buffet style meal were served to the troops and their guests.
24 October CPT Athel W. Crocker the battalion S-4 was promoted to the rank of Major. The new oak leafs were pinned on by LTC Reynolds. MAJ Crocker joined the battalion in April 1960. He and his wife Era resided in Killeen.

     The Battalion and the 54th Signal Company were two of 142 STRAC units of the Army assigned to participate in Exercise SOUTH WIND. The exercise was a joint Army – Air Force command post and field training program conducted from 14 October through 10 November in an area covering the states of North & South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida.

     A composite platoon of 20 troops from the battalion commanded by CPT Baxter M. Bullock the battalion’s executive officer was assigned and departed Fort Hood by vehicle convoy at 0400 hours. Both units split into two sections, one going to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and the other to Elgin Air Force Base, Florida.

    The Battalion was assigned the mission of operating prisoner of war compounds and general military police support.

     The Continental Army Command-Tactical Air Command directed the exercise operations employing approximately 10,000 troops, and for aircraft of the Tactical Air Commands and Military Air Transport Service.

     More than 100 aircraft of the two Air Force Commands were used to furnish close air support, reconnaissance, rescue and airborne landings and airdrops.

     The participating Army units were from 17 states ranging from Georgia to Massachusetts in the east, and Texas, Arizona and Washington in the west.

      The tests involved offensive assault of the objective area by an airborne corps; defense of an airhead; offensive and defensive nuclear, chemical and biological warfare; civil affairs activities; and administrative and logistic support operations over extended distances. The commanders of the 9th Air Force and 3rd Army were the exercise directors.
During the deployment convoy and exercise there were no battalion vehicles involved in any traffic accidents. Upon their return CPT Bullock praised the troops and said their performance “proved we are ready to move any time anywhere, fulfill our mission.”
Exact Dates Unknown The Fort Hood Viking Diving Club announced they would be entering two teams in the annual Arkansas – Louisiana – Texas “Gar Rodeo,” at Lake Bistineau, LA and was recruiting new members. Gar weighing up to 100 lbs. have been taken by spear gun in previous rodeos. CPT William C. Boden of Bravo Company signed up for training being held at the outdoor swimming pool at the Ranch Motel in Killeen.
22-23 November The Battalion was the first stop of LTG Thomas J. H. Trapnell, commander of Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) “Fire Brigade” and Fort Bragg, North Carolinas visit to Fort Hood to observe, inspect and discuss activities of the STRAC units on post. Eleven general staff and technical service officers accompanied the general on his two-day tour.
25 November Fort Hood Special Services announced tryouts for the formation of a post wrestling team to compete against other 4th Army posts. It was also announced that the coach selected was PFC Joseph N. Hamilton of Bravo Company. Hamilton was 6.0” tall and weighed a muscular 230 lbs.

     Tryouts were scheduled into January when Special Services will sponsor a post tournament that will decide the team members who will participate in the 4th Army Wrestling Tournament to be held at Fort Hood in March 1961.

     PFC Hamilton was a professional wrestler before being drafted into the Army. He turned pro at the age of 18 and has a record of 37 bouts to date, against such notable opponents as Joe “Killer” Christy, Mario Gallnto, Stu Gibson, Rube Wright, and the Smith Brothers, Al and John.

     He also fought on the same card with world-famous Antonio Rocca, Miguel Perez and Don Leo Jonathan. In May 1958 he teamed up with his older brother Larry who also wrestled professionally. They wrestled as the Hamilton Brothers and they appeared in Madison Square Garden in a tag team match pitted against the team of Rocca and Perez. At 19 he was the youngest wrestler ever to appear in a main event at the Garden.

                                              Photos: Left PFC Hamilton 1960-Right As the "The Assassin" 1961 >

     During his spare time Hamilton wrestles throughout the state. He most recently fought in Houston and Waco, where he won three of five bouts. 

    In late 1961 Hamilton teamed up with Tom Renesto to form the masked (bad guy) team known as "The Assassins" and for over a decade Hamilton and Renesto wrestled all over the world with great success.

2 December More than 700 personnel of non-divisional post units marched in a special retreat parade at Sadowski Field at 1630 hours. The parade ended with the presentation of trophies and marksmanship medals for the small bore rifle competition for post units.
     The 753-strong troop was divided into two-groups- a Special Troops Battalion, and a Provisional Battalion. Troops from the Battalion paraded in the latter under the supervision of MSG Edward G. Rechter also of the Battalion.
     The Trophy for Phase II of the shooting competition went to the U.S. Army Hospital team. Team winners for Phase II were the 720th MP Battalion, who took first place.
     The Department of The Army announced that there was a shortage of officers in various branches including the Military Police Corps and encouraged qualified officers with some civil or military experience to apply for branch transfers to fill the void. The MPs were looking for First Lieutenants military or civilian education or background in fields related to police or correctional activities and previous duty with a combat arms preferred. The other branches cited were: Adjutant Generals Corps, Artillery, Chemical Corps, Corps of Engineers, Finance Corps, Intelligence & Security Branch, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Medical Service Corps, Ordnance Corps, Quartermaster Corps, Signal Corps and Transportation Corps.
    The Modern Choir of Texas Woman’s University, known throughout the southwest for its choral singing presented three concerts at Fort Hood on 2, 3, and 4 December. Prior to the first concert the ladies were hosted at a dinner with troops of the Battalion.
16 December Since the beginning of the 1960 Fort Hood-Killeen Base-Gray Air Force Base United Fund Drive the Battalion was leading all major post units in percentage of troop participation rate per donation total. At the start of the drive COL Frank Stepczyk, Chairman of the local Federal Plan Coordinating Committee set the goal for the year at $61,00.00. With the announcement of the end of the drive a total of $61,106.89 was achieved and the 720th MP Battalion was the top unit passing their established goal of $900.00 with a percentage of 136 and a total of $1,229.25 in contributions pledged.
17 December  CPL William R. Griffith and SP/4 Bobby W. Loudin were two of the 42 Regular Army, National Guardsmen and Army Reservists to graduate from the Fort Hood Noncommissioned Officer Academy Leadership School.
Exact Date Unknown (Mid-December) It was basic training all over again for the troops of the battalion when they were tasked with experiencing a newly developed British riot control gas during their training.

     It was reported that the new gas showed great improvement over earlier tear gas being used by the U.S. Army. The most striking effects are immediate physiological effects, inability to open the eyes, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tightening of the chest and retarded breathing.

     Heavy doses of the lighter-than-air substance may cause serious skin irritation after long exposure, but extensive testing has revealed no evidence of permanent injury from the gas. The only known first aid for the gas effects is to face the wind, trying to open the eyes. Six hours should elapse before the victim does any bathing to prevent further irritation of the skin.

     CPL Robert Morrison, who was one of the MPs who felt the results of the new irritants summed up his experience with the gas in these words, “Man, this is powerful stuff.”

     The only known first aid for the gas effects is to face the wind, trying to open the eyes. Six hours should elapse before the victim does any bathing to prevent further irritation of the skin.
18 December The Fort Hood Sports Car Club sponsored drag races for fifteen separate classes and more than 2,000 people were in attendance. Each vehicle was timed for the quarter mile run, and after elimination runs the leaders competed for top in their class and the winners trophy.
     SP/4 D. Olmstead of the Battalion won the B Stock (manual transmission) class in his 1960 Chevrolet with a winning time of 17.4 seconds.
22 December It was announced that MAJ Baxter M. Bullock the Battalion executive officer was one of four officers from Fort Hood selected to attend the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Missouri beginning 4 January 1961. MAJ Bullock age 37 was a reserve on active duty. He has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal twice. Among his previous assignments was a tour as an advisor to the Nationalist Chinese military police in Formosa. MAJ Bullock will return to his duties with the battalion upon completion of the course.
     The Battalion Post Unit’s Basketball Team took the first place title in the American League with a record of 9 wins and 1 loss over Killeen Base (8-2) as the play reached the end of the first half of the 1960-1961 season.
1960 Miscellaneous Photographs Index
This Index contains miscellaneous photographs from 1960 that have yet to be directly linked to any specific Battalion Timeline event. If you can date any of the events depicted, or identify them as part of a specific event, operation, exercise or special duty assignment, please use the Email Link on the photograph or this page to notify the History Project Manager.
A "?" preceding the photo number denotes further identifications are needed, and an Email Link is provided.
 CPL Robert D. Browning of A Company and SP/4 Rex Schultz of B Company investigate a minor vehicle crash.