5:53 | After the big war, Army Air Corps veteran Harold Dudley was active in ROTC at college and participated in extensive MP training. His expertise was tested when he was serving at Fort Benning and given orders to clean up the cesspool at nearby Phenix City, Alabama. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
Keywords : Harold Dudley University of North Alabama Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Military Police (MP) Texas Rangers Fort Hood Fort Gordon museum Fort McClellan Fort Benning martial law Phenix City AL Fort Rucker helicopter school Tobacco Road Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Jimmy Hayes George Patton tank Hollywood movie Infantry Museum
Harold Dudley's first contribution to the war effort came at Mobile Bay in Alabama, where he was a machine gunner on a fishing boat. Going from the National Guard into the Air Corps, he became a heavy bomber gunner and communications NCO. Deployed to North Africa, he had to reroute to the Belgian Congo because of German submarine activity. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
While Harold Dudley's unit was attached to the RAF in Khartoum, he managed some great R&R to visit Egypt and Asmara in the mountains of Ethiopia. Setting up communications at air fields was his business and while doing that in Saudi Arabia, he met a highly esteemed VIP. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
Harold Dudley describes the navigation equipment he installed at far flung airfields in Africa. He had to fly to Italy and back on supply runs and on one of these flights, a hitchhiking senior pilot took command of the plane and promptly got them lost. The policy which allowed this was changed due to this incident. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
Harold Dudley was busy with preparations for the Normandy invasion, working in the unlikely location of French Equatorial Africa. There was massive amounts of air traffic in all directions, dependent on the communications and navigation equipment he set up. His unit also escorted planes through the treacherous desert sandstorms. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
When he got to Marseille, Harold Dudley continued to set up communications and navigation equipment at airfields, just as he had been doing in Africa. He had to take a side trip to Lyon to help out his brother, who had gotten into some trouble. His brother rose above that incident to do good work for NASA after the war. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
When VE Day had come and gone, there was an concerted effort to keep all the men in theater busy. In Marseille, Harold Dudley went to radio teletype school. When he heard the war was over on the BBC radio broadcast, he made a mess of his tent. Then, a long period of waiting and frustration set in. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
Harold Dudley was twenty miles inland, but a German air raid on ammunition supply ships in an Italian harbor knocked him out of his cot. The Germans still had air power in Italy. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
During his service in the Air Corps, Harold Dudley had two close calls in wildly different places. One was over a highway near Nashville and the other was in the jungle in Equatorial Africa. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
When the war first started, and Harold Dudley was guarding Mobile Bay for the Alabama National Guard, two German spies were captured. They had come ashore from submarines. The Germans on the U-boats were brazen, even taunting those ashore through megaphones. (This interview made possible with the support of CHESTER RUST.)
It was assumed to be a one day operation, but it was on the the third day of action on the island of Grenada that David Barno faced his first combat. The Ranger company commander took away many important lessons from that chaotic operation.
When a vehicle loaded with explosives blew up at the gate, dental officer Mike Barno hurried to his emergency assignment, triage at the aid station. A truck with wounded men from the Afghan Army pulled up and he jumped into the back, ready to help.
Following the tragic deaths of ten Afghan children, it fell on General David Barno to tell President Karzai about the incident. He describes the effect this had on the rules of engagement going forward and he discusses a document he drew up to give guidelines to the troops that would keep them in the good graces of their hosts.
Justice details a too-close-for-comfort interaction with a vehicle-borne IED. The IED came as a complete surprise and the entire F.O.B. fell into what Justice could only describe as “chaos” immediately following the explosion. She suffered several injuries and had to work with the nurses back in Bagram and depend on the friendship of comrade Colonel Ellison to come back from the injuries.
Mike Barno recalls his experiences with local civilians during his tour in Afghanistan. The dental officer had staunchly pro-American Afghan translators in his company. The Afghan Army dentists weren't very friendly but the children from the nearby school sure were.
General David Barno formed a task force to train Iraqi exiles during the preparations for that conflict and he managed it so well that he got some attention up the chain. His next assignment was a big one, command of the combined forces in Afghanistan.
The sniper was hidden in the hills above the base in Afghanistan. Dental officer Mike Barno was there for routine procedures, but no one wanted to go see the dentist with that sniper out there. He got a patient eventually, the hard way.
What would be the positive memories of his time in Afghanistan? For General David Barno, the best thing was seeing young officers blossom into senior leaders. He had a quiet, lone homecoming and then a radically different operating environment, the Pentagon.
The time had come for the brigade to push into Iraq. Speed was the goal, but multiple challenges faced them including navigating the desert terrain and getting fuel to the tanks. LTG Wesley describes the strategic thoughts that went into pushing through southern Iraq on their way to Baghdad. Part 2 of 4
Many of the instructors at West Point had served in Vietnam, recalls David Barno. The war was on the mind of every cadet and when Vietnam fell, they knew they would not be going there. This particular class would become known for the number of future generals it produced.
It was a tough job for the top commander in Afghanistan. General David Barno had to manage relations between President Karzai and the United Nations and the forces fighting the war. He soon determined that a fair and free election was the best way to thwart the efforts of the Taliban.
Mike Barno noticed there was suddenly a SEAL unit on the base near the Pakistan border. Then there was an order that everyone had to wear body armor all day. Something big was going on, something that would bring some closure to the 9/11 attacks.
He heard of Grenada on a Friday and on Monday he was flying there. David Barno was a Ranger company commander who took part in the hastily put together operation. It was such a patchwork of units and plans that everything went wrong that could. It spurred congressional hearings that actually helped correct the situation.
LTG Wesley was deployed to Germany at the tail end of the Cold War where he was able to serve with the 1st Armored Division. He would have to sit out Desert Storm, but the experience gained during this time would be very valuable in the future.
David Barno relished the challenge of rebuilding a broken Army in the years after Vietnam. He finished a four year run with the 25th Infantry Division as a company commander, and began to develop a respect for the new Ranger battalions. That's where he felt he should go next.
General David Barno describes the evolution of the Joint Special Forces Command into the high tech force it is today. He also looks back on his command in Afghanistan and wonders, could he have done more to bring the conflict to a conclusion?