View Full Version : 77th SF Grp in 1956

04-10-2008, 13:13
I was in the 82nd Abn for about 18 months when word came out that the 77th SF was looking for some young blood to be trained by the existing combat experienced soldiers of the 77th.... They had many WW2 personel and needed qualifed airborne soldiers willing to learn and train with these men.... The requirements were that you would take a "short" discharge,re-enlist for four years and re-up for Special Forces....I jumped at the chance to get into this unit....It didn't last long,in less then a year they had cutbacks and we were the first to go...I ended up going into the 11th Abn in Germany as a replacement along with some other 82nd troopers...There must have been at least 100 of us that were on this program and I wonder if they are still around....By the way we were fondly referred to by the vets as "Bank's Babies"......

04-11-2008, 12:31
Does my SFA pal Robert "Bob" Storks ring a bell?


I just saw the "Taps" notification over at the SFA Forum for 3 former 77th members.

04-11-2008, 17:17

09-16-2008, 15:25
I was wondering if any former 77th SF Grp guys remember some young pups that were assigned to the unit in 1956? I've ran a search on this question and came up empty. It all started when 1st Sgt Kialoha (Samoan of course,over 6 ft tall and built like a rock, his nickname was the Pineapple,but never said to his face) addressed several hundred 82nd troopers at the theater in the "old" div area regarding the opportunity to get into the Special Forces. About a 100 of us accepted. We were told that Col Bank's was looking for young troopers willing to be trained by experienced WW2 vets. Anyone,either with the cadre or us, "Bank's Babies" recall that time? It was short lived,less than a year,cutbacks sent us all to the 11th Abn in Germany....

GB TFS :munchin

ODA 226
09-22-2008, 10:53
My neighbor, Dave Weakly, worked at the Field Activities Branch at Camp Perry and was in the 77th Group. Sadly, Dave passed away about 10 years ago.

09-22-2008, 13:30
My neighbor, Dave Weakly, worked at the Field Activities Branch at Camp Perry and was in the 77th Group. Sadly, Dave passed away about 10 years ago.

ODA 226,

First of all, thank you for replying to my post. I don't remember Dave. Sad part about this is that most of the vets were WW2. That of course puts many of them probably in their 80's. I remember some of the cadre but mostly the young guys like myself that volunteered at that time. What was unique about 1st Sgt Kialoha was the 4 stars he had mounted in his wings. He was with the 505 PIR on all of their jumps during the war. Sorry to hear about Dave's passing.


01-10-2011, 08:30
Does anyone know if the 77th group is having a reunion this year?....... Their has to be at least some guys still alive!.........I know I was a snotty nose kid at the time (18)but besides the vets teasing us as "Banks Babies" they were the greatest bunch of guys I have ever had the privilege to serve with.......... It didn't last long however because of cut backs,we were the first to leave and shipped over to the 11th ABN........ However Zonie said to me its better to have been a "has-been"than a "never was"........;)

Big Teddy :munchin

01-13-2011, 17:13
hello all...im trying to identify the soldier on the left...my dad is on the right...bill schreiber...i believe this was taken in panama sometime between 1963-66...i am compiling my fathers sf experience for the family and would appreciate any memories members may have of him...thanks

12-04-2011, 14:58
No,I don't remember him....However my memory isn't as good as it once was...Part of getting older...

Alas,I now remember my team number FB 10........ :D Not too bad after 55 years..... ;) I told Richard it was FD 10 and he said I must really be confused because that's a Field Manual,oh well.......:rolleyes:

I remember a MSGT.by the name of De Soto(I remember his name because their was a car by that name at the time)... The Team Officer was a Maj. Dawson....

Big Teddy :munchin

06-22-2013, 00:37
My father, Raleigh B. Power (aka Bud or Buddy) went from the 505th PIR to the 77th around 1955. He was a SSG at that time, I think. He was a team leader and Cpl. Larry Thorne was on his team.

He departed for OCS and was commissioned in 1957. Normal leg assignments followed, but he got back into the 1st before they had the black border -- we were at DLI when Pres. Kennedy was assassinated; sometime thereafter the black border was adopted.

He served in 1st ('63), 6th ('64-'65), 5th ('65-'66; Det. B-33, Hon Quan ... was in country when CPT Larry Thorne was lost); then with Tranining Group ('66-'68). After that, we deployed to Bangkok for his tour with JUSMAG/MACTHAI ('68-'70). I recall him saying his callsign in B-33 was "Strangelove." Retired as a major in 1970.

He remembers the 77th Commander as COL Raft. [Just researched it ... that would be COL Edson D. Raff].

Images of CPL Thorne here (http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42482) (PS thread).

Isolated image, 1955:


06-22-2013, 00:44
I also found an online article about Mike de la Peña (http://aiwa.americanindiansource.com/mike/mike.html):

Mike de la Pena transferred over from the 82nd Airborne to the 77th group in 1954. On April 1, 1956, 16 soldiers from the 77th were activated as the 14th Special Forces Operational Detachment; in June they were sent to Hawaii, and shortly thereafter to Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. Special Forces were now casting their glance to the Far East, departing from their previously heavy European orientation.


EDIT: Give me a zero for SA ..... I just noticed the original poster is RIP.

07-09-2014, 12:28
I'm looking for info on Vaclav Havel who served with the 77th between 1953 and 1954.. then assigned to 10th SFG(A).

We are working on a recommendation letter for Herr Havel.

Please contact me via PM