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Old 06-27-2019, 11:55   #1
russn
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MSG James Conacher - Salina, KS

I posted this a week ago on the SFA general form and haven't gotten any responses so I thought I'd try here.

My spring issue of The Drop carried an obituary for James R. Conacher, a retired MSG I wish I’d gotten to know. Jim was an interesting guy. He was an avid skydiver and the obit said he was involved in rigging modifications for the first combat HALO operation while assigned to MACV-SOG.

Among other things his obituary said “From February 1977 to his retirement in November 1979, Jim was an advisor for the Special Forces National Guard out of Salina, KS.”

Conacher’s obituary caught my eye because I was living in Salina at that time. I don’t recall hearing anything about an SFNG unit there or anywhere nearby, nor about any training operations in the area.

Does anyone else here remember him? Can anyone tell me any more about Jim or about SFNG training ops in or near Salina, KS in the late 70’s?
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Old 06-27-2019, 14:42   #2
JJ_BPK
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This is the obit posted on FB U.S. Special Forces Taps page
I don't think he was on the SF List as we keep data on members that pass.


Quote:
James R Conacher
January 26, 2019 (Age 78)
Delores, Colorado
MACV-SOG &Special Forces (SFA M-1223)

MSG (R) James “Jim” Conacher enlisted into the US Army in the late 1950s and volunteered for Airborne School. He subsequently became a skilled sky diver and became a member of the 7th Army Parachute Team in Europe. Though he was not a school trained rigger he gained knowledge and proficiency in modifying parachute equipment – a skill that SF would call on him later to use. Jim volunteered for Special Forces and completed SFQC on 27 June 1969. He was initially assigned to the Gabriel Demonstration Area at Fort Bragg. In March 1970, he received orders to the 5th SFG(A), RVN and was assigned to CCS-MACV SOG. During his combat tour, he was assigned a special task to modify parachute harnesses and canopies for a the first SOG team to make a combat HALO jump into Laos. Following Vietnam, Jim would serve several years with the 3rd SFG(A) and 8th SFG(A). At one time, he was managing the Green Beret Club at Fort Bragg.

From February 1977 to his retirement in November 1979, Jim was an advisor for the Special Forces National Guard out of Salina, KS. Jim was a Green Beret for over 10 years. Among his awards and decorations are the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal, and Master Parachutist Badge, German and Vietnam Jump Wings.

Jim married Jeanette, who was a school teacher in San Diego, CA. He became a certified electrician and was employed for many years as an electrical supervisor for the VA Medical Hospital in La Jolla, CA. He and Jeanette subsequently both retired and moved to Delores, CO. Jim pursued interests in ranching, beef cattle, horses, and mules.

Jim was a SFA member at large and attended many annual conferences/conventions. He was never at a loss for a smile and a rucksack full of great stories. He died of cancer at his home in Colorado at 78 years of age. Jim served his country with honor in times of peace and war. He will be missed by his family, friends, and the Special Forces brotherhood.
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Old 06-29-2019, 14:14   #3
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Thanks for the additional detail.

Still curious about the SFNG work "out of Salina, Kansas." Seems odd to me.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-29-2019, 15:37   #4
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WAG, IF it was an SF unit, probably some part of the 12th??

Quote:
12th SFG(A) History

Activated 9 July 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, Montana.

Disbanded 6 January 1945 in France.

Reconstituted 15 April 1960 in Regular Army; concurrently, consolidated with Company C, 2d Infantry Battalion and consolidated unit designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 12th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces.

Withdrawn 14 December 1969 from the Regular Army and allotted to the Army Reserve (organic elements concurrently constituted).

Group activated 24 March 1961 with headquarters at Chicago, Illinois.

Location of Headquarters changed 19 January 1964 to Oak Park, Illinois; changed 1 September 1970 to Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Elements Located at Richards Gebauer AFB in Kansas City Missouri in 1978- 80 and San Diego, California (Van Deman Hall - USAR)

The Group was deactivated, along with the 11th Special Forces Group, on 15 September 1995.[3]

Many members of the 12th SFG transferred to 20th SFG following the group's inactivation.
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Old 06-29-2019, 17:37   #5
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A good WAG I think. Just found out that the 12th had a detachment at Richards Gebauer AFB (Kansas City).

Thanks
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