4th Missile Bn
517th Artillery
Canal Zone


1LT Frank Lipson, Battery A & HHB 1965-66

Hi Bill,

Your website on the 4th/517th is great!! These are some recollection of my duty from Aug '65 through Dec '66:

I reported for duty with the 4th/517th in August 1965 and was assigned as assistant platoon leader at A Battery at Ft. Davis. One of the events I recall during my short duty with A Battery is a Christmas party we gave for the local Panamanian kids. In the attached photo of the party I am on the right. Next to me is LT Vince Karaktin of D Battery.

I had barely started with my duties at A Battery when I was detailed for six months to the garrison at Ft Clayton to be Range Control Officer at Empire Range. When I arrived at the range, I found we had no refrigeration. So one of my men (assigned from the 193d) secured an abandoned refrigerator that was being used as a target on one of the mortar ranges, repaired it, and gave it a second life in our Quonset-hut office.(See photo)

After I completed duty at Empire Range, I was assigned to HQ Battery as XO. I recall giving weekly classes on a variety of subjects, including the danger of smoking marijuana, the democratic form of government, and map reading. One of my main duties was defending and prosecuting soldiers at special courts marital. In my first case I secured an acquittal on the charge of assaulting an officer for a soldier in the battalion. From then on I was assigned only the role of prosecutor! I was released from active duty in December 1966. I went on to attend law school. I worked as an antitrust attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC for 36 years. I retired in 2007.

Thank you for maintaining this site. Brings back a lot of memories!!


Frank Lipson (1LT, HHB/ 4th/517th, Aug 1965-Dec 1966)