4th Missile Bn
517th Artillery
Canal Zone


Ron Gillespie, Battery A 1966


Hi Bill,
My name is Ron Gillespie and I was in A btry 517th in 1966 until I aged up and went to VN. I was 17 when I finished training at Ft Bliss and was transferred to Panama for my first duty assignment. Like I said I went down there to age up and get climatly conditioned for VN hehehe. I am now 61 and I have retired from the Army in 1986. I do have some old photo's of my time in Btry A before I went to VN. I would be more than happy to share them and would love to talk to anyone that was at Ft Davis when I was there. I remember only a few of the guys that were there with me.


Hi Bill,
As I think more about the time I was stationed in Panama. the one person that sticks out most in my old memory is the A btry 1SG (Yearwood). When I arrived in the Btry on my first day there we were greeted by SFC Yearwood who was the 1SG. I will never forget his first comments to us in the dayroom that day he said " Well boys let me just tell you if you Fuck up I will nail your balls to a stump and push you over backwards". These words obviously have stuck with me all these years. He was a good 1SG in fact I would say he was the best in my entire Army Career. He was always fair. He would say to you if you got into trouble do you want an Article 15 or would you like to work for me. The few times that I did get into trouble I always preferred working for him. Once he took me to the Motor Pool which was off the main installation and a large warehouse were we store all the tracks. He had me move a pile of stones from one end of the warehouse to the other. When finished I was to call him on the phone and he would come check my work. I called he came and then he said to me Private Gillespie I liked the stones better on the other end of the building please move them back and then call me. I did move them back and when finish I called he came out again. This time he said are you going to get into anymore trouble. Needless to say I said no Top and he took me back to the barracks got me something to eat and then made me the CO's Driver.
I new Lt Clark well and my Platoon Sergeant at the time was SFC Fieldhart who was quit the asshole may I add. I had many exciting days with him.
Just thought I would share this stuff with you don't know if it has any importance to your web site or not. I will say I was surprised to find it. In all these years I have had contact with only one guy from this era in my life and that was Jim Tanksley. Jim lives in Florida.