History of D Company
709th Maintenance Bn.
Early 1966 Activation
By 1LT Tom McKasy
I was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, KS in the summer of 1966. I was a "short timer" having served a year in Korea and was due to get out that Fall. I reported to the Battalion commander and was appointed as the first CO of Company D.
My 1SG, Staff Sgt Jones, and I counted out 75 of the soldiers just out of basic training at Ft. Riley. We marched down the street in Camp Funston, located a pre-WWI condemned barracks, took off the boards and it became the new home of Company D.
Our first problem concerned the new recruits, who were mostly from New York City or Chicago and didnít know how to drive a vehicle. This posed a huge problem, as we then did not have enough troops to drive our allotted trucks. We proceeded to teach them how to drive on the parade grounds. What a summer it was.
The oddest event occurred in 1969 when I received a letter from my old college roommate, JimWeiss, who told me he was shutting down the unit and "putting Company D to bed". This was at the time the 709th was deactivated and the 99th Combat Support Battalion was born during the downsizing of the 9th Division to one brigade in Vietnam.
It was a long time ago and I donít recall many names. One person I have had contact with after my short Old Reliables tour is William "Bill" Draves. Bill was also a "short timer" from Korea and was stationed at Ft. Riley that same summer and fall. He was involved with training infantry personnel. I also recall LT Jack DeLong, who I believe was the Battalion Property Book Officer when I was assigned D Company CO, and who gave us those trucks we had no drivers for.
It was quite an experience.
Thank You Tom for helping the 709th Maint. Bn.
page started 10/7/2010