Second Infantry Regiment

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1SG John NeSmith
Reply with quote  #1 
       I am the current First Sergeant for B Co. 2-2. I am trying to verify that during Viet Nam, Bravo company was known as the Bandits. If one of you gentlemen could please verorify this for me I would appreciate it.


1SG John  NeSmith
John Kerins
Reply with quote  #2 

Top, that is a big affirmative!
I served under captains Gratzer, Burke, Hanson and Gallagher and they were all Bandit 6 and we were all Bandits at least from mid 67 s on.
I know, with this story again, I boring the crap out of some guys, but I always got a kick out of how company wide announcements were made over the net. "Bandit, Bandit, Bandit! Be advised......."
And again the announcement I remember best was 9 Jan 69. We were barreling South on Highway 13 and the radio barked, "Bandit, Bandit, Bandit! Be prepared to take sniper fire from the West side of the highway!"
To this day I'm trying to figure out what we were supposed to do, sitting on top of APCs to, "...prepare to take sniper fire..." Any way the 'snipers' turned out to be bookoo NVA in a mile long ambush.
But B/2/2 were definitely know as BANDITS! And that's what the sign over the Orderly Room in Lai Khe read. (If I find a picture I'll get it to you.)
I think that can be confirmed by mother, Curtis Parker, Gary Tucker, Gary Sheldon, Ron Brown, Glen Haring, Sonny Gratzer, or Bill Staford, all proud Bandits that I had the honor of serving with; even though I only remember two of them from back in Nam.
In fact when the 2-2 stood up at Ft Hood a few years back, Gary Tucker and a few of us old farts where there. Gary as president of the association, (and a few old fart Bandits, tried to impress the Bushwhackers, I think they were calling themselves that that name hasn't anywhere near the swagger or pizazz, or at the time the history, of BANDITS.

And then there was the NDP we built BANDIT HILL! Very near and dear to the few of us who were there 12-13 Oct 68. Capt Hanson had us build it, so he figured he got to name it. And that was that! It became a permanent base and that was how it was know for the rest of the war.

John Kerins
B/2/2 68-69

1SG John NeSmith
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for your service and thanks for the reply. If you have any pictures  you could post here, that would be awesome. I know my Soldiers would think it was pretty cool to see some B Co stuff from "back in the day".

Thanks again,

Reply with quote  #4 

John, I don't ever remember being called anything but " Bandits" !! Right about the alert call too, " Bandit, Bandit, Bandit"," Be advised thats not friendly illumination over our NDP". Thats how I remember it. Take care brother.

Curtis Parker
Reply with quote  #5 

Hey John you got that right..We were called Daring BRAVO BANDITS:  First Sergeant if you are comtemplating on call your company Bandits let them know that they will have a hell of a reputation to live up to...Noli Me Tangere..Ramrods all the way..and you can take it from John Kerins for fact and others like (MOTHER), Saint, Sage,Glenn Haring, LT Richard Brown, Gary Tucker, Ron Zeigler, Capt Gratzer, Capt Burke and Capt Hansen and so many many more Bravo Bandits. I am Daring Bravo Bandit 31 from the track B231 which is the first squard from the 3rd platoon.

The saint
Reply with quote  #6 
1st Sgt Ne Smith, when I was in B co 2/2 1n 1964 at Ft Devens, Mass and 1965-66, the company was just called decoy the BN was called Red Devils--the name Bandit came about when they became mechanize in 1967, that is when I left the unit and assigned to the 1st avn bde in Nam.
Thank you.
Juan Santiago
Sfc ret.
John Kerins
Reply with quote  #7 

Originally Posted by The saint
... when they became mechanize in 1967...

Funny that the 2/2 was the first battalion to go mech when the 1st ID was a leg unit, and then the first battalion to leg when the BRO was a mech division.  I guess we're just trend setters!
Reply with quote  #8 

DARING 29er 62   was my handle prior to leaving country in feb 69...   29er was recon platoon and I was one of nine APCs in the platoon, things must have changed some after 40 plus years!!!   I surely have !!!

Gary Tucker
Reply with quote  #9 
I was Bandit 36, 46, and later Daring 29er 1968/1969.  I spent most of my Bandit time with BG (RET) Jack Gallagher and LTC Jacques Michienzi. Gallagher was the donor of the sterling punch bowl and cups to the Regiment.  He was unable to make it to the reactivation ceremony, and asked me to purchase and present the "Thunder Road" ensemble to the Battalion.  He has never received a thank you from anyone in the unit.  Maybe you could help us in that area.  The Regiment and troopers who served with him are his only family and he has been more than generous over the years.  His health is failing and a note from the unit would do him much good.  I have his contact information. Thanks a bunch. 
1SG John NeSmith
Reply with quote  #10 
I hate to tell you, but our attempts to change our name back to Bandit Co is a No/Go. Allow me to tell you what has happened. Our company name and call sign was Bushmaster, however, when we arrived in Afghanistan a few weeks ago, we were told that there was already a Bushmaster call sign operating in the area and we would have to change our call sign. We asked the men in the company to come up with and vote on a name. One of the men who stood up the battalion at Ft Hood said that in Viet Nam the company was called Bandit Co and this sold everyone (your predecessors have a lot of respect for you guys). We proposed the idea to battalion and found out that another unit in the AO uses Bandit. We have chosen another name/call sign that we know will add to the legacy of our great company. We are now known as Blackheart Co. Rest assured, whether Bandit, Bushmaster, or Blackheart, we are Bravo Co 2-2 Infantry and we will do our best to follow in the footsteps of the brave warriors who preceeded us. 

1SG NeSmith
Blackheart 7
Noli Me Tangere
Curtis Parker
Reply with quote  #11 
First Sergeant..like you I am sorry to hear that you must use another call sign..but Company B 2/2 Infantry is Company B 2/2 Infantry no matter what call sign is used..when you kick but down there the enemy will know that B 2/2 Infantry "BIG RED ONE" KICKED THERE BEHINDS AND THAT HOW IT WILL BE TOLD AND WRITTTEN IN HISTORY. Noli Me Tangere!

Sergeant Major Retired Curtis Parker
 "Daring Bravo Bandit 31" 1st squad, 3rd platoon (Track B231)
9 December 1967-10 December 1968
John Kerins
Reply with quote  #12 

We old Bandits may be a little disappointed, but Joan Jet should be very proud!


Seriously Top, we made our name and forged our bonds as Bandits in Vietnam. That was our time. This is you time and I’ve no doubt that, whatever the call sign, you of Bravo, and all the Ramrods will make a hell of name for yourselves doing whatever you’re called on to do, wherever you’re called on to do it.


So go ahead and make that name for yourselves, you Blackhearts. We know you’ll add to the great history and honor of the 2d US Infantry.


If there is anything you guys think we help out with, just say the word. (And pass that on to the rest of the battalion also) I know that all the guys here, regardless of company, battalion, or DOS, would be only too happy to show you guys and gals a little appreciation for all you’re doing for us.


Thanks to all! Be safe and give em hell BLACKHEARTS - RAMRODS!


John Kerins

Bandit 45
Reply with quote  #13 
The 2/2 went mech may or june 1966 .  i was senior aidman bravo company left country march 1967. We lost a lot of very young men during that time. 
Larry G
Reply with quote  #14 
The decision to make the 2/2 a mechanized battalion came about in the June-July 1966 time frame and training began some time after that.  The 2/2 did not officially become a mechanized battalion until 2 January 1967.  See attachmnet below, it is from the 2/2(mech) history for the period 1 Jan 1967-31 Dec 1967 written by the WS-3 and approved by the battalion Commander LTC Henry L. Davisson.

Attached Files
pdf 2-2_history_1_Jan-31_Dec_1967.pdf (1.21 MB, 78 views)

Richard Cieszinski
Reply with quote  #15 
Hi--I am looking for a company commander of a unit that was pinned down on 2 Feb 1968 South of An Loc--I was a 1LT with the 2/34th Armor unit that rolled in to help---Please let me know of any contacts---thanks
John Kerins
Reply with quote  #16 

That was just before I joined the company(21 Feb), so I don't know where they were operating. But the Co of Bravo in Feb 68 was CPT Gratzer. He has a web site;


Curtis Parker
Reply with quote  #17 

Bravo Co 2/2 Infantry was east of highway 13 across the vicinity of the new Thunder #1 from 1 Feb-13 Feb 1968 during the TET Offensive under the command of George "SONNY" Gratzer.

Ron Dawson
Reply with quote  #18 
I too was a Bandit.  For those who haven't seen it -

Time Magazine's April 13, 1970 pack page article titled - A Half Step Toward Home - contains a photo on the road to the final stand down of the 2nd of the 2nd Inf. in RVN.  My recollection is that the photo was taken from the back of an A Company track.  The photo of APCs shown in front were of B Company.  I know, because I'm in the photo.  The logo painted on the first 50 cal. turret is "Golden Gunny". I'd post the article here, but don't want them chasing me claiming a copyright infringement. 

Welcome Home Brothers!

Ron Dawson
Edmond, OK

B Co., 2/2 1st Inf. Div. - Dec5 1969 until stand down, then reassigned to Americal Div. Chu Lai
ETS 2/3/1971

Reply with quote  #19 
Ron, I just sent you an email thru our "system"  Watch for it.  I was the Company Clerkn when you got to Dau Tieng, thru redeployment.  Tried to call you, but your number has changed.  DO NOT post it here, but send it by return email when you get mine.  160 69-70 Bandits found, on a roster.  Will add you (with your permission, and send you a copy)  Some info may be out of date, as guys tend not to stay in touch when they move or change numbers.
doc Walters
Reply with quote  #20 

1SG John  NeSmith

I joined the 2/2 at Devens in Aug 65. From then till mid Sept I was given one pass after another and therefore spent very little time at Devens, spending my time in CT with my girlfriend and my family. In mid Sept we flew to the San Francisco airport and then were transported over the Golden Gate and on to the SS Blatchford. Two days later we sailed to RVN and landed at Vung Tau in early Oct.

I was the medic for 2nd Pl, Bravo. After landing, we were flown to Bien Hoa and set up outside Saigon where we spent the next three days practicing ‘search and destroy’ in the country side. Then we were trucked to the Lai Khe rubber plantation and settled into the perimeter.     

From then on I was in the countryside with the 2nd Pl and was in the battles/firefights at: Ap Bau Bang, Ap Nha Mat, the Iron Triangle, Chu Chi, etc.

In late Aug 66, we were at Phu Loi and I was one of the people who was sent to Saigon to get the tracks. Thus I became the TC for the medical track for one day going back to Phu Loi. This was the first batch of tracks we had gotten.

The next day my replacement came in and I was sent back to Lai Khe on a chopper and then became the Bt Surgeon’s driver till I left in late Sept to go back to the land of the big PX.  My call sign as the Bt Surgeon’s driver was: “Decoy 16K”. So when I left the 2/2 in Sept 66, the 2/2 was for radio purposes: “Decoy”. 


Frank Alessio
Reply with quote  #21 
Along with Juan ( the saint ) I was in B/2/2 at Devens 64 - 9/66 will confirm co. call sign decoy and
the battalion call sign red devils comes from Devens

Frank Alessio
 B/2/2  64 - 66
Larry G
Reply with quote  #22 
The battalion call sign was DECOY until March 1967 when it was changed to DARING, see attachment.

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: Decoy_to_Daring.gif, Views: 46, Size: 237.22 KB 

Reply with quote  #23 
Originally Posted by BCC
Ron, I just sent you an email thru our "system"  Watch for it.  I was the Company Clerkn when you got to Dau Tieng, thru redeployment.  Tried to call you, but your number has changed.  DO NOT post it here, but send it by return email when you get mine.  160 69-70 Bandits found, on a roster.  Will add you (with your permission, and send you a copy)  Some info may be out of date, as guys tend not to stay in touch when they move or change numbers.

Sorry, BCC, that it's me taken this long to both see and respond to your message.  Of course I'd be happy to have you add my name to the roster, but I can't find a link to the website's email system that you mentioned.
Try this instead:
Curious as to which of my old phone numbers you had, but I'd also give the current one to you in an email response.

Ron Dawson - B2/2 69-70
Bill Akins
Reply with quote  #24 
I was FO for Bravo when Hanson was CO,,,,, Daring Bravo 6 was his call sign,,,,, Mine was Daring 92
Reply with quote  #25 
Check your email.  I dropped a note to you. 

Bravo Charlie Charlie
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