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Former Guardsmen gather once more

POSTED: December 22, 2008 3:34 p.m.

On Dec. 6, retired former members of the old Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, a Georgia Army National Guard Unit from Springfield, had a reunion at Rahn's Pond.  The old unit became Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 214th Field Artillery in the reorganization in the summer of 1968.  This unit remained as the same artillery unit until its deactivation in August 1993 (a total of 25 years of continued service).   

In 1968 the battery had six 105mm towed howitzers and in 1970 it received six M109 155mm howitzers, replacing the old towed howitzers. Several years later it was modernized to the M109A1 model howitzer, which had a longer gun tube, allowing it to fire greater distances. Over the years it received the M109A2 and M109A3 model howitzers.   

After the deactivation of the old Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 214th Field Artillery, the National Guard unit in Springfield became the present day Battery A, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery. A total of 58 former retired old soldiers were contacted — 32 were able to attend, with others having conflicts and not being able to make it.       

Those in attendance were: Lamar Allen (former first sergeant of the unit), Tommy Allen (former first sergeant of the unit), Chuck Carter (former artillery soldier of the unit), Bill Castro (former full time supply sergeant of the unit), Terry Cribbs (former first sergeant of the unit), Isaac Brown (former artillery soldier of the unit), Mike Daffner (former artillery ammunition soldier of the unit), Kelly Dickey (former mess sergeant of the unit), Larry Dudney (former enlisted soldier, lieutenant and later company commander as captain of the unit and now a full-time brigadier general in the Georgia Army National Guard), John Dukes (former first sergeant of the unit), Punky Edenfield (former mechanic and later ammo sergeant of the unit), Bill Getty (former enlisted soldier and later a lieutenant of the unit), Nathaniel Gordon (former artillery soldier of the unit), Bob Hynes (former chief of firing battery and full-time readiness sergeant of the unit), Wayne Howard (former chief of firing battery of the unit), R. D. (Duck) Jaudon (former supply sergeant of the unit), Danny Loper (former full-time supply sergeant of the unit), Carlton McCray (former lieutenant and later company commander [captain] of the unit), Henry Nease (former communications sergeant of the unit), Charles Neidlinger (former fire direction chief of the unit), Ricky Nessmith (former lieutenant and later company commander (captain) of the unit), Joe Rohrer (former enlisted soldier and later lieutenant in the unit), Herbert Samuels (former first cook of the unit), Wendell Shearouse (former first cook of the unit), Joe Shelden (former mechanic of the unit), Phillip Sullivan (former first sergeant of the unit), Norman V. Turner (former full-time supply sergeant and unit administer of the unit), Tim Usher (former howitzer section chief of the unit), Dale Webb (former artillery soldier of the unit), Ernie Webb (still serving in the present unit in Springfield as a artillery soldier), Calvin Zeigler (former mess sergeant of the unit).

Marvin Derryberry, a retired Army officer, who was a Department of Army civilian at Nuclear Weapons Branch at Fort Stewart, when the old artillery battery had a nuclear weapons mission during the 1970s into the late 1980s, was a guest.

Former members of the old unit, who have since died, were remembered: Gary Alston (former mechanic of the unit), Joe Ambrose (former first sergeant of the unit), Gerald Ash (former fire direction chief of the unit), Benny Avinger (former artillery soldier of the unit), Richard Cowart (former first sergeant of the unit), James "Eddie" Dyson (former howitzer section chief of the unit), Marion Edwards (former chief of firing battery of the unit), Albert N. Exley (former first cook of the unit), Perry Faulk (former artillery soldier of the unit), Sol Ginn (former mess sergeant of the unit), Moses Goldwire (former howitzer section chief of the unit), Terrill Hinely (former howitzer section chief and later assistant supply sergeant of the unit), Louis Melvin Johnson (former assistant supply sergeant of the unit), Rodney Pevey (former first sergeant of the unit), Gene Pinkney (former artillery soldier and later assistant supply sergeant of the unit), Joe Snooks (former mess sergeant of the unit), Tommy Sullivan (former artillery soldier of the unit), and Brig. Gen. Terrill Reddick (battalion executive officer in the 1980s).

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