Lt. Col. Jones was out on the rifle
range and no one knew where that was. Since Jones returned to the battalion
in May, there had never been any doubt about where Little Joe Lawrie stood.
When Col. Kinsler was gone, Little Joe was still regimental executive
officer. Not regimental commander, but regimental executive officer. On
those days, Lt. Col. Jones was the regimental commander, and he was also CO
2d Bn. But the regimental orders for the day, the day in which Col. Kinsler
was gone, were signed, “By order of Lt. Col. Jones.”
On such days it was not a good idea for
anyone at regiment to hand the CO 2d Bn any monkey business.
On one of these days, we had a motor
officer named Lt. M-P-O. Lt. Col. Jones sent word down to M-P-O to send a
jeep. But M-P-O said that could only be done on the authority of Lt. Col.
Lawrie. Every man in the regiment knew what the rank was between these Lt.
Colonels. Everybody but M-P-O. This day he wasn’t too sharp. He must have
sharpened up because he grew into a lawyer. Either that or it takes a
certain type of dumbness to succeed at the law. At any rate, it was only
after Lt. Col. Jones asked M-P-O did M-P-O want to send up that Jeep or did
he want Jones to order Lawrie to drive the Jeep up himself, that M-P-O got
the idea. Come to think of it, that is about the only time I ever saw Jones
on the edge of being a bit irritated. And he only did it to reason with
someone who wasn’t quite up to the job that morning.
About 1400 WO Crawford called “Hey,
Jerry B., you got a Field Manual 22 dash 5, that’s the one on Military
“No, but what do you want to know?”
“How many men in a firing squad?”
“I don’t know. You can find it in
USASOS regulations; we had eight for Capt. Greco, did somebody die?”
“Okay, I’ll look it up” (pause, then)
Hey, Jerry B., Colonel Lawrie wants to talk to you.”
“This is Colonel Lawrie, Riseley. There
will be a regimental formation tomorrow for Colonel Kinsler’s funeral. The
uniform will be jump suits, boots, and helmets. Colonel Jones says to have
the men spend the rest of the day cleaning up their uniforms.
I went over to see City Parks at Company
F. He was conducting NCO school. I might was well have told John Cole to
start packing, we’re going back to the States.
Parks wasn’t hearing a thing I said to
him. He was just intent on doing what he was doing and he didn’t want to be
All he did was say “Okay, “ and go on
with the lesson. After I swore at him for about two minutes and ended up
giving the order “in the name of Colonel Jones” did it dawn on him that I
might be setting him up for something unpleasant indeed. When I went ahead
and gave the order in the name of the President of the United States, Parks
finally began to comprehend.
Snaz Howard, commander of Headquarters
Company, was over in his bunk.
“How did Kinsler do it? he asked.
Captain Davis P. Falcon, over at E
Company, was the only one who appeared even momentarily grieved. Capt.
Falcon is a sort of deep guy even if he did have trouble the other day
figuring out that the “C” on is dog tags wasn’t his blood type. Old Ivey
said, “I guess that makes you battalion commander, chief.”
The general opinion amongst the officers
was that they didn’t think Kinsler had been in that deep. General
discussion: How he could have done it better. Suggested methods: He could
have jumped without hooking up. All he had to do, with us there at Jackson
Strip, was to call for a C-47E. Others thought he could have driven his
jeep over a cliff. Just how Colonel Kinsler died is not yet known. But
even the recruits down in D Company know why. It is sad, but it is a game
which can not be played again.