Event: Bellmead Re-enactment
Date: May 21/22, 2005
Location: Bellmead, Texas
After Action Report courtesy of of Jeff Hunt with G Company
Photographs courtesy of Doug Porter with G Company

Lonestar MVPA members attending included Tim W with his MB, and Jeff M.

The Bellmead "Rhine River Crossing" event this past weekend was pretty good.  The city definitely treated the participants well. There was plenty of free ice. Water, showers (cold) and indoor restrooms were available and close by.  Rations were plentiful and the BBQ on Saturday night was abundant, although of standard caliber compared to what we are used to out in Doss.  The city provided lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, bacon and eggs.  Parking for reenactors was close by, and the event wasn't too anal about letting vehicles in the camp area to load and unload.  Camping was on flat, smooth, grassy ground with lots of big oak trees to provide shade.  Dirt/gravel roads dominated.  Even though the event site was very close to IH-35 and a lot of stores, the noise from the highway wasn't too bad, nor were the lights from the city.  Close by stores made it easy to find a place to eat before and after the event, and made quick trips to Wal-Mart for Gatorade and other necessities easy.  Some bugs at night, but not too bad really. 

A lot of work was put into building a battlefield with trenches, earthworks, shell holes and fake pillboxes.  One nice touch was a very realistic looking "dead U.S. paratrooper" hanging from a tree. Several aircraft participated including a P-40, P-51, A-20, and several Texans.  The German 88mm AT/AA gun was there, a German truck, staff car, two kubels, several AT guns, and halftrack.  The Allies had two Stuart tanks, three halftracks, an M8 armored car, a 37mm AT gun, Brent Mullin's 105 howitzer, a couple of weapons carriers, a Bren gun carrier and numerous jeeps. 
Registration was short and simple, although more signage to get reenactors onto the site, and more info before the event, and upon registration would have been helpful.  These suggestions have been pushed up the chain of command to 6th Cav.
G Company fielded sixteen regular members, plus one Iwo Jima + 60 participant on Saturday, and two Sea Cadets on Sunday.  We broke into two squads.
Attending were
1st Lt Jeff Hunt
1st Sgt Melvin Schroeder
Capt/Medic/Dentist Roger Dean
1st Squad
Sgt T.J. Smith
Cpl. Baron Bennetsen
PFC Jeff McDonald
PFC Tim Weitz (with jeep, thank God)
PFC Brandon Morley
PFC Brooks Morley
PFC Bruce Sheehan (radioman on Sat)
2nd Squad
Sgt Bill Daskalos
Cpl Roger Dean III
PFC Doug Porter
PFC Myles Theis (with .30 cal mg)
PFC Charlie Sheehan
Fred Kager served on Brent Mullin's 105 crew.  The three newbies who fell in with us at some point were assigned to 1st Squad
We saw a lot of Iwo Jima + 60 T-shirts at the event, and heard a lot of talk about Iwo and praise for what a great event it was.
Since he was attending his second event (the first being Iwo Jima + 60) Brooks Morley was voted into G Company membership on Sunday afternoon.  He now has the privilege of sending in his $10 dues to Company Clerk Erik Springer.
The battle scenario called for the Allies to fight their way across an earthen bridge, flanked by two large ponds, and then wheel left to overrun a series of German trenches and fortifications, prior to taking the 88mm gun position.  The battle began with a short air strike by Allied planes.  After this, U.S. paratroopers starting on the German side of the bridge, made the first attack only to be repulsed.  Then, the rest of the Allied force pushed across.  On Sat. there was to be German opposition on our side of the bridge. So G Company made a flank march to get into position to hit the Krauts from one flank, while the rest of the allied force attacked from the other.  But the Germans failed to send anyone to our side of the bridge.  After laying in the blistering hot sun waiting for the enemy, we finally moved into the woods along the pond and waited for the attack across the bridge to begin.   Once the assault started we opened fire across the pond.  The attack was led by a pick-up group of independent U.S. reenactors, supported by 105mm fire, a Bren gun carrier and jeep towed 37mm AT gun.  These last two raced across the bridge to link up with 20 some paratroopers.  G company crossed the bridge next.  Moving by fire teams, 1st squad leading, while 2nd squad provided cover fire with the mg.  The command group followed.  Leap frogging down the bridge, which was longer than it seemed, in the 98 degree heat was difficult, but both squads moved with speed and discipline while displaying great tactical skill.  Reaching the other end of the bridge, the platoon took cover behind a slight, grassy ridge and opened supporting fire as the Allied armor came across, wheeled left and linked up with the paratroopers.  A tank and the M8 were quickly knocked out by the 88, but the remaining Stuart (Brent's) finished off the 88 and the German position was overrun, G Company sweeping along the bank of the ponds and harassing the German flank.
Finding some shade we dropped our gear, gathered up our men and got some water.  The CO of the 88 came over and offered to let us climb all over his gun for a photo op, while holding up an original German flag, taken during the war and signed by a bunch of GI's.  He said that we were the best looking allied unit on the field.  The photo is attached.
After this G Company fell in and marched back to camp.  All the other participants were already there when we came into the camping area.  The platoon formed in two ranks, and followed by our jeep, marched, in step, through the camp, signing cadence as we did so.  Everybody stopped to take pictures and stare. Several other allied units, especially the French Legion, snapped to attention and saluted as we went by.  G Company certainly proved that it wasn't just the biggest and best organized unit at the event, it was clearly the most hard core; head and shoulders above every other unit there in military skill, bearing and esprit-d-corps.
A lot of folks bugged out on Saturday evening.  There were a variety of reasons no doubt, the heat being one of them, but G Company stayed in the field, and that night was rewarded with great camaraderie -- some of the men going to listen to the 40's band and Andrew Sisters "sing alikes".  We also got extra rations and ammo the next morning as a thank you for staying.
Come Sunday our platoon was the bulk of the Allied force. Only about 6 paratroopers, one or two loose GI's and a one or two Brits remained, as did most of the vehicle folks.  As a result we were given the lead role in the battle on Sunday.  Since so many reenactors had left, the battlefield was much less congested, although still sufficiently populated.  This actually made the Sunday battle better than the one on Saturday.  G Company led the attack across the bridge, moving even better than it did the day before.  Getting across the bridge, we took cover behind our grassy ridge before assaulting the German fortifications by squads.  The first enemy trench and pillbox were quickly overrun.  Our men got into the trench and behind a pillbox. Then 2nd squad moved out to capture a knocked-out German truck and field piece.  We had to hold our ground for a while, waiting for the U.S. armor to cross the bridge.  Although the M8 was quickly knocked out, the tanks finally allowed us to move forward.  1st squad flanked the Germans, while 2nd squad seized the next trench lines.  Finally the Germans had enough, and those who were not dead or wounded, surrendered.
After the battle G company got the honor of being interviewed for local TV and helped to limber up the 88mm --something we are beginning to become practiced at.  Once again we marched into camp, in step, and to cadence.
Everyone who attended did an outstanding job.  It was no small thing to deal with the heat, keep everyone healthy, and still move like veteran troops in combat.  A big thanks to Tim Weitz for bringing his jeep and using it to ferry the troops and our heavy equipment back and forth.  It made a critical difference.  Bill and T.J. handled their duties and squads in their usual efficient manner, and Baron and Roger III did a good job as corporals.  Thanks to Doc Dean for taking care of us as always.
In summation it was a pretty good event, especially for a first time.  It has potential to grow into an even better event.  We were told the city was pleased, which means that they may do this again in two years.  We were well treated, had a great camping site, and our participation was appreciated and public ally acknowledged.  No doubt G Company showed who the "big bull in the woods" is.  No other unit held a candle to us as a military unit or organization.  Everyone who took part has a reason to feel very proud of themselves, and all G Company members can feel the same way.  Our reputation is well known, and those who were able to come to Bellmead upheld it par excellance!

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Captured German flag with the the "88" 105's Scouting The march Skirmish line
05Bellcamp.jpg (1016871 bytes)


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