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Jumping Mustangs - Honor and Courage
Battalion Commanders
1st Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion (Airborne) 8th Cavalry Regiment
MERTEL KENNETH D
COL Kenneth D. Mertel was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 10/11/2006 at the age of 82.3
Williamsburg, VA
Flight Class 58-18
Date of Birth 06/08/1924
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 145 CAB in 62-63, 1 CAV in 65-66, 11 CAG in 70-71

More detail on this person: WILLIAMSBURG - Colonel Kenneth D. Mertel, Infantry, US Army Retired, 82, died at home in
Williamsburg, Virginia on 11 Oct 06. A veteran of 33 years in the US Army, Ken retired in 1975. Upon retirement, he devoted 20
years of public service to the Coast Guard Auxiliary, serving at every level from flotilla to national. He also served one year in
the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1941. Enlisting in the Army in June 42, he graduated from Infantry OCS in 45 as a Second
Lieutenant. Winning a Regular Army Commission in 46, he served two tours as a combat Infantry rifle company commander in
Korea in 1952-53. During three Vietnam tours, Ken commanded both Infantry and Aviation units at battalion, group and brigade
level. Two tours were with the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Ken was a graduate of Mountainburg High School in Arkansas, the
University of Georgia and Boston University. His military education included Ranger, Airborne, Fixed and Rotary Wing courses
as well as the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. He was awarded a Silver Star, two Distinguished
Flying Crosses, five Legions of Merit, five Bronze Stars, and fifty Air Medals. Born in Bennett, Colorado in 1924 to Alonzo and
Cora Mertel, Ken is survived by his faithful poodle, Bo; his daughter Maria Cochrane and husband Michael and their sons
Graham and Wes Cochrane. He was married to the late Molli Mertel. Memorial Services will be conducted Monday, 23 October
at 11 am at Patriots Colony Assisted Living in Williamsburg by Chaplain Janna Roche and Tuesday, 24 October at 11 am at St.
John's Episcopal Church in Hampton by Ken's niece, the Reverend Darby Oliver Everhard of Cincinnati. Committal with
military honors in the adjacent cemetery will follow Tuesday's service. A catered reception will be held in St. John's Parish Hall.
Ken deeply loved his dogs and his family. His country and the US Army were close to his heart. He wanted to be remembered
as a man of courage, a warrior. His motto was DRIVE ON –ALL THE WAY. Memorials may be sent to Heritage Humane Society,
430 Waller Miller Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Daily Press
October 22, 2006
KENNETH D. MERTEL
Colonel Kenneth D. Mertel, Infantry, US Army Retired, 82, died at home in Williamsburg, Virginia on 11 Oct 06. A veteran of 33
years in the US Army, Ken retired in 1975. Upon retirement, he devoted 20 years of public service to the Coast Guard Auxiliary,
serving at every level from flotilla to national. He also served one year in the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1941.
Enlisting in the Army in June 42, he graduated from Infantry OCS in 45 as a Second Lieutenant. Winning a Regular Army
Commission in 46, he served two tours as a combat Infantry rifle company commander in Korea in 1952-53. During three
Vietnam tours, Ken commanded both Infantry and Aviation units at battalion, group and brigade level. Two tours were with the
1st Air Cavalry Division.
Ken was a graduate of Mountainburg High School in Arkansas, the University of Georgia and Boston University. His military
education included Ranger, Airborne, Fixed and Rotary Wing courses as well as the Command and General Staff College and
the Army War College. He was awarded a Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Legions of Merit, five Bronze
Stars, and fifty Air Medals.
Born in Bennett, Colorado in 1924 to Alonzo and Cora Mertel, Ken is survived by his faithful poodle, Bo; his daughter Maria
Cochrane and husband Michael and their sons Graham and Wes Cochrane. He was married to the late Molli Mertel.
Memorial Services will be conducted Monday, 23 October at 11 am at Patriots Colony Assisted Living in Williamsburg by
Chaplain Janna Roche and Tuesday, 24 October at 11 am at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hampton by Ken’s niece, the
Reverend Darby Oliver Everhard of Cincinnati. Committal with military honors in the adjacent cemetery will follow Tuesday’s
service. A catered reception will be held in St. John’s Parish Hall.
Ken deeply loved his dogs and his family. His country and the US Army were close to his heart. He wanted to be remembered
as a man of courage, a warrior. His motto was DRIVE ON -ALL THE WAY.
BN CMDER   April 24, 70
No. 19846 *May 13, 1929 – September 25, 2015* Died in Jonesboro, GA. Cremated. Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, VA.
John Rogers Galvin, “Jack” to his family and friends, was born in Melrose, Massachusetts, the eldest of four children of
Josephine Rogers and John J. Galvin. He grew up nearby in the historic town of Wakefield.

One of his proudest early achievements was advancing to private first class in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Called
in one day by his first sergeant, he was told about a competitive examination for National Guard appointments to West Point:
“Be there!” Jack said he didn’t want to do that. The first sergeant explained: “Galvin, we’re not talking about what you want,
we’re talking about what I want!” Jack took the exam, was admitted and graduated with the Class of 1954, then commissioned
in the Infantry. He soon qualified as a parachutist and Ranger.
An early assignment much savored by Jack was to Colombia as advisor to the Lanceros (Ranger) School. He became fluent in
Spanish, a capability he worked hard to maintain and improve throughout his career, later achieving fluency in German as well.
His ability to converse with allied officers in those languages, and even quote poetry in them, earned him many friends and
productive professional relationships.
At Fort Knox he was the token Infantryman in the Armor Officers Advance Course. This was for him an assignment of
incalculable good fortune, for it was there he met and courted the beautiful and talented Ginny Brennan. Together they had four
daughters—Mary Jo, Beth, and twins Kathleen and Erin, all also beautiful and talented—and a storybook marriage as Jack rose
to the highest levels of his profession.
After earning a master’s degree at Columbia University, Jack spent three years teaching English at West Point, where he also
found time to write the first of his four books. The Minute Men won a best book prize from the Revolutionary War Roundtable.
Then it was off for the first of two tours in Vietnam. His service there included command of 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, in the 1st
Cavalry Division. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Soldier’s Medal, but probably prized more the loyalty and admiration
of his soldiers, many of whom stayed in touch with him to the end of his life. Wrote Bruce James: “I was a warrant officer
helicopter pilot for General Galvin when he commanded a battalion in Vietnam. I worked decades in and for the Army and never
served under or met another officer of his caliber. I would literally charge Hell with a bucket of ice water for him.”
Between the Vietnam tours Jack was an author of the Pentagon Papers and Military Assistant to Secretary of the Army Stan
Resor. Later he was posted as a writer on the staff of SACEUR General Andrew Goodpaster. His associations with those two
sterling leaders continued to nourish him as he himself rose to posts of great responsibility.
When it came time for the War College, Jack was named an Army Fellow and spent the year at the Fletcher School of Law and
Diplomacy at Tufts University. This proved congenial territory for him, not far from his roots. Many years later, after retirement
from the Army, he returned to spend five great years as Dean at Fletcher, where he and his family delighted in living in the
house referenced in a well-known Thanksgiving Day poem: “Over the river and through the wood, to grandmother’s house we
go.”
Command of troops, though, was the defining element of Jack’s 38 years of commissioned service, including assignments as
ADC 8th Infantry Division, CG 24th Infantry Division, and CG VII Corps. His culminating service for two years as CINC U.S.
Southern Command, then five years as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, displayed his leadership ability, exceptional
strategic acumen, and diplomatic skills during the last years of the Cold War.
In Fighting the Cold War, splendid memoirs crafted over the course of a decade or more and fortuitously published just months
before his death, Jack wrote of what he had come to believe were “the essential elements of leadership—self-awareness,
teamwork, communication, and sensitivity to change,” adding with characteristic modesty that these were things he was not
always successful in practicing.
The book’s endorsements were exceptional. Wrote President George H. W. Bush: “General Jack Galvin is one of the greatest
soldiers this country ever had.” And General Jack Vessey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “General Jack
Galvin’s extraordinary service was marked by dedication, wisdom, and absolute integrity.”
Many honors were accorded Jack. West Point named him a Distinguished Graduate. The Army War College designated him an
Outstanding Alumnus. And, one he particularly savored, his home town named the brand new Galvin Middle School in his
honor. Thanking them, Jack wrote: “I am honored and grateful to have the Galvin Middle School named for me. I am a product
of the Wakefield public school system. The friendships and values I acquired there have sustained me through my life and
career. I hope that every student who passes through Galvin Middle School will be inspired and educated to, in the words of a
great Army slogan of an earlier day, ‘Be All You Can Be.’ ”
Jack’s qualities as a compassionate and decent human being permeated every aspect of his life—friendships, family loyalties,
concern for soldiers, teaching and mentoring of others. He touched us all in ways we valued and will not forget. Afflicted with
Parkinson’s disease in his final years, Jack bore that burden with courage and equanimity. May he rest in peace.

Family and Fellow Graduates
5th Bn CMDR    Wilber B Jenkins    Died  May 18, 2007