Bernard Ambrose Ferry
West Point, 1964
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by George Jacunski on October 24, 2007:
I don't know how Bernie and I first got together. We were not in the same company, but somehow we recognized that we were kindred spirits, and many a time during Plebe year he would show up in my first floor company clerk room and we would get out the guitars and sing ribald ballads to the great entertainment of plebes and passing upperclassmen alike. This served me in great stead later in Vietnam when I would play and sing the same songs for beer in the E1, E2, and E3 Club at Pleiku (you might recall that all new enlisted soldiers arrived in country as E3's, but you would be surprised how many failed to retain that exalted rank due to in-country derelictions, hence the E1, E2 & E3 Club). Bernie and I were together on our first assignment in Hawaii and later deployed to RVN together with the separate 3d Bde, 25th Inf Div. Bernie's exploits continued in both locals. Two of those I will mention here. I didn't witness this episode, but can attest it received wide publicity around the Division. Engineer training took place in Hawaii's East Range, and it was verboten to drive ones POV to the training area. It was also a long walk from the designated parking area and Bernie, of course, probably being late for training, one day drove into the prohibited training area. Sometime later while driving an armored engineer vehicle, he drove over his own car!
In Vietnam,about half way through our tour I was out in the field one day when a frantic radio message came through in code indicating all radio frequencies and codes had to be changed immediately. It appears that someone had dropped his frequency/code book (I think we called it the SOI) out of a helicopter. You guessed it, Bernie Ferry. Despite these events which gave him a larger-than-life persona, Bernie was a fine and well respected Engineer officer, and one inclined to help a classmate in need. I arrived in Vietnam as a weapons platoon leader and as such was soon required to dig in my mortar battery for perimeter defense. Having arrived by air with nothing more in the way of extra equipment than entrenching tools this appeared to be a daunting task. Then I thought of Bernie and the next day his engineer platoon showed up in our company area replete with organic vehicles. Soon I had my mortars dug in and a subterranean fire direction center that would accommodate my entire platoon and was the envy of the brigade. It was really cool. And I mean cool and it was constantly used to beat the heat of the Central Highlands. It was so well done that it became a required stop for VIP's visiting the brigade and even Westy used it to deliver his pep talks to the troops when in the area!
Bernie was one of the great ones.
West-Point.Org (WP-ORG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides an online communications infrastructure that enable graduates, parents, and friends of the military academy to maintain and strengthen the associations that bind us together. We will provide this community any requested support, consistent with this purpose, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
WP-ORG is funded by the generosity of member contributions.
Our communication services are provided in cooperation with the AOG (independent of USMA) and are operated by volunteers serving the Long Gray Line.
For questions or comments, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.