420th Engineer Aviation Topographic Detachment


Photo by Hal Barker












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Entry: 78564
Subject: GERARD B VAN ZEBEN

Mel Van Zeben wrote on April 11, 2011


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: Gerard B Van Zeben ( deceased Aug 15th 2010 )

Keywords: 420th Engr Avn Topo Korea 30th Eng Bn Persidio Topo 917th eng Avn topo



Entry: 58057
Subject: UNIT HISTORY OF 420TH E.A. TOPOGRAPHIC DET.

Paul J. Fritts wrote on July 11, 2006

Email Update Needed



City and State: MENDOCINO CA

Unit: 420TH ENG. AV. TOPOGRAPHIC DET.

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments:

Keywords:



Entry: 48121
Subject: 1LT ED CARPENTER - EXEC OF 420TH

John Carpenter wrote on January 13, 2005


City and State: READING MA

Unit: 420TH ENGR AVN TOPO DET

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My dad was 1LT Edward C Carpenter. He and CAPT John Burke formed the 420th as an Active Reserve unit in Tule Lake, CA in 1949-50. Both Burke and Carpenter were Army officers with reserve time to work off, and no local unit. My dad had led a topo det in WW II, so they applied to form one. Problem was the timing - they had had a few meetings, but didn't even have their equipment, and they got activated for Korea. So, we went to Ft Huachuca, AZ for training (just before it became a Signal Corps base, which it still is today).

Capt Burke took the 420th to Korea, and the commander had my dad stay and form and train another topo det just like it - the 572nd. But by the time that unit was trained up, peace had broken out in Korea, so the 572nd went to Beale AFB (which the Army CE was building as a SAC base), and there they published the base newspaper. Very different duty for combat map makers, but they could run the repro equipment.

So, the 572nd is a 'cousin' of the 420th.

As my dad told the story, Capt Burke brought all personnel home with him, even though the unit saw action and was surrounded twice. The people of Tule Lake, CA should acknowledge John's good and careful leadership of the 420th.

Keywords: Capt John Burke, 420th topo det, 572nd topo det







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