2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

Willie McTear and Steve Moede. These two outstanding soldiers are discussing Camp Bearcat’s luxurious facilities and are seriously considering enlisting for a second tour of duty in the Nam – choke!

Introduction Steve Moede was drafted out of the San Fernando Valley (a Los Angeles, California suburb) on May 17, 1966 along with numerous other 19 year olds as the 9th Infantry Division was reactivated at Fort Riley, Kansas. Steve, a rough and tough young man,  excelled at soldiering despite his independent and somewhat rebellious nature. He was extraordinarily proud to serve his country and he had no reservations whatsoever about doing his duty as our unit trained and prepared for the grueling task of combat that lie ahead. Credit goes to Steve for penning “The Letter” that requested our Commanders to harden our training and to simulate the guerilla warfare which we were destined to perform in the hot and humid rice paddies, jungles, swamps, and muddy waters of the Mekong Delta.  After six months of training and living together at Fort Riley, Charlie Company, indeed the entire 4th/47th Battalion achieved excellent results as we became a solid fighting unit – extremely well organized and led by outstanding leaders.  The 4th/47th became a key element of the Mobile Riverine Force.

In combat, Steve truly proved to be an “Old Reliable” trooper and was promoted to Buck Sergeant and he led one of Lt. Jack Benedick’s 2nd Platoon squads.  I am very proud to call Steve Moede my friend.               Bill Reynolds – July 13, 2001

2nd Platoon troopers, Willie McTear and Ron Schworer, both from Las Vegas, Nevada, on patrol near Camp Bearcat – February 1967. Ron was lost to friendly fire as the 2nd Platoon crossed a river in the Rung Sat Special Zone on April 9, 1967.

A Soldier Died Today

A soldier died today
Steve Moede was our friend
No soldiers there to comfort him
Nothing said until the end.

One more friend we knew
Has passed and gone away
He’s headed for the shinning light
In God’s hands he’ll be today.

He’ll see his Brothers
Who died well before their time
Surely they greeted him at the gates
Letting him know that he’ll be fine.

April 3rd a very sad day
A friend we all knew well
He didn’t want anyone to know
He told his girlfriend not to tell.

We were blessed to see you
Only a few short years ago
There were six of us that day
You let your emotions flow.

We’ll miss you all so dear brother
But we know you’re not alone
Another soldier died today
With his brothers he’s now home.

May God bless you and keep you
Tell all our Brothers Hi
We’ll have one heck of a Gathering
Until then goodnight no goodbye’s.

Author: Tom Conroy
             April 18, 2006

Sergeants Ted Searcy, Steve Moede and George “Smitty” Smith enjoying a one day R & R at Vung Tau – May 1967. Sergeant Smith galantly fought to his death during a fierce battle on July 11, 1967.
2nd Platoon’s two handsome Playboys – Fred Harrell from Macon, Georgia and Earl Eddings from Tennessee.
Steve and Sergeant Buford Hoover, one of Charlie Company’s top notch NCO’s, fraternizing with the locals.
Charlie Company’s #1 Platoon Leader, Lt. Jack Benedick – 2nd Platoon.
Bob “Big Red” Ehlert from St. Paul, Minnesota, about to take his first shower at Camp Bearcat after weeks in-country 3.
Steve with his good buddy Fred Kenney at Camp Bearcat – February 1967. These two rough and ready soldiers were drafted out of the San Fernando Valley, California. Steve, from Reseda and Fred from Canoga Park.   Fred lost his life in a battle on July 11, 1967.
James Holstine, from Austin, Texas, and Steve takin’ a beer break at Camp Bearcat – February 1967.  Tragically, James passed away at the early age of 46 in 1992 after contracting cancer.
Mike Cramer and Steve on R & R in Wulai, Taiwan – May 24, 1967.        Photo courtesy of Mike Cramer.