SSGT James Reed Blair "JB" was the scout/infantry section leader for the 1st Platoon in 1969
JB is on the right, Maggot is on the left
Here is a remarkable set of pictures taken by Okie showing JB briefing a patrol, then with Lt. Canda, lead the patrol out.
I had always thought that JB, being the first section leader I had when I arrived in the Cav in June of '69, was the best section leader I ever had. I saw that he was real close to our Lieutenant, whose nickname was "Shadow." I didn't know Shadow's real name until 30 years later. I thought that they were the best leaders I could ever hope for as a new guy. The C.O. of the troop was Captain Robinson, again, I thought, quality leadership all the way. I learned a lot from them, so much that I applied what they did when I too became a leader in the Honolulu Police Department. JB and Shadow led from the front, they gave the men respect, and they appeared to be fearless. I was barely 2 weeks in the field when we were assigned to patrol the "marketplace" up on the DMZ. I had heard from some REMFs that it was a really bad place to go, and I wasn't happy about going there. Then again, what did REMFs know? One morning, I had the last guard and saw JB & Shadow approaching my part of the perimeter from the outside! I wasn't aware that they had left during the night. How could I have been, I was sleeping when they left. JB walked up to my track with Shadow trailing behind. I must have looked amazed to see them. JB tossed up a Bull Durham tobacco bag to me. I caught it; it was wet. I looked inside and saw that it contained what looked like human ears. I dropped it to the ground, with a surprised yelp. JB and Shadow just laughed and walked off. I looked out and saw nothing but rice paddy and in the distance some trees. Talk about being impressed!
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