Old TOPO Warrior

I no longer have the time to do the manual updates and intros - Please add yourself as a Topic in this forum
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:32 am
Interesting Things about Yourself: I served in several TOPO units in the '60's and '70's (655th,66th,524th and 649th) would like to establish a site for the other TOPO Co in VN, the 66th.
Would like info on TOPO units in general during the Cold War and VN era - numerical designations, where located, time frames units were there, inof on personnel - Commanders, Plt Leaders, Sergeants Major and First Sergeants, etc.

Old TOPO Warrior

Post by mimike » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:39 pm

I am Mike Staggs.

I just found your site, it is good to know that we “old” TOPO warriors are not totally forgotten.

I was not in the 569th, I was in the other TOPO Co in VN, the 66th. I was in the Repro Plt, a Layout Specialist, Plate maker and Cameraman.

I served in several other TOPO units; the 656th, 524th and the 649th, as well as AG units at Ft Belvoir and in Japan. I even spent some time with a British Army equivalent of TOPO.

In 1977 I went into the Intel. field, serving as a Intel. Analysis until I retired from the Army in 1991.

After retiring I went to Orlando, FL. I had been stationed there as a recruiter and I am a devoted Bass fisherman, so retirement in FL seemed to be the thing to do. I stayed there for several years them went home to S. CA and went back to school on the GI bill for a couple of years. S. CA was a great place to grow up in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s but it was now a very much different place. Like they say “you can never go home”.

I stayed long enough to see a son graduate HS them moved up into the mountains of Arkansas. I pretty much became a hermit for some 10 years. I loved living in the mountains but the 2 hour trip to the nearest town became too much. Several family members had re-located from CA to E. Texas so I followed them.

I now live several miles outside of Athens, TX - about equal-distance from three large and productive lakes; Palestine, Cedar Creek and Richard Chambers.

I live alone with a cat and three dogs, fish a lot (just got a new BASS Tracker Pro 175), make models of WWII era aircraft, read and blog on various military and historical web sites.

I have tried to get info of Army TOPO units during the Cold War and VN era, but have little success. I would like to have a definitive list of all TOPO units, where and when they were located, when they were de-activated (I was in the 66th when it was de-activated). If possible I would like to have info on TOPO personnel - unit Commanders, NCO’s, names of as many men who served with TOPO as possible.

There does not seem to be a “history” of TOPO during this period and I have thoughts of correcting this.

We were a small but important part of the Army and deserve to be remembered.

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Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:59 pm

Re: Old TOPO Warrior

Post by admin » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:41 am

Hi Mike,

Glad you stopped in. We unfortunately don't get a lot of action on the board. I guess our age demographic isn't too computer oriented.

I left Nam after my pot bust with just over the 6 months left needed to get an early out (thanks to the C.O. and First Sergeant) and was sent to the 63rd Engr Co (topo) at Fort Bragg NC. to finish out my full 3yr. commitment.

From what I could find on the 63rd "..The unit moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina from January 25, 1967 to august 15, 1988 Finally, on July 17, 1992, the unit was activated as the 63rd Engineer Company at Fort Benning, Georgia where it remains today..." apparently no longer a Topo unit.

I don't have contact with anyone from that time. I only spent 6 1/2 months there before ETS'ing in January 1970... I don't recall anyone doing much topo/carto work while I was there. My pot bust left me as a SP4 with fines that left me with little pay... I spent most of the that time doing guard duty or KP for guys to make spending money ... at guard duty I usually made "colonel's orderly" and remember having it overall pretty easy there as one of the few Vietnam vets in the company. One of the lieutenants from the 569th (Koneschek) was the C.O. there (now a captain) and I always knew he had my back.

We always knew the 66th was down in (around) Saigon/Long Binh but never had communication that I know of...

I was in Carto, but when I got out I worked as a stripper, cameraman, and platemaker for the next 6 years while studying and getting my photography going. My military experience, and the benefits it brought has been a huge important asset in my life that I never possibly imagined at the time.

John Copeland

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