MAJ Homer L. Brem - Commanding Officer 72nd ESLD  1968 - 1969

CPT Alexander M. Olizewski - Executive Officer and Supply Officer  1968 - 1969 
(Photo as of yet unavailable)  (Alternate spellings: Oleshewski, Olshewski.)


The site was named Camp Ramrod and consisted of 6 prefab corrugated steel/pitch roof buildings and a large metal Quonset style structure to house motor maintenance at one end with aviation maintenance at the other. A well was jetted, an (ERLDator) water purification system installed and a water tower constructed. The Camp was powered by three 30 Kilowatt diesel generators. Other ancillary buildings were constructed.

AKA "Pady", "Patty" and "The Master Rodent" Sergeant First Class Bishop served as First Sergeant of the 72nd in Liberia from 1964 to 1965. Upon his return in 1969 Mr. Bishop was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer. 

Camp Ramrod from the air - 1965 

 CPT Howard Van Zante - Pilot   1963 - 1964  (Photo as yet unavailable)


Col Rodney D. Bither (Ret.) USA writes: "I arrived at the 72nd in Jan 1964 from Ft Hood, TX. Although only a 2LT, I was dual rated and happy to experience the adventure of flying in Africa. Maj Williamson was the Cdr at the time and for a short time it seemed that Lt Shockley and I were the workhorses of the aviation side of the house. Shortly after Maj Flickenger arrived and we worked together on several projects prior to leaving for the second half of our tour in Ethiopia.  More to follow".

Maj. Homer L. Brem - Master Army Aviator Arrived in Liberia from Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission in July of 1968 and returned to Ethiopia-MM in March of 1969. Maj. Brem flew all aircraft assigned to the Liberia operation.

David Heady provides the following "Letter Home" and adds: "WO Vaughn Nelson put this little missive together for us to send home as we were planning to leave Liberia." 

U.S. Army Topographic Command, Corps of Engineers
72nd Engineer Detachment (Survey)
APO New York 09155 


To whom it may concern: 
Dear Next of Kin, Friends, or Loved Ones of Subject Enlisted Man, 

This letter is sent as a solemn warning that as of this date__________, 

 ___________________________ will be in the midst of returning home. 

 Friends, wives, relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances, please take note. 

Very soon the above mentioned EM will once again be in your midst; dehydrated, demoralized, and demobilized, to take his place once again as a human being, with the feelings and somewhat belated pursuit of happiness. For making preparations to welcome him back into society you must make a few allowances for the very crude environment that has been his "home" for the past twelve months or so. In a word, he might be a little West African, suffering from Liberianitis, and he must be handled with extreme care. 

Show no alarm if he prefers to wear a lopa and carries a basket full of cassava, dry bread, and beer around on his head; do not be shocked if he yells, "Man, you abue me too mua!" and drinks "Club" from an old rusty can. Refuse to ridicule him when he walks down the center of the street insisting upon HIS right-of-way. If he is driving a car in the country and sees an animal on the side of the road up ahead, for heaven's sake get him out from behind the wheel of that car, otherwise he'll change course in the direction of that poor, unsuspecting animal. Keep a cool head if purrs like a kitten at the slightest mention of alcohol, or pours gravy on his desert, or mixes peaches with Seagram's VO. 

Be tolerant if he prefers to sleep with his head on the table or takes his mattress off the bed and prefers to sleep on the floor with all the lights on. Do not be upset if, when answering the phone he says, "Boog-a-loo, Baby," instead of "Hello," and, "Fine to much," instead of, "Good-Bye." In a relatively short time he can be taught to speak English again. It would be wise and less embarrassing for everyone if he were to eat alone for the first few weeks he is home. Do not give him well-prepared food right away; let him be broken into eating good food little by little. You must be careful about this or the shock may overcome him. At first, pile all his food on a tray. Do not pay any attention to him if you hear him going down he stairs about six in the morning yelling at the top of his voice, "Thirty-six, twenty-one, thirty-six." He is only visualizing what he thinks he needs. 

It would be wise not to let him come into contact with the postman for a while. Pick up the mail yourself. If he does not get any mail it would be advisable not to go hear him for several hours. You will probably find him standing in front of a window somewhere, talking to himself and with a disgusted look on his face. 

Do not plan on having him around over the weekends. If you do need him for something very important the best places to begin looking would be the following: YWCA, nurses home, airports watching planes land, all night bars, nightclubs, police station, under the front porch, and several nearby homes which he may have wandered into. Anyplace he might find a "Thirty-six, twenty-one, thirty-six." 

NEVER ask him why the guy down the street has been able to make higher rank than he did, as it is liable to throw him into a violent tantrum; and do not make remarks as to how nice the uniform looks or why he doesn't wear it more often. He'll go insane if the word "Re-enlistment" is mentioned in his presence. But above all, NEVER ask why the neighbor's son was stationed in the States for all three years as it is liable to lead to the most violent of events possible. 

For the first few months after he is home he will, from time to time, disappear for a day or two or even several weeks. Do not ask him where he has been or what he was doing. The truth is that if he wanted you to know he would have told you. The only way to find out what he was doing and what was going on would be to hire an ex-member of the FBI and have him followed for awhile. When the report is turned in, sit down and get ready for a shock. 

If he brings strange people home, do not say anything to him. If these people do not seem to be speaking English, do not try to understand or talk to them. If this thing he brings home looks, acts, smells, and talks, and does things like an animal, do not worry; it is just another poor fellow who was once stationed here. You will have to bring him up on the facts of life a little. Now, if he brings home some wild-looking girl and says the girl followed him home and asks if he can keep her as a pet, it will be up to you to find out the best way to make him understand that girls and animals are not in the same class as far as keeping them as pets goes. Keep in mind that he has not been around women for a long time and does not understand these things too well. For the first few months he is home, until he is house broken, be especially watchful when he is in the presence of women, particularly ones that are beautiful. For then he might find his "Thirty-six, twenty-one, thirty-six," and the results would be dreadful. Keep in mind that beneath his tanned and rugged exterior there lies a heart of gold, the only thing of value he has left. 

He has learned to talk his way out of a lot of things while he was over here; therefore, it will not do any good to try to find out anything from him. If you should ask if he has been drinking because his eyes are bloodshot, don't expect a sane answer from him. If he should happen to hit something with the car, do not try to find out what happened, for all he will say is, "I refuse to answer under the provisions of Article Thirty-one, Uniform Code of Military Justice." Oh, by the way, if he does use the car some night, do not look for it in the garage the next morning. You will find it a lot sooner if you look for it down the street, or at one of the all-night used car lots. 

Do not get upset if while riding in the car with him he makes no effort to avoid people in or around the pat of the vehicle; and if you do mention it to him he'll just say something about a "Kill-a-Moe Card." It is just a little playful sport he picked up over here and will soon get tired of it. Do not speak of Africa or the Liberians while he is in the room. If there is a film on TV about either one, turn it off at once or you may lose your set. Treat him with kindness and tolerance and occasionally a case of Heinekens and you will be able to rehabilitate that which is now the hollow shell of the young man you once knew. 

 This letter is sent to you as a public service to try to better promote an understanding by the citizens of the United States of these poor woe-begotten Sons of America's Foreign Legion. As an added thought, in the interests of Civilian Defense, it is recommended that you send no more mail in care of this APO, put all the women out of sight, get the kids off the streets, fill the ice-box with cold beer, pull back the sheets, and get out the civvies, because he's coming home!


Operations Officer 

LTC Graves - 64th ENGINEERS BATTALION COMMANDER         (Photo as of yet unavailable)

CPT.  Ryan - Executive Officer  1968

(Photo as yet unavailable) 

2LT. Roy Repak -  Pilot   1965 - 1966 
(Photo as yet unavailable)

William E. Williamson  1964 - 1965  
(Photo as of yet unavailable)

1LT  Rodney D Bither - Pilot  1964 - 1965                         (Photo as of yet unavailable)


Maj. Robert "Bob" Flickinger Master Army Aviator


2LT Pete Orlin  - Pilot   1965 - 1966

Served in Liberia as a helicopter pilot and then transfered to Ethiopia where he was promoted to 1LT.

  MAJ Frank Dryzmala - COMMANDING OFFICER  72nd ESLD  -  1964     (Photo as of yet unavailable) 

(Photo) Red Collins


James Harnden recording Tellurometer readings. Mt. Nimba, Liberia March 1965


David P. Moore served both in Liberia and Ethiopia. Mr. Moore began his career as an enlisted man who achieved the rank of E-7 and later in Ethiopia was  promoted to Chief Warrant Officer.


 (Photo) Vaughn E. Nelson 


(Photo as yet unavailable) Marvin Toleson  



SP5 Artisinger   (Photo and information as yet unavailable)


(Photo and information as yet unavailable)


SP5 Bergeron   (Photo and information as yet unavailable)

SP5 Pierre H. Berube.  The mushroom looking item Pierre is leaning on is an ant hill.

I arrived at camp Ram Rod in December of 1965.  I remember a few of the faces on your site such as Sargent Bishop, CWO Moore, and Captain Ryan.  My MOS was Topographic Surveyor.  I stayed a second year to be able to get out of the service 2 months early.  I worked with a great bunch of guys there.  I spent most of the time in the bush.  Cape Palmas was the best as well as Nimba staying with the Swedes up there.  Peace Corps were great supporters too.  I left Liberia at the end of December 1967.  It was an adventure I'll never forget.  I arrived as an Private and left as an E5.


Survey Field Party -- Traverse/Triangulation/Astronomic Survey Party Chief

SP6 Troy D. Carpenter: Seventy to eighty percent of my tour was taken up working away from Monrovia up country. Sixty per cent of that time, I was engaged in taking astronomic observations (latitude/longitude/azimuth) at selected sites throughout Liberia. There where three personnel on the astronomic team, including myself as observer/party chief, an assistant observer, and a recorder. Our team was also tasked with survey observations on the first order traverse that spanned the country from Roberts Field Airport south of Monrovia northeast to the terminal survey control station in the Nimba Mountains. At each of the astronomic stations, the team also installed concrete astronomic piers, survey control reference monuments, and performed triangulation observations. We did much of the computations of the survey data in the field, and then completed the remainder on our brief stays at Camp Ramrod near Monrovia. As it turned out, the great majority of our field work was done at the height of the Liberian rain season. This definitely prolonged our field astronomic work due to both the cloudy skies and incessant rain. For more from Troy Carpenter CLICK HERE


(Photo and information as yet unavailable)


Larry Chapman   1965


(Photo as yet unavailable) SP5 Eleutherio Franco


SP4 German  1964-65    (Photo as yet unavailable)                   


Dewey Gierke   1968 - 1969   (Photo as yet unavailable)


SFC JOHN H. GILES   1965    67Q40


SP4 Griffen  1964-65   (Photo as yet unavailable)     


SP5 David Heady--1969-1970. I arrived in country the first of March 1969 and left as the unit was winding down its mission late February the next year. As a 19-20 year old young man it was quite an adventure for me. I was a map compiler (81D20) and flew around in those OH23s with grease penciled aerial photos landing every so often to get the names of villages and geographic features and marking up the photos for further compilation later.  ...seeing Patty Bishop's photo brought a smile to my face as well. During the time I was there he stepped down as First Sergeant  due to becoming a Warrant Officer as well as taking his oath as a freshly minted American citizen. But yes, we were still his rodents. I recall being at Ramrod (mostly I was out in the bush) and having Patty call us all down to the Club one afternoon for an Army 'required'  training session on jungle survival. We gathered in the main room there and Patty stood by the bar. He said, "Should you survive falling out of the sky, which is bloody unlikely, you'll find yourself atop a 200 ft tree. Remove all of your clothing, sit on the nearest branch  and wait for the next tribe of monkeys to come by as no one is ever going to find your a** out there. Now belly up to the bar."


Robert R. (Bob) Hottinger served an extended tour of duty in Monrovia, Liberia West Africa with the 72nd Engineer Detachment from 1967 until Jan. 1969.


Stanley J. Kazmarek   


Edward L. Keen Jr.    1965   81D20   (Photo and information as yet unavailable)


SP5 Harold Lepelley   1965   67Q20


SFC (MSGT) John Misurda (or Masurda)


SPEC 5  Frank Moneymaker  (Captain French) 

(Photo as yet unavailable) Frank Moneymaker (Capt. French) was stationed in Liberia at Camp Ramrod from 1969-1970.  Frank writes: "it was great to see the pictures and be able to show my family what things looked like there. I was the last to leave the camp and they locked the gate forever. Great times and memories and I still miss the .05¢ drinks at Club 64. I would like to hear from anyone that was stationed there. Please email me if you have any pictures to share or just want to catch up on what is going on with our lives now."


SSgt Patchell  


SP4 Peckman   1965

SP5 Art Rowe  1968


PFC David L. Skowlund    1965    67Q20
PFC Sides  1964 - 1965  (Photo as yet unavailable)

SP4 Tyrone Sivels - Astronomic Team Survey Assistant Observer

SP5 Cecil C. Snelgrove 1965

PFC Stroud (Photo as yet unavailable)


Charlene Murray with Pierre Berube at a Liberian market 1965                                                  ----------------------------------------
Nelson Perkins - United States Peace Corps

While a Peace Corps volunteer, I met four soldiers, who were part of this mission at   Voinjama, Liberia, up in Lofa County between September and December of 1964.
They said they didn't need to know local money. Fifteen minutes after they hit a bar, they knew what things cost. They only had to point to empty glasses to order more.
It was good to see Charlene Murray, another Peace Corps who was in a photo with Pierre.
(I also seem to remember the black soldier with glasses in the photo just above Charlene. Soft spoken, he had a fantastic camera that took photos by candle light.)
They likely took the photo or in Koindu Market across the border in Sierra Leone.
One night I stayed in their rented house in Voinjama. One of the team shared some fried eggs. I was another forty miles farther back in the bush and hadn't seen eggs in months. Best eggs I tasted in Africa.
One day some of us piled into their vehicle and went to koindu Market. They let me off at my village, which was off the main road. They were a great group of soldiers. I never forgot them.
Years after Peace Corps, I myself had an army career (1973-1994). I was pleased to find your site. It brought back memories.
Cora at Mt. Nimba 13 May, 1965.  Cora,who helped with some of the domestic duties was of the Bassa tribe.


MAJ John S. Bond - Commanding Officer 72nd ESLD


SFC Patrick Bishop - First Sergeant   1964 - 1965


CWO Patrick Bishop - 1969 - 1970

72d ESLD began its formation from members of the 537th Base Survey Co. in 1959 at Ft Belvoir. The mission of the 72d was to primarily provide vertical control of aerial photography to be done by the commercial firm DMJM, with horizontal control done by HIRAN.

(Edited from contributions by David Moore)

1st Lt David R. Shockley - Pilot  1964 -1965

Maj. Robert "Bob" Flickinger - Aviation Section Commander   1964 - 1965

2LT Kirkpatric - Executive Officer and Assistant Adjutant   1965 - 1966 (Photo as of yet unavailable)