Darrel L. Gooler, Damage 6

Memorials and tributes to our Big Red One veterans who have passed away.
"But The First Division will never die in the memory of a gallant people. For them it will march forever. March on then, First Division; march over the hills of sunny France; march through the flaming towns of Picardy; up the shell-swept slopes of the Lorraine; thru the gas-filled forest of The Argonne; on into everlasting glory."
Colonel Robert R. McCormick 5th Field Artillery, World War I

Darrel L. Gooler, Damage 6

Postby Digger » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:27 pm

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Courtesy of my last CO, Ron Saxton:
Don't know if we knew of his death. Have no idea if COL Gooler was member of the Regt Assoc or Society of 1st ID. Sadly, I lost contact with him about the turn of the century [and had heard he had dementia then]. He was 2-16 Commander, "Damage 6", from Dec 67-July 68. I was his Acting S-3 when Tet 68 started and a week later he assigned me as CO of Delta/2-16 (Feb-Sept 68). He was one of the the 2 finest Bn Commanders I ever worked for and a true soldier.

Colonel Darrel Lond Gooler, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away April 28, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. He was born July 29, 1926, at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended St John’s Military Academy in Delafield Wisconsin, Allen Academy in Bryan Texas, received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University in 1951, and a Master of Arts in 1972.

Colonel Gooler began his military career in the United States Army Air Corps Reserve in 1943, one year in the United States and the second year in the Philippines, he received a reserve commission through the Army Series 10 Course and was called to active duty upon graduating from Trinity. Following six months as a Platoon Leader in the 20th Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division in Fort Ord, CA he was ordered to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he attended the Basic Infantry Officer’s Course and the Airborne Course. Colonel Gooler was then assigned to the 40th Infantry Division and served as Infantry Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, and Company Commander, C Company, 160th Infantry Regiment in Korea. Upon return from Korea in 1954, he was assigned to the 508th and was ordered to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He assumed command of Company C, 508 ARCT, and then despite being a First Lieutenant, he was assigned as Company Commander of Support Company, 508 ARCT. This Company was composed of two Platoons of 4.2 mortars and one Platoon of 76mm anti-tank guns. The 508th ARCT was one of the first “Gyroscope Units”, the unit was ordered to be the advance party to Japan, duty station Camp Wood, Kumamoto. Upon return to the United States, in 1956, he was assigned to the 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY, at the time of the reactivation of that division following World War II. He was selected to attend the Advanced Infantry Officers Course at Ft. Benning and after completion, he became and Army Ranger. Col. Gooler was then assigned to the Airborne-Air Mobility Department. He completed this Assignment as head of the Pathfinder Department.

In 1960, he was assigned as Assistant Professor of Military Science at the Sewanee Military Academy, Sewanne, Tennessee. In 1964, he was posted to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he served as military advisor to the Imperial Ethiopian Bodyguard Division and in addition as the military advisor to the Ethiopian Airborne Battalion. In 1966, he was posted to Ft. Benning, Georgia as an instructor in the Brigade and Battalion Operations Department for six months and then selected to attend the Fort Leavenworth Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Shortly after graduation, he was ordered to Vietnam where he commanded the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division from December 1967 to July 1968, then being assigned as the Deputy G-3, II Field Forces, Longbien, Viet Nam.

In 1969, he was ordered to the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Department of the Army. He was the Army Readiness Officer and was charged with making recommendations ultimately to the Army Chief of Staff for improvement of worldwide Army readiness for both the Army Active and Reserve Forces.

In 1972, he was ordered to the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and upon graduation, assigned to the J-5 Directorate, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. He served as the Chief of the Strategic Concepts Branch where he had a substantial impact on the formulation of US military strategy and development of policy papers on items of major significance to national security.

In May, 1976, Col. Gooler was assigned to Headquarters 5th US Army, Office of the Inspector General, San Antonio, Texas, where he excelled at protecting the interests of the Army, Active and Reserve and the rights of the individual soldier.

In July, 1979, Col. Gooler was assigned to Army Readiness Region VII where he served as Deputy Commander and was personally responsible for numerous major improvements in the state of readiness and preparedness for mobilization of Army Reserve Components throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He retired from Active duty in 1981 and settled in San Antonio, Texas. Some of his military awards include: Two Combat Infantry man’s Badges, the Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star w/V, Twelve Air Medals, two Purple Hearts, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Ranger Tab, Ethiopian Parachutist Badge and numerous campaign ribbons.

Colonel Gooler was a Demolay, a 75 year Mason, a member of the Sojourners and a Shrine Clown. He loved to play golf and enjoyed his many friends who had a similar love for the game.

Colonel Gooler was preceded in death by his parents, Colonel Max Hosmer Gooler and Doris Ann Lond Gooler. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 60 years, Bruce Nell Hoermann Gooler; his daughter, Shelby Lee Gooler Snell and her husband Micheal William Snell; his grandchildren, Andrew Darrel Snell and his wife Dr. Rachel Snell and Katherine Lee Snell, Kristina Clark and Chloe Clark.
Don Dignan
D/2/16, 1st Inf Div
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