The original price of the 297th MI SF Company's coins was $30-35 each. There were two waves of the coin. The first batch of 100 carried the numbers 0 to 99 or 100 under the dragon. The second wave of 100 coins had the number 100 or 101 to 200 on the edge. I still have about 7 or 8 coins from the second set. The coins are in .999 fine (pure) silver and were created at my expense. (No good deed will go unpunished) Carlos Llanos purchased most of the coins. One was sent to the SF museum (and I saw it there) but now they don't have it!!! Coin #1 went to our LTC Commander. I had coin #0 but it was stolen and don't know where it is. Any questions? I too miss the unit and my fellow paratroopers.
Does anyone still talk on this site? Bill Foster and myself may be trying to get a reunion together this summer if posable. If I can get a hold of Ron McMinimum may be we can get some more coins made.
297th "All the way" best unit memories. Still have my coin.
Talking about the day the canon was fired. I was going though my old VHS tapes, transfereing them to DVD, along with my old 35mm slides and negatives that I am transfering to digital. It is pretty fun looking back at those "old"days. It was good unit. Scary how young we all looked back then.
I was also in the 297th from 1983 to 1987, I joined after leaving the 82nd Airborne Division - great to see so many names I remember on this forum. I still talk to some 297th vets regularly like Tim and Pete. Phoenix law enforcement is full of 297th vets. It was a great unit to be in.
I remember when I first joined, we wore the maroon airborne beret with the MI unit crest as the beret DUI on a pale blue flash, and the 63rd ARCOM shoulder patch, then were authorized to wear the green beret with the 19th flash, and then the distinctive 297th flash and oval background.
The 297th flash can be seen on this sticker which is for sale on several sites:
I still have my challenge coin, I remember there was a printed sheet that described the symbolism of the heraldry on the coin, but I don't have that anymore.
The book "A Concise History of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces with Lineage and Insignia" by Geoffrey T. Barker gives the following lineage for the 297th up to 1987:
1950: Constituted in the Organized Reserve Corps as the 297th Interpreter Detachment assigned to 6th Army, Activated at Pasadena, CA.
1953: Inactivated at Pasadena, CA
1962: Reorganized and redesignated as the 297th MI Detachment, assigned to 6th Army, Activated at Santa Monica, CA
1963: Reorganized an redesignated as the 297th MI Detachment (Special Forces Group) Attached to the 19th Special Forces Group (ARNG), 6th Army.
1972: Assigned to the 63rd ARCOM, 6th US Army (remaining attached to the 19th Special Forces Group)
1975: Reorganized and redesignated as the 297th MI Detachment (Special Action Force).
1984: Reorganized and redesignated as the 297th MI Company (Combat Electronic Warfare Intelligence)(Special Forces Group)(Airborne)
1987: Reassigned to the 351st Civil Affairs Command, US Army, remaining attached to the 19th Special Forces Group (ARNG)
Hope we can get another reunion going sometime soon.
Mike gave a good history of the 297th, it was officaly deactivated in September 1990. TDA was transfered to the the 19th SFG, however, SSG Wiseman, SSG Durocher and myself had to transfer all the equipment across the 351st CA, what a pain.
Great work on the history of the 297th never had such a good time with a bunch of great guys. I climed the Grand Conyon fron top to bottom last weekend at 66yrs old. I'll never do that again comming out I fell and ended up with 7 stiches in my head but what a trip.
Tim Kraemer CSM Retired
I cracked my head open at about the same time as you, but much less heroically than climbing the Grand Canyon - I turned and walked blindly into the edge of the back hatch door of my Explorer in my garage and cut a big deep gash into my scalp. It's amazing how many blood vessels are on the top of our heads!
Hope you're doing better - talk to you soon.
My brother always spoke highly of all of you! SSG. Weisman if that rings a bell. ;-)
I have a TON of those stickers if you're interested in one....Dean had two coins, one was given to me and it was stolen. I would LOVE To get my hands on another one. The anniversary of of his death (10 years) is the 22nd of this month....
I know he loved you all and considered every one of you his family.
Are you kidding me?!?! I'd LOVE to get my hands on another one!
Frank Weisman (brother to SSG Dean Weisman)
SSG Weisman was my brother.
Can you contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) about your coin, thanks
I am planning to put on a 297th MI CO(CEWI)(SF)(ABN)this summer here in Phoenix at a hotel. If you are interested contact email@example.com
I ment renion this summer.
I will have to pull out my coin and look to see what number it is. I would like to have another since, mine is beat up from being in my wallet/pocket for a number of years. The 297th was not just unique, it was a blast to be a part of. Never served with so many educated enlisted before.
The 297th sounds a lot like the 356th MI-D CEWI (A) in Jacksonville, FL. It followed a similar path; Army Reserve but performing CEWI for 20th SFG(A) before eventually being reflagged NG into the 3/20th's MI Det after Desert Storm. Cool unit with nearly unlimited training opportunities. SOD-A teams were composed of (old school) 98G and 05H with SF tabs.
Shardik, you are correct the USAR had 4 SF CEWI companies tht were assigned to respective groups. Two are ARNG and two were USAR. The 297th (Phoenix) was wartraced (old word was Capstoned) to the 19th SFG of UT (ARNG), the 356th (Jacksonville)was wartraced to the 20th of AL/FL (ARNG), the 77th (Chicago) was wartraced to the 12th SFG (USAR) and the 389th (Louisville, KY) was wartraced to the 11th SFG (Maryland). The 297th and 356th TDAs were transfered to the ARNG, the 77th and 389th were absorbed by the respective groups. Some of the 297th personnel transferred to the 12th SFG and stayed in Phoenix rather than make the commute to the UT, although I do believe the Logan's (father & son) both transfered to UT. In the 297th we call the SIGNINT teams SOT-A's not SOD-A, the poor guys had rucks of over 100 pounds as the 3 man team had to carry the PRD-11, PRC-70, and everything else they need for an operation, they could hump!
SOT-A, you are correct (it has been 20 years).
Man that was a golden opportunity. In 24 months of continual training, I went to DLI, 98G, BIMC, AIMC, and 18E!
The 297th MI CO (CEWI)(SF)(ABN) is set for June 14-16 at the Embassy Suites.
Good Morning, Glad to see that the unit still has some cohesion, sorry I missed the 2013 reunion. Hope that is was a blast. If anyone has pictures they would share, I for one would love to see them.
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