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Henry Bassman, who served as a first lieutenant and later captain at Army Pictorial Center from June of 1967 until June of 1968, was commander of the field photo organization at first and later became Troop Commander.  Sharing his memories of APC, Bassman wrote:

"Colonel Bowman was the C.O. while I was there. My first sergeant was William Kintzler. He was replaced by Sergeant Lemmon. The mess sergeant was Cerrano. Sergeant Major of the post was Baily. My company clerk and later dear friend was Jack Koch. Jack had just been reassigned after a year recuperation from wounds received in RVN. He died a couple of years ago and I miss him sorely.

"Here is one story I like to tell about the bureaucracy of the military.

"The day Martin Luther King was killed was a tense time. A lot of the black troops were really mad and all of the young troops were really upset. I noticed that the flag at the White House was at half staff and at the request of one of my men I gave permission for them to lower it over the APC. Within five minutes I got a call from Colonel Bowman asking who gave the authorization to lower the flag. I told him that I had seen the flag lowered at the White House. He told me that until we got orders from Third Army the flag was to be at full staff. I told my men to raise the flag and they were upset. I then had the first sergeant call Third Army headquarters. They had to call Continental Army Command and sure enough, they had not received the order to lower all flags.

"Within five minutes they had called us telling us to lower the flag. I called Colonel Bowman, informed him of the order and he was very magnanimous in telling me it was okay to lower the flag. To a young guy just home from a combat assignment it seemed like a lot of nonsense, but it was a lesson that I carried with me for the rest of my life. If you want to do the right thing, make sure you do it the right way.

"One day I pulled into the parking lot during morning formation and some young soldier was playing a Tiny Tim recording of Tiptoe through The Tulips on his stereo. It was his commentary on morning formations I guess. I ran upstairs and walked into the squad bay without him seeing or hearing me. He was so engrossed at his little trick and the men downstairs were laughing along at him knowing I was sneaking up on him.

"I tapped this poor guy on the shoulder, and when he turned around his mouth opened in mimicry of the famous painting of The Scream. I told him 'Now you can come tiptoe with me!' Poor guy looked crestfallen. I brought him into the orderly room and met with the First Sergeant in my office. I told the First Sergeant to give him ONE day of extra duty, either guard or KP, no more. The men and I laughed at that for weeks.

Posted 07/10/2016