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                   Music - Nick Glennie-Smith "Mansions of the Lord"

 

THE GOTO STONE

A PICTORIAL HISTORY

Prepared by CPT Sam Reinert

As of January 26, 2012

 

Since the deactivation of the 545th MP Company, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in 2005, the writer of this document has had dozens of questions as to what ever happened to the Gotto Stone or what exactly is the Goto Stone and this document is a humble effort to answer all your questions regarding this historical monument which has followed the unit from Camp Drake, to Camp Crawford, to Camp Custer and finally resting at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Originally, the stone was placed near the main gate of Camp Drake, but shortly found its way to the company area of the 545th MP Company and until the deactivation of the unit was usually to be found by the orderly room or arms room or supply room door of the 545th MP Company. Upon the units deactivation, the stone was reverently taken to the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and given to them to hold in custody until such time as the unit was reactivated. Originally there was a life sized statue of Cav troopers that stood with and/or behind the stone, but it was destroyed during construction of new buildings near the 1st Cavalry Division Museum by a large construction vehicle.

As almost everyone knows by now that the 545th MP Company is presently standing up once again at Fort Richardson, Alaska and plans were made to move the stone to that location so that it could once again stand outside the orderly or arms room door.  But due to the extreme changes in temperature there was concern that the stone might crack and be broken or destroyed in Alaska, so we finally decided that the best place for the stone would be in the MP Memorial grove, somewhere near the Memorial Walk Way.  As of the writing of this document the stone has been turned over to Mr. Jim Rogers who is the Director of the MP Museum for safe keeping until the 545th MP Company is once again stationed in a warm climate where the stone will be safe form the ravages of extreme cold weather.

 

So that everyone has a working idea of the stones history – here is a little background for your reading and viewing enjoyment:

 

 

Private First Class Goto

 

PFC Goto was a Japanese-American born in Hawaii.  He was an interpreter assigned to the 1st Platoon, 545th MP Company, 1st Cavalry Division.

On or about 19 July 1950, when the 8th Cavalry Regiment was about to be committed to combat in Korea, a request was received from Captain Church, S-2, 8th Cavalry Regiment for an interpreter.  Captain Church needed an interpreter to translate interviews held with the natives and/or POW’s about the location of the enemy, his strength, equipment etc.  At that time, most Koreans spoke Japanese so PFC Goto was the logical candidate since he spoke that language.

PFC Goto was ordered to report to Captain Church and accompany him on a reconnaissance of the 8th Cavalry Regiment’s area of responsibility.

Captain Church and PFC Goto left on the mission in a jeep prior to dawn on the 23rd of July 1950.  As they began to reconnoiter the area, they hit an enemy land mine and were killed instantly.

Captain Church and PFC Goto were the first KIA’s from the 1st Cavalry Division during the Korean War.

The granite block in front of the 545th Military Police Company’s Orderly Room is from a firing range that was dedicated in honor of PFC Goto at Camp Drake, Japan

LTC Louis Mehl who was the commander of the 545th MP Company as a young Captain at Camp Drake Japan and later during the Korean War knew PFC Goto personally and was greatly saddened by the loss of PFC Goto who had been an excellent member of the unit.  LTC Mehl is our Association Commandant.

 

 

PFC Mitsuru Goto at Camp Drake, Japan 1949

 

PFC Goto training with the 545th MP Co near Mt Fuji, Japan 1950

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the Machine Gun Range named after PFC Goto at Camp Drake and although PFC Goto did not have an MP MOS he was respected and treated as a fellow 545th MP from all members of the unit and will always be remembered as an MP from the 545th MP Company

 

This is a photo of the life sized monument that was destroyed at Ft Hood by construction workers by accident

 

Top view of the actual stone

 

Front view of the stone

 

On the 8th of July the Goto Stone was transported by veterans of the 545th MP Company from the 1st Cav Museum located at Fort Hood, Texas to the MP Museum located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where it was held under security until it was placed near the memorial walkway in the MP Memorial Grove during the rededication of that hallowed place in September of 2008.  We have SFC Mike Pentecost of the 1st Cavalry Division Provost Marshals office to thank for organizing and implementing this move.  Mike is a member of the unit association.

 

On September 24, 2008 at 1400 hrs a ceremony was held at the Military Police Memorial Grove located at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri and the Goto Stone was officially turned over to the Regiment by an Honor Guard of 545th MP Company veterans – both active duty and retired.  This Honor Guard was commanded by CPT Jerry Koltz who is also a veteran of the 545th MP Company.  BG Phillips, the Commandant of the MP School accepted the Goto stone on behalf of the Regiment of Military Police.

 

The Goto Stone rests on the stage in front of the Memorial Wall at the Grove and is covered by an MP Green silk coverlet which has a 1st Cav patch sewn in the center of it which was worn by CPL Floyd Schuhrke at Camp Crawford, Japan.  Note the headgear placed on the stage by the unit honor guard as headgear is not worn in the Memorial Grove out of respect.

 

 

The Honor Guard prepares to march into the Memorial Grove.  This is the Old Timers Squad with CPT Koltz following up behind.

 

 

This is the Active Duty Squad headed up by 1SG Steven Stone marching into the Grove.

 

 

The Honor Guard marches up on the stage and takes their places next to their pre placed head gear and behind the Goto Stone which is still covered

 

To begin the ceremony, the Regimental Chaplain, Chaplain Ramsey gave the Invocation

 

CPT Koltz and BG Phillips uncover the Goto Stone

 

 

The Goto Stone is now uncovered and you will note the ravages of time – the chips on the corners and the large crack down the right side as well as several nicks off the side edges.

 

 

BG Phillips accepts the Goto Stone from CPT Koltz who you will note is wearing an authentic Cavalry Saber

 

BG Phillips presents challenge coins to our Old Timers and chats with SGT Jesse Murrah who both knew SSG Cunningham, the 545th MP we lost (KIA) in Iraq while he was assigned to the 89th MP BDE

 

BG Phillips complements CPT Koltz on the appearance of the Honor Guard

 

BG Phillips made several references to his personal experiences with the 545th MP Company who could always be counted on to get the job done and the great MPs assigned to this fine unit.

 

After the Ceremony group photos were taken.  This is the Old Timers Squad, from left to right:  SGT Jesse Murrah, SGT Warren Sessler and SSG Ira Harrison

 

This is the Active Duty Squad; from left to right:  1SG Steven Stone, SSG John McQueen, SFC Eddie Lagarez, SFC Carrie Killea and SSG Fred Killea

 

 

         

CPT Jerry Koltz, our Honor Guard Commander

 

Due to the high state of training, deployments and combat operations world wide, the Army has little or no time for Pomp and Ceremony as in peace times, but it is important that a units history be preserved so that peacetime soldiers may view the accomplishments of their respective units in times of non combat activity and the veterans of the 545th MP Company realize this more than MPs of other units and act accordingly.  No matter if it is manning a road block, check point, TCP or escorting a convoy or EPW’s they still find time to honor their unit and its MPs both past and present and to preserve the traditions and history of the 545th Military Police Company.  Most of the MPs that participated in this ceremony drove thousands of miles to be present and the old timers at their own expense.  That shows the high state of commitment to their unit and its traditions

 

 

Corrections, additions or questions regarding this article should be directed to . . .

Sam Reinert

CPT MP USAR (Ret)
Founder
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX

Samreinert1@545thmpcoassn.org