North High School Wall of Honor
Edker William Blythe
Class of January, 1961
Research done by Claradell Shedd, class of 1953. As additional accurate information is received for Ed, it will be entered on this page appropriately.
Edker William Blythe
Ed graduated from North High in the January, 1961 class. His next of kin was Mr. and Mrs. Edker H. Blythe, 3919 8th Street, Des Moines, IA. His service number was RA17601092.
Edker William Blythe
Year x Rank/Event x Status
January, 1961 x Graduated x Graduated from North High.
June 19, 1961 x Enlisted
US Army
x Enlisted at Des Moines, IA
June 22, 1961 x US Army x Basic Training at *Fort Riley, KS. Charlie Company, 28th Infantry
1961-1964 x US Army
x At Fort Riley, KS. 121st Signal Battalion; 1st Infantry Division
February 3, 1963 x Family x Married Lorraine Giuffre
1965 x US Army x **Fort Huachuca, AZ; US Army Intelligence Security Command
1966-67 x US Army x Vietnam; 101st Radio Research Company; Saigon
late 1967-1968 x US Army/E6
x ***Vint Hill Farms Station, Warrenton, VA; Army Intelligence Security Command; Materiel Support Command
1968-1969 x US Army x Tehran, Iran at U.S. Embassy
Late 1969 x US Army x Fort Hood, TX
1970-1971 x US Army x Udorn, Thailand; 7th Radio Research Group
1972-73-74 x US Army/E7 x Vint Hill Farms Station, Warrenton, VA. Full body photo below in uniform: May 14, 1974
1975-76-77 x US Army x Okinawa; Chief, Maintenance Assistance Instruction Team (MAIT)
1978-79-80-81 x US Army/E8 x ****Fort Polk, LA; 5th Infantry; Division Support Command
1982-83 x US Army/1st Sgt x Ludwigsburg, Germany; 222 Supply and Service Command
1983-Dec 1985 x US Army x Ludwigsburg, Germany; Operation Sergeant, Supply and Service Command
December 31, 1985 x US Army/1st Sgt x Discharged; Fort Ord, CA
1985-1993 x Employment x Pinkerton Security; Operations Manager
1993-2000 x Employment x Presentation High School; Manager, Building and Grounds
2000 x Retired x Living in Santa Clara, CA
*Fort Riley, KS
OPERATION LONG THRUST: Consistent with President Kennedy's August 1961 directive to augment U.S. Berlin Brigade, in 1962-1963 1st Infantry Division rotated four Infantry Battle Group Task Forces (reinforced by Big Red One Artillery & Transportation units) from Ft. Riley to West Germany from where they motor marched through communist East Germany to surrounded West Berlin. 1st Division units involved were 2nd Battle Group, 12th Infantry; 1st Battle Group, 13th Infantry; 1st Battle Group, 28th Infantry; & 2nd Battle Group, 26th Infantry. 2/12th was in Berlin during the Cuban Missile Crisis. 1/28th greeted President Kennedy on 26 June 1963, the day of his memorable "Ich bin Ein Berliner" speech.

The influx of troops and dependents placed new demands on the fort’s infrastructure. Work began on Custer Hill where new quarters, barracks and work areas were constructed. A new hospital, named in honor of Major General B. J. D. Irwin, was constructed to provide medical care.

In the decade following, 1st Infantry Division units trained to respond to any threat that might arise in Europe or other parts of the world. Construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and Cuban Missile Crisis the following year witnessed heightened alert for soldiers stationed at Fort Riley.

**Fort Huachuca, AZ
Fort Huachuca is a United States Army installation whose garrison is under the command of the United States Army Installation Management Command. It is located in Sierra Vista in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles (24 km) north of the border with Mexico. Beginning in 1913, for its first 20 years the fort was the base for the "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 10th Cavalry Regiment. During the buildup of World War II, the fort had quarters for more than 25,000 male soldiers and hundreds of WACs. In the 2010 census, Fort Huachuca had a population of about 6,500 active duty soldiers, 7,400 military family members and 5,000 civilian employees. Fort Huachuca has over 18,000 people on post during the peak working hours of 0700 and 1600 on week days, making it one of the busiest Army installations.
***Vint Hill Farms, Warrenton, VA
Vint Hill Farms Station (VHFS) was a United States Army and National Security Agency (NSA) signals intelligence and electronic warfare facility located in Fauquier County, Virginia, near Warrenton. VHFS was closed in 1997 and the land was sold off in 1999. Today the site hosts various engineering and technology companies, as well as two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control facilities.
****Fifth Infantry
The 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized)—nicknamed the "Red Diamond",[1] the "Red Devils", or "die Roten Teufel"—was an infantry division of the United States Army that served in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, and with NATO and the U.S. Army III Corps. It was disbanded and deactivated on 24 November 1992.
November, 1974
Fort Riley, KS
Fort Hood, TX
Fort Polk, LA
Edker William Blythe
First Sergeant
1st, 5th Infantry Division
US Army

US Army Seal

First Infantry Division

Maintenance Assistance Instruction Team; 1975

Army Intelligence and Security Command

101st Army Radio Research Company

Edker William Blythe; May, 1964

Edker William Blythe; November, 1984

7th Radio Research Group

Fifth Infantry Patch

Rifle Expert

First Sergeant


Meritorious Service Medal w/two Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Commendation Medal w/two
Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Achievement Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster;
Good Conduct Medal (6th Award); National Defense Service Medal;
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal;
American Campaign Medal; Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm;
Army Service Ribbon; Meritorious Unit Citation w/Oak Leaf Cluster; Overseas Service Ribbon
(1) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records can be found online at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: Edker William Blythe's 1961 class page is:
03/13/16. Living in CA.
Music: "Wind Beneath My Wings"
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