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After Action Report

Old Fort MacArthur Day’s  

On July 10/11 2010 S-1 Patrol (Southern Ca.) of the Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society attended “Old Ft. Mac Day’s” at Ft. MacArthur in San Pedro California. This is a time line event that hosts reenactment groups from Roman Legionaries to The Viet Nam War. Eighty Five different groups attended this year’s event, each one erecting a period encampment and our group was no different in that respect.

Bill Irwin, George Sicre, Jerry Finney and I met at the Fort at around 11:30 AM on Friday afternoon and began setting up our camp. This included setting up Bill’s Theodolite, Map Table, 4 tents etc and making the camp look as period correct as possible.


The show opened to the public each morning at 10:00 AM and started with a flag raising ceremony. Immediately following the flag raising a parade of troops began across the battlefield right in front of where our camp was located. Ft. Mac is located in a beautiful park over looking the Pacific Ocean.  Our encampment sat on top of the hill and we had a close and fantastic view of the ocean. This also helped to keep the temperature down to around 75 degrees. It was the coolest I can remember since ever attending this event.

The parade of troops takes about 45 minutes to complete. I had gotten special permission to drive the SAS jeep in the parade and it seemed to be a crowd pleaser. This was the first public appearance of this jeep at any show and it got a lot of attention all weekend long. At around 1:00 PM Saturday afternoon we were a recon unit in a battle scenario set in Tunisia. As we drove the jeep in first, naturally we were ambushed. Trooper Jerry was mortally wounded almost immediately.

Trooper Jerry Finney 

The machine gun jammed while George was trying to return fire but the cross fire from the Germans was too much and we bailed out of the jeep. I was able to radio our position and just in the nick of time we were rescued by a group of Brit Para’s. There were other battles throughout the day including the Mexican American War, American Civil War, Frontiersman and the like. The Roman’s even had Gladiators fighting to Caesar’s pleasure.

Saturday night found us supping with the very same British Para’s who had earlier come to our rescue during the battle. The food was great and so was the fun as everyone ate and laughed while at the same time discussing history and other such topics. As the night came to a close I found myself at the fantastic make shift pub that the Irish Republican Army had set up. Those Irish know how to party; live music, great stories and the Irish libations were flowing.

Sunday morning was a repeat of Saturday with officer’s call at 8:00 AM, flag raising ceremony at 10:00 AM and the parade followed. As they had allowed me to drive the jeep in the parade, for safety reasons we had to be the last group so all the marching would be off the field. Just moments before we were to start the jeep ran out of gas. The crowd got a good chuckle as George and I marched up to the announcer to receive our flag for attending the event. 

The rest of the day was picture perfect with hundreds of people walking through and asking many good questions. I handed out much literature regarding our group and would be really surprised if we did not pick up a few new members. The day ended with the 4 of us tearing down our camp, cleaning up, saying our farewells and looking forward to the next time we would all meet. As always FT Mac was a first class event and already I can’t wait for next year. Our next S Patrol event is The Marching Through History Event on Oct 2/3 at Prado Dam Park in Chino, California. This is the same time line style event as Ft. Mac with many of the same groups attending. 

It would be nice to have as many members attend as possible.

 Kim Calvert

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American Truck Society Convention - May 27th - 29th


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TEA party event in Monterey Jan. 17th 2010


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California Historical Group "Desert Battle - Battle of Kasserine Pass"  April 16th 2010


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Tower Park - MVCC Event - April 21st

Dumont Dunes (2008) Trip Synopsis: In the last newsletter I had mentioned the author Steve Pressfield and his upcoming fictional book, “Killing Rommel”. We have kept in close contact and back in Oct. he asked me if we (along with the vehicles) would be willing to participate in a video promoting his new book, which is supposed to be released in late May or early June. He spent time with the publisher in New York trying to get them to “spring” for the cost of production (which was considerable), when they were reluctant; he decided to do it himself. So he spent Nov. and Dec. getting it all set up for a January 14th & 15th shoot. Rick departed Yreka on Friday Jan. 11th; and I left on Sat. Jan. 12th, with my trusty “Trooper” George Escobedo traveling with me. We rendezvoused up with Rick at Santa Nella on Interstate 5 at noon on the 12th. After a quick lunch we continued heading south, our destination was Dumont Dunes, which is about 45 miles North of Baker, Ca. off of Interstate 15 (towards Las Vegas). We spent the night in Barstow, Ca. with a planed arrival at Dumont Dunes around 9:30 AM on Sunday the 13th. We had some minor delays and also hooked up with another “Trooper” George Sicre; finally arriving at noon. What I was expecting when we got there and what was reality was two different things. I had expected four people, Steve Pressfield, the director; Nick Vitale, Cameraman; Phil Arfman and a sound person. What was there was the above, plus 17 other assorted personal. After we had a quick lunch, we started to unloaded the vehicles and make up our campsite, while they went to scout for locations. Nothing much else exciting happened that day. They told us when they would arrive the next day, so that we would be ready. Rick made Scampi with pasta for dinner; the only problem was that the weather got very cold during the night. The next morning everyone showed up at 7:30 AM, we had a quick catered breakfast and then we all moved to the first location. There we spent the morning watching them take and retake a number of dialogs of Steve talking about the LRDG & S.A.S. We took the stage after lunch.  We did the same thing over again the next day at the second location. They wrapped it up about 3:00 Pm that day. We decided to break camp and move up to Date Ranch about 20 miles north to see if we could get some “oasis style” photos. We did succeed the following day and left our perspective way on Wed the 16th. I know that this paragraph doesn’t sound like much fun but we all had a blast. I can’t wait to see the footage. I will let you know when it gets posted on the Internet.
Killing Rommel Video (requires QuickTime)
Killing Rommel Video (YouTube version)

Recent trip to Dumont Dunes (2008)

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1. Loading up.... 
2. Arrival at Dumont Dunes
3. Director, Nick Vitale; Author, Steve Pressfield & Producer, Phil Arfman
4. The first location
5. Take three !!!
6. Lunch break

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7. We're up next
8. Is the light right?
9. Done for today
10. 2nd day, new location
11. More dialog
12. More action

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13. The other "stars"
14. What it is all about! "Killing Rommel"
15. Steve takes a break 
16. Some last shots
17. Our "Oasis" location
18. Time to go home...

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Killing Rommel Video (requires QuickTime)
Killing Rommel Video (YouTube version)

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