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6th Infantry Regiment: ‘Unity Is Strength’

From Left are Corporal E4 Alfredo Paredes, MajorAlbert Scooler and Sgt. E5 Rudy Paredes all of which are NHS graduates.

From Left are Corporal E4 Alfredo Paredes, MajorAlbert Scooler and Sgt. E5 Rudy Paredes all of which are
NHS graduates.

Separated by seven minutes at birth, Rudy and Alfredo Paredes were born at their home on 515 Sonoita Avenue and delivered by Dr. Emile Cyrille Houle who was a Nogales physician from 1929-1954.
They both attended Elm Street Elementary School, which is presently the parking lot adjacent to Sacred Heart Parish. Graduating from Nogales High School (NHS) in 1955, they had to wait a month to join the Army Reserve at 18 years of age. Their enlistment had a commitment of eight years which included active reserve, active duty, and inactive reserve. Both were sent to Fort Ord, CA for basic training and then assigned to Heavy Mortar Co. under the command of Capt. Tom Darling in Nogales. From 1955 through 1957 they attended two-week summer camps at Camp Roberts, CA. In February 1957, Rudy attended Non-Commission Officers Academy in Ft. Ord, CA where he graduated with the rank of corporal. In 1957, the brothers,
along with NHS graduate Albert Scooler, requested active duty and were sent to Fort Carson, Colorado, for enhanced basic training. Scooler retired from the Army after serving 23 years with the rank of Major and presently resides in San Antonio, TX. Major Scooler was shipped to Korea while in 1958; the brothers were shipped to West Berlin, Germany. There first assignment was H Co. 2nd Battalion, 6th Inf. Regt.
With the motto “Unity Is Strength” in 1958, the 6th Infantry Regiment was deactivated according to a worldwide Army reorganization plan; the Berlin units were reformed as 2nd and 3rd Battle Groups (BG), 6th Infantry. The first Battle Group Commanders were Colonel Glen D. Walker, and Colonel Walter W. Davis, later the same year took Command of the 2nd Battle Group went to Colonel William F.
Kernan, and the Command of the 3rd went to Colonel Fred C. Weyand, who later went on to become Army Chief of Staff. In Berlin, the 6th Infantry continued to maintain its traditional high standards of excellence in every phase of military activity. Rudy was assigned to B Co, 3rd BG and Alfred to Hq & Hq Col., 2nd BG. The 6th Infantry had battle honors in the War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil
War, War with Spain, Philippine Insurrection, World War I and World War II. In June 1989, the 6th Infantry was withdrawn from the Combat Arms Regimental System and reorganized under the United States Army Regimental System. They battled in Vietnam, Panama, Defense of Saudi Arabia, Liberation and Defense of Kuwait, Cease-Fire.

The Stars and Stripes of Thursday, October 16, 1958, had this to say about the 6th Infantry: “As the only American regiment behind the Iron Curtain, the 6th was in a unique position. Completely surrounded and greatly outnumbered by Communist forces, the regiment was like a lone policeman patrolling a tough neighborhood.
However, like the single cop who represents the law and authority of the police force, the 6th was a symbol of the might of America.”
The article went on to note, “It was fitting that the regiment, stationed in an island of freedom, had a distinguished battle record which began during the War of 1812.
A former commander, Maj Gen Zachary Taylor, who led the regiment through the Mexican War in 1845, later became President of the United States.”
Corporal E4 Alfredo Paredes was assigned to the 2nd Battle Group, also known as On Guard, at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company. The Company consisted of platoons in Reconnaissance, Engineer, Communications, Medical, Maintenance, Supply, and Assault Gun. The Company had its calling as “Service is our motto.”
It was responsible for the logistical functioning of Alpha, Bear, Charlie, Delta, and Mortar Companies. Paredes’ assignment was in the maintenance platoon. Paredes was responsible for supervising the mechanics. Coupled with that assignment was driving a truck to Helmstead, which was on the East-West border of Germany.
According to Paredes, the reason for this was to see if the Russians would let us go through. They would harass us a lot but nothing serious. When traveling through a village the people would look at us behind their curtains and quickly hide. If spotted by Russian soldiers, the soldiers would take action against them. They were not allowed to view free people. The trip was 110 miles behind the Iron Curtain.
Sgt E5 Rudy Paredes was assigned as 81 mm Motor Section Leader and Chief Computer (fire direction center), Heavy Weapons Platoon, B Co. and guard duties at Berlin Command and other places. B Company had as their motto: Defenders of Freedom. Paredes was also on the Honor Guard at Spandau Prison. The Honor
Guard took over from the Russian Contingency for the monthly four-nation guard duty at the famous prison holding the remaining Nazi War Criminals. There were only three prisoners: Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer, and Baldur von Schirach.
In the book, Spandau The Secret Diaries by Albert Speer, who was also the author of Inside the Third Reich, had this to say about his life at Spandau Prison: “….I shied away from looking at that mass of papers which is all that has remained of my life between my fortieth and my sixtieth years. There are various reasons for my presenting this journal now. But ultimately it is an attempt to give form to the time that seemed to be pouring away so meaninglessly, to give substance to years empty of content. Diaries are usually the accompaniment of a lived life. This one stands in place of a life.”
While in Berlin, B Co. could not fire anything over .30 caliber so they had to go to Hohenfeld and Wildflicken, West Germany in the summer months for training with real firepower. While in Berlin, they could fire their mortars using dummy rounds.
The soil was very sandy so they could dig up the rounds, clean them and use them again. Their field training in Berlin was conducted in Grunewald forest, a very large forest park in West Berlin. The high hills are man-made from rubble from the bombed out buildings during the war.
The Paredes brothers rotated back to the United States in October, 1959 and were discharged at Fort Dix, New Jersey. They drove back to Nogales in a new 1958 Volkswagen that Rudy purchased in Germany for $1,250.00. After a 31-year career with the City of Nogales Fire Department, Alfredo retired as Fire Chief.
Rudy graduated in 1963 from Arizona State College (presently Northern Arizona University) with a degree in finance and a minor in Industrial arts. After 34 years in the produce industry and serving two terms as President of the West Mexico Vegetable Distributors Association, he retired in 2000.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood. “ General George S. Patton

About The Author

By Dr. Marcelino Varona Jr.

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