Ken Barton is in the middle of this picture
Ken Barton was the right gunner on the ACAV that I drove when I was in 1st Platoon, B Troop, 1/11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Although he was sort of a quiet guy he was one of the best M-60 machine gunners I have ever seen. When the shit hit the fan he didn't just put out rounds as fast as he could like most gunners. Instead, he looked over the top of his gun shield and sought out targets of opportunity like he was taught in AIT, and then blasted their asses off the face of the planet. He was one cool customer in combat. I finally quit driving that ACAV and got on a Sheridan since I had an 11E primary MOS. Even though Ken and I were in the same platoon we sort of drifted away from each other – me hanging out with the other tankers and Ken hanging out with the scouts. I never even knew he went to A Troop after B Troop, 1/11th deactivated in February 1971 until I saw his name on the troop roster at the second reunion. Right before I joined the A Troop commo net I got an email from Ken right out of the blue. I answered his email with one of my own catching him up with what I had been up to for the past thirty years. However, I never received another email back from him. Subsequent emails to him were never answered, either. I tried to locate him using the address he had on file with the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia (11th ACVVC), but it was an old address. I contacted all of the Ken Barton's in Florida but none of them were the guy I was looking for. I received the latest newsletter from the 11th ACVVC the other day and read where Ken had passed away November 8, 2004. The cause of death was not listed, however. Although we have now officially located Ken it was a shitty way of getting it done. I would have liked to have seen Ken again at a reunion and talked over the bad old days in the 11th Cav. Looks like I'll have to wait until I get to Fiddler's Green for this opportunity. Until then, rest in peace, Ken.
Take care, J.T.
Return to the Roll Call at Fiddler's Green