|John McCamley . . . saw a humorous side to Vietnam.
SFC John McCamley served as the Operations Sergeant, HHC, 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, from 13 March to 10 November 1971 when the unit stood down. He drew this cartoon for LTC Sawey's change of command ceremony in June 1971 while he was at LZ Dottie. The cartoon had to be drawn with a stylus on the blue wax surface of a master page for an old duplicating machine. (Newspaper photo provided by Nick Reville)
John McCamley was a unique soldier in the history of the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry. He was a
native of Scotland who was drafted into the British Army in 1946. He was assigned to the King's
Own Scottish Borderers, a quick reaction force that saw service in Palestine, Egypt, and East
Africa. He was discharged from the British Army in 1949 and then joined the Australian Regular
Army. He was assigned to the 3rd Bn, Royal Australian Regiment, and saw action in Korea
(1950-51) and Malaya (1953). He spent his last three years (1955-57) in the Australian Army
in the outback.
|In 1958 he joined the US Army. His first tour in Vietnam was
with the 1st Infantry Division as a platoon sergeant from June 1966 to
June 1967. After serving as an instructor at Fort Polk, LA,
he returned to Vietnam as a Light Weapons Infantry Advisor with the Training
Directorate (Field), USMACV from November 1968 to December 1969.
From March to November 1971, he was the Operations Sergeant for the 1st
Battalion 6th Infantry. He served in that same capacity for Co. A,
3rd Battalion 21st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade until February 1972.
He served as a unit First Sergeant at Ft. Polk and in Germany with the
1st Armd Div. He also served as a Command Sergeant Major with the
2nd Bn 50th Inf, 2nd Armd Div (Fwd) in Germany and with the 7th Cav, 1st
Cavalry Division. (Photo)
At the time of his retirement, John's awards and decorations included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with "V" device and 3 OLC, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with numeral 2, and Army Commendation Medal with 2 OLC, and the United Nations Service Medal. He retired from the US Army with 25 years of service.
John McCamley died in 1994 at the age of 64. He is buried at the
Fort Sam Houston National
Cemetery in San Antonio. Part of his story was in a Glasgow, Scotland, newspaper article
entitled "Jock's Jokes Make Yanks Laugh"
"When a Glasgow soldier arrived in America last week he found a reception
party--headed by a
kilted piper--waiting for him. For ex-lorry driver John McCamley, of Govan, had become famous
. . . all because he draws cartoons.
John, who has served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers, the Australian Army, and is
now a U.S. Army sergeant had just finished a tour of duty in Vietnam.
The cartoons, which were drawn during the fierce fighting in the Mekong Delta, were done by
39-year old John who used to live with his eight brothers and sisters at 116 Elder Street, Govan,
Last week he flew back to Fort Polk, Leesville, Louisiana. A special reception committee,
including a two-star general and a kilter piper flown specially from Canada were waiting on him.
Unknown to him, mates had taken the cartoons he drew for them in his spare time back to the U.S.A.
First they appeared in his unit's own newspaper, later they were being published in several American
newspapers. Thousands of Americans were laughing at the cartoons drawn by the "Jock" who found
the funny side to the war in Vietnam.
Humorous. Last night his sister, Mrs. Ellen McFadyen (41) of 16 Linburn St., Penifee, Glasgow,
said: 'John was always good at drawing, and would have gone on to art school has his family had
more money. Although he's become famous for his cartoons, John's first love is the army.'
After doing his National Service John came home to be a lorry driver.
But when the Australian Army held their first U.K. recruiting campaign in Edinburgh in 1950, John
was the first Scot to sign up.
When his engagement ended in 1958 John sailed for America to join the United States Army.
Added Mrs. McFadyen: 'He didn't mention the fighting in Vietnam much in his letters.'
Another surprise for John on his arrival in the States was to see his two-year-old daughter Catherine-
Ann whom he hadn't seen for 10 months.
John was married in 1963 to 37-year-old Dora Campbell from Elgin, after they met at a Caledonian
Club Gathering in New Jersey."
|If you have additional information about John McCamley or any copies of his other cartoons, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com|
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