Sharing the Stories of the Originals

SF Original Arlen Sciallo shared his photo of a stone at the USASOC Memorial Plaza which honors the 10th SFG Originals.

By Alex Quade
War Reporter & Honorary SFA Natl. Lifetime Member

THANK YOU — Rylander Award Winner, The Hon. Noel Koch, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense — and various Distinguished Members of the RegimentMG Eldon Bargewell (RIP), former SFA & SOA Dir. Cliff Newman, OSS legend COL Sully de Fontaine (RIP), SF Originals MAJ Clyde Sincere, COL Vahan Sapantzi, as well as MOH COL Roger Donlon. These gentlemen sent leads over the years on surviving Originals — and strongly encouraged me to do my “reporter thing” and track them down.

It’s been a privilege — and delightful challenge.

For instance, Original Arlen Sciallo worried about paperwork he signed in 1952…

“The whole thing was so clandestine — I don’t know how much of this I can reveal under perjury of law, Miss Alex,” he fretted.

“Oh, my goodness,” I replied, assuring him multiple times — that nearly 70-years had passed, and there was so much open-source material — he would not be violating his sworn oath.

“I’ve got it right here, Miss Alex — it’s an affidavit, State of North Carolina, County of Cumberland… that one Sciallo, Arlen G., Corporal, blah, blah, blah,” Arlen read to me the paper he signed.

Arlen Sciallo as a young Green Beret.

“…Hereafter being warned of his rights under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, Article 31, 5th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States… I have been informed that all discussions either public or private… That such disclosures are subject to lead to penalties within the meaning of the Espionage Laws of the United States as defined in Army Regulations 380-10. Furthermore, I will not reveal any information concerning the 10th or 77th Special Forces… that all of the above applies to me after discharge from the US Army,” Arlen stated.

I assured him again — he would not be arrested for sharing a little of his initial SF experiences in 1952, training at Fort Bragg.

“Well, you know what seemed to be, you could go into any bar in Fayetteville, and the cocktail waitresses, I guess we drank a lot of beer — anyway, the girls, the waitresses, they pretty much knew what was going on in Special Forces. So, whether guys were drinking and saying things they shouldn’t and what have you, I don’t know,” Original Arlen Sciallo admitted.

Interviews with some Originals included hand-written, snail-mail letters back and forth — different languages with others.

Some Lodge Act Soldiers occasionally fell into native tongues as they reminisced. I found, that if I started speaking German — luckily, ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch — we’d get back on the same page.

For instance, Original Walter Smith from Poland, told me in German, as “Displaced Persons” they were given a choice…

“We could’ve gone to Airborne units like 82nd,” Smith said. “But I knew the ropes! Special Forces, and be on my way.”

“MSG Donnelly named me ‘Mickey Murphy’ because he couldn’t pronounce my Polish name,” he shared. His real name — Wladyslaw Naumowicz — was listed as “Walter Smith” in most records, but he goes by “Mickey.”

Mickey went to Camp Hale, CO, for mountain training… and also learned how to drive a locomotive during other training in NC. His teammates included Originals Clyde Sincere and Tommy Tomlin.

He laughed, recalling putting condoms filled with water in the beds of drunken teammates in the barracks. “Boy, they were mad when they woke up all wet!”

Many Originals sent their photos and documents. Others sent lovely handwritten letters talking about their former SF Brothers — such as Original Ervin Harpole, aka “Dutch,” who talked about his friend “Frenchy,” Henryk Szarek:

“Ms. Alex: As you know there were some very interesting members in the old SF far more experienced than members like myself. Here is one: Henryk Szarek. I think he arrived in Tölz in 54. He served in the Polish Army. Captured by Germany. Put to work as a barber for the Wehrmacht. Escaped and joined the French Foreign Legion. Served with the Legion in Indochina— now Vietnam. One of the few surviving members of Task Force 100. I believe he joined SF in Bragg in 53.”

SF Original Ervin 'Dutch' Harpole sent Alex Quade these photos of his friend SF Original Henryk 'Frenchy' Szarek.