Raleigh County Historical Society dedicates plaque honoring West Virginia Green Beret birthplace – WVVA TV
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A bronze plaque commemorating the birthplace of West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) Special Forces (SF) units was dedicated at the arena entrance of the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center on Friday.
The plaque was donated by the Raleigh County Historical Society, and Special Forces Association Chapter 68 in Kenova. A contingent of troopers from the chapter, and from Headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), home stationed at Tri-State Airport in Kenova, attended the installation ceremony.
West Virginia was among the first states selected for creation of Army National Guard Special Forces (Green Beret) units in 1959. The state was authorized two Operational Detachments, the senior being home stationed in Beckley with Major William F. Watts, city insurance executive, as commanding officer. A subordinate detachment was activated in Huntington.
According to Merle Cole with the Raleigh County Historical Society, “nationwide Special Forces program instability in subsequent years caused reassignment of detachments to and from Beckley, until the last unit departed in 1979. That detachment was commanded by Captain Allen E. Tackett, who went to win significant recognition and retired in 2010 as the longest-serving adjutant general in United States history.”
With southerly flow for a bit longer, temps will be on the milder side for one more night, hovering in the upper 50s and low 60s late tonight-early…
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