Welcome to another This Week in USBP History!
It's a huge week with tons of documents! Standing out to me is a copy of the first detailed proposal to create a Border Patrol from 1918! How cool is that! There's also a 1922 document (the earliest of which I am aware) about an immigration checkpoint in Oceanside, California. That's right, checkpoints for immigration purposes predate the USBP. And we remember actions the led to two Border Patrol Agent being recognized with Newton-Azrak Awards. Plus much more!
Also, among the anniversaries of the fallen are Douglas C. Shute and James M. Carter who fell due to the same incident in 1956. A sad fact is that the USBP has lost two Agents/Inspectors due to the same event nine times (18 fallen). Their names are listed below:
- Donald Kee and William F. Buckelew in 1954
- Douglas C. Shute and James M. Carter in 1956
- Theodore L. Newton, Jr. and George F. Azrak in 1967
- Friedrich Karl and John S. Blue in 1973
- Susan L. Rodriguez and Ricardo G. Salinas in 1998
- Jesus de la Ossa and Thomas J. Williams in 1998?
- Travis W. Attaway and Jeremy M. Wilson in 2004
- Ramon Nevarez, Jr. and David J. Tourscher in 2007
- Hector R. Clark and Eduardo Rojas, Jr. in 2011
Have a great week!
- As an open and continuous invitation to current and former USBP employees, I am always accepting photos to post in the USBP Photo Galleries and in the Upholding Honor First pages. I sure would appreciate you visiting those pages and sending me anything that you think I could post.
- As always, make sure to explore all of the hyperlinks to documents and pages.
This is the section where I correct the mistakes from my last email. I will also use this section to provide other perspectives of USBP history.
I didn't find any errors of significance from last week.
The workplace climate resulting from a combination of organizational pride and employee morale.
- Organizational pride is the positive feeling experienced by employees from being part of a meaningful team that is rich in history, tradition and culture.
- Employee morale is the feeling experienced by employee based in part on their perception of:
- Being valued by the organization,
- Fairly compensated, and
- Performing meaningful work.
Esprit de corps is reinforced through the shared goals, mission and values of the organization and its employees.
The definition turns Esprit de Corps into a simple formula and defines parts that comprise organizational pride and employee morale.
Esprit de Corps = Organizational Pride + Employee Morale
Esprit de Corps is the key to a healthy organization and engaged employees.
Honor First is foundational to the Border Patrol's organizational pride and integral to its Esprit de Corps.
- On June 7, 1918, future Chief and Father of the Border Patrol Frank Berkshire (1870-1934) submitted his first detailed proposal to create Border Patrol. It is in this document that the "Border Patrol" was presented as a proper noun, with capital letters. Berkshire's proposal included numerous patrol inspector ranks, guards, cooks, clerks and stablemen. The plan also included equipment such as automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, wagons, and horses. The plan specified the locations and numbers for all personnel and equipment. The total came to 1,950 employees at a cost of $4 million, including equipment.
- On June 11, 1918, Frank Berkshire wrote a follow-up memo concerning requirements necessitating funding should the border patrol concept be approved and implemented. Interestingly, Berkshire wrote the new employees be required to enlist in the patrol service, similar to military requirements. The enlistment, Berkshire believed, would be needed to "...maintain proper discipline and compel the men to remain with the service."
- On June 11, 1918, Secretary of State Robert Lansing (1864-1928) wrote a letter to Secretary of Labor William B. Wilson (1862-1934) giving official support for the "proposed plan for the establishment of an immigration service border patrol".
- On June 6, 1922, Henry Carpenter Smither Sr. (1873-1930) announced a meeting to discuss whole of government border patrol activities.
- Brigadier General Smither (as a colonel) was assigned as the federal government's Chief Coordinator with the function of identifying and correcting duplications of effort. With multiple federal agencies performing law enforcement work along the borders, his office took notice.
- Smither would play a role in bills in the late 1920's designed to consolidate federal enforcement actions under a single border patrol within the Department of Labor. See this 1927 article.
- On June 9, 1922, Frank Berkshire wrote a memo to the Commissioner-General concerning a checkpoint that was in use in Oceanside, California. The checkpoint was staffed with one Immigrant Inspector and three Mounted Guards and is the earliest reference to a checkpoint being used for immigration purposes of which I am aware. Therefore, checkpoints for immigration purposes predate the U.S. Border Patrol.
- On June 5, 1924, a letter of recommendation was written to the Commissioner-General on behalf of future Chief of the Border Patrol Willard Kelly (1903-1969). The letter erroneously states that Kelly was 21 years old. Keely would turn 21 until June 21, 1924, the same day he was sworn into office.
- On June 10, 1926, the Commissioner-General sent a memo to the Buffalo District Director. The memo informed the District Director the the Commissioner-General had approved and ordered implemented a series of recommendations made by newly promoted Chief of the Border Patrol Ruel Davenport (1878-1961).
- Ruel Davenport (1878-1961) had been one of the first two "Chiefs of the Border Patrol" when General Order 61? was signed in March 1926. He was the northern border Chief. The southern border Chief, George Harris (1876-1941).
- On June 6, 1927, Chief of the Border Patrol Ruel Davenport (1878-1961) wrote a memo to the Commissioner-General proposing what would become the USBP's first rank insignia.
- Please see the U.S. Border Patrol’s Early Rank and Time-in-Service Insignia page for more information.
- On June 9, 1927, near El Paso, Texas, Theo Border Patrol Inspectors were involved in a gunfight with alcohol smugglers. This report, states that approximately 30 rounds were exchanged with one smuggler believed to have been wounded. the author of the report, Senior Patrol Inspector Douglas D. Pyeatt (1899-1944), describes the area of the gunfights as being near the location where Patrol Inspector Thad Pippen (1889-1927) had been killed and Senior Patrol Inspector Egbert Crossett (1888-1967) wounded.
- On June 7, 1929, El Paso District Director Grover Wilmoth (1884-1951) wrote a memo to the Chief Patrol Inspectors of the Tucson, El Paso and Marfa Sub-districts concerning the stopping of vehicles. The memo severely curtails the use of "Stop" signs in a manner of use that would be considered a tactical or temporary checkpoint in modern times. Further, the memo demonstrates that Wilmoth is very concerned about the practice and cautions Inspectors that "Travelers my use force to resist illegal restraint and search..."
- On June 5, 1935, the Central Office disseminated the results of a shooting challenge that was issued by the Tampa Sub-district.
- On April 11, 1935, in what would prove to lead to the birth of the USBP Pistol Team, the Tampa Sub-district issued a nationwide shooting challenge to all USBP sub-districts, “We will shoot any course of fire at any distance.” See “How did the USBP Pistol Team begin” in the HonorFirst History page for the full story and to find out how Tamp placed after issuing the challenge.
- On June 10, 1935, the Deputy Commissioner issued a memo requesting that each district have their employees shoot competition courses of fire and forward the results to the Central Office. The Central Office used the results to identify Patrol Inspectors that would be selected to compete at Camp Perry, Ohio, marking the birth of the Border Patrol's Pistol Team. See this page for more information.
- On June 5, 1950, former Chief of the Border Patrol Willard Kelly wrote a letter recommending a path to construct a new Border Patrol Training School utilizing prison labor.
- For decades, the UNICOR Federal Prison Industries has been used to convert vehicles into USBP emergency vehicles.
Follow this link to see examples of USBP employees Upholding Honor First.
- An organization’s values are codified in its awards system. Recognizing the achievements, service and heroism of employees is important. It is critical for those in positions of leadership to value the workforce. Awards are a fundamental manner for leaders to demonstrate appreciation to the workforce for upholding the organizational values. – U.S. Border Patrol Honorary Awards?
James P. Moody
Patrol Agent James P. Moody was recognized for his courage while under gunfire in placing a gravely wounded fellow officer in a car and driving through that same fire to get to the hospital.
On June 9, 1975 at approximately 0030 hours, Senior Patrol Agent Allen H. Fry and Patrol Agent James P. Moody were performing assigned line-watch duties east of Brownsville, Texas. Observing a suspicious car in a known smuggling area with several people visible in the car, they attempted to stop the vehicle, which immediately took evasive action.
The vehicle was pursued about two miles and SPA Fry driving the government unit was able to force it to stop. Several people immediately attempted to flee and were pursued by PA Moody.
At that time, PA Moody heard a shot and a cry from Fry that he had been hit. Moody immediately returned to the vehicle. Moody observed that Fry had managed to get to the driver's seat and was attempting to radio for assistance.
Moody observing that Fry was gravely injured and bleeding profusely, started around the car to assist Fry when he came under fire from a concealed position to his right.
Eight to ten shots were fired at Moody as he moved around the car, and he returned fire with three rounds from his service revolver. Ignoring his personal safety, he ran under fire to the left side of the Service vehicle and seeing that Fry was in grave danger of bleeding to death, placed him on the rear seat to transport him to the hospital.
Moody, knowing that the shortest route to the hospital was back through the area under fire, drive the car forward about 100 yards, turned around and passed back through the area of the assault, again exposing himself to extreme danger from the assailant and proceeded at a high rate of speed for the hospital. Moody alerted nearby units of the assault and the grave injury, had the hospital alerted of the emergency, which resulted in a doctor and staff being on stand-by awaiting his arrival. There is little doubt that this immediate action saved SPA Fry's life.
Michael W. Snyder
Border Patrol Pilot
Del Rio Sector
On June 9, 1992, Border Patrol Pilot Michael W. Snyder assisted the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Department in saving the life of one swimmer and obtaining much needed medical attention for several others. The Frio River was at flood stage due to recent heavy rains and swimmers were reported stranded. Pilot Snyder flew the Service helicopter directly over the stranded couple and Captain Watkins dropped a rope to the man, who was near exhaustion yet trying to keep his female companion above water and hold on to an inner-tube. After several attempts to get the rope to the man, it became apparent it was not going to work. Pilot Snyder maneuvered the helicopter among tall cypress tress and power lines to obtain visual contact with the peopled in the water, dipped the skid under the man, and nudged the couple towards the banks to several other swimmers who jumped in and pulled them out of the water. Unfortunately, the female did not make it; however, the man was saved and several others were taken by Pilot Snyder to an ambulance to receive medical attention.
As of May 16, 2022, the U.S. Border Patrol has suffered 152* fallen.
- 3 Mounted Watchmen fell before 1924 and are carried as Border Patrol fallen
- 48 Border Patrol Inspectors fell between 1924 and 1970
- 100 Border Patrol Agents have fallen since 1970
- 1 Enforcement Analysis Specialist
The facts regarding each officer are presented without major editing of the "language of the day" found in the reports detailing the circumstances of each event. This is done to provide the reader an association with historical timeframes.
Employees who died in the line of duty due to being exposed to deadly illnesses will not have the cause of death listed.
*With the exception of two of the fallen immediately below, all names are listed (or in the process of being included) on the official Honor Roll of U.S. Border Patrol Fallen and inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The U.S. Border Patrol should fix these discrepancies. HonorFirst.com honors both of the fallen.
- Joe R. White - He is recognized as officially fallen by the U.S. Border Patrol but his name is not inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.
- John Charles Gigax - He is not recognized as officially fallen by Customs and Border Protection or the U.S. Border Patrol. He is remembered by all except his own agency with his name is inscribed on the:
Douglas C. Shute
Date of Birth: December 31, 1918
Entered on Duty: September 5, 1950
Title: Airplane Pilot
End of Watch: June 6, 1956
During the morning hours of June 6, 1956, Airplane Pilot Douglas C. Shute was patrolling in a Piper Supercub. He was working with a ground unit engaged in “sign-cutting,” a term applied to locating and following footprints or other physical evidence left by a person in traversing an area. Pilot Shute landed the plane on a roadway and conferred with Patrol Inspectors James M. Carter, Emmit R. Brotherton, and Carter M. Newsome. The ground crew had located the tracks of two persons, which could more readily be checked out by officers in the aircraft. Patrol Inspector James M. Carter decided to serve as observer in the aircraft while the other officers continued to follow the tracks on the ground. Pilot Shute informed the officers by radio that the walkers had been located and instructed to come out of the brush to be picked up by the ground crew.
Shortly thereafter, the plane went into a steep climb and stalled. It began a left spin from which there was no recovery. It struck the ground in vertical descent. The engine was driven back into the cockpit, the force of the impact telescoping the cabin, imprisoning the pilot and observer. Both were killed on impact.
James M. Carter
Date of Birth: February 26, 1921
Entered on Duty: April 25, 1955
Title: Patrol Inspector
End of Watch: June 6, 1956
Patrol Inspectors James M. Carter and Carter M. Newsome were temporarily detailed from Marfa, Texas, to Comstock, Texas, on June 4, 1956, for a two-week horse patrol operation to work in the vicinity of Comstock. On June 6th these officers, accompanied by Patrol Inspector Emmit R. Brotherton, were about 35 miles north northwest of Comstock engaged in “sign-cutting,” a term applied to locating and following footprints or other physical evidence left by a person traversing an area. The officers had located two sets of footprints and were tracking them when Service aircraft N4375A, piloted by Airplane Pilot Douglas G. Shute, arrived. Thereafter, the aircraft was used in the search operation with Patrol Inspector Carter serving as observer in the plane.
At about 10:00 a.m., the pilot reported by radio that the walkers had been located and directed the ground crew on a course to intercept them. The plane was then seen making a banking turn to the left and resuming level flight at 100 feet altitude. Shortly thereafter, the plane went into a steep climb and at 450 feet, it stalled, falling into a left spin from which there was no recovery. There had been no change in engine power during the maneuver, in the spin, or at impact. The plane struck the ground in vertical descent, the engine being driven back into the cockpit. The force of the impact telescoped the cabin, imprisoning the pilot and observer.