Back Then

Television and movie actor Serves 2nd Vietnam tour from the Southern Cross for January 1, 1971

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

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FSB BRONCO, (11th Inf. Bde. IO) — When Staff Sergeant Ronald A. Numkena of Wheat Ridge, Colo., a platoon sergeant with the 11th Infantry Brigade's Company C, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry was inducted into the Army in July of 1966, he was 22-years-old and already had eighteen years of experience "harassing hostile troops, executing ambushes and dodging bullets."

Since he first appeared on the Colonel Tim McCoy television show in 1947, Numkena has had a number of minor roles and performed numerous stunts on television and in the movies. It was only natural for him to always be cast as an Indian since his father was a Hopi and his mother from the Kalamath Krete tribe.

Some of the motion pictures in which Numkena has appeared include Naked Jungle, Pony Soldier, Wall of Noise, Cat Ballou, and the Professionals. In the later film, he was paid three hundred dollars to fall from a one hundred and fifty foot tower. On television, he has appeared in Zorro, Brave Eable, Advance to the Rear (F Troop) and Bonanza.

Numkena has on several occasions caught a glimpse of his past life. He recalled that one movie he had been watching was interrupted and a sergeant replayed after someone had recognized him in a particular part. His first tour in Vietnam was with the 4th Infantry Division.

After he gets out of the military picture, Numkena plans on continuing his education in the field of fine arts and eventually become an interior decorator. Nevertheless, he says he will continue to do stunt work on the side.

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The copy of this issue of the Southern Cross was a personal purchase from Carlisle Barracks Military History Institute by Leslie Hines, with an assist from Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa.

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