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62nd Army Band

The 62nd Army Band has a long and rich history in the U.S. Army. Originally constituted and organized as the Band, 15th Cavlary in 1901 at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. The band remained with the 15th Infantry through a number of reorganizations, redesignations, and inactivations until World War II. In 1942 the band was activated at Fort Riley, Kansas and two years later, it was reorganized and re-designated the 62nd Army Ground Forces
Band. After the war, the band was re-designated the 62nd Army Band.

By the 1950s and early 1960s, the 62nd Army Band was one of two bands stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. During this time, the 62nd performed its duties on post in traditional parades, retreats, and retirement ceremonies. It served the surrounding community with concerts, the Sun Bowl and local parades, and other events. By 1965 times were changing as the Vietnam War brought growth and new demands on the Army. As the war expanded, the 62nd Army received new and younger bandsmen that allowed its role to expand into New Mexico and West Texas with recruiting concert tours, public relations performances, and various ceremonial duties that brought the Army valuable publicity and increased public awareness. This film traces the story of the 62nd Army Band and its musicians during 1965 and 1966 when service at Fort Bliss set the stage for later service for many of the young musicians in Vietnam and Korea.

Click image for more info about the film.

CW2 Herbert J. Bilhartz conducting the combined 62nd and 424th Army Bands from Ft. Bliss, Texas. The event took place on 4 April 1966 at Fort Davis, Texas, dedicating the restored frontier fort as a national historic site. First Lady “Lady Bird” Johnson and Secretary of the Interior Stuart Udall and others were on hand for the ceremony.
Bandmaster Herbert J. Bilhartz, circa 1960s.
The Sun Bowl Parade, New Years Day, January 1, 1966.