Manual Air Cav: History of the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam 1965-1969

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With the help of reinforcements and overwhelming firepower, the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry and 1st and 2nd Battalions, 7th Cavalry forced the North Vietnamese to abandon their attack and withdraw back into Cambodia. On the morning of 17 November, with the close out of action at LZ X-Ray, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, with "A" Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry attached, walked out of LZ X-Ray and headed for a location, identified as LZ Albany, to set up blocking positions to reinforce the exhausted skytroopers and prepare for extraction from the battle area and get out of the area targeted for an impending B strike.

The column was yards long. Not known at the time, NAV soldiers of the fresh 8th Battalion, 66th Regiment which had not seen action deployed down the northeast side of the column. At hours mortar rounds exploded in the clearing and down the length of the column followed by a violent assault which fragmented the column into small groups. When the firing began, the troopers drop into the tall elephant grass where it is impossible for the soldiers of either side to identify friend or foe except at extremely close range.

Within minutes, the situation becomes a wild melee, a shoot-out, with the gunfighters killing not only the enemy but sometimes their friends just a few feet away. For the next two hours, the battle roared. Douglas A-1E Skyraiders were brought in to drop napalm and pound bombs which slowed down enemy actions. Artillery was brought in. There was a small perimeter at LZ Albany and one at the tail of the column. In between troopers were being hounded and killed throughout the night. Also, in the night, a few isolated troopers escaped trying to make it to the artillery position at LZ Columbus.

On 18 November daylight broke over a quiet and tense battlefield. Survivors began the grim task of recovering the dead from the intermingled bodies of both sides. By the 19th of November, evacuation of the wounded and dead was complete. On 20 November, after 3 days and nights on that bloody, hellish, haunted battleground, the survivors of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry were airlifted out.

The casualties for the NVA was reported as dead and wounded. Total First Team casualties at LZ Albany were reported as killed, wounded and 4 missing in action. However, they had killed 3, North Vietnamese soldiers and captured more. The troopers destroyed two of three regiments of a North Vietnamese Division, earning the first Presidential Unit Citation awarded to a division in Vietnam. The enemy had been given their first major defeat and their carefully laid plans for conquest had been torn apart. From a position northeast of the valley, troopers moved down from high ground to sweep through suspected VC areas.

Soon, the intelligence sections recommended a return to the Western Highlands early in in hopes of encountering the enemy reassembling in the unpopulated jungles. However a new threat emerged in Binh Dinh Province, a region of abrupt mountains and populated coastal plains.

1st Cavalry Division (United States)

The 1st and 2nd Brigades were airlifted west of Pleiku and Kontum Provinces to begin a search and destroy mission. Previously they were under orders not to enter the three mile buffer zone along the border. During this operation, the 1st Cavalry saw the enemy flee across the border into Cambodia, confirming that the enemy had well-developed sanctuaries and base camps inside Cambodia. The Chinese Lunar New Year begins on the phases of the moon and each of the years in the a 12 year cycle is named after an animal.

The Chinese year of , the year of the "Horse", began on 21 January Just before midnight more than helicopters of the 1st Cavalry Division flew over the darkness of the Central Highlands. One of the helicopters broadcast a message to the unseen people of the surrounding area. It is the Year of the Horse. It is also the year of the Horse Division. The 1st Cavalry Division will continue to strike from the sky as a constellation of death to all those who support Godless Communism.

It will thunder across the heavens and strike everywhere, no matter where you hide. At midnight listen for the New Year and the thunder the heralds your destruction. The year of the Flying Horsemen had began in Central Highlands. The 3rd Brigade gathered its gear and weapons and began to move by highway and air to staging areas in Eastern Binh Dinh Province. The opening phase of the mission included the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 12th Cavalry as well as the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry -- a reconnaissance unit of scout, gun and infantry heliborne elements. The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry reconnoitered ahead of the convey and along both sides of the road, searching for potential ambushes.

Contact by the enemy diminished in the first two days of February as the North Vietnamese continued their withdrawal to the north and west. In the first week of combat, the division had lost seventy-seven troopers and the enemy losses amounted to an estimated 1, killed in action. Two battalions of the NVA 22nd Regiment had been rendered ineffective.

On 16 February, following heavy enemy engagement, the battle weary 3rd Brigade, returned to the Division's home base of An Khe and was replaced in the field by the 1st Brigade. Aided by artillery and air support, the three battalions continued fighting for four days against a tenacious enemy defense. On 17 February, "B" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry air assaulted into a LZ located in the "Crow's Foot" area of the Kim Son Valley and by hours came into contact with a VC company armed with heavy weapons and a large number of automatic weapons.

Two additional companies of the battalion were quickly committed to exploit the contact. A third company assaulted to the southeast and immediately engaged another heavily armed unit. Intensive tube and aerial artillery fire were delivered on the area throughout the day. By hours, a sweep through the vacated defensive positions of the enemy revealed KIA.

A large number of mortars and recoilless rifles were left behind. It was concluded that the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry had fought and decimated the anti-aircraft battalion of the Yellow Star Division as well as the signal company of the 2nd VC Main Force Regiment. During interrogation, a prisoner revealed the location of the NVA 22nd Regimental headquarters. Elements of the 2nd Brigade advanced into the area and were met by fierce resistance.

Units of the NVA 22nd Regiment attempted to reinforce its headquarters, but were cut down in the crossfire of two companies of the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry. The next three days the area was saturated with artillery fire and B strikes. All resistance collapsed after a final B strike. Bs blasted openings in the thick jungle canopy, permitting engineer teams to descend from helicopters to clear out landing zones for the 2nd Brigade.

Sweeping down the slopes of the Cay Giep Mountains, the 2nd Brigade encountered little resistance as the main body of the NVA 6th and 18th Battalions had fled, departing two days earlier, following the first air assault. The 1st Cavalry Division had once again made an effective use of mobility and firepower. Helicopters airlifted entire infantry battalions a total of seventy-eight times and moved artillery batteries fifty-five times.

In the actions, the Division clashed with all three regiments of the Sao Vang Division and rendered five of its nine battalions ineffective for combat. Kinnard turned over his post to his replacement, Major General John Norton. General Norton, a veteran paratrooper, was no stranger to the First Team or airmobility.

He had commanded a battle group in Korea in and later, on the Howze Board had help pioneer airmobility. The search and destroy mission extended into the heavy jungle covered hills between Soui Ca and the Vinh Thanh Valleys. The 1st Brigade went into action against the 2nd Viet Cong Regiment. Company "A", 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry was airlifted to a nearby point to join the battle. The two companies held off superior enemy forces throughout the night.

The fighting now consisted of short but bitter engagements in tall elephant grass and heavily canopied jungle. The battleground covered approximately 20 kilometers with the Viet Cong holed up on three hills. Once they were surrounded, all available firepower was concentrated in their area. The Viet Cong regiment was hit with artillery, aerial rockets, tactical air strikes by F-4s and bombs from high flying Bs. Many of the enemy soldiers, if not killed outright by the devastation, were cut down by heavy crossfire.

Many important military documents, detailing the Viet Cong infrastructure in Binh Dinh Province, were discovered. Stewart, demonstrated the leadership and courage necessary to engage and destroy the enemy. Early in the morning, a reinforced North Vietnamese company attacked "B" Company, which was manning a defensive perimeter. The surprise onslaught wounded five members of a six man squad caught in the direct path of the enemy's thrust.

Sergeant Stewart became a lone defender of vital terrain -- virtually one man against a hostile platoon. Refusing to take advantage of a lull in the firing which would have permitted him to withdraw, Sergeant Stewart elected to hold his ground to protect his fallen comrades and prevent an enemy penetration of the company perimeter. As the full force of the platoon-sized man attack struck his lone position, he fought like a man possessed; emptying magazine after magazine at the determined, on-charging enemy.

The enemy drove almost to his position and hurled grenades, but Sergeant Stewart decimated them by retrieving and throwing the grenades back. Exhausting his ammunition, he crawled under intense fire to his wounded team members and collected ammunition that they were unable to use.

Far past the normal point of exhaustion, he held his position for four harrowing hours and through three assaults, annihilating the enemy as they approached and before they could get a foothold. As a result of his defense, the company position held until the arrival of a reinforcing platoon which counterattacked the enemy, now occupying foxholes to the left of Sergeant Stewart's position. After the counterattack, his body was found in a shallow enemy hole where he had advanced in order to add his fire to that of the counterattacking platoon.

Eight enemy dead were found around his immediate position, with evidence that fifteen others had been dragged away. The wounded, whom he gave his life to protect, were recovered and evacuated. For his valiant actions, Staff Sergeant Jimmy G. Stewart received the Medal of Honor. Dolby, a member of "B" Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, suddenly came under intense fire from the enemy located on a ridge immediately to the front.

Six members of the platoon were killed instantly and a number were wounded, including the platoon leader. Sergeant Dolby's every move brought fire from the enemy. However, aware that the platoon leader was critically wounded, and that the platoon was in a precarious situation, Sergeant Dolby moved the wounded men to safety and deployed the remainder of the platoon to engage the enemy.

Subsequently, his dying platoon leader ordered Sergeant Dolby to withdraw the forward elements to rejoin the platoon. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire and with utter disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Dolby positioned able-bodied men to cover the withdrawal of the forward elements, assisted the wounded to the new position, and he, alone, attacked enemy positions until his ammunition was expended. Replenishing his ammunition, he returned to the area of most intense action, single-handedly killed three enemy machine gunners and neutralized the enemy fire, thus enabling friendly elements on the flank to advance on the enemy redoubt.

He defied the enemy fire to personally carry a seriously wounded soldier to safety where he could be treated and, returning to the forward area, he crawled through withering fire to within fifty meters of the enemy bunkers and threw smoke grenades to mark them for air strikes. Although repeatedly under fire at close range from enemy snipers and automatic weapons, Sergeant Dolby directed artillery fire on the enemy and succeeded in silencing several enemy weapons. He remained in his exposed location until his comrades had displaced to more secure positions.

His actions of unsurpassed valor during four hours of intense combat were a source of inspiration to his entire company, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. For his valiant actions, Sergeant David C. Dolby received the Medal of Honor. In January , a new dimension in support was added to the responsibilities of the Support Command. In November , all units began air, land and sealift operations to the Hue-Phu Bai area in northern I Corps in preparation for immediate support of the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force military operations.

Significant contact with the enemy did not occur until 08 August, at LZ Juliett. Company "A", 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry came under heavy fire from a reinforced enemy battalion. In several hours of intense fighting, Alpha Company turned back repeated mass attacks. Timely artillery and air strikes eliminated the opportunity for the enemy to surround the Skytroopers. The roar of helicopters from two companies from the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry arriving at LZ Juliett frightened the enemy, causing them to flee. On 02 August, the main body of the 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry departed Ft.

The main body made a brief stop at Okinawa on 15 August for a brief shore leave and after 20 days afloat, arrived at Qui Nhon on 20 August. They disembarked into LSTs and moved ashore. The 5th Battalion, rounding out the 3rd maneuvering element of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, began its initial training exercises at An Khe. The operation had begun on 02 August, after Company "A" 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry suddenly ran into a North Vietnamese battalion and Company "B", 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry began slugging it out with enemy troops in bunkers.

A total of two battalions of Skytroopers were committed to the fight. When it ended the next morning, NVA bodies were counted. At that time the heavily populated province of Binh Thaun was almost totally under the power of two Viet Cong Battalions. The South Vietnamese government controlled little more than the provincial capital, Phan Thiet, a coastal town known for its fishermen and its fish sauce manufacturing industry. In sixteen months the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry had fanned out from Phan Thiet and cleared the enemy from the populous "triangle" area that stretched north and west of Phan Thiet.

They also cleared provincial roads that had been closed by the Viet Cong. Most significantly, the troopers reopened Highway 1, an action that restored commerce to life between Phan Thiet and Saigon. It was one of the largest air assaults launched by the 1st Cavalry Division. On 16 September, troopers of the 1st Brigade discovered an enemy regimental hospital, a factory for making grenades, antipersonnel mines and a variety of weapons.

Lauffer, "C" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, was suddenly struck at close range by an intense machine gun crossfire from two concealed bunkers astride the squad's route. Private First Class Lauffer, the second man in the column, saw the lead man fall and noted that the remainder of the squad was unable to move. Two comrades, previously wounded and being carried on litters, were lying helpless in the beaten zone of the enemy fire. Reacting instinctively, Private First Class Lauffer quickly engaged both bunkers with fire from his rifle, but when the other squad members attempted to maneuver under his covering fire, the enemy fusillade increased in volume and thwarted every attempt to move.

Seeing this and his wounded comrades helpless in the open, Private First Class Lauffer rose to his feet and charged the enemy machine gun positions, firing his weapon and drawing the enemy's attention. Keeping the enemy confused and off balance, his one man assault provided the crucial moments for the wounded point man to crawl to a covered position, the squad to move the exposed litter patients to safety, and his comrades to gain more advantageous positions. Private First Class Lauffer was fatally wounded during his selfless act of courage and devotion to his fellow soldiers.

His gallantry. Lauffer received the Medal of Honor. On 02 October, at about hours, a "Blue Team" platoon of "A" Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, flying a routine reconnaissance mission, was diverted and ordered to land and access the degree of enemy build up. Entering the village, they engaged a heavy concentration of the enemy forces and as the battle wore on, they called for backup at about hours. Quickly, the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, deployed to encircle the village. At hours, "B" Company, 12th Cavalry, the first of the backup units to arrive, air assaulted into a landing area meters east of the village in the face of heavy resistance.

Immediately, the units came under intense small arms and mortar fire. In the meantime, "C" Company, 12th Cavalry landed north of the village and began moving south. The arrival of the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry took pressure off the "Blue Team" platoon of "A" Troop and, still heavily engaged with the entrenched enemy and taking heavy fire, were able to withdraw and make it back to the LZ, taking their dead with them.

By late in the afternoon, "A" and "B" Companies, 1st Battalion had linked up and established blocking positions which prevented the enemy from slipping out of the village. During the course of the evening, "A" and "C" Companies, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry were airlifted into an area east of the village to assist in the containment of the enemy. Additional support of artillery forward observers from "A" Battery, 2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery helped as enemy locations were identified and called in during the night.

In the morning of 03 October, "C" Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry and "C" Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry attacked south to drive the remaining enemy forces into "A" and "B" Companies, 12th Cavalry which were braced in strong blocking positions to take the attack. This last action broke the strong resistance of the enemy and mission was completed. The mission was to trap the enemy in a pocket between a group of hills and the coastline of Binh Dinh Province. The operations were complicated by a heavy concentration of civilians living in the operational area, but great care was taken to minimize civilian casualties.

Trapped in a tight cordon, the enemy lost 2, killed. The 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for valor and aggressive pursuit of the enemy on 02 October, after reinforcing a "Blue Team" platoon from "A" Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry that was heavily engaged and outnumbered. In Thayer II the enemy suffered a punishing loss of 1, killed.

The operation called for extensive search and destroy in the areas of Chu Pong and the Ia Drang Valley as well as along the Cambodian Border. With only one exception only light contact with the enemy was achieved. It was during this action that the platoon of Private First Class Lewis Albanese, "B" Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry was advancing through the densely covered terrain to establish a blocking position.

The platoon received intense automatic weapons fire from close range. As other members of the platoon maneuvered to assault the enemy position, Private First Class Albanese was ordered to provide security for the left flank of the platoon. Suddenly, the left flank received fire from enemy soldiers located in a well-concealed ditch. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades from this fire, Private First Class Albanese fixed his bayonet and moved aggressively into the ditch. His action silenced the sniper fire, enabling the platoon to resume movement toward the main enemy position.

As the platoon continued to advance, the sound of heavy firing emanated from the left flank from a pitched battle that ensued in the ditch which Private First Class Albanese had entered. The ditch was actually a well-organized complex of enemy defenses designed to bring devastating flanking fire on the forces attacking the main position.

Private First Class Albanese, disregarding the danger to himself, advanced one hundred meters along the trench and killed six of the snipers, who were armed with automatic weapons. Having exhausted his ammunition, Private First Class Albanese was mortally wounded when he engaged and killed two more enemy soldiers in fierce hand-to-hand combat. His unparalleled actions saved the lives of many members of his platoon who otherwise would have fallen to the sniper fire from the ditch, and enabled his platoon to successfully advance against an enemy force of overwhelming numerical superiority.

Previous missions into this area, a long used infiltration route from Cambodia, had failed to turn up any enemy ammunition caches, assembly areas or well traveled trails. At hours the first sighting and contact with the enemy was made by the 2nd platoon of "A" Company which resulted in a limited firefight. Following four days of searching the area with minimal enemy contact, the 1st Battalion was still widely separated.

By 21 November, "C" Company had three platoons in the field with the following strength; 1st platoon, 30; 2nd platoon and Command Post Group, 45; 3rd platoon, The 4th platoon of 22 had remained at LZ Hawk. Before moving to a new location to the east, 13 men of the 3rd platoon evacuated a sick man and a cache of enemy weapons captured in an engagement of the previous night.

The 2nd platoon, moving southwest, spotted a small NVA patrol at hours. Following recon fire they called for supporting artillery fire in the direction of the enemy along the border. As the enemy fled into Cambodia, the 2nd platoon observed another group of NVA moving around a knoll and into an open area at hours. The 2nd platoon moved through the tall jungle grass, positioned themselves and began small arms fire on the enemy.

In response to the intensity of the return fire which continued to build, artillery fire was directed at the knoll and surrounding open areas. Simultaneously the 3rd platoon moved forward to block any movement of the enemy toward the 2nd platoon, As soon as they were in position, they found themselves in an ambush and began to receive arms fire from the enemy on its three sides.

Following a delay in getting artillery to cover them, the 3rd platoon requested that the artillery fire continue. This was the last communication heard from them. In addition to the artillery fire, several Aerial Rocket Artillery ARA helicopters responded and made their first pass at hours. Additional aerial support was provided by A1E Skyfighters, scrambled from Pleiku, who dropped napalm on the enemy at hours followed by F Super Sabers giving ground cover with Cluster Bomb Units CBU and twenty millimeter cannon fire at hours.

Except for a few stray rounds from the departing NVA, the battle was over. In the hour that it had taken to get the close air support, the 2nd platoon had remained heavily engaged with the enemy until the area was cleared by the aerial actions. One later died of his wounds, leaving only 2 survivors. The 2nd platoon experienced fifteen killed in action and ten wounded. The foliage was too thick to cut an LZ and the wounded were lifted out one by one by Hueys equipped with winches.

The killed in action were placed in a cargo net and were lifted out by a CH Chinook helicopter. The next morning, a search of the battle area revealed 27 enemy bodies in the vicinity of the position of the 2nd platoon and an additional enemy bodies in the vicinity of the artillery barrage and airstrikes. Documents taken from the enemy identified them as from three companies of the 5th Battalion, C NVA Regiment which was on its way to attack the artillery positions located in Duc Co.

The reconnaissance of force by the three platoons of "C" Company had detected, interrupted and aborted the attack plan of the NVA as it had lost the element of surprise. By 14 December, the valley was clear and all civilians had been evacuated from the area, bringing Operation ROVER to a close with the valley being declared a "free-fire" zone.


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Now the heavy work of the troopers had just began as they moved in to drive the elusive enemy from the area. Air support was called in to help and drew ground fire from several positions. The Infantry Platoon of "A" Troop 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry made an air assault into the valley and encountered heavy resistance. The 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry was also brought in, along with four infantry companies and two platoons of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry.

They attempted to encircle the enemy force of a "dug in" battalion. Night fell and an Air Force ship kept the area illuminated, but the encirclement was not complete and many of the enemy managed to escape. At least ninety-five did not as their bodies were found in a final sweep of the battle area on 19 December.

Vietnam - We Were Heroes - 1st Cavalry Division Air Mobile - Full 3 Disc DVD Documentary

The end of brought about an observance of a two day Christmas truce. The enemy units threw fierce "human waves" of assaults, conducted simultaneously with an 82mm and 60mm mortar attack supplemented by 57mm recoilless rifle and machine gun delivered by regimental weapon units, at Landing Zone "Bird" in the Kim Son Valley. The main attack came through the north end of the landing zone.

The NVA broke through the perimeter and occupied a few gun positions. The 12th Cavalry troopers fought back hand-to-hand and with everything they had. Finally, some of the s were cranked down to pointblank range and "beehive" rounds sliced through the attackers like scythes. Initially the weather restricted air support operations. But as the battle within the perimeter of LZ Bird raged on, two other fire support batteries of LZ Pony, "B" Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Artillery and "A" Battery, 3rd Battalion, 18th Artillery covered the areas outside the perimeter until heavy air support could be brought in to suppress the onslaught of enemy troops.

For the next two days, other troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division joined in and pursued the fleeing NVA and made contact several times. At least NVA died in this battle. Of the original who composed the LZ Base strength, 28 were killed in action, 87 wounded and 1 was reported as missing in action. It was also during this engagement on 27 December, Staff Sergeant Delbert Jennings, "C" Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry was defending an artillery position when attacked by a North Vietnamese Army regiment supported by mortar, recoilless-rifle, and machine gun fire. At the outset, Staff Sergeant Jennings sprang to his bunker, astride the main attack route, and slowed the on-coming enemy wave with highly effective machine gun fire.

Despite a tenacious defense in which he killed at least twelve of the enemy, his squad was forced to the rear. After covering the withdrawal of the squad, he rejoined his men, destroyed an enemy demolition crew about to blow up a nearby howitzer, and killed three enemy soldiers at his initial bunker position. Ordering his men back into a secondary position, he again covered their withdrawal, killing one enemy with the butt of his weapon. Observing that some of the defenders were unaware of an enemy force in their rear, he raced through a fire-swept area to warn the men, turn their fire on the enemy, and lead them into the secondary perimeter.

Assisting in the defense of the new position, he aided the air-landing of reinforcements by throwing white phosphorous grenades on the landing zone despite dangerously silhouetting himself with the light. After helping to repulse the final enemy assaults, he led a group of volunteers well beyond friendly lines to an area where eight seriously wounded men lay. Braving enemy sniper fire and ignoring the presence of booby traps in the area, they recovered the men who would have probably perished without early medical treatment.

The extraordinary heroism and inspirational leadership of Staff Sergeant Jennings saved the lives of many of his comrades and contributed greatly to the defeat of a superior enemy force. Not long after this battle, the site at the bend in the river was deemed highly vulnerable and a new LZ BIRD was built on a hogback several miles farther to the east. As dawned, the 1st Brigade began making new contacts with the enemy units in central and southern Kim Son Valley. The 2nd Brigade began a sweep to the north, flushing the enemy from their position in the north end of the valley as well as the Crescent Area, the Nui Mieu and Cay Giep Mountains.

In a three day sweep, supported by fire from US Naval gunships, the enemy 7th and 8th Regiments and a local VC Company, D, were routed out and scattered causing them to make a hasty and unconditional withdrawal from the area. For the first time, the 1st Cavalry Division committed all three of its brigades to the same battle area. ARVN soldiers familiar with the methods of the Viet Cong operations in the Bong Son Plain helped the skytroopers locate and eliminate the numerous caves and tunnels infiltrated by the enemy.

Skytroopers also met up with numerous North Vietnamese hiding in ditches and wells. The enemy units of the 3rd NVA Division had taken such heavy casualties that they were desperately trying to avoid contact until they could be reinforced. Monroe, "C" Company. Responding without hesitation to the calls for help from the wounded men Private First Class Monroe moved forward through heavy small arms fire to the foxhole but found that all of the men had expired.

He turned immediately and crawled back through the deadly hail of fire toward other calls for aid. He moved to the Platoon Sergeant's position where he found the radio operator bleeding profusely from fragmentation and bullet wounds. Ignoring the continuing enemy attack, Private First Class Monroe began treating the wounded man when he saw a live grenade fall directly in front of the position. He shouted a warning to all those nearby, pushed the wounded radio operator and the platoon sergeant to one side, and lunged forward to smother the blast of the grenade with his body.

Through his valorous actions, performed in a flash of inspired selflessness, Private First Class Monroe saved the lives of two of his comrades and prevented the probable injury of several others. Monroe received the Medal of Honor. Hagemeister, "A" Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry was engaged in combat operations against a hostile force, The platoon of Specialist Fifth Class Hagemeister suddenly came under heavy attack from three sides by an enemy force occupying well concealed, fortified positions and supported by machine guns and mortars.

Seeing two of his comrades seriously wounded in the initial action, Specialist Fifth Class Hagemeister unhesitatingly and with total disregard for his safety, raced through the deadly hail of enemy fire to provide them medical aid. Upon learning that the platoon leader and several other soldiers also had been wounded, Specialist Fifth Class Hagemeister continued to brave the withering enemy fire and crawled forward to render lifesaving treatment and to offer words of encouragement.

Attempting to evacuate the seriously wounded soldiers, Specialist Fifth Class Hagemeister was taken under fire at close range by an enemy sniper. Realizing that the lives of his fellow soldiers depended on his actions, Specialist Fifth Class Hagemeister seized a rifle from a fallen comrade, killed the sniper, three other enemy soldiers who were attempting to encircle his position and silenced an enemy machine gun that covered the area with deadly fire.

Unable to remove the wounded to a less exposed location and aware of the efforts of the enemy to isolate his unit, he dashed through the fusillade of fire to secure help from a nearby platoon. Returning with help, he placed men in positions to cover his advance as he moved to evacuate the wounded forward of his location. These efforts successfully completed, he then moved to the other flank and evacuated additional wounded men despite the fact that his every move drew fire from the enemy. Specialist Fifth Class Hagemeister's repeated heroic and selfless actions at the risk of his life saved the lives of many of his comrades and inspired their actions in repelling the enemy assault.

Hagemeister received the Medal of Honor. Tolson, a veteran paratrooper, aviator and career soldier of 31 years, became the new commanding officer of the 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile. Major General Tolson took over command from General Norton. The principal reason behind this operation was an urgent Marine requirement to free up some of their troops in Quang Ngai for further movement north. The tactical air force support was substantial. The Duc Pho area had been effectively controlled by the communists for more than ten years.

Over the years the Viet Cong and its political arm of the South Vietnam Communists, the National Liberation Front NLF , had increased their power by political indoctrination, torture, and terrorism until now had a well-developed infrastructure from the sea coast as far inland as Ba To. It was immediately obvious that the first requirement in this area would be the building of a heavy duty airstrip for support by Air Force aircraft.

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Prelude to World War II

Don't have an account? Now both the 1st and 2nd Battalions were engaged by the enemy on several sides. Around midnight, the 8th Cavalry received orders to withdraw southward to Ipsok. But as the 8th Cavalry withdrew, all three battalions became trapped by roadblocks made by the PVA th Regiment, th Division south of Unsan during the early morning hours.

Members of the 1st Battalion who were able to escape reached the Ipsok area. A head count showed the battalion had lost about 15 officers and enlisted men. Members of the 2nd Battalion, for the most part, scattered into the hills. Many of them reached the ROK lines near Ipsok. Others met up with the 3rd Battalion, the hardest hit. Around the PVA launched a surprise attack on the battalion command post.

Hand-to-hand fighting ensued for about half an hour before the PVA were driven from the area. The disorganized members of the 3rd Battalion formed a core of resistance around three tanks on the valley floor and held off the PVA until daylight. By that time, only six officers and enlisted men were still able to function.

More than were wounded, and the number dead or missing were uncounted. Attempts by the 5th Cavalry to relieve the beleaguered battalion were unsuccessful, and the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, soon ceased to exist as an organized force. Following the battle, there were disparaging rumors about the 1st Cavalry Division's fighting abilities, including a folk song of the time called "The Bug-Out Ballad". Another version goes: "The shield they never carried, the horse they never rode, the bridge they never crossed, the line they never held, and the yellow is the reason why.

Division troops land at P'ohang-Dong , Korea. September Machine gun squad of Co. Emil Kapaun , right, a chaplain with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, helps evacuate an exhausted soldier from the battlefield. Following the relief, the division returned to Japan. The division returned to Korea in , where it remained until The 1st Cavalry Division next fought in the Vietnam War. No longer a conventional infantry unit, the division had become an air assault division as the 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile , commonly referred to as the 1st Air Cavalry Division.

The use of helicopters on such large scale as troop carriers, cargo lift ships, medevacs, and as aerial rocket artillery, was never before implemented, but by doing so it freed the infantry from the tyranny of terrain to attack the enemy at the time and place of its choosing. In , colors and subordinate unit designations of the Division were transferred from Korea to Fort Benning , Georgia , where they were used, along with separate elements of what had been the 2nd Infantry Division, to reflag the existing 11th Air Assault Division Test into the 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile.

Concurrently, the personnel and units of the 1st Cavalry Division, which remained in Korea, were used to reflag the division into a new 2nd Infantry Division. All aircraft carried insignia to indicate their battalion and company. And Young , was also the basis of the film We Were Soldiers. Because of that battle the division earned the Presidential Unit Citation US , the first unit to receive such in the war.

All three brigades participated in this airmobile operation, along with a Marine armor thrust. As these two elite enemy divisions, with history at Dien Bien Phu and the Ia Drang Valley , depleted, the Division leapfrogged west, clearing Route 9 , until at hours 8 April, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, linked-up with Marines at the combat base, ending the day siege.

On 19 April , as the 2nd Brigade continued pushing west to the Laotian border, the 1st and 3rd Brigades about 11, men and helicopters swung southwest and air assaulted A Shau Valley , commencing Operation Delaware. The PAVN was a well-trained, equipped, and led force. They turned A Shau into a formidable sanctuary —complete with PT76 tanks; powerful crew-served 37mm antiaircraft cannons, some radar controlled; twin-barreled 23mm cannons; and scores of Many more were lost in accidents or damaged by ground fire. The division also suffered more than dead and wounded in the operation.

Bad weather aggravated the loss by causing delays in troop movements, allowing a substantial number of PAVN to escape to safety in Laos. Still, the PAVN lost more than dead, a tank, 70 trucks, two bulldozers, 30 flamethrowers, thousands of rifles and machine guns, and dozens of antiaircraft cannons. They also lost tons of ammunition, explosives, medical supplies and foodstuffs.

In mid-May Operation Delaware ended, however, the division continued tactical operations in I Corps as well as local pacification and " medcap " medical outreach programs to local Vietnamese. Thereafter, the division took a defensive posture while US troops withdrawals continued from Vietnam. On 29 April the bulk of the division was withdrawn to Fort Hood, Texas, but its 3rd Brigade remained as one of the final two major US ground combat units in Vietnam, departing 29 June In the Vietnam War, the Division suffered more casualties than any other army division: 5, men killed in action and 26, wounded in action.

This list of air cavalry troops is alphabetical by regiment, per the U. However, there were five armored cavalry regiments ACRs not organized under CARS, these units, including the 11th ACR, retained the "regiment" nomenclature in their official designation.

Army 1st Cavalry Division (Unit of Action) | Army Veteran Locator

The unit received an infusion of mechanized infantry and artillery, to make it capable of missions needing three types of troops; armored , air-mobility, and air cavalry. In the post-Vietnam era, morale in the US Army waned. In response, from through HQDA permitted local commanders to encourage morale-enhancing uniform distinctions. Consequently, many units embraced various colored berets, for example armor and armored cavalry units often adopted the black beret.

Similarly many other units including the First Cavalry Division embraced various colored berets in an attempt to improve dwindling morale. In this implementation, armored cavalry, airmobile infantry units, air cavalry units, division artillery units, and division support units all wore different colored berets, including black, light blue, kelly green, and red. However, the TRICAP concept was short-lived, and by , the division was equipped as a two-brigade armored division with its third brigade provided by the Mississippi Army National Guard 's th Armored Brigade from — The unit assignment and structure changed significantly, notably when 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry , the division's most famous unit, was inactivated.

The 13th Signal Battalion fielded mobile subscriber equipment MSE , a secure digital communications system for corps and below units.

It participated in the Battle of Norfolk. The division's 'round-out' formation, the th Armored Brigade was not deployed in a surprise political decision. Consequently, the 1st Cavalry Division was assigned the role of the VII Corps' reserve for much of the ground war, but was crucial in the movement of ground forces to the Kuwaiti and west Saudi Arabian theaters by making two assaults into Iraqi held territory with the division's Black Jack Brigade moving north drawing Iraqi divisions out of Kuwait to support the Iraqi units defending in Iraq. This movement was led by the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, from the Wadi Al-Batien to just north of Basra through several Iraqi divisions before stopping.

The assault by M1 Abrams main battle tanks , M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and other support vehicles moved much faster than was thought possible, catching the Iraqi Army off guard. The 13th Signal Battalion was the first unit in the U. Army to deploy mobile subscriber equipment MSE into combat. Army to provide digital communications in Southwest Asia.

It was a gateway link from the Port of Dammam to the U.

Air Cav : History of the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, 1965-1969 (2011, Paperback)

The 1st Cavalry's three brigades contributed heavily to the decade-long deployments from — The 1st Cavalry Division took control of the U. Elements of the division arrived in Washington, D. Some divisional units participated in the initial invasion of Iraq. The 1st Cavalry relieved the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad. After spending more than a year in Iraq, it redeployed back to the US by April, It was relieved by the 3rd Infantry Division. The division fought in many key battles against insurgents, including the Second Battle of Fallujah in , where the 2nd Brigade Combat Team engaged in house to house intense urban combat to root out enemy cells in the city.