Hello again Troopers,
By the time you read this, the 1st Cav Div Assn annual reunion at Ft. Collins will have come and gone. I hope that any of you that attended had a great time. Unfortunately, the Cav reunion was scheduled this year to coincide with the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn (VHPA) annual reunion, which is always held during the first week of July, this year in Las Vegas. At the VHPA reunion there are always "mini" unit reunions where pilots from the same Vietnam unit get together in meeting rooms for a couple of hours of brotherhood. This year was no exception, as this year's reunion of former 1-9th guys was slated to have had the greatest number of attendees yet, and include crewmembers and other MOSs, requiring us to stay in an adjacent hotel. I'll report on that reunion in the next issue.
At the beginning of my tenure as editor of this column, I promised a regular dose of history. While space has not always allowed some historical tidbit to be included, I have sought out a wider audience, particularly those who served with the 9th Cavalry in Korea. The following is a capsule history of the 9th Cavalry. A more detailed history can be found at Harry BOUDREAU's <email@example.com> official site at" http://www.metronet.com/~harryb/1st_team/9th_rgmt/.
As most folks know, the U.S. Army's 9th (& 10th) Cavalry was initially organized in 1866 as Black horse soldiers to protect new settlers in the West. These "Buffalo Soldiers", as the Native American tribes called them, sustain their legacy with their own organizations and annual events (see http://www.zianet.com/wblase/courier/buffalo.htm for more info). The familiar regimental badge depicting the gold "Indian" on the galloping horse has the blue, five-bastioned fort as background. The fort background is there because it was the badge of Teddy Roosevelt's 5th Army Corps in Cuba, of which the 9th Cav Regiment was a part; the badge was approved in 1925. During WWII, the 9th Cav sent its assets to other units, but elements that later became part of the 9th Cav did serve in both theaters, including the landing at Normandy. Interestingly, the 302nd Mech Cav Recon Trp, a precurser to the 1-9th, was the unit that included the Lakota Souix "Code Breakers".
At the outbreak of the Korean War, the 1st Cav was serving post-war duty in Japan, and their recon unit at the time was the 16th Recon Co. On 15 Oct '57, Co "A", 509th Tank Battalion, 9th Cav, previously inactivated at Fort Knox, KY, was redesignated Troop "A", 9th Cavalry. On 1 Nov '57, Trp "A", 9th Cav was redesignated as HHT, 1st Recon Sqdn, 9th Cav. The "DMZ Police" were not at first attached to a division, but later became part of the 1st Cav Div. On 1 Sept '63 the 1st Recon Sqdn was reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Sqdn, 9th Cav, remaining on duty at the DMZ until '65 when it was transferred to Fort Benning.
Meanwhile, the experimental 11th Air Assault Div (Test), including elements of the 2nd Inf Div, had begun testing the concept of troop deployment in combat by helicopter, and the concept included a helicopter reconnaissance regiment dubbed the 3-17th Cav. On 1 July '65, the 11th Air Assault was redesignated as the 1st Cav Div (Airmobile) while the 3-17th was redesignated the 1-9th. It was the first full combat division to be sent to Vietnam. The 1-9th in Vietnam has since been known as the "Bullwhip Squadron", after its first CO, COL John B. STOCKTON, whose callsign was "Bullwhip 6". The current 1-9th at Ft. Hood was briefly described in the Mar-Apr issue of this column, and their new website is at: http://pao.hood.army.mil/1cd_1-9cav/. FYI, Harry BOUDREAU informs me that B Troop, 9th Cavalry was recently assigned as the Recon Trp for 3rd Brigade, 4th Inf Div, Ft. Carson, CO. Wow. We're being split up again!
In an earlier column, I asked (to no avail) on how it came to be that other 1st CAV units started wearing Stetsons after COL STOCKTON revived it for the 1-9th in '65. CAV Historian, Harry BOUDREAU, later responded to a similar question from Ron CHRISTOPHER <firstname.lastname@example.org>: "Generals Shoemaker and Becton authorized the use of the Stetson after Vietnam. MG's.
Becton and Streeter published [it in] 1st Cav. Div. suppl.1 to AR 670-5." So there! But what about all those other "air cav" units that began wearing Cav Hats during Vietnam? Guess success breeds copycats. But none matched the 1-9th.
I received the following e-mail: "My name is Dave BEATSON <Sdbeatson@cs.com> and I was in C-1-9 from July 67-July 68. Served in blue platoon doing it all and leaving as a Sgt. squad leader. We were in Bong Song, Hue, Camp Evans, Khe Sahn, A Shau Valley, and a number of other fine assignments. I can't recall the names. Hope you can find some old buddies from the web site, I have contacted one acquaintance. Good luck in the future."
Walter MAUDE <email@example.com> (C Trp, clerk '70-71, 1605 W. N. Union, Auburn, MI 48611) asked if anyone has found his old bud, Clifford KIRBY, who was with the last of the D Troopers in '71. Walter produced a C
Trp "Combat Administration" pocket patch!
A very interesting post came to me: "I am with a diecast collectible vehicle maker called Corgi Classics. We are producing a 1/48th scale diecast Huey from the 1st of the 9th and I am looking for background information on the unit and the aircraft. Any help would be appreciated. Best regards, Richard WALKER, Corgi Classics, Inc.1-800-800-2674. Richard WALKER <Richard@corgiclassics.com>". After a follow-up, Richard responded: "It is [now] available from our retailers for $49.99. I was able to gin up some information on the unit through research. Thanks for getting back to me. If you want to track one down contact Past Time Hobbies at 708-485-4544." Also, of interest, a Mr. David HOWITT Dave@homebase99.freeserve.co.uk> sent the following a couple of years ago and I wonder what ever became of it: "Dear Sir, I am trying to obtain information on the make up of D troop of your Squadron, according to a recent publication I have read this was a ground troop with an integral Air section. I would be obliged if you could possibly point me in the right direction. Many thanks." Was anyone ever contacted?
As a follow-up to an old post, a Terry L. WORRELL <firstname.lastname@example.org> had been wanting to find out about some of my friends back then, especially a point man named Fred ROMERO (Phx, AZ). I'm working on a VA claim involving a helicopter crash in 9/67 where the crew chief (STROBEL) was KIA. Need to find others to corroborate this. Thanks brother - First Team Forever!
I bought and read a book, "Born in Brooklyn . Raised in the CAV!", by John E. FLANAGAN, Xlibris Corp (1-888-7-XLIBRIS, www.Xlibris.com, Orders@Xlibris.com). This book is mainly about the Mr. Flanagan's 365 days as a WO Lift pilot with A Trp, 1-9th from '67-68, with some detail of flight school antics included. It was an interesting read and will be for anyone who served with the 1-9th in Vietnam. FLANAGAN graduated with WORWAC Class 67-1, so he spent most of '67 and early '68 there. This was before the Cobras and Loaches came to the 1-9th. I was most interested in the history of where the Troop moved during this period. While the author mentioned many names, there were a few that I also know. Al "The Fish" DeMAILO was his classmate. We called him "Big Al" in C Trp during his second tour with the Cav. Larry "Super Scout" BROWN was also a classmate who ended up with him in A Trp. Loren McANALLY was the first 1-9th pilot I met at a VHPA reunion (Orlando), and one of only 2-3 from the Sqdn there. Bert CHOLE is in there; Bert became E Trp CO during my tour. It's an interesting read. We all should sit down and write our memories. Thanks, John FLANAGAN for writing yours. Wish I had your memory!
The April, 2002 VHPA newsletter had a request for info regarding Spec. 4 Michael R. SEIBERT, Scout CE, A Trp who was KIA 8/9/69; his family would like more info. Contact John J. JEWETT, 469 Juniper Dr., Petersburg, IL 62675 <email@example.com>.
TAPS: Also in the April VHPA newsletter was a note that Gary Bill HAYES, 61, died on Feb. 15 after a 3-yr battle with cancer. Gary served with C Trp in '65-66 and the article states that he was well-known legend with the Missouri Guard. He is survived by his wife Velda and his three daughters, Lisa, Kim and Jana.
I just learned of the death of a fellow C Trp pilot, Cowles WALDRON, who died July 6th at his home in Brookhaven, NY. "Coles" was sitting at home with a good friend, eating, and happy when he passed away. His daughter (Whitney Waldron Wolanski, 80 Elliot Ave, Lake Grove, NY 11775) first alerted me while I was at the VHPA reunion. Cole's best friend (his doctor) would appreciate any memories or photocopies of Wally sent to us so that we may surprise Whitney with a memory book. Their address is: The ANNIS Family, 308 South Elmwood Ave, Oak Park,IL 60302. Ph 708-386-2957 <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
We Can! We Will!