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1st Cavalry Division - Airmobile

The era of the horse ridden arrival at the battlefield had elapsed over twenty years ago.  Now, the evolution of military tactics and technology had bred a new steed made of steel instead of flesh.   Appending the 1st Cavalry Division name with a new designation 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) sealed the unit's focus and added to the way the Army arrived at the battlefield and supported troops in the field.

In 1965, these new mounted troops began deploying to Camp Radcliff located at An Khe, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.  The troopers would ride the UH-1 and UH-1-C gunship helicopters and be supplied with the CH-47 Chinook and CH-54 Skycrane helicopters.  It would not be long before they entered the crucible of battle near Pleiku at the Seige of Plei Me.   This operation concluded with the Battle of Ia Drang, memorialized in the book by Joe Galloway "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young" that described the command of Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and the men of the 7th Cavalry in what became the largest and most complex engagement to date.  It was converted to the big screen in the film  "We Were Soldiers".   The 1st Cavalry Division earned a Presidential Unit Citation for their actions.

The division was near Hue when the Viet Cong launched their Tet Offensive and they participated in breaking the siege at Khe San in support of the US Marines.  They followed that with Operation Delaware and the battle of A Shau Valley.   In all the 1st Cav was involved in some of the most significant as well as large scale engagements with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Regular Army.  The majority of the Division had returned stateside by early spring of 1971 with the last elements making it home by the summer of 1972.

Notable Battles

Ia Drang ( also known as Ia Drang Valley)
A Shau Valley
Signal Hill

Operations

Masher (1966)
Masher (1966)
Thayer (1966)
Pershing (1967)
Jeb Stuart (1968)
Pegasus (1968)
Delaware (1968)

Campaigns

Tet Offensive (1968)
Cambodian Incursion (1970)

Composition

1st Brigade, "HHC" (All the Way)
2nd Brigade, "HHC" (Black Horse)
3rd Brigade, "HHC" (Garry Owen)

5th Regiment
7th Regiment
8th Regiment
12th Regiment

Artillery:
19th Artillery
20th Artillery
21st Artillery
26th Artillery
30th Artillery
77th Artillery
82nd Artillery

Support:
14th Mil History Detachment
26th Chemical Detachment
215th Support Battalion
501st Engineer Company
525th Signal

Temporary and Attached:
2nd Sqdn, 11th Armored Cavalry
34th Inf Platoon, (Scout Dog Patrol
62nd Inf Platoon, (Combat Trackers)
75th Infantry Rangers, "H" Company
Brigade Radio Research Detachment (Prov)
191st Mil Intelligence Company
2nd Bn, 327th Inf Regiment, 101st AB Div
405th Radio Receiver Detachment
483rd Mil Police Platoon
11th AVIATION GROUP (CAG)

Commanders

Major General Harry William Osborne Kinnard July 1965 – May 1966
MG John "Jack" Norton May 1966 – March 1967)
MG John J. Tolson, III (March 1967 – August 1968)
Brigadier General Richard Logan Irby (August 1968 – August 1968)
MG George T. Forsythe (August 1968 – April 1969)
MG E. B. Roberts (May 1969 – May 1970)
MG George William Casey, Sr. (May 1970 – July 1970)
MG George W. Putnam (August 1970 – May 1971)
MG James Cliffton Smith May 1971 – (January 1973)


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