1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam

“First Team”


Late at night in March of 1970 our plane landed in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. From there we were bussed to 90th Replacement in Long Binh. It was there I received orders to report to C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division.

If assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry Division, you were given a week of In-Country training before being sent to your new unit. This training was at the First Team Academy in Bien Hoa.

The 1st Air Cavalry Division entered the Vietnam War 50 years ago in 1965. The division’s colors and unit designations was transferred to the 11th Air Assault Division (Test), then at Ft. Benning, Georgia, in July, 1965. They began deploying to Camp Radcliffe, An Khe, Vietnam. The division perfected new tactics and doctrine for helicopter-borne assaults over the next five years in Vietnam.

The 1st Cavalry Division, popularly known as the “First Team,” was the only American division to fight in all four corps tactical zones. The bulk of the division began departing Vietnam in late April 1970, but the 3rd Brigade remained until June 1972. The 1st Cavalry Division was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and “First Team” soldiers won 25 Medals of Honor, 120 Distinguished Service Crosses, 2,766 Silver Stars, 2,697 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 8,408 Bronze Stars for Valor.

Charlie Troop 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment also arrived in 1965. Pat & Carol Bieneman will be hosting a Special Reunion June 30th through July 3rd in Columbus, Georgia honoring the men from Charlie Troop, Headquarters, and Headquarters Troop and Delta Troops.


The First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 1965

1st Air Cavalry casualties in Vietnam
5,444 Killed in Action
26,592 Wounded in Action

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Filed under Vietnam War

25 responses to “1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam

  1. WADE


    • Gary Hatfield

      I, also, was in 11th G.S.AVN CO. Phouc Vinh from Sept ’69- end of May ’70 when I was medivacqued after being crushed under an overturned duece-and-a-half. I transferred into the unit as an OJT doorgunner on a Huey, flew for three months, then was driver and a “Gook Honcho” for six months with my own female Vietnamese sand-bag crew. Wade, we may have met over there. My hoochmates and I had a real cool sign made to hang over our door. “Pot Platoon”–complete with flowers and peace sign.

      • Wade/Linda Hedges

        I was in charge of weapons for the green line perimeter, was there at night to issue m60 and m79, and returned in th a.m. when they were turned in. Where are you located now? I retired in 1988 and have been in Virginia since 1976.

      • Gary Hatfield

        I’ll never forget guard duty on that green line. Staring thru the Starlight Scope. . . imagining movement with that eerie green image. Never had to fire the 60, but I remember having my hand on the “phu-gas” switch. They had a “duster” (twin 40mm gun on a track) parked not far from my hootch. That made a real racket when it let loose. I think I was with Hqtrs Co, and I drove my duece and a half for “Top”, our company’s ranking NCO. I hauled the Sgt of the Guard and troops to the green line when on alert. I got hurt bad, ended up with a disability retirement, and I live in the San Bernardino Mtns of So Calif.

      • Welcome Home Gary…

      • Frank Kent

        Gary; do you remember James Parkinson, Dick Selveste (upper state NY), Denton, Aki, Robert Hudson or Frank Kent. Did you have a pet monkey there name Sam? I went on to serve under Gen Roberts and then Gen Casey till his death before I was transferred back to the bush. It just seems that I remember your name.

      • Welcome Home Frank…

      • Joe L. Todd

        I was with the 11th GS Avn Co, 1st Cav at An Khe, Camp Evans and Phouc
        Vinh Aug 1967 to Mar 1969. I was a mechanic on hueys.

    • philip jackson

      I was tdy to Phouc vinh spring of 1970, I was in D co 34th engr Bn working on the road too the base. we were in the tents and had the engr equipment.

  2. We were in the 1/26th Infantry, 1st. Infantry Division at Phouc Vinh for some time. At least during Oct. 1966 to Oct. 1967; because I was in A Company there.

  3. Kenneth R Stuber

    I was with the 1stcav 1st 77th arty out of fsb buttons 10-31-69 to 1-21-70 was one of their combat medics wounded 1-21-70

  4. Richard Haines

    I was at LZ Buttons Ground Attack on 4Nov69 and had my left leg amputated above the knee. 1/77 HQ CAV

    • Frank Kent

      Yes Richard Welcome Home

    • Bruce Wyrwitzke

      Ah, geez! I was at LZ Buttons loggering in a Huey loaded with flares…waiting for something to happen that night. If you recall there were to lines of wire around the perimeter. Just inside the outer line there was a berm; we were parked between the berm and the inside line of wire. I had just strung my hammock on the tail boom and nestled in…waiting…trying to sleep, when all hell broke loose! The enemy had infiltrated the outer perimeter and taken up positions on the berm. Under heavy fire, we scrambled and started dropping flares. What a night. LZ Buttons wasn’t the end of the earth, but you could see it from there. Everything we needed to do our job came from that fire support base (FSB): fuel, flares, ammunition. I don’t remember how many times that night we came into that “hot” LZ, but it was many. As a 20 year old, I could sit in a helicopter seat for 8 hours and never think of peeing. Now, I’d have to go every couple of hours. Probably why they don’t let old guys fight wars. Anyway, we were at Buttons because intelligence indicated that there was going to be action that night. Oh, brother! The amazing thing about that action is that the enemy left no dead or wounded on the battlefield. Lots of evidence, but no bodies. Glad you made it home, Richard.

  5. joseph horton

    i was with 7/1 air cav their a 50 gunner on the jeep at vinh long from
    1968 to 1970 i was call johnny lee

  6. Jim Inman

    My name is Jim Inman “Doc” was what I usually called. I served with the 2/7 th Cav at Phan Thiett . I was assined to varris infatry platoon s because of the shortage of medics. Only two in our co. In the winter Dec 1967 I was suddenly returned to the U S because my first son died shortly after birth. I have not heard from made any contact with any of the fellow solders In the 2/7 th Cav scence then. If anyone remembers me please respond to this request. on this site. Thanks.

  7. John E. Reif

    John E. Reif
    Looking for anyone who was in 27th Maintenance An Khe, Viiet Nam
    354 NW 200 ST
    Carrollton, Illinois 62016

  8. Paul Smith

    I was in the 13th signal with Tj , Bill Russell, Evert Hinton, and several more.

  9. Hello maate great blog post

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