Tag Archives: 90th Replacement Battalion

1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam


“First Team”

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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.

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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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90th Replacement Battalion


Processing and Assignment in Long Binh
“They had you coming and going!”

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Entrance to the 90th Replacement Battalion in Long Binh, 24 June 1971.
Photo by Sp5 Logan L. McMinn, DASPO

VIETNAM 90th Replacement Entrance Road

There were a couple of buses at the Bien Hoa Air Base patiently awaiting our arrival to take us to our next destination. That was 90th Replacement Battalion, situated on the road to Saigon between the village of Bien Hoa and the huge base at Long Binh. There we would be assigned a unit we would serve with in Vietnam.
The bus ride to 90th Replacement was relatively short and everyone seemed exhausted from the long flight.

VIETNAM 90th Replacement Barracks

When we arrived, we filed off the busses and were assigned to barracks where we were to await processing and assignment. We were marched into the long building, which had a concrete floor, wooden walls that were built with each slat at an angle so the wind could blow through and ventilate the building, wire screen on the inside of the walls and a tin roof.

VIETNAM 90th Replacement PX

90th Replacement Post Exchange

The next morning after chowing down at the mess hall, we all lined up on the parade field where they called names of those who have been assigned a unit. These were called shipping formations and were held every two or three hours. My name was not called the first day, so I had to wait at least another day to find out where I was going.

That night two of us were assigned perimeter guard duty. Around the perimeter of each firebase, there were bunkers constructed with sand bags where you stand watch for any enemy infiltration. The other guy with me said just a week ago a sapper came through the perimeter wire and slit the throats of the guys on our bunker. I figured he just made that story up, so I would stay up all night and pull his watch while he slept. Well, it worked, as I didn’t get one wink of sleep.

There was rumors floating around, that our units up north were experiencing heavy casualties. I just had a feeling, I would be one of their replacements, especially with my MOS of 11 Delta (recon).

VIETNAM 90th Replacement Out-processing

The next day as a large group of us was lined up in formation, the guy next to me offered me a chew. I did smoke at that time, but had never tried a chew before. I accepted his offer and put a small wad of Red Man in my mouth. Just as my name was called with orders for my new unit, everything started spinning around me. I heaved my last two meals all over the parade field. Needless to say, that was a moment of great embarrassment!

Call it a case of the nerves or the affects of chewing tobacco on my system, or maybe a combination of both, I just received orders to report to C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division…

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Photos courtesy of SP4 David Ross Diser (Payroll Specialist
90th Replacement Battalion, 12/10/66-12/01/67)

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