Tag Archives: charlie troop 1/9th

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

The Bienemans

Devoted to Honoring Veterans


Pat and Carol Bieneman

Rebecca and I attended the Charlie Troop 1/9th Blues reunion held at St George Island, FL. in October. It was my first reunion since returning from Vietnam 43 years ago.

The three day event hosted by Pat and Carol was filled with fun, laughter and tears. They started planning the event at least one year in advance and what a great job they did…

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Bieneman CP on Apalachicola Bay for the event-PERFECT!


Pat & Carol’s wheels

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Back porch where many memories were shared.


Apalachicola Bay


Famous Island Landmark

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Many of the reunion attendees stayed here.


Charlie Troopers attending the reunion


Charlie Troop Blues 1965-70


The wives attendance speaks for itself.

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Pete Guthrie (Blue) Jerry Duckworth (Blue India) 1968


Pete Guthrie (Blue) Pat Bieneman (Blue India) 1968-69


Rob Struck (Blue India) Mike LaChance (Blue) 1970

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PRC-25 Radio

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Pete Guthrie, Don Coshey, Jerry Duckworth

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Claude Singletary, Crae Carpenter, Phil Merritt, Pete Guthrie

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Gordon Jones, Gene Smith


Claude Singletary, Pete Guthrie


Jerry Duckworth and Phil Merritt sharing memories

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Walt “Titch” Titchenell, Don Coshey, Crae Carpenter


Carol Bieneman, Jerry Duckworth, Pat Bieneman


Pat updating his blog and posting reunion photos on Facebook. Sitting next to Pat is Wallace “Tich” Tichenell, Spc5 Red CE Gunner1965-66

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Indoor activity

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1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Landing on the Beach at Qui Nho , Souh Vietnam September 13th 1965
Wallace “Tich” Tichenell, Spc5 Red CE Gunner1965-66 is in this photo


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Outdoor activity


Final adjustments

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Titch scouting the waters


If the decibel level on the porch friday night was any indication of a good time, I’d say the women had a “GREAT TIME!”

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Walt “Titch” and Mary Alice Titchenell at the Saturday night Buffet Dinner outside at Harry A’s

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Larry Banks (Delta Troop) displaying his pins


Pat reading the names of the Killed In Action from October 1970 to April 1971


KIA Table


Three Soldiers Monument – Apalachicola, Florida


Visit Pat Bieneman’s blog for more photos of this event.


Icing on the Cake!

I sat next to 2010 Hall of Fame inductee, Andre Dawson “The Hawk” Chicago Cubs, 1987-92. We talked baseball on our flight from Tallahassee to Miami.


Filed under Vietnam War

State Veterans Bonuses

Rebates to Veterans

welcome home vietnam vets

It dawned on me the other day that I received a check from The State of Iowa in the Seventies for my 13 month tour in Vietnam. I was a resident of Iowa when I entered the service in 1969. I thought it was around $300, but it must have been $227.50 based on the information below.

Iowa offers a Vietnam Conflict Veterans Bonus for Vets that serveded at least 120 days between July 1, 1973, and May 31, 1975.
Payment of $17.50 per month for service in the Vietnam service area.
Payment of $12.50 per month for service outside of the Vietnam service area.
Maximum payment of $500.

Iowa residents who served on active duty for at least 120 days between July 1, 1973 and May 31, 1975 are eligible for this bonus program. Veterans who served in Vietnam will receive $17.50 for each month served. Veterans that served outside of Vietnam during this time will receive $12.50 for each month of service. The maximum bonus amount is $500 for veterans who served in Vietnam and $300 for those who were not in country.

Quite a few states are giving some sort of rebate to veterans. In nearly all cases, the service member must have been a resident of the state when they entered the service, and be a resident of the state at the time of application.

Read more: http://paycheck-chronicles.military.com/2010/09/09/state-veterans-bonuses/#ixzz2bnvyUD8T
The Paycheck Chronicles


Filed under Vietnam War

Rolling Thunder

The sound of bombs landing in a small area delivered by B-52s

VIETNAM WAR BOMB CRATERS As our choppers headed toward Saigon, I looked down and could see many craters in the terrain caused by bombs dropped over the course of the war. Quite often the Blues were inserted to assess the damage and detonate unexploded bombs inflicted by B-52 strikes. Our mission in Saigon was for Charlie Troop 1/9th to recon the outskirts of the city in preparation for an upcoming visit by V.P. Agnew scheduled for August 27th, 1970. b52-runway

The 52s had three nick names: *Whispering Death. So called by the NVA because the altitude from which the B52s released their bombs meant you got no warning of their presence. When the bombs arrived was the first sign. Luckily for them bombs do little damage in a jungle. *Rolling Thunder. From the sound of 318 bombs landing in a small area in a carpet bombing mode with only 3 planes. Rarely did the Yanks use only 3 planes. In 3 years they dropped 860,000 TONS of bombs. 52,000 North Vietnamese died as a result. *BUFFS. The troops called them this from “Big Ugly Fat Fuckers” or in the presence of the Vicar or ladies, “Big Ugly Fat Fellows” Their normal bomb load was 84 bombs internally and 24 bombs under the wings. Each bomb weighed 500 pounds. Sometimes they carried 750 lb bombs.


This photo was taken by Bert Schreibstein at Fire Support Base Buttons in January, 1970. A B-52 air strike (Arc Light) can be seen miles away.


B-52 bomb craters full of water


B-52 Stratofortress cutaway


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Hooch Maids

Did various chores for GIs

Hooch maids were paid by the GIs on a monthly basis to do a number of chores. These included doing laundry, making beds, sewing patches on uniforms, cleaning hooches (our sleeping quarters) and a number of odds and ends. The maids could earn as much as a captain in the South Vietnamese Army, although it was often less. Most were paid was about $10.00 per month.

The military generally allowed most officers and non-commissioned men to have hooch maids, whenever these men wanted and requested their services. Some maids reportedly had sex with soldiers to earn extra income…

Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger


Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger


Photo courtesy of Richard Lamb


Photo courtesy of Chris Bussells


Hooch maid in front Blues hooch




Phuoc Vinh village


Working girl of Phuoc Vinh
Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger


‘Asian Girls gone Wild’
Photo courtesy of Dennis Junger


Filed under Vietnam War

“Dear John” Letters

Record numbers during Vietnam War


A “Dear John” letter is one in which a fiancee or wife tells a soldier she is finished with him, often because she has met another man.

The final months of my Vietnam tour I was Charlie Troop 1/9th mail clerk. While performing those duties I recall delivering at least two “Dear John” letters; I’m sure there were many more…


Filed under Vietnam War

Stars and Stripes Newspaper

Published Daily


Stars and Stripes sold for a nickel in Europe and most of Asia. About 61,000 free copies went to Vietnam daily and were distributed in the field. In addition to the government-authorized Stars and Stripes, an estimated 2 million copies of U.S. newspapers flow into Vietnam each month along with 400,000 paperbacks and 150,000 magazines. (Newsweek’s circulation in Vietnam: 15,000).

Stars and Stripes got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War. After a decades-long hiatus, publication resumed during World War I and then had a second renaissance in World War II.

Stars and Stripes newspaper has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen throughout World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo and the current global war on terror.

Although the newspaper is authorized by the U.S. Department of Defense, it is editorially independent. Stars and Stripes operates as any First Amendment media organization in America; all editorial decisions are made within its own independent chain of command, free of any censorship and control. Its publisher and most of its employees today are civilians.


Filed under Vietnam War