April 20, 1967 -
task force Oregon: malheur, hood
In February of 1967, general William C. Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, formed a planning group to organize an Army task force to send to the I Corps area.
This planning group, commanded by Major General William B. Rosson, organized a multi-brigade force composed of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade; the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division; and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Later redesignated the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.
Task Force Oregon became operational on April 20, 1967, when troops from the 196th landed at the Chu Lai airstrip and immediately began search operations around the base camp. Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division started conducting search and destroy operations in Southern Quang Ngai Province, and in May the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne paratroopers arrived at Duc Pho and operations in the jungles west of there.
Early operations conducted by Task Force Oregon included Malheur I and Malheur II, Hood River, Benton and Cook. On September 11, 1967, Operation Wheeler was launched against elements of the 2nd North Vietnamese Army Division working in the area northwest of Chu Lai.
On September 22, 1967, Brigadier General Samuel W. Koster assumed command of the task force, replacing Major General Richard T. Knowles, and three days later Task Force Oregon became the Americal Division, composed of the 196th, 198th, and the 11th Light Infantry Brigades, even though the latter two organizations were still training in the United States.
Operation Wheeler continued and on October 4, 1967, the 3rd Brigade 1st Air Cavalry Division joined Americal and immediately launched Operation Wallowa in the northern sector of the division's area of operations. Operations Wheeler and Wallowa were combined on November 11, and Operation Wheeler/Wallowa was conducted by the 196th Brigade (which replaced the 101st Airborne's 1st Brigade in Operation Wheeler after that organization departed for the II Corps tactical zone) and the 3rd Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry.
An official change of colors ceremony was held October 26, and the Americal Division became the seventh Army division fighting in Vietnam. General Koster received his second star during the same ceremony.
On October 22, the 198th Light Infantry Brigade arrived in Vietnam from Ft. Hood, Texas and deployed to Duc Pho where it received combat training from the battle hardened soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry. The 198th currently is in charge of the defense of Chu Lai base camp and airstrip.
Operation Wheeler/Wallowa became the responsibility of the 196th Infantry Brigade and the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry. The 1/1 had been operating in the general area since September 1967, and officially became part of the Americal Division on January 10, 1968. The 198th Infantry Brigade remained responsible for securing the immediate area around Chu Lai.
The 11th Light Infantry Brigade joined Americal on December 20, and moved to Duc (Duc Pho) for training. The "Jungle Warriors" later conducted combat operations in the Duc Pho area.
Battalions of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division were deployed in the Duc Pho area of operations throughout 1967 and in 1968 controlled Operation Muscatine. Maneuver battalions of the brigade were also deployed in the northern provinces, and took part in continuing Operation Wheeler/Wallowa. The 3rd Brigade conducted combat operations in the mountains west of Duc Pho, and assisted in the combat orientation of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade.
Operation Muscatine, a multi-battalion operation in the northern districts of Quang Ngai Province, was launched in early December by the 198th Brigade and units of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry. The 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry assumed control of the operation on January 2, 1968, but it was released from the operational control of the division later and moved south into II Corps. The "Jungle Warriors" of the 11th Infantry Brigade deployed initially to Duc Pho. Combat operations were begun in the Duc Pho area of operations when the Brigade took over Operation Muscatine.
Task Force Barker
Task Force Barker was formed in February by elements of the 11th Infantry Brigade to rout the Viet Cong from an area considered an enemy stronghold for 20 years. It was concluded successfully in April, 1968.
Another task force, Task Force Miracle, was formed in February during the enemy's Tet offensive when the city of Da Nang was threatened by the 60th Main Force Viet Cong Battalion. The division's 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry assisted the Marines in the fighting. After four days of fierce fighting, the threat to Da Nang was obliterated and the task force was deactivated and returned to the Americal area of operation.
The Americal Division participates with the government of Vietnam in the Pacification program to win the hearts and minds of the people. It is a coordinated effort to gain the full support of the Vietnamese people by helping them meet their own needs and at the same time depriving the enemy of his claim to popular backing. MEDCAP missions to the hamlets and villages of the southern I Corps provide the Vietnamese people with much needed medical services.
One of the main objectives of the pacification program is the economic growth of the nation as a whole. And the greatest appeal to the people lies in the promise of increased prosperity.
Operation Norfolk Victory
Operation Norfolk Victory was begun by elements of the 11th Brigade on April 8, 1968, in the mountainous terrain southwest of Quang Ngai City. By its conclusion major enemy base of operations had been destroyed, and weapons cache uncovered (126 individual and crew-served weapons, plus numerous enemy munitions and supplies).
Operation Burlington Trail
On the same day that Operation Norfolk Victory began, another operations was begun by the 198th Infantry Brigade north of Chu Lai. Operation Burlington Trail had the goal of opening the road from Tam Ky to Tien Phuoc, a Special Forces outpost and district headquarters in Quang Tin Province. The mission of constructing the road was given to elements of the 39th Engineer Battalion who were provided security by units of the 198th.
April 20 marked the first anniversary of Task Force Oregon, and General William C. Westmoreland spoke at ceremonies in Chu Lai.
On the same day the 198th Brigade assumed control of Operation Wheeler/Wallowa from the 196th Brigade, which was temporarily placed under the operational control of the 1st Air Cavalry Division.
Under the operational control of the III Amphibious Force in Da Nang, the Americal Division has been summoned to distant areas outside the division's area of operation on several occasions.
During April, the 196th Infantry Brigade was sent to the northern portion of Quang Tri Province and participated in fighting near the demilitarized zone.
Shortly after the Brigade was released from the 3rd Marine Division, one battalion (2nd Battalion - 1st Brigade) was deployed to the aid of the besieged Special Forces camp at Kham Duc. One company from the 198th Infantry Brigade (A Company 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry) also was sent to Kham Duc, where a successful extraction was later performed.
On June 23, 1968, Major General Charles M. Gettys assumed command of the Americal Division following interim commander Brigadier General George H. Young, Jr.
Tam Ky/Quang Ngai
After a midsummer "lull", activity picked up when the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry teamed up with elements of the 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 11th Brigade, and 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, 196th to engage regulars of the 2nd NVA Division seven kilometers west of Tam Ky, August 25-27. 548 NVA soldiers were killed.
Action again flared in the second week of September when a combined effort of the 2nd ARVN Division and the 11th Brigade spoiled enemy plans to attack Quang Ngai City. The operation accounted for 442 enemy killed.
Operation Champaigh Grove
Operation Champaign Grove was formed on September 4 to relieve pressure on the Ha Thanh Civilian Irregular Defense Group Camp and to prevent a possible attack against Quang Ngai City. Units of the 11th Brigade, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, and the 2nd ARVN Division combined together to account for 323 NVA killed.
In a battle five miles southwest of Quang Ngai City, C Troop felled 42 of the enemy and captured a large weapons cache.
On September 14 infantrymen and cavalrymen of Task Force Galloway reported 40 NVA and three VC killed and six crew-served and eight individual weapons captured in Operation Champaign Grove.
On September 21, the heaviest contact was in Operation Burlington Trail, as units of the 1st Cavalry, F Troop, 8th Cavalry, and a company of the 11th Brigade's 4th Brigade, 21st Infantry killed 92 NVA.
Operation Golden Fleece in which the 196th Brigade helped Vietnamese harvest more than one million pounds of rice in the Que Son Valley, also began during September, ending two months later.
October brought more rice as the "Chargers" of the 196th killed 22 VC and captured 12,425 pounds of rice on the 26th. "Guardians" of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry gathered 6,800 pounds of rice in three separate caches 24 miles west of Tam Ky.
In November, the two longest running Americal Operations, Wheeler/Wallowa and Burlington Trail, ended. The former, which was primarily conducted by the 196th Brigade, accounted for 10,020 enemy dead and 2,053 captured weapons in its one year existence. Burlington Trail, in which the 198th Brigade with help from the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry; 26th and 39th Engineer Battalions, succeeded in opening the road from Tam Ky to Tien Phuoc, recorded 1,948 enemy dead and 545 weapons captured.
Both operations ended on November 11.
On November 16, units of the 198th Brigade accounted for 41 VC killed in the Chu Lai area. A recon patrol member LRP observed VC moving down a trail 10 miles north of Quang Ngai City. The 1st/82nd Artillery placed eight inch shells right on target.
On November 17, a 1st/14th Artillery battery along with the 198th Brigade killed 32 VC when the enemy launched a mortar, recoilless rifle, and ground attack against the Binh Son District headquarters.
I action west of Tam Ky and north of the Tien Phuoc Civilian Irregular Defense Group camp, 196th Brigade soldiers netted 44 of the enemy on November 21.
Vernon Lake 2, Hardin Falls, Fayette Canyon
Also in November, Operation Vernon Lake II began in the mountainous region southwest of Quang Ngai City. During its four month existence, 11th Brigade. "Jungle Warriors" uncovered 81 NVA base camps and three surgical hospitals. The 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry and the 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry soldiers also killed 455 enemy soldiers. The operation was terminated on February 28, 1969.
The battleship New Jersey was in the division area of operation from November 24 to November 27. During this time, the Navy's only active battleship destroyed 122 enemy structures, 55 bunkers and 32 fighting positions.
On December 2, a major pacification effort was begun by the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry. 198th Brigade; and the 26th Engineer Battalion in Thang Binh District. Operation Hardin Falls had as its main purpose providing assistance to Government of Vietnam forces so they could pacify six hamlets in the district. It also ended on February 28, 1969
In mid-December, Operation Fayette Canyon was started in the mountains 25 miles northwest of Tam Ky. Conducted by the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry , and the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, of the 196th Brigade, and by the 198th Brigade's 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, 327 enemy were killed, bunker and other complexes were destroyed, and 65 weapons were captured by the time the operation ended on February 28.
Frederick Hill/Geneva Park
Members of the 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry (Old Guard) of the 11th Infantry Brigade and 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade designated Task Force Cooksey (after the Assistant Division Commander, Brigadeer General Howard W. Cooksey) set up a cordon which isolated the peninsula from the mainland. The combat phase of Russell Beach officially ended February 9 accounting for more than 210 VC killed, 15.5 tons of salt, two tons of corn, 13 tons of rice, 59 individual weapons, and six crew served weapons. Twenty-three sampans were destroyed as they tried to evade through Navy Swift Boats off the Batangan Peninsula.
By late February the pacification end of Russell Beach showed nearly 12,000 civilians had been moved to the Combined Holding and Interregation Center (CHIC) near Quang Ngai City.
A lull in fighting was observed during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet) but heavy contact broke out in February when VC/NVA elements launched a series of well coordinated mortar and rocket attacks on all US fire support bases and installations throughout the Americal Division.
In March, a series of operations started, with each brigade area given a separate name for its operational zone.
On March 18 Operation Frederick Hill was initiated in the northern sector of the division by the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, and 196th Infantry Brigade, and the 5th ARVN Regiment. In the center of the division, Operation Geneva Park was embarked upon by the 'Brave and the Bold' of the 198th Infantry Brigade and the 6th ARVN Regiment. Rounding out action in the southern regions of the Americal was Operation Iron Mountain started by the 'Jungle Warriors' of the 11th Infantry Brigade and the 4th ARVN Regiment.
In the month of May Brigadier General Edwin L. Powell became assistant division commander; a 1st/6th Infantry visit to Ky Sanh village marked the unit's 10,000th MEDCAP; and machine gunner SP4 Stanley Goff received the Distinguished Service Cross after single-handedly routing 100 heavily-armed NVA regulars in a trench line.
In the middle of May in the triple canopy jungles west of Tam Ky, the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, under the operational control of the Americal Division, joined the 196th Brigade to alleviate Communist pressures in the area.
The operation, named Lamar Plain, stared on May 15 as the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, was placed under the operational control of the 101st. By the second week in June, the operation had accounted for more than 130 enemy dead and Landing Zone Professional west of Tam Ky was released from enemy pressures. Three months later the Communists backed off from the area and Operation Lamar Plain was concluded.
On June 1, 1969, Major General Lloyd B. Ramsey, former Deputy Commanding General of the 1st Logistical Command, assumed command of the Americal Division, replacing Major General Charles M. Gettys.
Communist sappers continued to harass Americal fire bases during June, and infantryman [sic] repelled a heavy attack on Landing Zone East, 11 miles west of Tam Ky in early June, killing 55 NVA and seven Viet Cong.
During four days of fierce fighting throughout the division starting June 8, Americal forces killed 249 NVA and 87 VC while capturing 89 assorted enemy weapons.
By the second week in June, U.S. forces had accounted for more than 130 NVA and 40 VC killed in the Lamar Plain area alone.
On July 21st, the Americal Division concluded Operation Russell Beach on the Batangan Peninsula 20 miles south of Chu Lai. The massive pacification effort was concluded with the resettlement of more than 12,000 refugees on the peninsula after it had been cleared of enemy bunkers and sanctuaries.
But the overall pacification effort in the area continued as an intensive drive to upgrade small hamlets and villages north of Quang Ngai City.
Color photographs, fire support base, Artillery men, Vietnamese man laying bricks, and Vietnamese children.
With the summer months came intensified "Vietnamization" of the war effort and proliferation of joint Americal and South Vietnamese Army operations. US-ARVN tactical operations were increased and the three regiments of the 2nd ARVN Division worked as direct counterparts with the Americal Division's three brigades.
As the pacification effort increased in the 11th and 198th Brigade areas, intensive Communist pressures were beginning to be felt in the Que Son and Hiep Duc valleys 30 miles south of Da Nang.
GIs BATTLING FOR HILL 102
Clipping from "PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES"..
(CHU LAI)- The Hiep Duc Refugee Center and two Americal Fire bases Landing Zone Center and Landing Zone West, were believed to be prime targets for the 2nd NVA Division. In early August elements of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, beat off a ground attack at LZ West killing 59 enemy soldiers.
On August 18th infantrymen of the 196th Brigade began a battle which killed more than 312 NVA soldiers in 72 hours of fighting in the blistering heat on the Que Son Valley floor. Three days later 103 more enemy were killed by artillery and air strikes as the battle of the Hiep Duc and Que Son valleys erupted. Their enemy was the well-entrenched 2nd NVA Division.
Despite enemy heavy automatic weapons fire Americal Division helicopters continued to fly along the valley airspace bringing supplies and reinforcements to the men of the 196th Brigade. On the morning of August 19, a helicopter was shot down over Hill 102 inside NVA-occupied territory. Aboard were eight men.
(CHU LAI)-The push to recover the bodies of the victims of the helicopter tragedy sparked one of the bitterest engagements of the turgid confrontation. For almost a week the men of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry strove against unrelenting NVA fire to reach the crash site on Hill 102.
"It was hell out there," remarked PFC Barry Daniels, a rifleman with Company C, 3rd/21st . "The NVA were all over the place with weapons and packs. We couldn't move 100 meters without being attacked."
On Sunday, August 24, men of Company B, 3rd/21st fought their way back into the tangled crash site. Hill 102 was won.
Thousands of artillery rounds pounded the NVA bunker complexes during those last days of August. Scores of tactical air strikes echoed through the Hiep Duc and Que Son Valleys. Countless times, 196th Brigade infantrymen pushed forward against pockets of fierce enemy resistance. The Marine advance from the east placed an increased strain on the NVA forces. Slowly, the enemy began to withdraw to the north toward the rugged Nui Chom ridge line. The American units pursued determinedly. By August 29, the major sources of enemy resistance in the Hiep Duc vicinity had been irreparably crushed.
Hiep Duc had been spared! No casualties or significant damage had been reported from the refugee center. The 196th Infantry Brigade had preserved Hiep Duc and cost the enemy over 1,000 dead.
In September salt became the topic of discussion to the south of Chu Lai as elements of the 198th Brigade's 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry uncovered more than 2872 tons. It was extracted from its communist storehouses and distributed throughout the area by the Government of South Vietnam.
Later that month Brigadier General Wallace L. Clement, assistant Division commander (maneuver), left the Americal for an assignment with Military Assistance Command Vietnam headquarters. Colonel John W. Donaldson, Division chief of staff, became the new assistant Division commander. Colonel Donaldson was promoted to brigadier general on October 1.
Rice denial operations achieved tremendous success. On November 19, the 3rd Battalion, 21st infantry, captured 20,000 lbs. of rice. Numerous other large caches of enemy salt and rice were found.
On November 21, Colonel Joseph C. Clemons assumed command of the 198th Infantry Brigade. Colonel Thomas H. Tackaberry became the Division Chief of Staff, a position formerly held by Colonel Clemons.
A new pacification program was initiated. Two battalions, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry and 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry of the 198th Brigade were partially committed. In the Infantry Company Intensified Pacification Program (ICIPP), platoon and squad size US elements live, work with, and train Vietnamese Regular Forces and Popular Forces in their hamlets. This program is designed to help organize, build, and provide continual security in hamlets and villages against local VC forces, guerilla units and VC/NVA main forces.
Education plays an important role in the overall pacification effort. New schools were constructed throughout the division area of operation.
A new strain of rice was introduced into southern I Corps.
On January 4 Americal troops of Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry fought off an enemy mortar and sapper attack against their night defensive position. The infantrymen withstood the intense mortar barrage and ground attack and killed 29 of the insurgents.
A Troop 1/1 Cavalry combined with the 15th Regular Force Group to defeat an estimated two companies of VC. A Troop working in an area three miles west of Tam Ky killed 43 of the enemy in the engagement.
Contact was maintained through the next day as elements of F Troop, 17th Cavalry and D Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry operating northwest of Tam Ky accounted for 39 NVA kills and confiscated a large weapons cache.
A search of the area produced four rocket propelled grenades with launchers, two machine guns, one mortar, and 16 AK-47 rifles in addition to the enemy deaths.
Fierce action was reported in the 196th area of operation once again on January 13-14. A task force, consisting of 1/1 Cavalry, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, overran the enemy positions resulting in 40 enemy killed and a large quantity of munitions confiscated.
196th Brigade soldiers found themselves in the thick of it the next day as they recorded a total of 662 NVA soldiers killed in action in the "Pineapple Forest" area near Tam Ky.
The first three days of February saw elements of the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, in constant contact with the enemy forces south of Tam Ky. During the action the "Professionals" were credited with more than 40 enemy kills.
The remaining days of February produced a steady decrease in enemy activity.
The first two weeks of March saw light to moderate action with the Americal cavalrymen playing an important role in several skirmishes with the enemy.
On March 18, Major General Lloyd Ramsey, commanding general of the Americal Division was hoisted from the thick jungle where he had been stranded overnight following the crash of his command and control helicopter in which two men were killed and six injured.
Army and Air Force rescue units flew to the area and an infantry element of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry was airlifted to within two miles of the crash sight [sic].
Radio contact was lost at 4 a.m. when Major Tommy P. James arrived in the area in a helicopter.
Major James, commander of the 71st Aviation Co., had searched Tuesday until nightfall, "walking" his ship up the side of the mountain where the wreckage was thought to be.
He returned Wednesday morning. "We were within 50 to 75 feet of their position before we could see them. The chopper was upside down with the tail boom snapped off," said James.
Major James lowered battalion surgeon Captain Luis A. Oliver into the thick jungle. "The brush was so thick," said James, "that I had to talk Oliver over to the crash sight even though he had seen the wreckage from the air and had landed only 20 feet away."
Color photographs - 25th Infantry helicopter, silhouette of a soldier, and aerial view of smoke coming from the jungle. .
MG Milloy Takes Command
On March 22, following the injury of General Ramsey, Major General A.E. Milloy assumed command of the Americal Division.
Major General Milloy, a distinguished combat veteran of three wars and a master parachutist, assumed command of the Americal following seven months as the commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division.
Brigadier General Roy L. Atteberry became the Assistant Division Commander (Support) on the last day of March.
Hiep Duc Rescue
Incoming small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, 60mm mortar fire and satchel charges erupted in the early morning hours of April 1, as an undetermined number of VC were repulsed following a futile attempt to penetrate Landing Zone Bayonet, headquarters of the 198th Infantry Brigade. Artillery, mortar and gun ships teamed up to saturate the outer perimeter of Bayonet with deadly fire.
In similar action, two platoons of Company B, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry fought off a fierce ground attack on Landing Zone Fat City, five miles northwest of Chu Lai the same morning.
On April 16, infantrymen of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, gun ships and ground troops of F Troop, 8th Cavalry, teamed up to bring down eight VC in an operation 11 miles northwest of Tam Ky.
The "Blue Ghost" infantry platoon was inserted into the area as Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry swept in from the other side. The "Blue Ghost" platoon made instant contact, killing two VC with small arms fire
Ninety NVA/VC were killed Friday, May 1 by the 2nd ARVN Division supported by an aeroscout company of the Americal's 123d Aviation Battalion.
After fierce fighting for two days, the ARVN unit re-claimed the resettlement village of Hiep Duc from the NVA, killing 44 of the enemy. According to an ARVN report, approximately 15% of the village had been destroyed by fire and several civilians had been killed by the enemy.
At mid-afternoon the same day, the 1st Company, 1st Battalion, 5th ARVN Regiment, waged a fierce battle with an unknown number of NVA. The fight resulted in 18 NVA killed. A search of the area exposed six enemy weapons.
The soaring temperatures of southern I Corps in June did not stop soldiers of the Americal's three brigades as they accounted for 184 enemy killed. The heaviest action of the month remained in the area 22 miles northwest of Tam Ky in Operation Frederick Hill. Soldiers of the 196th Brigade operating in that area were accredited with 60 enemy soldiers killed.
On June 5, Colonel John Insani became the Americal Division Chief of Staff, replacing Colonel Albert G. Hume.
During the latter part of June, a company of 11th Brigade soldiers uncovered one of the largest enemy rice caches ever found in the I Corps Tactical Zone. The men of Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, conducted an intensive, nine-day search operation that produced 97,500 pounds of enemy rice along the coastline, ten miles north of Duc Pho.
Brigadier General Theodore Mataxis became the Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver) on June 29, following Brigadier General Edwin L. Powell.
During the month of July units of the Americal Division, teamed with units of the 2nd ARVN Division, air assaulted the Kham Duc area near the Laotian border. The joint operation is establishing a fire base and reopening an airstrip at Kham Duc.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 196th Infantry was constituted in Buffalo, New York, on June 24, 1921. It was in the Organized Reserves as an organic element of the 98th Infantry Division.
The unit was ordered to active service on June 9, 1942. During World War II, the unit saw service in the Pacific Theater and occupation duty in Japan. It was inactivated at Osaka, Japan, on February 16, 1946.
Returning to a reserve status in 1947, the unit remained as part of the 98th Infantry Division (USAR) in New York state. On May 1, 1959, the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 196th Infantry Brigade and allotted to the Regular Army.
On September 15, 1956, the unit was reactivated as the 196th Light Infantry Brigade at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Included in this reactivation were the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry; 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry; 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry; and F Troop, 17th Cavalry. It was not until four years later, on July 1, 1969, that the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry became a part of the 196th Infantry Brigade.
The basic mission of the brigade at the time of its activation was to train the 2,000 recruits who would make up the unit, and to reach a combat-ready posture by May, 1966.
In April, 1967, the "Chargers" became part of the first U.S. Army troops in I Corps when they arrived in Chu Lai to join the newly formed Task Force Oregon. While carrying out their primary mission of securing the Chu Lai airfield complex, the brigade also conducted Operation Benton during August and September 1967. In September, 1967, Task Force Oregon was reconstituted and redesignated the Americal Division, and the 196th Light Infantry Brigade became an organic part of the Americal Division.
On November 25, 1967, the 196th Light Infantry Brigade departed the Chu Lai area and relieved the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. At the same time, the brigade continued Operation Wheeler/Wallowa which had begun earlier. This major operation did not end until November, 1968, one year after its initiation. During that time elements of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Division; 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry; and the 198th Light Infantry Brigade joined the 196th "Chargers" in southern Quang Nam and northern Quang Tin Provinces.
The heaviest engagement of 1969 in the Americal Division took place near Hiep Duc during August and September. The 196th Infantry Brigade achieved a stunning tactical and psychological victory by protecting the district of Hiep Duc and destroying two-thirds of the fighting units of the 2nd NVA Division.
The members of the 196th Infantry Brigade are known as the "Chargers".
The 1st Infantry Regiment dates back to 1791 when it was organized in New England. It is the second oldest unit in the Army.
The unit fought in many of the early Indian Wars as well as the War of 1812. There followed the Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish American War and the Philippine Insurrection.
When World War II broke out, the 1st infantry Regiment was part of the 6th Infantry Division. After extensive training in the United States, it was sent to New Guinea via Hawaii.
Since arriving in Vietnam, the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry has continued the fine tradition of the 1st Infantry Regiment. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, the "Legionnaires" moved into a defensive position south of Da Nang and within three days found and defeated the North Vietnamese Army elements trying to infiltrate and destroy that city.
Operation Golden Valley brought the unit into the beleaguered Special Forces camp of Kham Duc. The battalion was to assist in the evacuation of the small force to allow for heavy tactical air strikes.
The battalion, now headquartered on Landing Zone Hawk Hill, has been a charter member of the 196th Infantry Brigade since the brigade was activated.
The history of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, began during the early part of the Civil War, by proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. The unit was reorganized and redesignated as Company C, 21st Infantry, in December 1866, following the end of the war.
The 21st Infantry earned 11 streamers of battle during the Civil War. A cedar tree, commemorating the battle at Cedar Mountain, August, 1862, has become a part of the Regimental Coat of Arms.
Operating from a new headquarters at Camp Verde, Arizona, after the war the unit helped defend and stabilize the southwest frontier. The crest and the Coat of Arms shows four arrows for the Indian campaign.
The 21st Infantry added eight campaign streamers to its colors in Korea, and two Korean Presidential Citations.
On September 15, 1965, the 3rd Battalion was reactivated into the Regular Army at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and was then assigned to the newly formed 196th Infantry Brigade.
The official motto of the 21st Infantry is "DUTY", spelled out on the Coat of Arms. It represents everything that the 3rd Battalion of the 21st Infantry stands for.
The parent regiment of the contemporary 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry was constituted May 15, 1917 and organized June 4 of that year at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. The present day 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry was then known as Company A of the 10th Infantry Regiment.
In February, 1962 the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry was reorganized and assigned to the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas. In May, 1967, the unit was alerted for movement to Vietnam. During this period, it was nicknamed the "Professionals."
On November 5, 1968 the "Professionals" moved to Landing Zone Baldy, then headquarters for the 196th Infantry Brigade. The battalion was instrumental in destroying enemy forces and assisted in all-out pacification programs. In March, 1969, the unit moved to its present locations, Landing Zone Professional, named for the old 46th Regiment.
On July 1, 1969 after seven months of being under the operational control of the 196th Infantry Brigade, the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry became a member of that brigade.
The colorful "Foreign Legion" of the US Army began 44 years ago in the Philippine Islands when the new 31st Infantry was organized at Regan Barracks Camp McGrath and Fort William McKinely.
For a time, the 31st Regiment remained in barracks in Manila. Then it was ordered out to join the American Expeditionary Force to Siberia. Their mission was to help the Czarist White Army put down the Bolshevik Revolt.
In January, 1920, the American Expeditionary Force was withdrawn, and the 31st Infantry went back to Manila, and relative peace for two decades.
The Regiment was to suffer its worse days when the Japanese attacked the Philippines in December, 1941. The unit was sent to the beaches alongside the Philippine Army to repel a Japanese landing force. They were forced to withdraw to Bataan, fighting all the way. For its heroism the 31st Infantry was awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations and a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
In the fall of 1950, the unit helped recapture Seoul, capital of South Korea. The 31st Infantry suffered heavy casualties in the withdrawal back to the Pusan Line.
Then came the long way back north. With United Nation troop, the 31st Infantry carried their colors right back to the 38th parallel.
The 17th Cavalry was constituted in the Regular Army and organized July 1, 1916 at Fort Bliss, Texas. On September 26, 1921, the unit was inactivated at the Presidio of Monterey, California.
On July 1, 1940, the unit was redesignated the 17th Cavalry Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 17th Cavalry consolidated in March 1951 with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 17th Armored Cavalry Group. The remaining Troops of the unit were concurrently disbanded.
In May, 1959 the unit was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 17th Cavalry, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System.
On August 14, the Troop arrived at the Port of Vung Tau to find the Brigade would take up residence at the city of Tay Ninh approximately 60 miles northwest of Saigon. Combat operations commenced almost immediately with troop operation consisting mainly of route recons, night and fire support base security. In 1967 the unit became a part of the Americal Division.
Since its arrival in Vietnam, F Troop, 17th Cavalry and the 196th Infantry Brigade have continued to uphold the high traditions of the US Army and have participated in numerous combat operations which netted thousands of enemy dead.
The 198th Infantry Brigade was formed in the Organized Reserves in Erie County, Pennsylvania, on June 24, 1921. The unit became an organic element of the 99th Infantry Division.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 3rd Platoon of the 99th Cavalry Recon Troop, and on November 15, 1942 was ordered to active military service at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. During World War II, the troop fought with the 99th Infantry Division and received campaign credit for operations in the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. The troop was also cited by the Belgian Army for action at Elsenborn and in the Ardennes, and was awarded the Belgian Fourragere. The 99th Cavalry Recon Troop was inactivated on September 29, 1945 at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts, and assigned as a reserve component of the 99th Infantry Division.
On August 1, 1962, the 99th Cavalry Recon Troop was relieved from its assignment to the 99th Infantry Division and withdrawn from the Army Reserve. At the same time, the 3rd Platoon of the Troop was converted and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 198th Brigade, and allotted to the Regular Army. This, then was the unit which began training at Fort Hood in May 1967. During this training, jungle fighting techniques and air mobility were emphasized.
In October, 1967, the brigade shipped from Oakland, California, to Da Nang, Vietnam. After arriving in Da Nang, the "Brave and Bold" soldiers boarded troop ships for transportation to Chu Lai, where they arrived on October 22, 1967. Four days later they became a part of the reactivated Americal Division.
On March 18, 1969, the "Brave and the Bold" of the 198th Brigade and the 6th ARVN Regiment embarked upon Operation Geneva Park. The mission was to eliminate the enemy forces within the area of operation while stressing pacification and combined US/ARVN operations. This operation is still in progress.
The 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry was formed and activated on may, 15, 1917 at Chickamauga Park, Georgia as an Infantry Regiment. The original personnel came from the 11th Infantry Regiment. Shortly thereafter, the 52nd Infantry went overseas to France with the 6th Division as a part of the Allied Expeditionary Force of World War I. Upon the return of the 6th Infantry Division to the United States, the 52nd Infantry was inactivated for a short time.
On May 5, 1942, the 52nd Infantry was redesignated as an Armored Infantry Regiment, and on July 15, 1942 was assigned to the 9th Armored Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. The Battalion went overseas with the 9th Armored Division and fought valiantly in three campaigns in World War II. In October, 1945, the Battalion was again reorganized as the 11st Armored Infantry Battalion, 52nd Infantry. Upon redesignation, it was assigned to 71st Infantry Division and then later reassigned to the 9th Armored Division.
In May, 1969 the Battalion was assigned to the newly activated 198th Infantry Brigade as a regular infantry battalion (1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry).
During the period from September 30 to October 26, 1967, the Battalion conducted a permanent change of station movement from Fort Hood, Texas to the Republic of Vietnam with the 198th Infantry Brigade.
During the Vietnam campaign, the unit has distinguished itself in combat operations, destroying enemy bases of operation, capturing weapons and ammunition caches, and denying the enemy use of infiltration and logistical routes in the 1st Battalion, 52nd Infantry area of operations. The unit has maintained the high status of its motto: "Fortis et Certus, the Brave and the True."
In the spring of 1812, three months before war was declared, Congress constituted the infantry regiments. The first of the new regiments was designated the 11th. After the war, the Eleventh Regiment became the Sixth Infantry.
The sixth Infantry participated in eleven Indian campaigns, as well as the Mexican War.
In July, 1848 the Regiment's mission was in the West, protecting supply trains, scouting, and engaging the Indians. In March, 1862 the Regiment was committed to battle again, fighting as part of the Army of the Potomac, and earning seven additional battle streamers.
After the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, the 6th Infantry was sent to Cuba where it participated in the battle for Santiago.
In France during World War I, the regiment joined the 5th Division for battle in the Arnould Sector.
On May 17, 1967 the battalion was reorganized as a standard Infantry Battalion and was assigned to the 198th Infantry Brigade. the 6th Infantry was the first element ashore, arriving at Chu Lai in October to participate in its thirty-fifth campaign and ninth war.
After a brief initial operation south of Duc Pho, the Battalion was assigned the mission of securing the installation at Chu Lai.
The Regulars have participated in Task Force Oregon, Task Force Miracle, Operation Wheeler/Wallowa, Operation Burlington Trail, and has had the mission of protecting Americal Division Headquarters and Chu Lai Defense Command from enemy ground mortar and rocket attacks. The 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry has been awarded one Valorous Unit Citation for its victory at the battle of Lo Giang in 1968.
The 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry was originally constituted in May 1917 and formally activated in June of the same year at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, from elements of the 10th Infantry Regiment.
During World War II, the 46th Infantry Regiment became an Armored Infantry Battalion. The 46th Infantry served with the 5th Armored Division throughout the war, and before its deactivation in 1945, it had won five battle streamers. The unit was decorated with the Distinguished Unit Citation and the Luxembourg Croix de Guerre.
In January, 1968, the 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry received its redeployment orders and was assigned to the 198th Infantry Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, in March, 1968.
Since that time the unit has been engaged in combat operations. The men of the 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry are known as "The Professionals."
On May 10, 1967, the Department of Defense announced: "A new infantry brigade will be sent to Vietnam." The new unit, the 198th Infantry Brigade, was formed from units of the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions, Fort Hood, Texas. Of these units from "Hell on Wheels" and "Old Ironsides"., Troop H, 17th Cavalry was one. On October 22, 1967, Military Sea Transports brought the 198th and Troop H to Da Nang. Upon arrival, the troops and equipment boarded troop ships and headed for Chu Lai.
Troop H, 17th Cavalry is presently assigned to the 198th Infantry Brigade and operates in the Brigade's area of operation. The troop performs its mission with the goal of finding the enemy and defeating him wherever he is found. Its success has been proven in its outstanding record of accomplishments while serving with the Americal.
The 11th Infantry Brigade was originally organized in the Regular Army on December 4, 1917 at Camp Forrest, Georgia, as an element of the 6th Division and served as part of the division during World war I. The brigade was credited with two campaign participations during World War I - Alsace 1918 and Muese-Argonne.
After inactivation in 1921, the 11th Brigade was assigned on inactive status. The 11th Brigade was reconstituted on April 15, 1966 as a Regular Army unit, and was reactivated on July 1, 1966 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Under the new organization the 11th Brigade consisted of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry; 4th Battalion, 20th Infantry; and Troop E, 1st Cavalry.
Beginning in early 1967, the brigade trained extensively in jungle operations in preparation for commitment to Vietnam. To stress realism in the Vietnam-oriented tactical training, the brigade conducted "live-fire" operations in the rugged, thickly-vegetated terrain of Koolau Mountains on the island of Oahu,.
The advance party, consisting of 350 personnel with representation from all brigade units, departed Hawaii by aircraft on November 28, 1967, for Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Province, I Corps Tactical Zone, Republic of Vietnam.
Prior to joining the Americal Division, intensive in-country training was conducted for a month. Upon completion of this training, the 11th Infantry Brigade moved from Landing Zone Carentan to their permanent base camp and Landing Zone Bronco, near Duc Pho, in late January, 1968. A fourth infantry battalion, the 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, joined the "Jungle Warriors" in April, 1963. Successful operations during this time included Operation Norfolk Victory, Champagne Grove, and Vernon Lake II.
During these operations the brigade succeeded in destroying the enemy's major bases of operation, weapons and munitions caches, rice and salt caches, and interdicting his major infiltration and logistical routes.
The 11th Infantry Brigade is currently operating from five forward fire support bases, each strategically located to hinder the enemy's movement and interdict his traditional lines of infiltration.
The 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry was constituted March 3, 1791 in the Regular Army as a company of the 2nd Infantry. The unit has participated in the Indian Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection, World War II, and was activated July, 1966 in Hawaii to be assigned to the 11th Infantry Brigade in the Vietnam Campaign.
The battalion arrived in-country on December 22, 1967 landing at the Port of Qui Nhon after a 16 day trip by troop ship from Hawaii. The battalion's base camp is located at Fire Support Base Bronco in the southern portion of South Vietnam's I Corps.
The unit is organized as a lightly equipped quick reaction unit which can move by any means of transportation to meet and defeat the enemy in any environment.
The battalion motto "Semper Primus, Always First" describes the spirit and determination that have always been associated with the unit.
Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry were awarded over 2,000 medals during 1969. Nearly 500 awards were given for valorous actions.
The 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry has received the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and the Combat Infantry Streamer
The 20th Infantry was organized by direction of President Abraham Lincoln on May 14, 1861 as the 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry. During the Civil War, the unit fought under General Sykes' Division of Regulars in some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict. The 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry was redesignated as the 20th Infantry Regiment on September 21, 1866.
"Sykes' Regulars" continued their traditions of bravery in battles of the South American War, the Philippine Insurrection, World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict. The men of the unit carved their names in history fighting in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Caney and San Juan Hill, Manilla, New Guinea, Lone Tree Hill, Luzen, Blue Beach in Lingayen Gulf, Munez and Purple Heat Valley [sic], the bloodiest 6,000 yards of battle zone in the world.
The 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, "Sykes' Regulars," was reactivated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, July 1, 1966, and assigned to the 11th Infantry Brigade. Personnel and equipment were airlifted to either Da Nang of Chu Lai and subsequently airlifted to Duc Pho, Vietnam.
The 3rd Infantry's flag carries 39 battle streamers earned by its magnificent record of bravery in action.
Its colors have flown valiantly in virtually every war the United States has been involved.
The 3rd Infantry first saw action in 1794, when they defeated the Indians at the Battle of Fort Recovery in Ohio. The unit fought during the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars.
Today, the "Old Guard " is the only unit authorized to pass in review with fixed bayonets, an honor accorded it for gallantry during the Mexican War.
The unit also served with distinction in the Civil War, the War with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection and World War II.
In August, 1966, the 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry was activated at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, as part of the newly formed 11th Infantry Brigade.
The battalion arrived in Vietnam on December 15, 1967. Since that time unit has participated in exercises with the 198th Infantry Brigade and the 196th Infantry Brigade. Presently, the battalion holds the 11th Infantry brigade record for finding the largest weapons cache.
By a proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, the 21st Infantry was constituted on the rolls of the 12th Infantry Regiment and served throughout the Civil War.
The regiment next saw action in Cuba and touched foreign soil for the first time on June 20, 11898, at Santiago Harbor.
On November 1, 1967, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, the 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry was reactivated and on April 10, 1968, the battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. After 10 days of in-country training at the Americal Division Combat Center, the "Gimlets" joined the 11th Infantry Brigade at Fire Support Base Bronco, in Duc Pho.
In numerous combat actions in and around southern Quang Ngai Province the "Gimlets" wreaked havoc among the enemy and added substantially to their reputation as an efficient combat battalion.
For its valorous actions the 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry has been recommended for a Presidential Unit Citation.
Troop E, 1st Cavalry was first constituted March 2, 1833 as Company E, United States Regiment of Dragoons.
The unit has participated in the Mexican War, the Indian Wars, the Civil War, the War with Spain, World War II and Vietnam.
On December 6, 1967, Troop E, 1st Cavalry, departed Hawaii aboard the USS General William Weigel for the Republic of Vietnam. The main body arrived at Quin Nhon on December 21, 1967. Immediately thereafter, Troop E joined the 11th Infantry Brigade.
The unit's mission is to provide security and perform reconnaissance for the 11th Infantry Brigade and to engage in offensive, defensive or delaying action as an economy of force unit.
In that same month, Troop E received nine M551 Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicles and since then Troop E has been employed as an armor unit and has been engaged primarily in security missions. Though somewhat limited in mobility by the terrain in the 11th Brigade's area of operation, Troop E has proved the value of armor protected firepower on repeated occasions.
Chu Lai, South Vietnam is located 56 miles south of Da Nang on the South China Sea and serves as the headquarters of the Americal Division. The sprawling base complex utilizes some 17,000 men to provide the necessary logistical support to the infantrymen in the field.
During the formative stages of Task Force Oregon the 15th Support Brigade was deployed from Long Binh to Chu Lai in support of Task Force Oregon. On December 8, 1967, the Support Command 23rd Infantry Division, Americal, was activated to provide command and control of the division's support to organic and attached units.
Throughout the following year of 1968 and up to August 1969 the men of the command demonstrated unusual skill in providing combat service support for combat operations conducted by both organic units and those under the operational control of the Americal Division. Vehicles of the support command traveled in excess of 3,629,700 miles in support of operations during this period.
On April 21, 1969, responsibility for the defense of Chu Lai Base was assigned to the Americal Support Command. An immediate ground and aerial inspection revealed serious weaknesses in existing fortifications, barriers and fire support plans. Integrated artillery support and flareship support was immediately remedied. A self-help program was initiated on a crash basis to improve barriers and fortifications.
During the remainder of 1969, support command continued support of the Americal Division.
The Americal Division can feel certain that continued professional support will be provided by the Americal Division Support Command just as it has in the past.
The Headquarters & Headquarters Company was first constituted on May 24, 1942 in the Army of the United States as Headquarters, Americal Division.
The headquarters was activated on May 27, 1942 in New Caledonia, to head a reconstituted task force in New Caledonia.
In May, 1943, the headquarter was reorganized by a transfer of personnel and equipment from Headquarters, 51st Infantry Brigade to the Americal Division.
On September 10, 1945, the Americal Division landed in Japan and took part in the occupation of the Yokohama-Kawasaki-Yokosuka area. Elements began to leave and in December, 1945, and the unit was deactivated with the division in Seattle, Washington.
Nine years later, December, 1954, the force was redesignated as Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry Division Americal, and allotted to the Regular Army.
On September 25, 1967, the company was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Americal Division and activated in I Corps, Vietnam.
The Headquarters Company is situated in Chu Lai, and its main function is to coordinate the supply, maintenance and personnel aspects of the headquarters, enabling the Commanding General and Staff to form the policies for the largest division in Vietnam.
Since early in 1968, when it became fully operational as an element of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, & Band, Support Command, the Americal Division Band has been active in supporting both the Americal Division and it's sister-service elements of the Navy, Marines and Air Force. In addition to its primary function of providing appropriate military music for ceremonies and official functions, the band has been active in the area of troop entertainment by sending small popular and rock-style groups to the landing zones and fire bases. Maintaining morale of the troops in the field is possibly the most important function of the division band.
Personnel exchanges have taken place between the Americal Band and the 2nd ARVN Division Band of Quang Ngai Province. These exchanges, for short periods, enable members of both bands to learn more about each others' methods and ideas.
The efforts of the Americal Band have been, and will continue to be dedicated to the establishment of goodwill and understanding, and to support in every manner possible, the personnel of the Americal Division.
Company G (Ranger) 75th Infantry, the long range patrol company attached in direct support to the Americal traces its heritage to Detachment A (Long Range Patrol), which was activated on December 20, 1967 utilizing personnel from the existing long range patrol detachment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, and men with long range patrol experience from the 11th and 198th Light Infantry Brigades.
On December 12, 1968, Detachment A (LRP) was officially redesignated Company E, 51st Infantry (LRP). On February 21, 1969 the Department of the Army designated the 75th Infantry Regiment (Merill's Marauders of the China-Burma Theater Fame in World War II) as the parent organization for long range patrol units, and Company E, 51st Infantry (LRP) was officially redesignated Company G (Ranger) 75th Infantry.
The explicit ranger mission is to enter a specified area not under friendly control to observe and report enemy disposition, installations and activities; to locate potential landing and drop zones, and to request and adjust fires upon profitable enemy targets. The implied mission of Company G involves performing reconnaissance and surveillance and to determine enemy movement patterns.
Company G (Ranger) 75th Infantry, "The Eyes and Ears of the Americal," is a unit of proud heritage with a proud mission. And the soldiers of Company G enter the unit and accept this mission "Sua Sponte," Of Their Own Accord.
The 23rd Military Police Company was constituted April 3, 1943 as the Military Police Platoon, Americal Division. For its participation in World War II, the unit received three campaign ribbons, one with arrow head. The Platoon was inactivated following the armistice and remained so except for a short period in the mid 1950's. The Americal Division Military Police perform not only the well publicized police functions with which they are usually associated, but also a variety of other essential combat tasks. Specialists in the field of physical security survey units continually advise commanders of their findings. The military policemen provide general security of the division command post and the detaining and processing of enemy suspects. In coordination with local authorities they monitor and suppress black market activities. In the final result, the military policeman is called upon to be a soldier, diplomat, detective and clerk.
In September, 1943 Headquarters Special Troops, Americal Division was formed to be activated for service in the Pacific Theater against the enemy forces. This was the origin of the unit later to be designated the 23rd Administration Company. With the reduction of forces following the end of the war, the 23rd Infantry Division, Americal was inactivated.
In 1954 the unit was activated and designated as the 23rd Replacement Company, and began operation on December 2, 1954 at Coroyal in the Canal Zone. The 23rd served there for almost a year and a half before being deactivated in April 1956. The unit has been awarded a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered October 17, 1944 to July 4, 1945.
The 23rd Administration Company, Americal Division, came to Vietnam as Company A, 6th Support Battalion, 11th Infantry Brigade, serving with Task Force Oregon. When the Americal Division was reactivated in September, 1967, a cry went out for administrative assistance for what was to be the largest division in the Republic of Vietnam. On December 8, 1967, Company A, 6th Support Battalion, 11th Infantry Brigade was reconstituted and redesignated the 23rd Administration Company, Americal Division, and immediately took control of all the personnel that man all the eight different special staff sections at Division Headquarters.
"That Others May Live" is an appropriate motto for the 23rd Medical Battalion. The present 23rd Medical Battalion was constituted in January, 1941 in the Regular Army as the 53rd Medical Battalion. It was activated in February, 1941 at Camp Claibourne, Louisiana. The battalion was reorganized on February 25, 1944, with elements reorganized and redesignated: Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 53rd Medical Battalion, Companies A through C as 382nd through 384th Medical Collecting Companies respectively and Company D as 634th Clearing Company.
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment continued to serve in the European Theater until its inactivation on January 31, 1946 in Germany. Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment was reactivated in December 1948 in Okinawa and provided medical care until July, 1950 when it was inactivated in Okinawa.
On December 1, 1954 Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment was redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company 23rd Medical Battalion with its organic elements and was constituted in the Regular Army. The 23rd Medical Battalion was activated and assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division at Fort Clayton, Canal Zone. The 23rd Medical Battalion actively supported the 23rd Infantry Division in operations in the Canal Zone until its inactivation in April, 1956 at Fort Clayton, Canal Zone.
Headquarters and Headquarters Company 23rd Medical Battalion was redesignated on December 8, 1967 as Headquarters and Company A, 23rd Medical Battalion, and activated in Vietnam, (former organic elements remained inactive). Headquarters and Company A, 23rd Medical Battalion was reorganized, thus added three additional companies to the 23rd Medical Battalion, Headquarters and Company A remained in Chu Lai, Company B was located at Landing Zone Bronco, Company C was located at Landing Zone Baldy and Company D was located at Landing Zone Mudd.
It is noted with interest that except for its original activation on February 10, 1941 at Camp Claibourne, Louisiana, the 23rd Medical Battalion has never been assigned nor served within the limits of the Continental United States.
63rd Inf Plat.
In May, 1967 the 10th Combat Tracker Team was attached to the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, after having trained at the British Jungle Warfare School in Malaysia. The 10th Combat Tracker Team was redesignated on March 15, 1968 as the 63rd Infantry Platoon Combat Trackers, and has remained the 63rd Infantry Platoon Combat Trackers to the present.
The unit is composed of five Combat Tracker Teams and a platoon of mine and tunnel dogs. The combat tracker team consists of a team leader, visual tracker, dog and dog handler, coverman and a Kit Carson Scout. The dog handler trains with his black labrador retriever at Fort Gordon and is then shipped overseas with his dog.
The Combat Tracker Team has three field missions in the Americal Division. The first mission is to reestablish contact with the enemy when contact is made and broken. The second is local area reconnaissance, thus being able to alert small unit leaders as to new changes in the area of operation. The third is that of training selected personnel in the art of visual tracking.
The 23rd Supply and Transport Battalion was constituted April 13, 1944, in the Army of the United States, as the 683rd Quartermaster Base Depot Company. The unit served through World War II earning the Meritorious Unit Commendation decoration.
The 23rd Quartermaster Company was redesignated on December 8, 1967 as Headquarters Company 23rd Supply and Transport Battalion and was made up of personnel from the 94th Supply and Service Battalion, which was previously deployed at Vung Tau, Vietnam. The battalion was constituted in the Regular Army and concurrently activated in Chu Lai, Vietnam. The 23rd Supply and Transport Battalion's mission is to provide direct support to the Americal Division.
During the period December, 1967 through April 1970, the battalion supported as many as five brigades of various makeup in the Southern I Corps Tactical Zone. In addition, the battalion assumed the continual area support mission for all US Army troops in the Chu Lai area. As a result, the battalion performed many missions both in degree as well as in scope, which were never envisioned as a requirement for a divisional support unit.
On February 25, 1967, General Orders Number 1398 authorized the establishment of the Americal Combat Center, to provide training to newly arriving Americal Division soldiers.
On December 17, 1967, formal replacement training commenced at the Combat Center. The replacement training course lasts six days and is climaxed by a live night patrol and ambush.
A Combat Leadership Course was initiated in January, 1968. The purpose of the Leadership Course is to provide more advanced training for the squad leader and prospective squad leaders in the junior enlisted grades. The distinguished graduate and two honor graduates of the course receive one grade promotions.
The Center provides training in a wide variety of subjects to prepare the Americal soldier for the job ahead.
The Chu Lai Defense Command was originally organized as a part of the 1st Marine Division. Control was relinquished to Task Force Oregon upon its arrival to Chu Lai. The mission of the Chu Lai Defense Command is to coordinate all measures incident to the ground defense of the Chu Lai Defense Sector, and exercise operation control of all forces assigned to the defensive subsections by Commanding General Americal Division, for installation defense. In order to carry out its mission CLDC has had to monitor many construction projects, such as, maintaining 160 perimeter bunkers, 21 observation towers, security roads to allow access to all areas of Chu Lai Combat Base and lighting for all portions of the perimeter.
The 16th Combat Aviation Group was first activated and organized on December 20, 1967 and became operational on January 1968, at the Marine Marble Mountain Air Facility, DaNang. This was just one week before the 1968 Tet Offensive exploded throughout Vietnam. The 16th Group, as their motto implies, was truly "Born in Battle." Originally part of the 1st Aviation Brigade, the 16th CAG was attached to the Americal Division on December 1, 1968.
Operations during 1969 and up to the present have centered around the support of the Americal's 196th, 198th, and 11th Infantry Brigades and the 2nd ARVN Division with the main obligations being: resupply, combat assaults and gunship support. Currently, the 335th Transportation Company is providing direct support and back up direct support to seven types of divisional and non-divisional army aircraft. With courage and determination and the professional competence of its subordinate units, the 16th Combat Aviation Group supports the Americal in I Corps.
14th Avn Bn
The 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, only a little over five years old, has a short but diverse history, having served all but two months of its existence in Vietnam.
The unit was constituted September 2, 1964 and activated the following day at Fort Benning, Georgia for ultimate assignment to Vietnam.
The 14th Combat Aviation Battalion moved to its present location in Chu Lai in mid April 1967 to support Task Force Oregon. At that time the 282nd and 196th Aviation Companies were replaced by the 71st Assault Helicopter company and the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company respectively.
1967 found the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion supporting operations for armies of three nations: the US forces, the Korean 9th (White Horse) Division and the 22nd ARVN Division. With the addition of the 132nd Assault Support Helicopter Company in 1969 the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion now holds the distinction of being the largest aviation battalion operating in Vietnam with close to 1,600 personnel and 129 aircraft.
123rd Avn Bn
The 123rd Aviation Battalion was activated on December 8, 1967 from a nucleus formed by the old 161st Aviation Company. The 406 Transportation Corps Detachment and the 449th Signal Detachment, which had supported the 161st Aviation Company, were reassigned and attached to the 123rd Aviation Battalion in January 1968. During 1968, the 123rd Aviation Battalion compiled an impressive record. Company A supported the Americal's ground units by hauling 1,482 tons of cargo in over 3,736 sorties and in the process killed over twenty VC/NVA and medevaced over ninety-four persons. Company B learned their tactical lessons well, killing over seven hundred VC/NVA in 27,510 sorties.
On December 15, 1968, the 123rd Aviation Battalion was attached to the 16th Combat Aviation Group. January, 1969, two CH-47 units, the 132nd Assault Support Helicopter Company and the 178th Assault Helicopter, were attached to the battalion. A short period after this reorganization the 406th Transportation Corps Detachment and the 449th Signal Detachment were deactivated.
The 123rd Aviation Battalion has three air Cavalry units. The three units, Company B, F Troop 8th Cavalry and D Troop 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, are used to support each of the three infantry brigades in the Americal Division. Assets from the 123rd Aviation Battalion have been involved in every major operation that the Americal Division has undertaken since January, 1968.
The 723rd Maintenance Battalion was constituted April 3, 1943, in the Army of the United States as the 721st Ordinance Light Maintenance Company and assigned to the Americal Division.
The unit was activated in May, 1943 in the Fiji Islands and served throughout World War II, earning the following decorations: the Presidential Unit Citation, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
On May 16, 1966 the unit was recalled into action as the 188th Maintenance Battalion.
During August, 1966 the Headquarters and Main Support Company was alerted for movement to Vietnam. The advance party arrived at Long Binh during November, 1966 and was quickly followed by the main body of the battalion. The battalion became fully operational at Chu Lai on May 9, 1967.
On February 15, 1969 the Americal Division was reorganized and the three support battalions which had serviced the three light infantry brigades of the division were inactivated. The supply and maintenance companies of each of these support battalions were redesignated as Forward Support Companies and assigned to the 723rd Maintenance Battalion.
The 26th Engineer Battalion (Combat) was constituted as a unit of the Regular Army on December 1, 1954 and on December 2, 1954 was activated as an element of the 23rd Infantry Division at Fort Clayton, Canal Zone. At that time, the Battalion was composed of Company A which was organized February 1, 1945 as the 2920th Dump Company, Company B and Headquarters Company, the initial organization for each, and Company C which was organized on April 7, 1944 as the 406th Engineer Combat Company. The 26th Engineer Battalion (Combat) was inactivated on April 10, 1956.
On December 8, 1967, in the Republic of Vietnam, the 26th Engineer Battalion (Combat) was again activated as the organic combat engineer battalion of the 23rd Infantry Division (Americal).
The 26th Engineer Battalion is composed of four Combat Engineer line companies, a Float Bridge Company, and a Headquarters and Headquarters Company. Company A was formerly the 175th Engineer Company, organic to the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. Its headquarters is now at Fire Support Base Hawk Hill in direct support of the 196th Infantry Brigade. Company B was the 555th Engineer Company, organic to the 198th Light Infantry, and Company C was formerly the 6th Engineer Company, 11th Light Infantry Brigade. Company B now continues its direct engineer support to the 198th Infantry Brigade with headquarters at Landing Zone Bayonet. Company C remains with the 11th Infantry Brigade at Fire Support Base Bronco in Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam. Company D was formed primarily from elements of Company B, 39th Engineer Battalion (Combat) which was attached to the Americal Division at the time of activation. The 554th Engineer Company (Float Bridge) was transferred from the 39th Engineer Battalion (Combat) and redesignated Company E, 26th Engineer Battalion (Combat). Headquarters Company was formed from elements of the USARV Engineer Command.
The origins of the 423rd Signal Battalion reach back to World War II where it was first constituted February 29, 1944 in the Army of the United States as the 3132nd Signal Service Company. It participated in a number of significant operations in the European theater to include the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns.
After the conclusion of World War II the unit underwent numerous activations, inactivation and redesignation. In 1954 it was redesignated as the 123rd Signal Company assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division and activated at Fort Clayton, Canal Zone. It was activated again on April 25, 1960 in Korea.
The unit was reorganized and redesignated as the 509th Signal Battalion (Support) at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in the summer of 1966. Consisting only of a headquarters element, the 509th joined USARV at An Khe in early 1967. In May of that year the 509th was assigned to provide communications for Task Force Oregon.
Once in Chu Lai the battalion began establishing VHF communications to the 196th Light Infantry Brigade in Quang Tin and Quang Ngai, the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry in southern Quang Ngai, and the 101st Airborne in Duc Pho. It also established an HF system to Da Nang and Cam Ranh Bay, a teletype network and switchboard operations [sic].
In February, 1969 the 523rd Signal Battalion was reorganized. As a result of the reorganization all 12-channel VHF communications were operated and maintained by elements of the 523d Signal Battalion and managed by its systems control arm
The 523rd Signal battalion has provided extensive communications capabilities during the several operations conducted by various units of the Americal. The unit supports the operations with a communications center switchboard, VHF and HF communications.
The 523rd Signal Battalion currently operates a completely modern Signal Center, a Division Communications Center, a Combat Photographic Laboratory, and the Chu Lai switchboard systems.
The largest Division Artillery in the United States Army, comprised of more than 4,000 men, is located in the southern I Corps of South Vietnam.
In December, 1968, artillery in the Americal Division was combined to work under the command of Division Artillery Headquarters. Prior to this time, direct support battalions had been assigned to each of the three infantry brigades in the division. General supporting artillery fires were controlled through Division. Unique in its organization, Division Artillery now is comprised of three direct support (105T) battalions and three general support battalions with 155mm howitzers, 8-inch howitzers, and 175 mm guns.
The artillery pieces under the direction of Division Artillery are spread throughout the Division Tactical Area of Operation. They have provided timely and accurate fires in support of the 11th, 196th, and 198th Brigades of the Americal Division, the 2nd Republic of Korea (ROK) Brigade, the 2nd ARVN Division, Provincial and District forces, Marine Civil Action Patrol teams, the 1st Marine Division, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
The most complicated and critical section of Division Artillery is found at the Division Tactical Operations Center and is called the Fire Support Element (FSE). The FSE is responsible for coordinating all naval gunfire, Army, Air Force and Marine air strikes, along with artillery pieces throughout the division. Plotting targets, clearing grids, and massing fires, day and night the FSE provides the most effective use of the myriad of firepower available.
The 16th Field Artillery Regiment was constituted by an act of Congress on June 3, 1916 and activated at Camp Robinson, Wisconsin on May 21, 1917.
After training the unit boarded a transport ship at Hoboken, New Jersey, on May 10, 1918 enroute to Europe and World War I. Upon arrival in France, the unit was equipped with horse drawn French 75 mm guns and attached to the 80th Infantry Division.
The first shot was fired by A Battery on August 5, 1918 from the woods near Chateau des Bryners, France. After the Armistice was signed in November 1918 the unit became part of the occupation force.
In December 1944 the 16th Artillery was attached to Combat Arm Bravo at St. Vith, France and assisted in the repulse of the German Army in the ""Battle of the Bulge". The 16th Artillery was inactivated in Europe following the War in 1946.
In the early Spring of 1967 the 16th Artillery received orders for Vietnam. On May 24, 1967 the Advanced Party arrived at Chu Lai and was attached to Task Force Oregon as the first unit from the United States to arrive to join other units already in Vietnam.
The 16th Artillery fired its 500,000th round on September 21, 1969 and as of February, 1970 fired 558,550 rounds.
The 3rd Battalion 18th Artillery was organized in the Regular Army on June 1, 1917 at Fort Bliss, Texas, as Battery C, 18th Field Artillery. The Battalion was assigned to the 3rd Division during World War I. For its outstanding record the battalion was awarded the "French Croix de Guerre." From the citation accompanying this award came the battalion motto "Through Difficulties to the Stars."
On October 23, 1965 the battalion arrived in Vietnam. Initially it was assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry Division.
In April, 1967 the battalion arrived at Chu Lai from An Khe with the mission of general support of Task Force Oregon. In February, 1968 the 3rd Battalion 18th Artillery was assigned to the Americal Division where it is currently located. For Service during 1965 and 1967 A and B Battery were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (Navy)),.
The 3rd Battalion 18th Artillery still has General Support mission for the Americal Division. The battalion has supported by artillery fire every operation conducted by the Americal Division since its arrival at Chu Lai.
The unit was first organized on June 5, 1917, when it was activated as Troops A and B, 24th Cavalry at Fort D. A. Russell in Wyoming.
The unit was renamed Battery A, 82nd Artillery Battalion and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division on September 9, 1921. Within a short time after than, the 1st of the 82nd became a separate unit attached to the 1st Cavalry. The battalion saw extensive action during World War II, when it again served with the 1st Cavalry Division in the Pacific campaign.
The 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery also played a key role in Korea, during that conflict, when it again served as a subordinate unit of the 1st Cavalry Division.
On January 10, 1968, the 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery was reactivated and attached to Fort Lewis, Washington.
Arriving in Vietnam on July 24, 1968 the unit was assigned the mission of providing general support for the 11th and 198th Infantry Brigades of the Americal Division.
During the 1st Battalion, 82nd Artillery's first year, it compiled one of the finest combat records ever amassed by a field artillery battalion in the Republic of Vietnam.
The 3rd Battalion 82nd Artillery, better known as the "Flying Red Horsemen." was first organized in June, 1917 at Fort Russell, Wyoming as Troops E and F of the 24th Cavalry. In 1918 they were redesignated Battery C, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment and were assigned to the 15th Cavalry Division. With the start of World War II in 1941, the 3rd Battalion 82nd Artillery went to support the 1st Cavalry Division on the Los Negros Islands. The unit participated in a total of four campaigns in World War II, earning a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. During the Korean Conflict, the unit participated in seven campaigns, receiving the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and Bravery Gold Medal of Greece for the action in Korea. In 1957 the unit was deactivated. In September 1965 the unit was called to active duty at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, and was designated as the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Artillery (105) and placed in support of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. In August 1966, the "Flying Red Horsemen" and the "Chargers" arrived in Vietnam. The battalion landed at Vung Tau and was immediately airlifted to Tay Ninh where the first base camp was constructed.
During World War II the 55th and 29th Artillery Regiments saw extensive action on both fronts. The 55th Artillery, while serving in Europe, earned the Distinguished Unit Citation in the Ardennes as well as other honors in the Pacific. The crest, depicting the highly effective fire-arrow of pregun powder days, is an allusion to the highly effective fire of the unit's Quad .50 machine guns today.
The crest of the 29th Artillery alludes to the units landing on the beaches of Normandy, for which it was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. In this seaborne assault, the 29th Artillery was part of Combat Team 8, the first to land in the VII Corps sector on the Allied right flank.
Since its arrival in Vietnam, Battery G (Machine Gun) 55th Artillery has been providing convoy security, combat assault support and perimeter defense to all organic artillery and infantry units within the Americal Division area of operations. Battery G (Searchlight) 29th Artillery was assigned to the 108th Field Artillery Group, Under operational control of Americal Division Artillery and has been providing target acquisition and battlefield illumination with 125,000,000 candlepower, 23 inch Xenon searchlights. Both units have had elements on 25 fire support bases throughout the Americal Division area of operations.
During June, 1969 3rd Platoon/Battery G 29th Artillery (Searchlight) was attached to Battery G 55th Artillery (Machine Gun). The platoon continued to enhance the security of isolated fire bases, provide target acquisition, and navigation aids. When co-located with the Quad. 50's immediate engagement was possible during attack.
Currently, in addition to normal duties, both units have begun new programs to further enhance their effectiveness. Battery G 29th Artillery has been extremely successful marking targets and gun runs at night when teamed up with Cobra gun ships. Battery G 55th Artillery, under the auspices of the 198th Infantry Brigade, has initiated an extensive program of indirect fire into suspected enemy locations. To date the "Quads" have expended over 4,500,000 rounds since arriving in Vietnam and have combat assaulted on numerous occasions in direct support of Americal infantry and artillery men.
The 1st Battalion 14th Artillery was organized in the Regular Army in December, 1934 at Fort Riley, Kansas as Battery A, 14th Field Artillery. The battalion was deactivated in July, 1936 and remained so until July, 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia and was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division.
The battalion has six campaign streamers on its colors from World War II. The unit was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for heroic action in Normandy, when for 22 days the unit fired and average of one round per minute.
In mid-1950 the 14th Artillery sent one complete firing battery to the Korean effort. This battery, formed mostly from Battery B, was designated the 14th Provisional Battery.
In late 1963 and 1964 the battalion participated in three major Army maneuvers; Big Lift, Long Thrust X and Desert Strike. Big Lift and Long Thrust tested the unit's ability to move quickly and reinforce the NATO forces in Europe. In a matter of hours the members of the 14th Artillery were in the Federal Republic of Germany.
On July 3, 1967, the 14th Artillery left the 2nd Armored Division and became part of the newly formed 198th Light Infantry deployment to Southeast Asia. The units as a part of the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, deployed (to) the Republic of South Vietnam on October 6, 1967. Its record in Vietnam has been outstanding.
"Ex Hoc Signo Victoria, In This Sign Victory", the motto of the 1st Battalion 14th Artillery, truly describes the Battalion.
The 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery was originally organized on June 1, 1917 in the Regular Army at Douglas, Arizona as Battery F, 11th Field Artillery. In November of that year it was assigned to the 6th Division. In March 1921 the unit was reassigned to the Hawaiian Division. It stayed with the Hawaiian Division until October, 1941, when it moved from beautiful Hawaii to Korea and was assigned to the 6th Division. In March 1921 the unit was reassigned to the Hawaiian Division. It stayed with the Hawaiian Division until October, 1941, when it moved from beautiful Hawaii to Korea and was assigned to the 24th Infantry Division.
During World War II, this artillery unit participated in five major battle campaigns and during the Korean conflict, the 6th Battalion of the 11th Artillery participated in eight major campaigns.
The hard-fighting 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery made itself known all over the world, earning the Presidential Unit Citation (Army), Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (PYONGTAEK), and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation (KOREA).
Turmoil in Southeast Asia sent the battalion to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii in March, 1967. After the completion of training, the main body of the 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery arrived in Vietnam on December 19, 1967 as an organic unit of the 11th Infantry Brigade.
From the time of arrival in the Republic of Vietnam the men of the "On Time" 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery have taken part in six major campaigns.
Wars are won by teamwork-- Artillery and Infantry are a winning combination; so is the 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery and the men of the 11th Infantry Brigade.
More than 130 years of service is the proud heritage of the First Cavalry Regiment, the oldest regiment of cavalry in the United States Army and the first regiment of cavalry to be completely mechanized.
The cavalry traces its history to 1833, when, as a result of the need for a mounted force to protect the pioneers who were pushing westward across the Mississippi River into the Indian country, Congress authorized the organization of "The United States Regiment of Dragoons," which became the "First Regiment of Dragoons" in 1836 and the "First Regiment of Cavalry" in 1861.
Troops A, B, C, D, and E with Regimental Headquarters were organized at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri in the summer and fall of 1833, and marched from there to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. They were joined at Fort Gibson in the spring of 1834 by Troops F, G, H, I, and K, which had also been organized at Jefferson Barracks. The Regiment soon found itself scattered along the Indian frontier through Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota, living the hard life of the pioneer. The Regiment participated in the Mexican War.
Located in Arizona and on the Pacific Coast at the Civil War, the regiment joined the Army of the Potomac and fought with that army in all of its principal battles. With the close of the Civil War, the regiment resumed its Indian campaigns, fighting Apaches in Arizona and various other tribes throughout the west.
From its far western posts, the Regiment was assembled at Chickamauga for the Spanish-American War, took part in that war and the Philippine Insurrection that followed, and returned to the United States in 1903.
It served on the Mexican border during World War I and in 1933 was the first cavalry regiment to be completely mechanized, being designated the First Armored Regiment (L) in 1940, and became part of the First Armored Division stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
In 1942 the regiment was deployed to Ireland with the 1st Armored Division and subsequently fought throughout North Africa and Italy. After World War II, the regiment was reorganized as the 1st Tank Battalion and later converted to the 1st Constabulary Squadron, serving on occupation duty in Germany until December, 1948, when it was inactivated.
Reactivated as the 1st Medium Tank Battalion in March, 1951 at Fort Hood, Texas, the regiment served with Combat Command A, 1st Armored Division, until February, 1962 when the remainder of the 1st Armored Division was reactivated. At this time the regiment was redesignated as the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, and resumed its historic role as the "eyes and ears" of its parent organization.
During October, 1962, as result of the Cuban Crisis, the Squadron moved to Fort Stewart, Georgia with other elements of the Division. As the world situation eased, the Squadron participated in mobility exercises and amphibious training at Port Everglades, Florida. During the spring of 1963 the Squadron took part in exercise "Swift Strike," and then returned to Fort Hood.
In March, 1967, the Squadron was alerted for movement to Vietnam. From March to August of that year, the squadron trained daily in all phases of squad, platoon, troop and squadron operations.
Upon their arrival in Vietnam in August, 1967, the 1st Squadron 1st Cavalry was deployed in I Corps Tactical Zone around Chu Lai. The squadron was committed to battle two days after its arrival and has been in the field operating against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong continuously since that time.
COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE - Authorized to each individual for each separate war in which the following requirement has been met; personnel who have satisfactorily performed duty while assigned or attached as a member of an infantry unit of brigade or smaller size during any period such unit was engaged in active ground combat.
PHILIPPINE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION - For participation in World War II, the personnel assigned to and present for duty in the Philippine Islands with the Americal Division during the period of December 7, 1941 to May 10, 1942, or October 17, 1944 to July 4, 1945.
ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN MEDAL - Awarded for service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946, with one bronze service star for each campaign. The arrowhead is awarded for participation in a combat parachute jump, combat glider landing or amphibious assault landing.
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION (NAVY) - Awarded during World War II for outstanding gallantry and determination in successfully executing forced landing assaults against a number of strongly defended positions on Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, Florida and Guadacanal, British Solomon Islands.
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL - Awarded for service in the Republic of Vietnam, with one service star for each campaign.
Staff Sergeant Jessie R. Drowley Company B, 132rd Infantry, United States Army, distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at Bougainville, Solomon Islands, 30 January 1944. Sergeant Drowley, a squad leader in a platoon, saw three members of the assault company fall badly wounded. When intense hostile fire prevented aid from reaching the casualties he fearlessly rushed forward to carry the wounded to cover. After rescuing two men Sergeant Drowley discovered an enemy pillbox undetected by assault tanks, that was inflicting heavy casualties upon the attacking force. Delegating the rescue of the third man to an assistant, he ran across open terrain to one of the tanks. Signalling to the crew, he climbed to the turret, exchanged his weapons for a submachine gun, and voluntarily rode the deck of the tank, directing it toward the pillbox by tracer fire. The tank, continually under heavy enemy fire, continued to within 20 feet of the pillbox where he received a severe bullet wound in the chest. He again was wounded by small-arms fire, losing his left eye, and falling to the ground. He remained alongside the tank until the pillbox had been completely demolished and another, directly behind the first, destroyed. Sergeant Drowley, his voluntary mission successfully accomplished, returned alone for medical treatment.
Captain James A. Taylor (then First Lieutenant), Armor, was serving as Executive Officer of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, on 9 November 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam. His troop was engaged in an attack on a fortified position west of Que Son when it came under intense enemy recoilless rifle, mortar, and automatic weapons fire from an enemy strong point located immediately to its front. One armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit immediately by recoilless rifle fire and all five members were wounded. Aware that the stricken vehicle was in grave danger of exploding, Captain Taylor rushed forward and personally extracted the wounded to safety despite the hail of enemy fire and exploding ammunition. Within minutes a second armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit by multiple recoilless rifle rounds. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire, Captain Taylor moved forward on foot to rescue the wounded men from the burning vehicle and personally removed all the crewmen to the safety of a nearby dike. Moments later the vehicle exploded. As he was returning to his vehicle, a bursting mortar round painfully wounded Captain Taylor, yet he valiantly returned to his vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation landing zone to an area closer to the front lines. As he was moving his vehicle, it came under machine gun fire from an enemy position not fifty yards away. Captain Taylor engaged the position with his own machine gun, killing the three man crew. Upon arrival at the new evacuation site, still another vehicle was struck. Once again Captain Taylor rushed forward and pulled the wounded from the vehicle, loaded them aboard his vehicle, and returned them safely to the evacuation site.
Staff Sergeant Nicky D. Bacon distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a squad leader with the 1st Platoon, Company B, 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, Americal Division during an operation west of Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam, on 26 August 1968. When Company B came under fire from an enemy bunker line to the front, Sergeant Bacon quickly organized his men and led them forward in an assault. He advanced on a hostile bunker and destroyed it with grenades. As he did so, several fellow soldiers, including the 1st Platoon leader, were struck by machine gun fire and fell wounded in an exposed position forward of the rest of the platoon. Sergeant Bacon immediately assumed command of the platoon and assaulted the hostile gun position, finally killing the enemy gun crew in a single-handed effort. When the 3rd Platoon moved to Sergeant Bacon's location, its leader was also wounded. Without hesitation Sergeant Bacon took charge of the additional platoon and continued the fight. In the ensuing action he personally killed four more enemy soldiers and silenced an antitank weapon. Under his leadership and example, the members of both platoons accepted his authority without question. Continuing to ignore the intense hostile fire, he climbed up on the exposed deck of a tank and directed fire into the enemy position while several wounded men were evacuated. As a result of Sergeant Bacon's extraordinary efforts, his company was able to move forward, eliminate the enemy positions, and rescue the men trapped to the front.
Above and beyond the call of duty...
Corporal Michael J. Crescenz, Company A, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, displayed a great courage when his unit engaged a large and well entrenched force of NVA regulars in the Republic of Vietnam. On Nui Chom at 0815 on 20 November 1968, the enemy opened fire with automatic weapons and machine guns on the advancing platoon killing their point man with the initial burst of fire and pinning down the lead squad. The advance of Company A was stopped at this point by a well fortified enemy. At the time Corporal Crescenz who was relatively safe in the middle of his platoon seized the nearest machine gun and charged up the hill into the intense enemy fire with complete disregard for his own safety. He assaulted the first enemy bunker and succeeded in killing two NVA and then assaulted the second bunker while dodging a hail of bullets. He entered the second position killing two more NVA. Courageously Corporal Crescenz still moved forward. Machine gun fire hit all around him as he resolutely continued up the hill, firing his M-60 machine gun. He succeeded in silencing the third bunker and killing two more of the enemy. The way was now thought to be clear for the advance of his fellow soldiers. However, intense enemy machine gun fire opened up from a previously unseen bunker. Realizing the danger to his comrades, Corporal Crescenz with his machine gun under his arm advanced on the fourth NVA position. The position poured heavy fire at him but he continued firing at the enemy. When he was about five meters from the bunker, he was mortally wounded by the NVA.
Above and beyond the call of duty...
Sergeant Lester R. Stone, Jr. distinguished himself on 3 March 1969 while serving as a squad leader of the first platoon of Company B, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade. On that date, the first platoon was on a combat patrol just west of Landing Zone Liz when it came under intense automatic weapons and grenade fire from a well concealed company size force of North Vietnamese Regulars. Observing the platoon machinegunner fall critically wounded, Sergeant Stone rushed into the open area to the side of his injured comrade. Utilizing the machine gun, Sergeant Stone remained in the exposed area to provide cover fire for the wounded soldier who was being pulled to safety by another member of the platoon. With enemy fire impacting all around him, Sergeant Stone encountered a malfunction in the machine gun preventing him from firing the weapon automatically. Displaying extraordinary courage under the most adverse conditions, Sergeant Stone repaired the weapon and continued to place effective suppressive fire on the enemy positions which enabled the rescue to be completed. In a desperate attempt to overrun his position, an enemy force left their cover and charged Sergeant Stone. Disregarding the danger involved Sergeant Stone rose to his knees and began placing intense fire on the enemy at point blank range, killing six of the insurgents before falling mortally wounded. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire unit and he was responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers.
As we look over this quiet and Christian scene, so peaceful now in the morning light, these brave and dauntless dead seem to answer us and say: "Grieve not: We have lived to the full our youthful lives and are satisfied that our sacrifices and efforts will make for a better world among men. We fought to preserve forever those ideals, institutions and freedoms, which in the privacy of our hearts we call America."
From an address on Memorial Day, 1944 given at the U.S. Military Cemetery on Bougainville by Major General Robert B. McClure, then commander of the Americal Division.
MG A.E. Milloy/Commanding General
MAJ William F. Gabella/Information Officer
1LT Leland R. Smith/Officer-in-Charge
1LT Joseph H. Walker/Editor
SP4 Thomas H. Dreesen/Design & Layout
PFC Joel Andrewjeski/Illustrator
SSG Timothy Palmer - SSG Lloyd E. Perkins/Photographers
Acknowledgements - CPT John House/Division Historian
523rd Signal Bn. Phot Lab
The Americal History is published by the Information Office, Americal Division, APO San Francisco 96374. Views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of the Army.
For those who have died..
We will keep the fight and we ask Almighty God for a share of their strength, loyalty, bravery and willingness for self-sacrifice. If we can thus infuse ourselves with the essence of their spirit, they will truly never die, but will live forever with us, strengthening and guiding us in the fight ahead. Then we will be loyal to these gallant men and we pledge to them that they have not died in vain for America. Battles are won by those who fall.
The Americal Crest
The Americal Division crest or badge is symbolic of the division's past service. The saltire or cross of St. Andrew alludes to New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific where the division was created and first activated on May 27, 1942. The cross and four stars form a "Southern Cross", referring to the division's shoulder sleeve insignia and the Pacific theater area in which the men of the Americal initially served. The anchor refers to the Presidential Unit Citation (Navy) awarded to the division for Guadalcanal. The arrowhead and Philippine sun at the top symbolize the assault landing in the Southern Philippines and the award of the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. The unsheathed sword with point to the top refers to the Americal's service in Vietnam.