Newspaper Articles Printed and Not Printed for 50th Anniversary Reunion

Posted on July 14, 2015

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I had submitted an article I had written about the 1/9th Cavalry to all of the Newspapers in Columbus, Georgia prior to the 50th Anniversary Reunion. I am sorry to say it not published in any of the newspapers. However, we were lucky enough to have a writer, Ben Wright, from the Ledger-enquirer to call us to do an interview. He talked to myself, Major Billie Williams, Charlie Troop Commander and Cpt Chuck Knowlen. A reference was made to the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry and Gen Hal Moore’s and Joe Galloway’s book “we Were Soldiers Once and Young. I want to thank Ben Wright for at least calling us for an interview although I think a face to face, person to person, interview might have been better.

Here is the News Release that I wrote up and submitted to all of the papers in the Columbus, Georgia. Not one of them printed it. Maybe it was to long:

1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) 1965

On July 3, 1965, here at Fort Benning, Georgia the 1St Cavalry Division’s (Airmobile) Colors were uncased and the Division became the first Airmobile unit in the United States Army. This was a new concept that had never been used in a warfare situation. On July 28, 1965, with the words, “Today I have ordered to Vietnam the Airmobile Division”, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent the First Cavalry Division (AM) into battle against the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong Armies.

Leading the way for the First Cavalry Division (AM) was the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment. The mission of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment was to be the Division’s “Eyes and Ears”. It was the Division’s Reconnaissance unit. It was to “Search out the Enemy, “Fix it’s location” and to “Annihilate” it either though organic assets, directing Artillery and/or Air Strikes or by inserting larger “Friendly” forces.

The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment was led by LTC John B. Stockton. His call sign ( a moniker used to identify a person without using name or rank) was Bullwhip 6. Therefore the squadron was known as the Bullwhip Squadron which is still used today by the men who went to Vietnam in 1965 and many more.

The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment consisted of 5 Troops. Headquarters and Headquarters Troop was the Squadron’s Command and Control Troop. This is where the missions from Brigade would come down to and then be sent down to Troop level. It also had a Medical Platoon from which Medics would be attached down to Troop Level and a maintenance platoon.

Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Troops were Aero Reconnaissance. Each Troop was made up of Headquarters, Maintenance, Communications and Armament Platoons. Each Troop also had A “White” (Aero Scout) Platoon, a “Red” (Aero Weapons) Platoon, a Lift Platoon and a “Blue” (Infantry) Platoon.

The White Platoon had organic OH-13 Helicopters to perform Aerial Reconnaissance. The Red platoon had UH-1B or 1C helicopters.

The crew of a white Bird (helicopter) was a Pilot, a Crew Chief and an Observer. The weaponry for these birds were one M60 Machine gun fired by the “Observer”, various Colored Smoke grenades to mark the enemy or friendly forces, Fragmentation grenades and a few White Phosphorous grenades.

The Red platoon helicopter crew consisted of a Pilot, Co-Pilot, a Crew Chief and a Door Gunner. The armament of a Red Bird was two 2.75mm Rocket pods holding 24 rockets each, two M60 Machine Guns and Fragmentation Hand Grenades.

The Scout Pilot would fly his helicopter “Low and Slow” to search for the enemy. When he found the enemy, either by sight or by being fired upon, he could radio up to the “Red” Bird and have him come in “Hot”. This mean the helicopter would be firing 2.75mm Rockets and M60 Machine Guns on the enemy location. The team of one “White Platoon” helicopter and one “Red Platoon” helicopter was referred to as a “Pink Team”.

The Blue Platoon’s mission was to provide Ground Reconnaissance. If a Pink Team observed enemy movement or something to indicate the enemy has had or has a presence but could not visibly located him the Blues would be inserted by the Lift Platoon to provide ground reconnaissance.

The Blue Platoon would also be inserted to provide security and to extract the crews of any helicopter that was shot down or went down due to mechanical reasons. The blues would be inserted to be a blocking force and to be an ambush force.

The Lift Platoon provided the Horses (helicopters) for the Blues and to moved them from one place to another. They were also used to bring in reinforcements, ammunition, food and other necessities . When needed they would also perform the duties of Medical Evacuation’s. Many times the Lift birds were used to support other units in need of movement or resupply. Very often that meant they were flying into and out of “Hot” Landing (LZ) or Pickup (PZ) Zones. This meant that they would fly in and out of areas while receiving fire from enemy forces.

Delta Troop was the 1/9’s Ground Recon unit. Using jeeps and other vehicles along with recoilless guns and machine guns, Delta Troop performed ground recon, partnered with other Troops or units on mission and ran security for convoys.

The Airmobile concept was considered a total success by the end of the Vietnam War. The Troops of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment were responsible for almost 50% of the kills accredited to the 1st Cavalry Division (AM) either through their own actions of by inserting or directing other units in the fight against the enemy.

The 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment received five “Presidential Unit Citation” streamers for various combat campaigns and several “Valorous Unit Award” Streamers.

The members of HHT, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Troops will be holding a 50th Anniversary Reunion at the Holiday Inn North June 30th through July 3. On the 1st, a ceremony will be conducted in front of the Vietnam Wall at the “National Infantry Museum” to Honor those Brave Men who “Gave Their All”. The ceremony will include the Posting of the Colors by Boy Scouts , Tyler Clines, Levin Cordero Pfster, Carl Spaulding and Rafer Springfield from Boy Scout Troop 128, Smith Grove, Alabama led by Scout Master Julio Cordero, a laying of a Wreath and a rendering of “TAPS” by Peter Sauer of Columbus, Georgia. That afternoon, a ceremony will be held at the Holiday Inn North, to Honor those Brave Men who went to Vietnam 50 years ago.

On July 2nd, a ceremony will be held at “Doughboy Stadium” on Fort Benning marking the 50th Anniversary of the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile) being activated. Afterwards, the staff of the “National Infantry Museum” will give the reunion attendees a guided tour of the Museum.

I would like to give a special Recognition to the Boy Scouts of Troop 128 who purchased two Paver Blocks honoring the Troopers of Charlie Troop and “Our Fallen Brothers”. These Paver Blocks have been laid in front of the Vietnam Wall.

I would also like to give the highest praise to Tiffany Hoffman, Lora Warren-Davis and the entire staff at the National Infantry Museum for taking every effort to make our reunion so very special and complete.

Another “Shout out” of praise must be given to Donna Carter, Evita Wynn and Mary Michaux and the staff at the Holiday Inn North, for expending every effort possible to ensure our 50Th Anniversary Reunion would be a total success.

We can not forget to give a Salute to Ashley Woitnea of the Columbus Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Patriot Guard of Columbus, Georgia.

Columbus, Georgia, “Thank you” from HHT, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie and Delta Troopers 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment.

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