|The 1st Cavalry Division ("First
Team") is a rapidly deployable heavy armored division of the
United States Army with base of operations in Fort Hood,
Texas. It is the largest division of the U.S. Army with
16,700 soldiers. Currently the 1st Cavalry Division is
attached to the U.S. Army III Corps and is commanded by
Major General Joseph F. Fil, Jr.
The division saw combat during the
Vietnam War. No longer a conventional infantry unit, the
division had become an air assault division as the 1st
Cavalry Division (Airmobile), commonly referred to as the
1st Air Cavalry Division, using helicopters as troop
carriers. The division's colors and unit designations were
transferred to the 11th Air Assault Division (Test), then at
Ft. Benning, Georgia, in July, 1965, and began deploying to
Camp Radcliffe, An Khe, Vietnam that month. The division,
along with the 101st Airborne Division perfected new tactics
and doctrine for helicopter-borne assaults over the next
five years in Vietnam.
The unit's first major operation was the Pleiku Campaign.
During this action, the division conducted 35 days of
continuous airmobile operations. The opening battle, the
Battle of Ia Drang Valley, was described in the book We Were
Soldiers Once...And Young which was also the basis of the
subsequent Mel Gibson film We Were Soldiers. The unit also
earned the first Presidential Unit Citation (US) presented
to a division during the Vietnam War.
Most of 1967 was spent in Operation Pershing. This was a
large scale search of areas in II Corps which saw 5,400
enemy killed and 2,000 captured. The division re-deployed to
Camp Evans, north of Hue in the I Corps Tactical Zone,
during the 1968 Tet Offensive, involved in recapturing Quang
Tri and Hue. After intense fighting in Hue, the division
then moved to relieve Marine Corps units besieged at the Khe
Sanh combat base (Operation Pegasus) in March of 1968. The
1st Cavalry Division next conducted major clearing
operations in the Ashau Valley from mid-April through
mid-May, 1968. From May until September 1968 the division
participated in local pacification and "MedCap" (Medical
outreach programs to offer medical support to the Vietnamese
local population) missions I Corps.
In the autumn of 1968, the 1st Cavalry Division relocated
south to the III Corps Tactical Zone northwest of Saigon,
adjacent to a Cambodian region commonly referred to as the
"Parrots Beak" due to its shape. In May, 1970, the division
was among U.S. units participating in the Cambodian
Incursion, withdrawing from Cambodia on June 29. The
division thereafter took a defensive posture while the
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam continued. The bulk
of the division was withdrawn on April 29, 1971, but its 3rd
Brigade was one of the final two major U.S. ground combat
units in Vietnam, departing June 29, 1972. Its 1st
Battalion, 7th Cavalry, as the main unit of Task Force
Garryowen, remained another two months.
This DVD is a tribute film to these
men of honor. Learn about their operations, and watch
great footage of air and ground ops. Tons of
helicopter footage as well as the equipment that they used.
This film is about 30 minutes long.