Assault Aviation Battalion "D" Company Guns "Smiling Tiger" Patch - 1st
Air Cavalry Division ("Task Force OREGON" and "Airmobile") -
The 11th Air Assault Division was flown to Fort Benning, Georgia and the 11th Assets were transferred to
the 1st Cavalry Division. The 1st Air Cavalry Division deployed from Fort Benning to the Republic of South Viet Nam arriving 11
September 1965. The 1st Air Cavalry Division's First Commander Offer was Major
General Harry W.B. Kennard. The 1st Cavalry Division was the first full
division of the U.S. Army to arrive in Vietnam. During October-November 1965 the 1st
Cavalry Division fought the enemy to a standstill in the bitter battle in the
Ia Drang Valley in Pleiku Province, winning a Presidential Unit Citation.
For the next 13 months members of "The First Team" met and defeated
strong enemy forces throughout the II Corps Tactical Zone.
In the spring of 1966, the 1st Cavalry Division fought to
clear Binh Dinh Province in a series of operations known as "Masher / White
Wing" and "Thang Phong II" which became the first large unit
operations across corps boundaries when the U.S. Marines crossed into Binh Dinh
to link up with the 1st Cavalry Division. In August 1966 the division was
deployed as a element of Task Force Oregon to Pleiku Province for "Operation Paul Revere II".
Battalion-sized elements of the division's Sky Troopers were also battling in Binh Thuan Province from August 1966 though January 1968. In
October 1966 the division teamed up with the White Horse Division of the Republic of South Korea and South Vietnamese forces in Binh Dinh Province in "Operation Irving". Beginning in late October into
February of 1967 the 1st Cavalry Division continued to clear Binh Dinh Province in "Operation Thayer II",
which was in turn followed by "Operation Pershing" in the rich
northern coastal plain and the Kim Son and Luoi Ci Valleys to the west. Through out the remainder
of 1967 the division combated the North Vietnamese Army's 610th Division and Viet
Cong Units in the II Corps Tactical Zone. In January 1968 the Division relocated
to I Corps Tactical Zone, arriving in time to blunt the enemy's Tet Offensive.
Elements in II Corps continued the fight for Binh Dinh Province in Operation "Pershing II" in
February 1968, while the larger part of the Division was committed to operations
near Hue. The 1st Cavalry Division along with other U.S. Marine and
South Vietnamese Airborne Battalions moved swiftly in relieve the embattled
U.S. Marine Base at Khe Sanh in April 1968..
During the Tet Offensive the 1st Air Cavalry and elements of
the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion cleared Quang Tri City crushing resistance on the northwest and
southwest walls of the Imperial city of Hue outside the Citadel. In April and May 1968
the division begin operations in the A Shau Valley to preempt enemy preparations for
another attack on Hue. The remainder of 1968 the 1st Air
Cavalry sustained operations along the border of Quang Tri and Thua Thien Provinces. In October 1968 the 1st Cavalry
Division relocated to III Corps Tactical Zone to thwart a potential enemy threat
north of Saigon. While thrusting against enemy positions
along the Cambodian border northwest of the capital, some elements of the
division moved further south into IV Corps Tactical Zone, working with U.S.
Naval Forces and the "Greyhounds" and "Mad Dogs" of the
240th Assault Helicopter Company in an operation called NAV-CAV in the Rung Sat
Tactical Zone. The 1st Cavalry Division became the first American Division to
have fought in all Four Tactical Zones in the Republic of South Vietnam. During the summer of 1969 the NVA made
frequent attacks attempting to overrun division's firebases. During May and
June of 1970 the 1st Air Cavalry participated in "Operation LAM SON
719" the invasion of Cambodia, although a strategic success was
somewhat compromised by a restriction of 30-kilometer advance. The 1st Cavalry
Division had recorded an unparalleled series of firsts as well as demonstrating
the effectiveness of "Airmobile's" Warfare. As part of the "Phase
VI Redeployment Increment", the bulk of the division stood-down and were withdrawn
from Viet Nam and departed on 29
returning to Fort Hood, Texas. The Division was awarded the Presidential
Unit Citation for action in the Ia Drang Valley in Pleiku Province.