First Squadron, First Cavalry, First Regiment of Dragoons - Hill 29, 1968
The 1st of the 1st received two Valorous Unit Awards and three Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry.

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This is the story of one soldier's experiences during the Vietnam War from January through October of 1968. Here you will find a journal and photographs that chronicle the battles and efforts of the 1st. Squadron, 1st. Cavalry, 1st. Regiment of Dragoons located on Hill 29 (Hawk Hill). The journal begins at the Bien Hoa Air Base just prior to the start of the Tet offensive. After extensive in-processing, this soldier finally makes his way to Hill 29 to begin serving his tour of duty with the Black Hawk Dragoons on Hawk Hill.

*The highest loss-rate for any MOS was 11E (Armor Crewman) 27% KIA
Air Strike
Photo: In the field west of Tam Ky, Vietnam.

LZ Hawk Hill (AKA Hill 29)

Map of Hill 29

Hill 29 was located north of Tam Ky and south of LZ Baldy; West of Highway One. Eight miles south of Thang Binh and seven miles north or Tam Ky just east of the railroad. BT231315? or BT230315 (Div Arty ORLL BT22431)

*On 9 November 1967, Captain (then First Lieutenant) James Allen Taylor, Troop B, 1st Cavalry, Americal Division, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valor in contributing to the success of the assault on an enemy position and saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers.


History of the First Cavalry

*"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 on August 29, 1967, the 1st Squadron 1st Cavalry was deployed in I Corps Tactical Zone around Chu Lai under the command of LTC Harrington. The squadron was committed to battle two days after its arrival. The unit remained in the field continuously from 1967-1971, attached as an independant squadron to elements of the 198th Infantry Brigade in I Corps, taking part in 13 campaigns."


Authorized Patches for the 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry

The 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry is often confused with the 1st Cavalry Division which was located in the Central Highlands with headquarters in Plieku.