A brief description of D Troop 2/1CAV for those who weren't there.
D Troop 2nd Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment was like many other Cav Troops that I saw in Vietnam. Our Troop, D Troop was the AIR element of a Squadron that contained a total of four Troops, A,B,C& D. The A,B,C Troops were typical Armor Mechanized and had M-48 Tanks and M-113 APCs or Armor Personnel Carriers. D Troop was the "eyes" of the Squadron and had helicopters. We had the OH-6, Light Observation Helicopter or "Loach". These were flown by the SCOUT platoon. We also had our own firepower in the form of the AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter, flown by the GUN platoon. We had a platoon of the venerable UH-1 Hueys, called the LIFT platoon. The Troop also had its own Infantry platoon called the "Blues" that could react instantly, carried into battle by their LIFT platoon Huey helicopters. Our main mission was to find the enemy, ascertain his strength or weakness, engage when necessary and collect other data and intelligence about the area of operations. We did this through "Hunter- Killer Teams" using all three types of our aircraft, and "Sniffer missions" using the Huey. The LIFT platoon also flew a wide variety of other single and multi ship missions, such as MEDEVAC, combat assaults, re-supply (Beans & Bullets) Visual Recon, Command and Control, CS Gas drops, LRRP insertions, string extractions and artillery adjustment, etc, etc.
During my time with D Troop, we were based at An Khe and later Phan Thiet. While these places were our "home base", we commonly operated from Ban Me Thuot to Pleiku to Dak To to Bon Son to Phan Rhang to South of Phan Thiet.
D Troop Latrine at An Khe
This latrine was hit by a 82mm mortar round. What a way to go!
Fence at An Khe
This fence was about 30 feet from where I slept and was used as a clothing dryer for washed uniforms. It and the clothing were both peppered by shrapnel from another 82mm mortar round.
Post mission Briefing
D Troop Aviators "enthusiastically" listen to the debrief of the day's mission and the "peek" at the next day's missions.
D Troop AH-1G "Cobra"
D Troop Cobra launches to the North from the "Golf Course" at An Khe. In the background is Hon Kong mountain displaying the famous First Cav patch. It is just visible above the Cobra's canopy.
D 2/1 "Charlie Model" Gunship (Gun's removed)
These were replaced by the new Cobra Gunships
D Troop OH-6 searches out the enemy North of An Khe
The gunner is visible, hanging out the left side of the helicopter with his M-60 machine gun. The Scouts were among the bravest and most courageous crews I had the pleasure of working with. While performing the most valuable of services, they suffered the highest losses and were shot down with depressing regularity. All crewmen had to contend with enemy action, mechanical failure and the ever possible accident. The operational conditions and weather were most often on the bad side of atrocious.
A few examples of the aftermath of battle with the NVA and with Fate.
Copyright İFred Lohr 1997