The following question was raised by Ken Hearon (67-68) Service Battery
Ken asked if anyone knew if the 1/83rd is authorized to wear a 1st Cavalry
patch. He thought that in his time up north in 1968, the 1/83rd at one time was
attached to the 1st Cav. I have never heard this but wanted to see if anyone of
you know if this is true.
This prompted some very interesting replies. Several of the
Officers in the group felt that only the 83rd Unit Crest, I or II Field Force
and XXIV Corps patches were actually authorized. As you will see from the
replies below, not everyone agrees.
Rich Waller (69-70)
"I was there 1/69 till 1/70.
Definitely not connected to 1st cav. Unit moved north shortly after I left, so I
can't speak for 1970, but not in 1969."
Bill Burke (70-71)
"I worked in the Battalion CP
(better known as the TOC to most people) and for a while was one of the
Battalion Fire Direction Officers. Over in the S3 area, was a book that
contained the unit history. Several times I read through the book, interested in
what had happened to the unit before I got there. To the best of my memory, I
donít remember a part of the history that indicated that the 1/83rd was attached
to the 1st Cav Division. Additionally, and although my knowledge in this area is
growing dim also, I think by Army Regs, you would not be authorized to wear the
1st Cav patch in that attachment is a temporary assignment and the unitís parent
unit status would not be changed during that period of time. In other words,
attachment is not assignment to the 1st Cav, which would be necessary to wear
the patch, and only for those in the unit at the time. Thatís the way I always
thought it to be from my time on active duty and in the reserves."
Jerry June (67-68)
"I was up at Hue and never heard about the 1st
Ed Kloiber (68-69)
"I remember that when I was at FB Bastogne in
'68 we had the 101 Airborne around us and fired support for the First Cavalry
and I think they said we could wear there patches but was issued 2nd field force
or 24 Corps Patches and never got any other patches and only wore the one's that
I was issued."
Dan O'Brien (69-70)
"YES, the 1st CAV was worn on the left shoulder
and the heart on the right when I arrived. I was issued a shirt with a cav patch
on it from the 83rd. DIVARTY was assigned to Second Field Force when the 83rd
went into the battle of Khe Sahn."
Dave Sides (69-70)
"I remember travelling with a 1st Cav unit in
early 1970. They still had at least one unit in I Corps back then and the 1/83rd
supported them. The reason I worked with them was to do target acquisition and
coordination for 1/83rd. To my knowledge, 1/83rd was never under their command.
It was similar to the way 1/83rd supported the 101st Airborne Division. We were
never under their command directly, but we were in general support of their
operations. The same was true with 3rd MAF. The Marines had overall tactical
control of all of I Corps when I first got there. We reported to 24th Corps
Artillery in their support and the support of all other units in I Corps. When 3
MAF moved out in mid 1970, 24th Corp Army replaced them as having overall
tactical command of I Corps.
The only I Corps patch we were authorized to wear, other than the 1/83rd unit
patch, was the 24th Corp heart as far as I know.
Ron Cox and Malcolm Decker might have better recall on this than I do, but that
is my recollection."
Malcolm Decker (69-70)
C and HQ Battery
"I think David is absolutely correct"
Ron Cox (69-70)
"No, we were never under command of a 1st Cav
unit. We were General Support Reinforcing their artillery units as we were with
Bill Taggart (66-67)
"In 66-67, the only thing I
ever was given was an 83rd unit crest pin, no patches were ever handed out or
even mentioned. It is my understanding that we were only authorized to wear the
83rd unit patch and the II Field Force patch in 66-68. What Dave describes above
about later years when we were under 24th Corps is also what I always believed
and syncs with what was the case in early years.
Also, and off the subject a bit, since Khe Sanh was up on the DMZ, would that
not have actually been I Field Force and not II Field Force?"
Dave Sides (69-70)
"Unless the 69-70 guy had re-upped, he wouldn't
have been involved in Khe Sanh. The siege of Khe Sanh ran from January of 1968
until July if 1968. Tet was also over by August of 1968."
Malcolm Decker (69-70)
C and HQ Battery
"I was wondering how Khe Sahn got in
this. Again David is on target."
Harry Lash (67-68)
"Yes , when we shipped to the north (outside
camp Eagle ) we were attached to the 1st Air Cav . I just looked at my uniform I
shipped home in , and the Cav. patch is on the shoulder."
Walt Gilliam (67-68)
"Bill, all I know is when I
left Camp Eagle, June 1968 they put 1st Cav patch on."
Frank Bartkowiak (67-68)
"I just looked at my dress
uniform when I came home and the only patch is from the 1/83rd as well as my
rank. I was in the Service Battery from 67-68."
Stan Markham (70-71)
"Dave is correct for the period before Feb-April
In February 1971 two of A Btrys guns were sent to the bottom of the A Shau
Valley as part of a misdirection (Dewy Canyon II) effort for the RVN's attack on
Laos. We left FSB Bastogne on January 29(??) and setup west of Veghel, east of
Laos. We shot fire missions for about three days, turned around and went back to
Following Dewey Canyon, we road marched through Hue turned west/soutwest at Dong
Ha headed toward Khe Sanh. The RVNs continued past Khe Sanh on the way to Laos
in Lam Som 719. We set up on Highway 9 east of Khe Sanh and shot support for the
Vietnamese forces going into and returning from Laos. We thought we were going
to shoot from Khe Sanh, but another Btry of heavies went there. I was lifted out
of the bivouac area in Mid-April 1970 (DROS), so can't say if A Btry continued
to Khe Sanh after that, but we were close."
Johnnie Pearson (68-69)
"Yes, I agree with Ron. Being attached to a unit
is not the same thing as being assigned or opcon to a unit. We were also GSR to
the 3rd Marine Division for a short spell when B Battery when way north to Alpha
Roger (Koop) Koopman (68-69)
HQ and A Battery
"Without doubt we did things for 1st Cav
who were at Camp Evans in particular when I first arrived in late Aug 68 for
awhile.... Before they went South for the Cambodian incursion and I don't
remember when anymore, both in providing retransmission radio support to reach
83rd for fire support as acting battalion commo officer at least 5 times out in
the woods to support their airmobile operations attacking some hill plus at
least two or three times as a FO on some of their air assaults for some reason
never shared with me but I remembered only guns at Bastogne could reach us or
air for fire support.
Ran up some Hills with Cav but Charles usually ran away from
the fight after hill was well hit beforehand with fire. Marines were in Hue as
well as MACV with 101st at Camp Eagle and 5th Mech other Marines were further
north mostly... Marines and actually out to DMZ where our sister battalion was
If I remember correctly some talk of having 4 batteries was
being considered because of all the support we were supplying to 101st, 1st Cav
and Marines... But distance for fire was an issue too so some retubing occurred
but 4 Btrys never stuck or were finalize as 1st Cav was then redirected out of
the AO. Trying to remember if they left before Christmas 68 or New Years 69 or
shortly thereafter? Thought we provided a few or couple that I somewhat remember
of two tube 8 inch turkey shoots for special operations for 1st Cav.
Anyhow we did support them and whether authorized
officially or not I don't know but we did frankly provide the only guns that
could reach some operations, and was told thus we technically could wear their
patch if involved... was given one or some but never did wear their patch...
only the 24th Corp per the BNCO... Later in states I was told to wear 101st till
24th Corp patches were re-authorized stateside for awhile or I could wear 1st
Cav by my records if I wished but never did. Visited Evans and other of their
locations but I forgot names during that time. Maybe I will remember more now ?
Dan O'Brien (69-70)
Some of the northern bases where 2nd/94th Arty also XXIV CORPS, Camp JJ
CARROLL, Rock Pile, Camp Evans, Sally, Quang Tri, Vandegrift and Dong Ha. More
on the enclosed map of the DMZ area. 1st Cav had lost their colors in Korea. The
battle of Khe Sanh brought them back to a banner unit. I believe they were also
at LZ XRAY with COL Hal Moore."
"All good interjections. Someone posted the ? about Khe Sahn
involved with the 83rd. Looking at the history of the 83rd the battalion took a
barge controlled by Lady Bird Johnson's Koreans, north 17 miles past the DMZ
until stopped by a US NAVY ship. The barge turned back and docked at Camp
Carroll, a USMC facility. Was told by earlier vets in the unit that the 83rd
supported the USMC during the siege of Khe Sahn.
The First Cav was a major unit involved with that operation
also. I was not in country until January 1969 when HQ was at Gia Le. This
picture is me with the cup and a cav patch on the right shoulder. Someone else
took this and posted it on the 83rd site. Don't remember anyone taking a pic of
us. I was on M-14 turn in detail and drove the supply truck from Gia Le to ROY a
few times. The shirt would have come from our supply room as a turn in from
someone else. I remember Steve Lapp who left for home and he had a 1st Cav patch
on the left side. We could wear any of the units we supported on the left side
EXCEPT the USMC Div patch.
A Btry supported the 9th Marines in the A Shau Valley and the
83rd was given the Prez citation CROSS OF GALLANTRY WITH PALM from the NAVY. All
the batteries could wear this award who were in the unit in 1969. If you send a
SF-180 to get your ribbons and records, you will get the Prez citation with your
army ribbons. Presidential citation means it is in a gold frame and worn above
the right pocket on the GREEN'S (Pictured) which are no longer used by the
ORLL lists the 83rd artillery as XXIV CORPS 101ST ABN [AMB]
DIVARTY which means you can belong to the 101st ABN Association. I was told this
by Ken Roach who was a Skycrane Pilot in my NG unit and also the national
president of the 101st ABN association. Ken sponsored me into the association.
He was a Huey pilot at Eagle in a unit called the KINGSMEN."
Stephan Early (67-68)
"According to my reading of the regs your unit
1/83 patch is worn on the left shoulder and the unit you fought with on the
right. 1/83, A btry, was on the hill with the 101st, in the middle, at the mouth
of the A Shau valley. 101 was on the top.
One night when I was driving the Btry Cmdr, Captain Yore up
to the HQ we brought along an 8" round which the Captain had painted on it "Is
an eight inch round" I put it under the airborne sign that read "Death from the
Skies" That was the hill I got hit on so I wear the screaming eagle patch on my
jean jacket with 1/83 on the left. "
Dennis Donati (70-71)
"I have it on good authority (my buddy who was
on the Ia Drang) that the 1/83 supported the Cav and later the 101st, we are
entitled to wear the patch."