A piece of black slate with the laser engraving of the 1st Calvary Division patch, and three scenes from the Vietnam War. In which the 1st CAV was all part of in each scene. The piece is 24 inches wide by 12 inches high, comes with wooden stand for displaying. Can be fully framed at additional cost. Wooden stands or frames are handcrafted here in the United States and all flag are made here also by me. This product will ship for free in the United States.
The history of the 1st Cavalry Division is a colorful tale of Troopers on horseback in the desert areas around Fort Bliss, Texas; fighting in World War II; occupation duty in Japan; combat in the Korean War; service in Hokkaido; patrols along the Korean DMZ; Airmobile warfare in Vietnam; the Cold War with service at Fort Hood; desert fighting in the Gulf War; peacekeeping in Bosnia; and fighting the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. This page will provide you with a brief history of the First Team and links to other web pages and historical documents that honor the First Team!
The 1st Cavalry Division was formally activated on 13 September 1921 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Our early duties in West Texas included rough-riding and patrolling the Mexican border. Technological progress of the 1940’s diminished the usefulness of horse-mounted Soldiers, and the division turned in its horses and prepared to serve as dismounted cavalry in World War II’s Pacific Theater.
In February 1943, the 1st Cavalry Division was alerted for overseas assignment and closed at Strathpine in Queensland, Australia on 26 July to train for jungle and amphibious operations. On 29 February 1944, the 1st Cavalry Division had its first combat as the Troopers stormed the beaches of Los Negros Island fighting a fierce campaign that took some 7,000 Japanese casualties. The division’s next action was a few months later on the Philippine Island of Leyte. When the last Japanese stronghold was eliminated, the division moved to Luzon. The 1st Cavalry Division was first into Manila in February 1945 following one of the most important actions of the war which is known as the “Flying Column”. The Division’s Troopers entered Manila and freed the internees at Santo Tomas University. Two Troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division were awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously during World War II. Major General William C. Chase officially took command months later, and his nickname for the division, “First Team”, was well-received and remains today.
In September of 1945, the “First Team” led occupational forces into Japan’s capital city, earning the distinction of “First in Tokyo”. The 1st Cavalry Division spent the next five years in Japan on Occupation Duty. First quartered on the Yoyogi Parade Grounds the Division moved to the outskirts of the city and occupied Camp Drake in September 1945. The Division’s first mission in Tokyo was to assume control of the central portion of the city. Daily patrols began the long task of locating, investigating, and reporting all Japanese installations which had contributed to the nation’s war effort. All arsenals, factories, barracks, and storage grounds had to be examined and reports made of their contents. In addition, the Division was concerned with the status of demobilization of the Japanese armed forces. The 1st Cavalry Division’s occupation jurisdiction extended over 5,000 square miles. The years 1946 to 1950 saw further easing of tensions between Japanese and Americans. Whenever floods or earthquakes hit the Japanese mainland, the Cavalrymen joined the rescue efforts. Once every few weeks, the Division staged colorful parades in the Imperial Plaza in the heart of Tokyo. Division Troopers contributed time, money and their talents to a number of Japanese orphanages and other social relief agencies. In June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea and despite woeful manning and equipment shortages, the First Team prepared for their next combat.
The 1st Cavalry Division stormed ashore at Pohang Dong, South Korea, in the Korean War’s first amphibious landing. By July 1950, the division began offensive operations to the north and crossed the 38th parallel on October 9th. Closing on North Korea’s capital ten days later, the “First Team” was “First in Pyongyang”. With the war almost won and US forces just south of the Chinese border the Chinese Communist Forces entered the war and the onslaught of numerically superior forces overran and encircled the 8th Cavalry Regiment at Unsan. United Nation’s forces began a withdrawal and were pushed past the 38th Parallel and below Seoul. The UN forces counter attacked and the 1st Cavalry Division again crossed the 38th parallel as fighting settled along that area. After 549 days of continuous combat, the division began planning to return to Japan. The division established a defensive military presence in the northern island of Hokkaido. Several units of the division returned to serve in Korea. During the Korean War eleven Troopers of the First Team were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.
At the end of the Korean War the division remained on duty in Japan until its move back to the Korean Peninsula and duty along the Demilitarized Zone in 1957. The division spent the majority of its time in the field operations patrolling the southern border of the DMZ and adjacent areas in observation and listening posts that were manned 24 hours a day until departing for Fort Benning, Georgia in July 1965.
Reorganized and equipped as an airmobile division the “First Team” was quickly shipped to Vietnam becoming the first fully committed division in country. The division became the first division to earn the Presidential Unit Citation during the thirty-five day Pleiku Campaign. Airmobile tactics permitted fast movement on the battlefield as the “Sky Troopers” of the 1st Cavalry Division rode their helicopters into numerous battles. The enemy launched the famous Tet Offensive in late January 1968. Already on the move, the “First Team” rushed north, liberating cities and boldly repelling the enemy offensive. The division’s “Sky Troopers” flew in to relieve the besieged Marine base at Khe Sahn and the division was first into Cambodia in May 1970. The first full division into Vietnam was the last full division to leave Vietnam. Thirty Troopers of the 1st Cavalry Division were awarded the Medal of Honor for their valor during the Vietnam War. Redeployment to Fort Hood, Texas began in 1971 where the “First Team” reorganized into a “Triple Capability” or “Tricap” Division, incorporating an armor brigade, an air mobility brigade, and an air cavalry brigade. While the Division colors left Vietnam in 1971, the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Separate) remained in Vietnam until June 1972.