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1st Squadron / 9th Cavalry (D Troop), Vietnam 1970-1971 Grouping


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#1 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:39 PM

Here is a very nice grouping that I fortunate to obtain and honored to have kept together from the estate of a recently passed Vietnam veteran.  Was also very fortunate to have recently received some info through NARA in order to help fill in the blanks on his exact time in service.

 

Ronald J. Vanderwall served in Vietnam as a member of D Troop, 1st Squadron/9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during the 1970-1971 time period.  It includes many of his personal items related to his time in the Army.  His tour in country was during a pivotal time period in Vietnam for the U.S. war effort, the 1st Cav Div, and the 1st/9th Cav in particular which Mr. Vanderwall took part.

 

Mr. Vanderwall entered the U.S. Army in July 1969 and was initially stationed and attended courses at Ft. Knox.  His items from that period.

 

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#2 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:41 PM

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#3 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:47 PM

Mr. Vanderwall's patches.  Some of these he had framed by gluing them to a yellow felt covered piece of poster board.  Plan on getting this reframed shortly. 

 

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#4 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:51 PM

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#5 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 12:53 PM

Loose Patches.

 

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#6 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:06 PM

His in country used Zippo lighter, this includes the name of his first wife. This marriage unfortunately ended in divorce shortly after his return to the states.

 

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Attention Mods.  If it is felt this post needs to be deleted in keeping within forum rules then feel free.

 

 

 

 

 



#7 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:14 PM

For those who are not up on Vietnam Air Cav Troops, the 1st/9th was the Air Cavalry Squadron assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, and formed the groundwork for all other Air Cav Troops operating in Vietnam.  It consisted of three Air Troops (A,B,C) and one ground based Troop (D) using Gun Jeeps.  While the role of D Troop was to provide recon, ambush, convoy security, BDA assessments, etc. they were often also used as an airmobile QRF for the other air troops within the 1st/9th when in they were in heavy contact.

 

Arriving in Vietnam during January 1970, Mr. Vanderwall took part in the May incursion into Cambodia in which he received an Air Medal which shows that while assigned to a ground based unit he spent much time serving aboard the squadrons helicopters during the incursion.

 

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Interesting to note, the official records sent by NARA do not list this Air Medal as one of his awards.  I have since sent a copy of these documents back to the NARA in order to see if he can still be officially credited with this award in case his family would ever be interested in obtaining his complete records in the future.  

 

 

 



#8 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:25 PM

He received a Bronze Star with "V" and one Oak Leaf Cluster for actions occurring on August 19, 1970 during a roadside ambush north of FSB Buttons and just south of the Bu Dop Special Forces camp very near the Cambodian border.

 

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This is another once framed piece by Mr. Vanderwall showing his Air Medal and Bronze Star along with a photo of the Awards Presentation in August 1970.  This will be reframed also.

 

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These were the only awards included in the grouping however according to NARA he also received the National Defense, Vietnam Service, Republic Of Vietnam Campaign, Marksman Badge/Rifle, and one Overseas Bar.

 

 

 

 



#9 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:42 PM

A researched 1970 1st/9th Cavalry Quarterly Operational Report detailing the incident and a Grid Square photo of the location of the ambush (circled in red).

 

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For those who take an interest in the 1st Cavalry Division's service in Vietnam, note the two signatures on the award documents as they are also from a historical period in the 1st Cav's Vietnam participation.  The Air Medal has the signature of General George W. Casey, while the Bronze Star has the signature of General George W. Putnam. 

 

Gen. Casey was flying to Camh Ran Bay to visit wounded soldiers of the Cambodian incursion on July 7, 1970 when his helicopter crashed in bad weather killing all aboard.  Gen. Putnam then took over control of the Division until it left Vietnam in 1971.

 

Gen. Casey's son, George W. Casey II would later be in charge of all coalition forces in Iraq from 2006 2011, and later retire as Chief of Staff of the Army in 2012.

 

 



#10 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:53 PM

With the increasing withdrawal of U.S. forces the need for Air Cav Troops increased and the 1st Cav Div reassigned aircraft and personnel to two of its Aerial Rocket Artillery units (D/227, D/229) and formed two new 1st/9th Air Troops (E,F) in September 1970.  D Troop 1/9 was given the task to act as the infantry Blue Platoon for the new E Troop for the duration of the 1st Cav's stay in Vietnam.  Mr. Vanderwall was present in the Troop during this period also.  He was promoted to Sergeant in November 1970 and became a Squad Leader within D Troop. 

 

His 1970-1971 period correct Stetson "Cav Hat". 

 

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#11 pump 150

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:58 PM

 

 

 

His tour ended in February 1971 and he was honorably discharged shortly thereafter.  His family stated that he did not talk much of his time in the Army or Vietnam, however he was very proud of his service, Cav Hat, and time in the 1st/9th Cav.  Sadly, Mr. Vanderwall passed away in 2015 at the age of 66.

 

NARA available records of his service.

 

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Mr. Vanderwall's obituary.

 

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Thanks for looking


Edited by pump 150, 20 June 2016 - 02:07 PM.


#12 kanemono

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 02:02 PM

Very nice group. Thanks for posting the group and sharing it with us.

Dick



#13 ludwigh1980

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 02:09 PM

Saw this group on ebay. Glad to see it was saved and kept together. Very nice cav hat. I have a friend that was in the 7th of the 1st in Vietnam and the stetson's were sacred. Even in a high stakes poker game, the hats never went into the pot. 

 

Regards,

Terry



#14 doyler

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 02:40 PM

Very nice Cav group



#15 CHASEUSA11B

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 09:02 PM

Amazing group. Thanks for posting

#16 flytiger

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 10:01 AM

Super group! Just a comment. The Aerial Rocket Unit was a stand alone BN not D/227 or D/229. It was 2/20th ARA and when the Cav began to stand down  F/79th ARA took over the ARA Mission ( ARA Aerial Rocket Artillery). A lot of 11Bravos were awarded Air Medals for completing 25 Air Assault Missions into hot LZ's. They were not aircrew.Well deserved. 1/9 was the premier unit of the Cav in many ways. They were the "Find'em" guy's and the then the other Cav unit's would "Fix'em" and do their best to destroy them. Your BS should have a "V" device on it as it is a combat award not the I was there sort of BS.



#17 patches

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 10:15 AM

Great Cav grouping, it's found a good home.



#18 pump 150

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 01:44 PM

Thanks all for the comments, very much appreciated.  Just to clarify and clean it up...

 

Although properly shown in the documents, my narrative got the dates mixed up on the Bronze Star action. 

 

July 18, 1970 was the date of action, and August 23, 1970 was the date of award documents.  

 

 

flytiger you are correct in that D Co.'s 227/229 were not part of the 2/20 ARA within the 1st Cav.  Just meant that they were an all gunship company within each of the two Battalions performing the role of escort and ARA type duties as opposed to the Air Cav Troop type gunship role.  During the Sept.-Nov. 1970 period E-1/9 was formed from D-227, and F-1/9 was formed from D-229.  Thanks for bringing it up for clarification!

 

 



#19 Buckwampum

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Posted 25 March 2020 - 01:36 PM

Hi Pump 150,

 

I think I have found a photo of SGT Vanderwall, at least I think I have.  It looks a lot like the guy in the pic you showed of SGT Vanderwall getting decorated.  I'll post it below, but first some background. 

 

I came across this site while doing a Google search on D 1/9 Cav operations in RVN.  In Jan/Feb 1970, D Troop, 1/9 switched over from gun jeeps to the V100 Commando armored car, made by Cadillac Gage.  The Army designation was M706, but they were usually called "Ducks" by the GI's, because they were amphibious.

 

A friend of mine currently has a 1969 V100 (beautifully restored) with D 1/9 markings.  It's a big hit in parades and at veterans events.  I began researching the use of the vehicles by D 1/9 to see how they were painted/marked and how they were armed/equipped in theater.  I eventually ended up compiling about 10 photos of the D 1/9 V100 vehicles (and the men of D Troop) from the 1970 time frame.

 

Most V100 pics from Vietnam (easy Google search) show them in their common usage as truck convoy escort vehicles, first by the ARVN in 1967 or so, then with widespread usage by US Military Police units from 1968 onward.  The MP's too started out using gun jeeps (like D 1/9 Cav), but were eager to get the armor protection of the V100.

 

Vehicles from D Troop 1/9 Cav are instantly recognizable from the yellow "diamond" marking on the vehicle sides (D as in Delta, D as in Diamond) .  Alpha troop choppers had triangles, Bravo 1/9 choppers had squares (box), Charlie 1/9 had circles and Delta 1/9 had diamonds.  So, if you see a yellow diamond, it's 100% a D 1/9 vehicle.  And if you see a V100 with a yellow diamond marking, it is definitely D 1/9 from Jan 1970 or later.

 

So with that said, I found a pic of a V100 with a yellow diamond on it and the guy standing on the front of it is (I believe) SGT Vanderwall.  It would be a D 1/9 Cav vehicle and it would have to be on or after January 1970.  Based on your post about the grouping you have and the SGT Vanderwall's service record you included (he was an armor crewman in D 1/9 from Jan 1970 onward).

 

The actual pic is a big file and is remarkably high quality for an amateur photo.  I had to drastically crop it down to just showing the man in question to get under the posting size limit for this forum.  Please compare it to the pic in your post that shows the decoration ceremony and let me know your thoughts.  I'll email you the full sized pic if you think it's the same guy as SGT Vanderwall.  It'd be a great addition to your grouping if it's him.

 

 

 

  

 

     

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#20 Buckwampum

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:16 AM

Here is a very nice grouping that I fortunate to obtain and honored to have kept together from the estate of a recently passed Vietnam veteran.  Was also very fortunate to have recently received some info through NARA in order to help fill in the blanks on his exact time in service.

 

Ronald J. Vanderwall served in Vietnam as a member of D Troop, 1st Squadron/9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during the 1970-1971 time period.  It includes many of his personal items related to his time in the Army.  His tour in country was during a pivotal time period in Vietnam for the U.S. war effort, the 1st Cav Div, and the 1st/9th Cav in particular which Mr. Vanderwall took part.

 

Mr. Vanderwall entered the U.S. Army in July 1969 and was initially stationed and attended courses at Ft. Knox.  His items from that period.

 

attachicon.gif1 v usmf 92.jpg

 

attachicon.gif1 v usmf 93.jpg

 

attachicon.gif1 v usmf 94.jpg

 

 

 

Hi Pump 150, replying directly to your initial post, to see if this gets a ping on your radar, please see my prior post on this topic 

 



#21 Martinjmpr

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 11:05 AM

 

Is this what they called the "shake-and-bake" NCO course to try and boost the number of junior leaders in the Army?  Very interesting.  As I understand it, the Army would try to identify those soldiers who had "leadership potential" in basic training and then upon successful completion those soldiers were put into squad leader positions and promoted to E-5. 

 

Basically an NCO version of the "90 day wonder" OCS course. 

 

My understanding is that the "shake-and-bake" program was generally considered to be not particularly successful and was discontinued by the time US combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam which would have been towards the end of 1971 IIRC. 



#22 pump 150

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 11:36 AM

Buckwampum,

 

I really appreciate you adding that photo to my post, thank you!  It certainly does bare a very close resemblance at this point with the heavy cropping, and warrants further investigation in order to confirm with the full size image. 

 

Without a doubt a D Troop 1/9 marked vehicle with the yellow Diamond.  That information on the V100's in use with the Troop is great info in itself as well.

 

Look for a PM from me....Thanks! 

 

 

 

Martinmpr,

 

At this point I do believe that he most likely was one of those accelerated NCO's or "shake-and-bake"




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