ARMED SAVAGE

 

Troop D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division in 1969, in Vietnam, was assigned the radio call sign Armed Savage.  For the entire six years it was in Vietnam, from 1965 to 1971, Troop D may have always used the radio call sign Armed Savage.

 

This website was created by Mr. Richard Dean Hudson as a tribute to the several hundreds of soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers who served in Troop D, and it is respectfully dedicated to all of the Cavalry Troopers who were Armed Savage.

 

This site and its pages includes historical and operational events known to me and in which I personally participated.  From May to November 1969, I had the privilege and honor to serve as Troop D Commander.  During the six years the Troop was in Vietnam, there were probably 12 to 16 Troop D Commanders.  I know of two others.  Captain Norman E. Lorsung who preceded me, and Captain Huey B. Scott who succeeded me.

 

In 1969, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry was an air cavalry squadron with four combat troops:  Troops A, B, and C were the air cavalry troops.  Troop D was the ground cavalry troop.  Headquarters and Headquarters Troop provided administrative, intelligence, operational, and logistical support for the squadron and to the combat Troops.

 

A distinct symbol painted on the sides of each vehicle identified the Troop.  The symbol for Troop A was a triangle, loosely translated as an angle, thus the "A".  The symbol for Troop B was a square, loosely translated as a box,

thus the "B".  The symbol for Troop C was a circle, thus the "C".  The symbol for Troop D was a delta, a diamond, thus the "D".

 

Painted yellow, these symbols (           ,           ,           ,          ) easily could be seen and distinguished at a good distance.  Look closely at helicopters in action in Vietnam on television's AHC Channel, or other history channels,

or, in Apocalypse Now and other movies.

 

The main battle vehicles of Troops A, B, and C were AH-1 Attack Helicopters (the Cobra), OH-6 Light Observation Helicopters (the LOH, pronounced Loach), and UH-1 Utility Helicopters (the Huey or Slick).

 

The main battle vehicles of Troop D were M-151 jeeps, most with a pedestal mounted M-60 machinegun, M-151 jeeps with 106mm Recoilless Rifles, three quarter ton trucks with portable 81mm mortars, and three quarter ton trucks to carry the infantry squads.

 

All Troops in the squadron had other jeeps, trucks and trailers for transportation, resupply, maintenance support, cargo handling, and hauling requirements.

Other historical and operational events may be available on each of the other Troops',  the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, or the 1st Cavalry Division websites.

 

While over five decades have passed many of my memories included here are supported by my Operational Reports of which only September is included on this site.  The reports, donated several years ago by the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association to the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, were discovered in 2009 by Richard.

 

Each troop had an assigned radio call sign.  The radio call signs for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Troop A (Apache?) and Troop B (Saber?) cannot now be recalled after so many years of not hearing it.  A radio call sign used in Troop C was Cavalier, and it is very likely Cavalier also was used by all subordinate units within Troop C.

 

Individuals were identified by a number or by a number with a letter of the alphabet preceded by their Troop call sign.  All of the Commanders' radio call sign number was Six.  Thus my radio call sign as Troop D Commander was Armed Savage Six.

 

Troop D was also referred to as Delta Troop, D Troop, and Savage.  For many of us Troop D was the real cavalry and Troop D always will be Armed Savage.

 

In addition to this Introduction, the additional pages on the website include:

 

  • Taps - In memory of Sergeant Donald Sidney Skidgel, who was a Senior Scout Squad Leader in the Third Platoon of Troop D; and, Private First Class John Anthony Halladay and First Lieutenant Michael Herman Thomas who were attached to Troop D the day they were Killed In Action on September 14, 1969.

 

  • Remembrances - Posted here; in my collection at the Vietnam Center and Archive; and, on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website are the remembrances I wrote for Sergeant Skidgel, Private First Class Halladay, and Lieutenant Thomas.

 

 

  • Battle Audio - This is twenty-two minutes of radio transmissions recorded on tape during a four hour battle as a result of a horse-shoe shaped ambush established by a large enemy force on Road 311 in Phuoc Long Province on September 14, 1969. The tape had been stored in the attic for many decades and was greatly degraded after years of neglect. Audio engineers at the Texas Tech University Vietnam Center and Archive were able to slightly improve on the recording included in this Website. To listen to the slightly improved version go here: https://vva.vietnam.ttu.edu/repositories/2/digital_objects/444527

 

  • Battle Audio Transcript - A simplified version of the transcript can be found on this Website. For my personally annotated transcript of the tape recording including an introduction, the transcript with my personal notes, identification of many of the people and their radio call signs, a glossary of slang words and terms used in the radio transmissions, and an epilogue can be found here:
    http://armedsavagesix8.blogspot.com/2013/01/transcript-introduction.html
    http://armedsavagesix8.blogspot.com/2013/01/transcript-slang-glossary.html
    http://armedsavagesix8.blogspot.com/2013/01/transcript-epilogue.html

    Over the decades, native Vietnamese speaking persons listened to the tape recording to try to interpret and translate the language used by the enemy jamming station.  All attempts, even the latest in 2011 by a Vietnamese collaborator at the Texas Tech University Vietnam Center and Archive, have been fruitless.  It's a mystery.  Everyone said the language is not Vietnamese, but no one has been able to identify the language spoken by the enemy jamming station.

 

  • Maps​ of the battle area to include an illustration of the various flight paths of aircraft over the battle area on Road 311 on September 14, 1969.​

  

  • Photography - A few photos of many of the outstanding soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers I had the honor and privilege of serving with in Troop D from May to November 1969 provided by members surviving members of D Troop.  All of these young Cavalry Troop soldiers and seasoned combat veterans answered the call of the United States of America to stand in harms' way, every day, in the Republic of Vietnam.

 

It is hoped my recollections and elaborations offered here, for my six-month period in Troop D, in 1969, will encourage Troop D former members, their family, and their friends to reflect, remember, recall, relate, recite, and reminisce about their experiences.

 

Many memories are sharp yet others are faded.  Some memories have grown huge in stature with embellishment in almost a half century.  Most memories are good; some are not so good.  Some memories are minor now but the event was major then.  What is major now was a minor occurrence then.  Some memories could use a jog.  Finally, we can share our memories, our experiences, our "war stories", before they may be lost forever.  Talk about it.

 

As Armed Savage, hundreds of us proudly served in Troop D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division in the Vietnam War.  We revere the many of our brothers who were seriously Wounded In Action, and, we always will honor the sacrifice of our brave Cavalry Troopers who were Killed In Action.

 

Most Respectfully,

 

Armed Savage Six

 

Andrew J. Hudson

Lieutenant Colonel, Cavalry

United States Army (Retired)

2-22-2012

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