Silver Spurs History Index Page

A Troop, 3/17th Air Cavalry



3/17 ACR Crest.Gif


Department of the Army
The Chief of Military History and the Center of
Military History
Washington, D.C. 20314

January 25, 1983

Dear Mr. Young:

This is in response to your letter of December 30, 1982 regarding Troop A, 3d Squadron, 17th Cavalry, in Vietnam.

Troop A shares the lineage and honors of the 3d Squadron as shown on the enclosed Statement of Service. As you will note, the squadron has been inactive since 1973. Also enclosed is an extract from the volume, Vietnam Order of Battle, which contains information about the 3d Squadron, 17th Cavalry. The campaigns which took place during 1970 are: Winter-Spring 1970 (November 1, 1969 - April 30, 1970); Sanctuary Counteroffensive (May 1 - June 30, 1970); and Counteroffensive, Phase VII (July 1, 1970 - June 30, 1971). For its service in Vietnam, Troop A earned two Valorous Unit Awards, five Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry, and two Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medals. Copies of the Department of Army general orders announcing those awards are enclosed. You will note that three of the awards of service during 1970; the Valorous Unit Award for service in Cambodia from May 6 to June 29, 1970; the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for service from January 5 to April 5, 1970; and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class, for service from May 1, 1969 to May 15, 1970.

Detailed operational records of Army units, including lists of casualties, are not available from this office. The annual historical supplement prepared by the 3d Squadron for 1970 should contain information about its operations. If that report were submitted, it should be on file at the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania 17013, and you should write directly to the Institute for information regarding it. Requests for information from or access to those records should be addressed to the Chief, Access and Release Branch, Records Management Division, The Office of the Adjutant General, Hoffman Building I, 2461 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22331.

Although we have no record of any published histories about the 3d Squadron, 17th Cavalry, it is mentioned in the volume published by this Center entitled, Mounted Combat In Vietnam. The volume is described on page 35 of the enclosed brochure, "Publication of the U.S. Army Center of Military History."

We trust the information provided is useful. Best wishes.



Robert N. Waggoner
Colonel, Field Artillery
Chief, Historical Services Division




"We Were Soldiers Once... And Young"

Fellow troopers:

I thought you might enjoy the following history from Lt. Gen Hal Moore's & Joe Galloway's book, "We Were Soldiers Once... And Young"

I quote Gen. Moore:

"In early July the Pentagon announced that the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) had served its purpose; now it would become the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Colonel Brown, with an eye to military heritage and tradition, immediately asked that his two battalions be given the historic colors of the 7th U.S. Cavalry. My battalion was reborn as the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry. Our sister battalion became the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry.

"In the days when Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer commanded the 7th Cavalry the regiment adopted a rowdy Irish drinking song. "Garry Owen," as its marching tune. The words "Garry Owen" made their way onto the regimental crest, and the officers and the men of the regiment customarily accomplished each exchange of salutes with a hearty "Garry Owen, sir!" We picked up the tradition with the 7th Cavalry colors, and the troops accepted it all with enthusiasm.

"The officers and pilots of Lieutenant Colonel John B. Stockton's highly spirited 3rd Squadron of the 17th Cavalry now became the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry - and had already absorbed the very essence of cavalry spirit. They wore big cavalry mustaches and black Stetson hats, and they carried their papers in leather saddle-bags, despite everything that more conservative elements in the division command could do to stop them. Stockton and his men even smuggled their mascot, Maggie the Mule, [which was later killed by friendly fire while grazing outside the perimeter in Vietnam] to Vietnam in spite of a strict no-pets-allowed order intended to ensure that the mule stayed home" [End of quote]

What is interesting, as many of us know much of our 3/17th later became OPCON to the 1st Cav during the 1970 Cambodia Incursion. Shortly thereafter the 1st Cav division went home leaving certain elements behind, such as the 1/9th mentioned above.

We know from documents uncovered that the 1/9th and the 3/17th merged along with other elements such as the 334th to become an ad hoc air cavalry unit in late 1970 and thru 1971.

Roger Young - Spur webmaster




Valorous Unit Ribbon.Gif

Army Valorous Unit Citation Ribbon




Vietnamese Gallantry Cross.Gif

Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm


History Index

3/17 Squadron History - "Statement of Service"
[Updated 16 Nov 2002]

A Troop History - 25 Nov '66 through 31 Dec '68
[Updated: 7 Mar 2011]

One Perspective...The Early Days (1966-1967)
- Courtesy of fellow Spur, Glynn Decoteau

A Troop History - 1 Jan '69 through 31 Dec '69
[Updated: 22 Feb 2002]

RVN Frequency Publication - July '69

A Troop History - 1 Jan '70 through 31 Dec '70
[Updated: 20 May 2015]

'70 Redhorse Review A Troop Excerpts

A Troop History - 1971
[Updated: 9 Mar 2015]

"3/17th Squadron. -- Looking for Trouble!"
by SP/4 Wood (Courtesy of Dan Murphy)

Charlie Black Rides with the Silver Spurs
[Updated 9 July 2002]

Valorous Unit Awards -- Transcript

Vietnamese Gallantry Cross -- Transcript

161 Recce Sqn. -- Call Sign: "Possum"
[Updated: 15 Mar 99]


3/17th Air Cav Historical Supplement
A Historical Timeline from the Vietnam War

NEW Addition! - 13 Apr 10
3/17th Air Cav General Officers


Roger Young -- Silver Spur Webmaster