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11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

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A photo of the flight section of the 11th Cav supporting "G"Trp., 2/11th ACR on operations in Hau Nghia Province northwest of Phu Loi in early 1972. After the 2/17th Cav stood down up north, I (and a few others) transferred to MR III and the "Blackhorse" where I assumed command of HQ71, an M113 ACAV (not the one shown, but from where I took these pictures). It was only a "headquarters" vehicle because I had the troop medic on my car, a reassuring feeling. In fact, we went out with all three line platoons on patrol, which tranlates into almost all the missions. Gaps in my crew line-up (since the medic is a non-combatant, theoretically) were filled with mechanics & cooks, who served and fought splendidly...and occasionally were supported(?) by the local ARVN. Down south I re-encountered several guys I had known in training at Fort Knox who were either with "E" or "F" troop, 2/11th including Leroy Lynch and Roger Justison. Bless you guys, wherever you are...

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey 11 Cav.

A composite of 2 11th Cav "Blackhorse" patches, an Army original and one of Vietnamese "local manufacture" (some of the latter type occasionally displaying a VERY well "equipped" stallion...though this one is "restrained" in that regard).

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey 11 Cav.







Sequence of descending hand flare illumination at NDP of G Troop, 2/11th ACR - probably Hau Nghia province. 'G' troop, as well as other sqdn. members 'E' & 'F' troops, enjoyed excellent support from the Air Cav troop and 'How. Battery', Blackhorse. (Technically, use of the designation 11ACR was not officially authorized, as it was not deployed in regimental strength in '72, but what the hell!)

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey 11 Cav.

Twilight Zone, lost episode - A good way to have 35mm pics processed in VN was by using Kodak photomailers, as I did after taking the three pics on the left, of this incident at an NDP in Hau Nghia province in ’72. In two of these, the troop medic (who operated from my vehicle) can be seen casually strolling back after determining that there were no casualties. I likewise sent off a roll of exposed film for a buddy & gave him his prints when they came back. Ten years later I was sorting through old negatives and discovered some unfamiliar exposures among mine and had them printed to see what was there. To my immense surprise, I recognized the rising mushroom cloud in the two photos on the right as being the same I had photographed and that close inspection of the angle relative to the trees on the horizon meant that I must have been between the photographer and the explosion when taken. To my even greater surprise, I recognized the M113 ACAV in the center of the photo as my own and the figure approaching and entering the vehicle from behind with the camera around his neck as myself about to take the three previous shots from aboard my vehicle. “…on the road, a signpost up ahead…says you’re entering…” Doug Kibbey- Cmdr., G-71; ‘G’ Trp., 2/11th ACR.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Air strike preliminary to advance by 'G' Trp., 2/11th ACR

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Principal vehicles of Light Armored Cavalry (traded M-48's for THESE?), M113 ACAV (G-71,top) & M551 Sheridans (G-37 & G-39,bottom).

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Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

View down the M60 MG of an M113 ACAV...(no, there was no round chambered!) 'G' Trp, 2/11th ACR in Hau Nghia province NDP, '72

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

The quote is by George S. Patton, Jr....pictured is George S. Patton III





ARVN infantry in Hau Nghia province catching a lift on my vehicle, M113 ACAV G71, G Trp., 2/11th ACR...given a choice, they would ride down inside thinking it was safer (it wasn't) & sometimes would try to take what wasn't theirs...I wouldn't let 'em do either, which is why 'Nguyen' looks so surly.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

ARVN infantry ignoring good advice to keep his legs and feet from overhanging the vehicle...good way to lose them to mine blast. The guy on the left in the 'ammo box' fabricated seat is the troop CO, Capt. Venhoff, who replaced Capt. William Marshall Clark when he was mortally wounded on a dismount...he succumbed to his wounds on 72Feb23.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Xray was the designated Arty FO vehicle (he's the Lt. in the back with the flak jacket on), the ARVN infantry passenger leisurely straddling the whip antenna is typically a lot less alert than the crew. My experience of the ARVN (Hoc Bao excepted) is that they were pathologically addicted to air support, smoke grenades, and armor. One casualty would render an entire unit combat ineffective for the rest of the day.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Evidence of earlier chemical defoliation efforts visible (Operation Ranch Hand, I think) when I took this picture on patrol with G Troop, 2/11th ACR in Tay Ninh-Hau Nghia provincial border region.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

In this and the next photo, you can see why our covert ambush insertions went undetected by the enemy. Common practice was to put small (~4 man) ambush teams inside M113 ACAVs and then traverse heavy bush areas (and promising ambush sites) while conducting lengthy patrols. On signal, the team would exit the small back door of the M113 while moving, making observation of the insertion virtually impossible to detect. This, and the next, picture illustrates the difficulty of observing the vehicles directly from anywhere but behind, and that position was covered. Rapid mechanized reinforcement made 4-man ambush teams tenable.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Another view of heavy bush conditions, this one a joint ops mission as evidenced by the ARVN on the back of the vehicle. The 4-man ambushes described previously were always composed of our own G Troopers however, consisting of crew members from vehicles left in the NDP during the insertion manouver.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

1st of a 7 frame sequence, a tense day with a good outcome. Here, a combined 2 platoon patrol of G troop, 2/11th ACR in Hau Nghia province halts to disarm anti-vehicular mine made from an artillery dud. Noticiably heavy bush, which takes a high toll on equipment...especially overheating in M551 Sheridans, and risk of thrown tracks. Somehow, 'X-ray' the Arty FO vehicle, shows up in a lot of my pics.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

X-ray again, now with a thrown track. This element consists of: an M551 far to the rear with a fan tower under repair, one M113 behind 'X-ray' to support the track repair, and my ACAV (G71) fallen out voluntarily to secure this element (after OIC ignored several radio calls from X-ray for assistance). Patrol is now 3 M113's here, one M551 catching up from repair, and ~7 vehicles proceeding on the patrol about one kilometer ahead...not a good situation. There has been previous contact and that is the medic from my vehicle (in the shirt) assisting in ground guiding the stricken vehicle so we can get underway ASAP.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Three frames show approaching fire while repair of 'X-ray' proceeds, started by tracers or deliberately set by enemy to force abandonment of the vehicle...we never knew which. Lends an element of urgency to the situation as we know the enemy is in the area. The photo sequence is interuppted when, recognizing vulnerability in the heavy bush (mine is the only gun facing the front of this 4 vehicle column) I dismount to patrol the forward 'perimeter' on foot, having neither resouces or authority to direct someone else to do it. Instructions to my driver and other vehicle crews: 'If you hear shooting from the bush, don't leave me...and try not to shoot me'. No enemy encountered in 20 ft. visibility conditions, in this stuff.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

The separated element of the patrol has completed repair and gotten underway, trying to catch up to the rest of the unit. The TC of the M113 you see was called 'Pop' because of his advanced age...he was 35, as I recall.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

My favorite picture of an 11th Cav operation...because of the sunset, and the fact that we are now reformed into a single column with no losses from the days difficulties...though the third vehicle back can be seen to be 'in-tow'.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

G Troop, 2/11th ACR on patrol, Hau Nghia province '72

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

G Troop, 2/11th on patrol in Hau Nghia province. View is from an M551 Sheridan. Note the M113 ACAV cupola ahead in the dust.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Our work here is finished"...and a little liberty taken with the spelling of 'grateful'. G Troop, 2/11th ACR-Hau Nghia province '72.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

M551 Sheridan of G Troop, 2/11th ACR bustin' bush in Hau Nghia province.

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

M551 Sheridan, G Troop, 2/11th ACR assuming a defensive position for an NDP

Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

Firebase Fiddler's Green, Hau Nghia Province 1972. M551 in foreground belongs to "G" Trp., 2/11th ACR and the self-propelled 155mm's you see in the background belong to Howitzer Battery, 2/11th ACR. FSB Fiddler's Green was the usual supply/maintence point from which "G" Troop would typically sortie and establish NDP's from in this period, though the troop HQ was actually located in Phu Loi
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Thanks to VHPAmuseum.org and the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia website, we have now identified after 34 years(!) the G Troop medic pictured here as Ray Rodriguez, the actual namesake of "Medicine Man's Head Shoppe", which most people mistakenly think is an illicit drug reference. I heard from Ray last year after he saw his pictures here and he's doing well.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

M551 Sheridan of G trp., 2/11th ACR...victim of an anti-vehicular mine ('short-tracked' around the lost left front road wheel), trailered in and parked behind our M577 Cmd. Car at stand-down, Long Binh - 1972.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

In line formation with M551, G Trp., 2/11th ACR, Hau Nghia province '72
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

2 slices of life in a Night Defensive Perimeter (NDP), the armored cav version of 'circling the wagons'. Would have 2 concentric circles..an inner and outer, though reaction to threat was to mobilize & attack (every vehicle here could be movin' & shootin' in 30 seconds). On the left, M548 in center of circle was the troop mechanics vehicle (best parties in town) and on the right, time for a car wash. We'd sortie from these (1 or 2 of 3 line platoons at a time, 1 stayed for security) and maintain the location for 24-72 hours, any longer invited attack of some kind. Note erected 'RPG nets'. Hau Nghia province '72
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Morning patrol by M113 ACAV of G troop, 2/11th ACR in Hau Nghia province.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

M551 Sheridan of G Troop, 2/11th ACR and unknown trooper refueling at an NDP. Note addition of M60 MG at loader's hatch, use of artillery ordnance container to extend exhaust stack (raises the plume above the crew in heavy bush) and early "self-service" consisting of an aerially-delivered fuel blivet with hand pump for diesel fuel.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

G Troop, 2/11th ACR demonstrating limitations of 'all-terrain' vehicles in Tay Ninh/Hau Nghia provincial border area.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

My view as ACAV cmdr. of troop CO's vehicle just ahead on joint op patrol amidst rice paddies lying fallow for the (dry) season. A grave is just to the left of frame. That's the same foolish young ARVN risking his leg to mine blast pictured elsewhere in this section. Hau Nghia province-'72.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Elements of G troop, 2/11th Cavalry begin morning patrol mission in Hau Nghia province-'72. Lead vehicle carrying the guidon.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Duplex view of G Troop, 11th ACR "busting bush"...as patrol in this stuff was called, for obvious reasons. Hau Nghia '72.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

M113 playin' at LRRP...it IS possible to be stealthy if the bush is thick enough...& here, it is. On patrol and ambush insertion with G troop, 2/11th ACR in Hau Nghia province '72.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Typical armored vehicle view from inside, through the vision block of an M113 ACAV at an NDP in Hau Nghia province '72
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

M113 ACAV profiled in sunset at an NDP,'72
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

M551 'The Godfather' makes a pit stop in the Night Defensive Perimeter,'72
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

FSB Fiddler's Green at sunset. Visible are G Trp.,2/11th ACR mechanics' M548 in foreground next to sandbagged shelter, part of the TOC with M577 tent extending rearward to mate with another M577 that is out of view (reinforced with PSP), a land radar system in the distance, and a 2 ton truck unloading ammo.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Panoramic view using three 35mm exposures of the same scene. Night Defensive Perimeter of "G" Troop, 2/11th ACR in Hau Nghia prov.'72. M551 Sheridan and M113 ACAV on the outer perimeter.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

Two pics of a four pic sequence of a joint op with ARVN in Hau Nghia prov (I think). The mission ran late and a hasty ONH was prepared. The light can be seen to fade over the next four pictures.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

The sequence continues in these two shots. Vehicles and troops can be seen in the first three. The vehicles can be located by the whip antennae against the sky.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

M113 ACAV rolls back into the NDP after a mission in Hau Nghia province with 2/11th ACR-'72.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

This photo is a continuation of the photo four rows directly up. The round area of bare earth usually marks a fairly anonymous Vietnamese grave that is not getting the attention of the more revered members of a family engaged in ancestor worship. Those graves were generally pretty ornate. Fresh ones in suspicious locations we occasionally dug up as they often contained weapons caches rather than the departed...particularly up north. A link to one example can be found here, though it contained the body of a woman thought to be an NVA nurse. It was respectfully refilled.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey, cmdr. M113 ACAV G71, 2/11th ACR.

"Roy Lingles's M113 ACAV, "Boom-Boom" at FSB "Fiddler's Green" after correcting a lose track tension problem by removing one track shoe. In back with the boonie hat is left gunner, "Skeeter". Up front with green t-shirt is my driver, "Pops", the the oldest guy in the platoon & we lost him a month before stand-down setting up a trip flare that went off, hitting him in the face & eyes. The name "Boom-Boom" and the nuclear mushroom cloud was painted by Pops, as was the cartoon dialogue balloon (yellow paint) that said something like "in case of emergency, pull pin". The yellow line pointed to a fuze igniter with some time fuze laying in that hole with the fuze running back under the pod. When asked about that, the crew would answer that we had packed C-4 into the pod so we could blow up the track if necessary.

Front view: Laying on top the surf board is chain link fence, set up at night as screen for incoming RPGs.

Side view: Beside the turret is a 81mm ammo box with six cans of 50 cal ammo. Three more cans of 50 between the wood box and the engine grills. On the turret side is a Claymore bag. Two 20mm cans were used for ammo storage, the front one having 2,000 rounds of linked 7.62 ammo divided into 100 round belts for the right gun. The back one was full of smoke and incendiary grenades. The incendiaries were great for starting fires like trash pits or tall grass. All is secured with the wire cut from C-rat cases."

Image courtesy of Roy Lingle via Doug Kibbey

"General info of the two Sheridans and 'Cool Hand Luke' These three vehicles are from a group of five Charlie Troop vehicles that hit landmines during last part of '70, early '71. Just before the most of the 11th ACR stood down leaving 2nd Sqdn & Air Cav Troop behind.

Top left: Sheridan on low boy, C-19, 1st Sqdn, 11th ACR, Last of 5 vehicles to find landmines the hard way. This mine was big enough to push the bottom hull plate up into the fighting compartment qualifying the vehicle for direct exchange. Crew was thrown off, hitting the ground & returning to duty in a few days.

Top right: Sheridan with damaged road wheels on the ground. C-17, C Troop, 1st Sqdn. 11th ACR. Struck small toe popper land mine. Damaged some track block, one set of road wheels and road arm, part of the floation box about the first set of road wheels. Vehicle has been repaired and prepares to return to the field. Again, crew was OK.

Bottom left: M113 ACAV 'Cool Hand Luke'. C-34, C Troop, 1st Sqdn, 11th ACR. Suffered mine damage sufficient for direct exchange. NOTE: The TC's cupola is missing. One of the things that I was warned about when I took over my first ACAV was watch where you put your feet when in the cupola. If an ACAV hits a large mine, that cupola can pop off the hull. This was the vehicle "C" Trp's trained sniper rode on. Therefore, C-34 had a five man crew. Again, everyone was banged up but OK. Large bone in driver's right foot was injured too much for in-country medical care, becoming one of only two crewmen on the five vehicles to be med-evac'ed out of country.

Bottom right photo, 'Cross of Courage' Possibly C-1, or C-6, not sure. The Troop CO's ride. Side damage is an RPG strike. Just above the 'age' in courage is a small hole penetrating the armor. Going to the right from the cross bar of the cross is a rut that was cut into armor, but failed to burn all the way through, the shaped charge apparently forming two jets. Somehow, everything missed the driver and didn't damage anything inside the hull. "

Image courtesy of Roy Lingle via Doug Kibbey

M109 155 SP guns of Howitzer Battery, 2/11 ACR at FSB "Fiddler's Green" in Hau Nghia prov. '71. How Battery was the organic arty support to the 11th ACR, whichever squadron one speaks of. The firebase that How Battery was based at became the de facto field base for the three line troops, "E", "F", and "G" and this one is seen elsewhere in this section.
Image courtesy of Pat Rundle via Doug Kibbey

M109's of How Battery again.
Image courtesy of Pat Rundle via Doug Kibbey

M109 "Horney Bitch" of How Battery, this time at a firebase, either FSB Andrews or Fiddler's Green.
Image courtesy of Pat Rundle via Doug Kibbey

M113 ACAV of "F" Troop, 2/11 ACR somewhere in III Corps, '71 or '72 taken by Roger Justison. Roger and I attended M551 Sheridan School at Knox & flew over together, but were assigned different units upon arrival. I didn't see him again until vehicle turn-in at Long Binh just prior to DEROS & we've recently gotten back in contact because of this website.
Image courtesy of Roger Justison via Doug Kibbey

Me outside Ham Tam in Ho Bo Woods. Young and Dumb
Image courtesy of William Powis

"Viet Cong Beware! There is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide! The tanks and armored vehicles of the Blackhorse Regiment will find and destroy you! It is too late to fight. Beware Viet Cong, we are everywhere! Rally now under the Chieu Hoi Program (a government surrender program for rebels),it is your only hope to live!"
Image courtesy of Ed Rouse at Psywarrior.com via Doug Kibbey

"Blackhorse Trooper" certificate of service and Portrait of then commanding officer Colonel George S. Patton presented to LTC. Bill Haponski upon completion of his tour as S-3 with the 11th ACR. Note that Colonel Patton has added "Well Done" to his signature line on the certificate and a nice dedication on the photo.
Image courtesy of LTC. William C. Haponski

Presentation folder for documents presented by the Regiment.
Image courtesy of LTC. William C. Haponski

The 11th Air Cavalry Regiment's "Blackhorse" sleeve patch. This example has been very neatly hand made in country.
Image courtesy of LTC. William C. Haponski

Well illustrated history of 2/11 Cavalry during period April 1971 - March 1972 and related DVD with 500-photograph slideshow are available free to Troopers who served with Squadron during dates shown or surviving immediate family. Quantities are limited. If interested, contact the site owner who will forward requests to authors.
Image courtesy of Doug Kibbey

"On the 8th Day God Opened the Gates of Hell and Out Rolled the 11th Cav" hand painted in country on black velvet. One of the more unusual, black velvet paintings were popular sales fodder for Saigon street vendors.
Image courtesy of C.W. Blount


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