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War Stories

F Troop "Orphans"


When 3/4 Cav and the 25th Inf Division left Vietnam, D Troop stayed and became F Troop

Who owned F Troop? Why did they wear a 1st Avn Bde Patch? Where were they? see Jan 2021 Newsletter Article

updated 1 Oct 2021

According to the 25th Infantry Division website, F Troop remained assigned to the 25th Division until the Troop left Nam on 26 Feb 1973. How can that be? Anybody have documents? If true, does this mean that both D and F Troops technically remained as 25th Inf Div units for the entire war?

"Troop F, 4th Cavalry was activated on 10 February 1971 in Vietnam and assigned to the 25th Division as a separate air cavalry troop in support of the 25th Division's 2nd Brigade.

After the 2nd Brigade left Vietnam on 30 April 1971, Troop F remained assigned to the 25th while serving with the 11th and 12th Aviation Groups. It was one of the last Army units to leave Vietnam on 26 February 1973."


Lloyd GoldSmith (Sep 2021): I received the below email from CMH in answer to our questions about F Troop (Click here to read). Note that they are unable to complete the research but did confirm that there was no "lineal connection" between D Troop, 3/4 Cav and F Troop, 4 Cav. Their letter doesn't answer all the questions but if clarifies that F Troop was not part of 25 Inf Div. Still waiting on an answer from 1st Aviation Bde. Lloyd


Carl Betsill: I remember asking Dale Dow our Historian about this. Specifically I asked him why I had never even heard of the 25th ID during my tour, was it just because, being an enlisted man, I just didn’t understand the chain of command? His response was no, even the officer Corp was not aware of the fact that F-troop remained a part of the 25th. I’m not sure, if the officers didn’t know, where Dale got his information. It would be an interesting fact to verify.

Do you have any other information for us?


Jan 2021 Newsletter:

Were F Troop Centaurs wearing the wrong patch? Don Borey has been doing some research and found that according to the "History of the 4th Cavalry Regiment" by John C. Keliher, which is on the 25th Inf Div Association website, F Troop was activated on 10 Feb 1971 and assigned to the 2d Brigade of the 25th Inf Div. After the 25th moved back to Hawaii 30 Apr 1971, the Troop remained assigned to the 25th Inf Div while serving with the 11th and 12th Combat Aviation Groups until it left Vietnam on 26 Feb 1973. Note: 11th and 12th Combat Avn Groups (CAG) became Combat Avn Brigades (CAB) sometime after Nam.

Don Borey arrived incountry 15 Mar 71 and has hard copy orders assigning him to the 2d Bde, 25th Inf Div. The next day someone from F Troop picked him up at 90th replacement. That was a month after F Troop had been assigned/attached elements of the 1st Avn Brigade

Most everyone thought they were no longer in the 25th Inf Div after March. Everyone changed the shoulder patches to the 1st Avn Bde patch.

Army Regulation 670–1 Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia21–16. Shoulder sleeve insignia-current organization (1) ACOM, ASCC, and/or DRU commanders are authorized to permit, on a case-by-case basis, the wear of corps orseparate brigade SSI by members of units attached to specific corps or separate brigades on a permanent basis. Theterm “permanent” applies to those units that are, have been, or expect to be attached for an extended period of time.

The 1st Avn Brigade Commander may have used the Regulation above to authorize our F Troop guys to wear their patch as they did missions for subunits the 11th and 12th CAG. But that still doesn't answer the question of whether they were still technically members of the 25th Inf Div. We may never know.


Feb 2021 Don Borey: In my continuing effort to beat a dead horse no one likely cares about, take a look at AR 670-1 Chapter 21-18b(3)(b). Seems to me like it all turns on whether F Troop was opcon to 1st Avn Bde or permanently attached. If permanently attached, the CG could have authorized F Troop to wear Brigade Patch as its shoulder sleeve insignia. If only opcon or temporarily attached, the Troop should have continued to wear the 25th Div Patch both in theater and after as the Former Wartime Service Patch , now referred to as the military operations in hostile conditions shoulder sleeve patch. I agree we will never know.


U.S. Army Center of Military History CMH

From: USARMY Ft McNair CMH Mailbox Answers <>
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2021 4:03 PM
To: '' <>
Cc: USARMY Ft McNair CMH Mailbox Answers <>
Subject: Troop F, 4th Cavalry Regiment

Major Lloyd Goldsmith (U.S. Army Retired):

Reference your August 16, 2021 letter to CMH requesting information on Troop F, 4th Cavalry in Vietnam, and whether or not it was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division or 1st Aviation Brigade. Your letter also mentioned that our website indicated your unit as "F Troop F, 3/4 Cav," but could you be more specific about where that is cited?

In general, during this era organic divisional or separate infantry brigade elements were usually formally and officially "assigned" to that echelon, while non-divisional/combined arms brigade units were usually and more informally "attached" to other functional branch echelons. The vast major of units serving in Vietnam fell into the second group. At this time, due to current work from home restrictions, CMH cannot confirm the chain of command for Troop F, 4th Cavalry or whether it was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. Currently available resources have some conflicting information and further research into our reference files is required. We will send a follow-up email providing an answer if we can resolve the issue. The best sources of information are the units own operational records and the records of various higher headquarters. CMH does not maintain unit operational records, but interested individuals may conduct their own research into unit attachments and obtain other historical information by examining unit records in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration.

We are able to confirm, however, that there is no lineal connection between Troop D, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, and Troop F, 4th Cavalry, although the personnel and equipment assets from the former were probably used to activate Troop F. The campaigns and decorations from D/3-4 CAV (which was officially assigned to the 25th Infantry Division) did not transfer to F-4 CAV. Most of the 25th Infantry Division departed Vietnam by December 1970, but its 2d Brigade remained in Vietnam until the end of April 1971. We can say that after its activation (10 February 2971), Troop F appears to have supported the 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division's various operations as its aerial reconnaissance asset, but can't confirm at this time if this was a formal assignment or attachment. Shelby Stanton's Vietnam Order of Battle indicates the unit served with both the 11th and 12th Aviation Groups. These groups in turn served under the 1st Aviation Brigade. Stanton indicates that Troop F was under the 12th Aviation Group from its activation in February 1971 to May 1972, when the troop was transferred to the 11th Aviation Group (which was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division until its relief in May 1972). Troop F appears to have served under the 11th Aviation Group until the troop's inactivation in Vietnam on 26 February 1973. It was during this period under the 11th Aviation Group that the troop earned a Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for service between 28 June and 31 August 1972. For its service in Vietnam, the troop also earned four campaign streamers - Counteroffensive, Phase VII; Consolidation I; Consolidation II; and Cease-Fire.

I'm not sure of the dates you served, but we have no available information indicating that Troop F, 4th Cavalry served under 3d Squadron, 17th Cavalry. If this was an informal arrangement, however, there may not be official documentation.

I hope this information will be of some assistance.