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War Stories

Boonie Hats


BoonieHatBruce Powell (22Jul2019): Rediscovered a note in my Scout Notebook that says that the Boonie Hats arrived at D Troop on 12 Oct 1967.

Joe Hoover (16Aug2017): When F Troop 4th Cav was in Lai Khe 1971, we occasionally got in trouble at Phu Loi when we would go from the airfield to main post for being out of uniform.

The bright idea guys at Phu Loi decided that the boonie hats we were issued were not proper military head gear. So when the news got back to Lai Khe, the 1st SGT decided to hold a formation and everyone was to be wearing “proper head gear” to prove we had them. i.e. Baseball caps.

Most of the enlisted personnel were in formation (which is not supposed to happen in a combat zone) and we were getting the lecture about proper head gear, boonie hats don’t count and if we go to Phu Loi, we had to wear proper head gear. Yadda yadda yadda.

All of a sudden we hear someone shout: “Squad Attention!!. Forward March!!” Here comes Bob Maxey and several enlisted (including George) marching in formation wearing helmets. Maxey calls squad halt in front of formation and right face. The 1st SGT asked Maxey what he thought he was doing. Bob says they are reporting to prove they had proper head gear. Maxey said they were wearing helmets because that is proper headgear in a combat zone and last he heard, this IS A COMBAT ZONE. One of the funny things that happened at Lai Khe. (Fred Reese, I think you were in that helmet squad too.)16Aug2017:


jonesGary Jones: This is from my photo stream. It is the boonie hat I wore in the unit. I was never issued a Cav hat (Stetson) and never saw anyone, in Country, wear one.



Jim Kreil:

In 1968 - 1969 at Cu Chi everyone wore boonie hats (Most of my pictures have them). We were often sent back to hootches to get proper cover on our way to the flight line.  Several of my friends extented for the 1st cav,  and were told to get rid of those ------ hats "your not in the infantry no more!".

Jim Hoag:

These three boonie hat pics are numbers 38, 40 & 41 in my slide show. Margulies had a straight up hat on, Conniff was showing his Hunter-Killer patch on the front of his and mine had the goofy "Vietnam-Cambodia War Games Participant 70-71" in a peace sign patch on top. You can see that Conniff's hat was in the camo style. All 3 pix are from Camp Frenzell-Jones.

We used to wear them on the flight line "IF" there was no operating aircraft. If there was, we had to tuck them inside our pants so they wouldn't get blown into the rotors.

marqulisconn iffhoag


Robin Haywood: I still have a boonie hat, the one in the pic was given to me by a short timer just before he left 1972 Long Binh, that was D Troop, maybe 3 or 4 months. It's O. D. green not camo. That hat was stolen from me by some cockroach/junk dog, piece of s#!&& at Long Binh.

I got another one shortly after, a camo one and it's hanging on my hat rack now along with my F Troop Cav Hat. I still have that jungle camo shirt in the closet.