Graphic provided courtesy of Keith ( Hacksaw ) Bodine, 229th. AHB, 1966
Click on picture to go to Keith's website.
This site is dedicated to the honor and memory of Col. Kenneth D. Mertel, who was the 1st Battalion Commander of the Jumping
Mustangs as they went into battle in RVN, and who unselfishly created and organized the Jumping Mustang Association because of
the respect and love he had for the soldiers who served in this great battalion. He also is responsible for the development of this web
site which is carried on in his honor.
This "Jumping Mustang" Web Site is dedicated to all of the "Warriors" who served in Vietnam with our great Battalion
from 1965 to 1971, all "shifts" of our great 1st Air Cav Division and their wonderful spouses, children, and families and
those "Warriors" who paid the "Supreme Sacrifice", and their families. We are all JUMPING MUSTANGS, whether we
jumped with a parachute or simply jumped from a hovering helicopter, sometimes many feet in the air into the jungle,
thus the name of our Home Page Web Site. Individual Company Home Pages are included".
We can never forget our activation as 1st Bn, 8th Cav, Airborne, Airmobile, Air Assault on 1 Jul 1965. Our hard, realistic
training, day and night. Lost Platoon Leaders and their Platoons in the Georgia swamps, learning to navigate in the
jungle and swamps of Fort Benning Georgia. The battalion goes "Airborne" as all "Legs" go to Jump School, the influx
of Airborne Plat Sgts, 1st Sgts and CSM from the 82nd and 101st Abn Divisions. Our first "jumps".
REMEMBER The "Great Five Mile Run" (could we do it??==we did); the green dye as our underwear changed colors.
We sailed from Savannah, Georgia on 20 Aug 1965, aboard the USNS Geiger, 31 days, "double" timed all the way,
through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific Ocean to Qui Nhon (Quy Nhon), landing on 20 Sept.
Remember our liberty for a few hours on Guam, also our invasion of Honolulu in route?
Ready for an amphibious assault landing at Qui Nhon, we were disappointed (and relieved) when we were taken by
helicopter to An Khe, the 1st Air Cav home base, known as the "golf course".
Do not forget our many battles and many combat actions as our "Warriors" came of age and were "blooded". What a
splendid record this "first shift" made, traditions and high standards set to be carried on by all future "shifts" of
"Jumping Mustang Warriors".
What a great group of officers, NCOs and men, "Warriors" all, "Sky Troopers" all. It was my honor and privilege to be
your first commander.
My personal thanks to Jerry Conners (Recon LRRP Team 1965-66) for starting this "Jumping Mustang Home Web
Page". You have done a great job Jerry.
With all of our Jumping Mustangs continuing input, help and support, our "Home Page" shall continue to improve.

Ken Mertel
1st Cavalry Division
1st Brigade - Airborne
Initial Members were Parachute Qualified...
We were all Air Assault and Airmobile
The airborne flash for the Jumping Mustangs was approved by the Institute Of Heraldry. The blue background represents the Infantry,
and the yellow border with a black stripe represents the cavalry
Our Actions Lead to the Development of the Current Air
Assault Badge and We Performed the First Two Night
Combat Air Assaults in History and were Awarded the Air
Assault Badge Depicted on the Left.
Under Enemy Fire, We replaced our Expert Infantry Badge
(left) with Combat Infantry Badges (Right).
The Combat Medical Badge (right) was awarded to those
men who desperately fought to save the lives of our
wounded comrades, which replaced their Expert Medical
Badge (left).
The full Battalion received the following Unit Awards for Heroism, Valor
and Gallantry during Combat in the Republic of Vietnam.
Presidential Unit Citation for Heroic Actions at Pleiku Province (1965).
This citation is awarded to units of the Armed Forces for extraordinary heroism in action
against an enemy. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de
corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as
to set it apart and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of
heroism required is the same as that which warrants the awarding of a Distinguished
Service Cross to an individual.
Valorous Unit Award for Combat Actions during Fish Hook.
The degree of heroism required is the same as that which warrants the awarding of a
Silver Star to an individual.
RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
Awarded to the unit for combat actions in the Republic of Vietnam.

Individual Awards and Decorations may be found on the Company Web Pages
We are proud members of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), the highest decorated unit in the Vietnam War.
We fought to free the oppressed, and answered President John F. Kennedy's call "Ask not what your Country can
do for you, but what you can do for your Country!"

Jumping Mustangs 1\8th Cav Viet Nam Home page Battalion Commanders Jumping Mustang history in Viet Nam Jumping Mustang Reunion Registration Jumping Mustangs KIA's by Year Jumping Mustangs KIA's by Name Jumping Mustangs who have died since combat Poems by fellow Jumping Mustangs jumping Mustangs Projects
Veterans helping Veterans Jumping Mustang Bugle, News Letter Jumping Mustang Application to the Chapter By-laws & Constitution of the Jumping Mustang Chapter Reading List, books about the 1st Bn 8th Cav in Viet Nam Info on the 1st Brigade (ABN) of the 1st Air Cav Div in Viet Nam Texas Tech Viet Nam History Project Links to other Cav sites
Site Dedication by Kenneth D Mertel, U.S.A. Col (Ret),
Battalion Commander 1965 - 1966
Colorado Springs CO
October  2018
Reunion 22 pictures, page 1 Reunion 22 pictures, page 2 Reunion 22 pictures, page 3 Myrtle Beach SC reunion 23 charlotte nc reunion
HQ...65-71    Alpha Co...65-71     Bravo Co...65-71    Charlie Co...65-71    Delta Co...65-71     Echo Co...68-71     Troopers - No company
1st Bn 8th Cav Reg, 1st Air Cav Div
"Jumping Mustangs"
Viet Nam 1965 - 1971
This website is not approved or endorsed by, nor in any way affiliated with, the Department of
Defense, the United States Army, the 1st Cavalry Division or the 1st Cavalry Division Association.
Click the Guest Book Logo to the left to View
/ Sign the Jumping Mustang Guest Book
Comments, questions or suggestions please send to Kevan Mynderup webmaster. Thank you.
Graphic provided courtesy of Keith ( Hacksaw ) Bodine, 229th. AHB, 1966
Click on picture to go to Keith's website.
"A" Co..1965-66              "B" Co..1968               "C" Co..1968                  "D" Co..1969-70
by Walt Gamache           by Mike Price        by Kevan Mynderup       by Gordon Swenson

"A Co.. 1969-70
Pictures only
by Rob Shuss

"A" Co..1967-1968
First Platoon
by Richard Lewis Dieterle
Jumping Mustangs sub sites
They are owned and maintained by the person listed under them.
To the members of the Jumping Mustangs Chapter.  Did you attend the latest reunion?  If not, you
need to send in your dues for 2018 to James Knafel  5510 E. 500 South,  Columbia City In 46725
($10). Also have you moved, changed mailing address or email address? Send those to James also.
All photographs on this site are the property of the person who loaned them
to this site and as such, can not be used without permission of the owner.
Do you have a story, incident or something you would like to share about your time in Vietnam with 1st Bn 8th Cav?
If so, send it to the
webmaster (Kevan Mynderup) so it can be added to the site. Please note what company and year.