Headquarters & Headquarters Company 1965 - 1971
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1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav
1965 -1966

1st Bn 8th Cav
1967 - 1971
The mission of the HQ Company was to provide Command, Medical, Signal and Logistical support and service for the
entire Battalion. This was a large important mission and at many times a very difficult one to perform in Vietnam. The
Company contained the bulk of the equipment for multiple task requirements. Unlike the Letter companies, it was
decentralized with the HQ Company Commander having few assets under his direct Command and Control. Within the
Company were a number of special purpose elements and detachments from outside the Battalion, for combat
operations of the Battalion. These were the US Air Force Forward Air Controllers, Artillery Fire Control Section and
Division Pathfinders among others. Within the HQ Company there were minor but important functions such as
operations of the Barber Shop, Service Clubs, and Food Service Support. These were very important for the health,
welfare and morale of the Battalion.

Due to the travel light Airborne, Air Assault and Airmobile field procedures, the Letter Companies had a minimum of
administration and equipment capability. HQ Company played a major role in providing support to the Letter
Companies 24 hours a day. This allowed the Letter Companies to be lean, light and fast in the tradition of the early US
Cavalry and the Airmobile role.

HQ Company was commanded by Captain Russell W. Ramsey, with 1st Sgt William J. Tucker. There was no
authorized Executive Officer. The company was flagged on July 1, 1965 from HQ Company, 188 Infantry Battalion,
11th Air Assault Division (Test) as part of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), this being the first such unit in the US
Army force structure. At that time the Sky Troopers proudly sewed on the Airborne Tab over the 1st Cavalry
Division's, large yellow and black patch. At the time of activation the unit was at Harmony Church, Fort Benning,
Georgia.

After the 28 July 1965 orders for shipment to Vietnam, the HQ Company advance party, along with the Letter Company
advance parties, departed by USAF C-130 on 14 August 1965. The remainder of  the Companys and Battalion,
departed Savannah, Georgia on 20 August 1965, on the USNS Geiger and arrived at Qui Nhon, Republic of South
Vietnam on 21 September 1965. From Qui Nhon the Company moved by airlift to An Khe, Binh Dinh Province, off of
Highway 19, to the new main base camp for the 1st Cavalry Division, named Camp Radcliff.

The first "Jumping Mustang" Sky Trooper to receive a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for heroism was a medic
from HQ's Company Medical Platoon, SP4 Raymond Ortiz from Texas, who was assigned as a Rifle Platoon Medic
with " A" Company, awarded the decoration for valor on 3-4 November 1965, in the Ia Drang area near Cambodia in
the Central highlands. The DSC is the 2nd highest award in the US Army for valor.

Today HQ Company still carries on the unit's legacy as part of the 1-8 Cavalry, (Armor), with their home station at Fort
Hood, Texas. The "Jumping Mustang's Sky Troopers of the Airborne, Airmobile era of 1965 - 1971 no longer exist,
having been replaced with tanker "Mustangs" in the Armor Branch. For further information, see History Link and
Recommended Reading List.

By Gerry Plummer, LTC (Ret), 2 August 1999. Battalion S-4, 1965
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