Back in late 1968 the squadron S-2 came by to review recently captured documents with me. (note: the 1/4 Cav was by far the lead producer in getting POWs and enemy documents turned into the intell system). At the time I was the senior interrogator with the 2nd Brigade at Di An. I gave the S-2, an Ivy school grad, a hard time about sending me a group of five year olds as POWs . I guess C Troop was having a slow day. The S-2 asked if I wanted to take a trip to Bien Hoa to visit the ARVN III Corps Headquarters and I said yes.
As we pull into the compound at III Corps the S-2 turns to me and says he needs to ensure the ARVN got the gift for LTC Faith. My mind is full of possibilities as to what the 1/4 Cav would get their departing CO. We park the jeep and the S-2 goes into the command section and I walk down to the Provinical interrogation center to scout out any good intell our allies may be holding back on. We link up in an hour or so and the S-2 is all smiles. We have one more stop to make in Bien Hoa, sorry troops it was not a bar. We pull up in front of a nice little two story compound about a mile from the air base. As we walk into the compound the S-2 asks if I can guess what the gift is? I can't. It's a K-54 pistol. So what did you have to trade to get that. I don't recall all the S-2 said, but "cheese" was part of his reply.
Inside the compound we were taken into a large office where two Americans sat in Hawaiian shirts. You guessed it, the CIA. The leader, a Mr. Brown, a common agency identity, was very happy to see the S-2. The 1/4 Cav in its supporting role found itself all over III Corps and thus had the ability to provide outstanding intelligence. The CIA was also very appreciative for the 1/4 Cav's destruction of the VC Phu Loi BN during Tet 68. The Phu Loi Bn was known as the best VC unit in all of Viet Nam until they made the mistake of getting into a meeting engagement with the 1/4 Cav. Mr. Brown made it vey clear if the Quarterhorse wanted anything just to let him know.
What struck me was the loyalty the CAV had to its leaders and how the leaders had that same loyalty for their men. The S-2 talked the entire trip about how great the unit was. I listened and I knew. I had been at Phu Loi during Tet, I was with two 1/4 Cav tracks as we supported the 1/2 Infantry at Song Be in April of 68, and I would be out again with the Cav until I went back to the states in Sepyember of 69.
Heck, I liked my experience with Cav so much I became an 11D and a platoon sergeant with 11 ACR and then an Armor officer. There were some great combat units in the army during the Viet Nam War and the 1/4 Cav was at the top of the list.