The 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry, and attached units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism in combat actions in the Republic of Vietnam on 2-3 October 1966. Early on 2 October 1966, the Battalion was diverted to the village of Hoa Hoi where two helicopters had been shot down. After a quick reconnaissance, the battalion commander commenced the air assault, moving his three rifle companies into positions around the enemy-held village. Two platoons of Company B were in the initial air movement, and these elements came under heavy enemy small arms fire upon landing. Unhesitatingly, the men charged straight into the well entrenched enemy and pushed them back toward the village. As Company B was fighting its way into Hoa Hoi from the southeast, Company A landed to the southwest. Receiving sniper fire on the landing zone, the company immediately attacked toward the village. At this point operations were halted, and loudspeakers were used to direct the civilians away from the village and to implore the enemy soldiers to lay down their arms. Numerous civilians and soldiers did as they were directed. After as hour, it was evident that no one else was coming out of the village, and the advance was continued. The fighting was marked by violent platoon size encounters as the companies attacked through a series of well fortified enemy trenches before reaching the enemy’s main village stronghold. In the meanwhile, Company C completed the encirclement, landing north of the village and attacking south. Using the same aggressive, offensive tactics employed by the other companies, Company C fought its way through rice paddies and enemy fortifications to reach its blocking positions. It became evident that the three rifle companies could not contain the enemy during the approaching night, and Companies A and C, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, were airlifted into the area to seal off the enemy village. During the night, the enemy made numerous attempts to breakout of the perimeter, but were unable to penetrate the valiant ring of soldiers. At daybreak, Company C, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, began the main attack through the village while the remainder of the force continued to encircle the enemy. Despite the heavy volume of deadly fire from the well entrenched, tenacious foe, the heroic troopers moved steadily forward, and position after position collapsed under the assault. By noon, the final sweep of Hoa Hoi was completed. Because the Battalion aggressively carried the battle to the enemy with uncounted incidents of individual gallantry, friendly casualties were minimized compared with the near total destruction of the entrapped enemy force. The determination and extraordinary courage displayed by the men of the participating units reflect great credit upon the 1st Cavalry Division and the United States Army.





General Orders No. 47

Headquarters, Department of the Army

12 September 1968


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