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Last updated on 3/16/17

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D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment

Click here to read a history of D 3/5

Click here to visit The Light Horse Home Page

Click here to visit The Light Horse Air Cav Page

Click here to visit The Light Horse-Scavenger.Org Page

Click here to visit The Charlie Horse Air Cav Page

Click here to visit a memorial to Jon E. Swanson - link courtesy of Tom Payne

Click here for information regarding a new book about Ace Cozzalio


Ace Cozzalio in uniform in Vietnam

Click here for more info about Ace Cozzalio

Images courtesy of Ace's brother Rex Cozzalio - Main image retouched by Randy White





Lt. Anthony Ziemiecki, Gun Pilot, in the classic Indian war style Cavalry uniform introduced to the troop by Ace Cozzalio. Ace arranged for the creation of these uniforms with his Grandmother back home in Oregon. Ace was responsible for a number of the troops unique traditions with roots stemming from the Prarie days of the Cav.


Ace Cozzalio
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Don Callison in personal tropical uniform (left) and Uncle Sam's tropical uniform (right). Vinh Long, 1971

"The sabers are made in Spain for Meyer. Mine came with a learher sam browne set up with security chain and it had a device called a "frog". Like a leather tab with a hook on it to hold one of the 2 metal rings on the scabboard. The handle of the saber sported some sort of gold tassel. I didn't get that saber new. I bought from a guy DEROsing." Don Callison, "Chicken Little"
Image courtesy of Don Callison


1st Design Aeroweapons Platoon
image courtesy of Sam Slaughter

D troop 3/5

Scout Platoon

"I was the first platoon leader of the warwagons (when we got the oh-6). The Warwagon patch was designed during my reign. We started the yellow scarf traditon in the 3rd of the 5th while I was there. After I left, they got into the hats, swords, and other things. As for the skull, I was the scout platoon leader when it was picked up out of the rice paddy after the big tet offensive. It was used then to go from room to room to keep the houch maids from stealing sodas, food, etc. It worked. They never knew where they would find it, so they only did the chores they were susposed to." - J. B. West, Warwagon 16

image courtesy of J.B. West

Light Horse Banner
Image courtesy of Johnny (Hutch) Hutcherson  D troop 3/5 Cav. 1968-69.

Doughboys - Aero Rifle Platton D 3/5
Image courtesy of Johnny (Hutch) Hutcherson  D troop 3/5 Cav. 1968-69.

This is the longknives patch I had in Vietnam 1968. We attached it to a front pocket button. That is why their is a black attachment at the top. I don't think I wore it much as it would of made a great target.  I was in the Longknives PLT. ( UH-1D - H ) 
Image courtesy of Johnny (Hutch) Hutcherson  D troop 3/5 Cav. 1968-69.

"I think they put this patch together when the AH1 arrived. Ya know, you could take any drawing into nearly any local town and some of those local folks were so skillful with a sewing machine that they would whip out a patch while you watched. Really something,It was the same way in Korea. One friend and I had just 2 special patches made commorating an event that nearly lead to General Article 15s for each of us but we somehow escaped prosecution and got off with small retributions. Cool patch. I still have it. It has a big red fire extinguisher on it." - Don Callison
Image courtesy of Don Callison






















9th Division patch made by Vietnamese seamstress - sealed in plastic and fitted with button hanger tab for wear on the Tropical Worsted, short sleeve shirt


Long Knife (D 3/5 Lift platoon) lead going into Cambodia May 1970. Note distinctive D 3/5 striped tail marking.
image courtesy of Light Horse Archives

 Long Knife ship used for command and control (C&C) circa 1970.
image courtesy of Light Horse Archives

Long Knife slick circa 1970.
image courtesy of Light Horse Archives

1lt John Sorensen, Long Knife 26 and C&C pilot. Note location of unit patches.
image courtesy of Light Horse Archives

Note unit patches and the art work plus the red and white stripes across the top of the cabin (D 3/5 Tactical markings).
image courtesy of Light Horse Archives

War Wagon Platoon Scheduling Board made and photographed in 1970 at Vinh Long.
image courtesy of WO1 Morris M. Clark

UH-1D  66-00936 shot-down 9-26-68 call sign Longknife 21. A/C Lt. Jim Clary   -  Co-pilot Wo-1 Mike Chapas  -  Crew Chief- Sp/5 Charles Roberts   -  Door Gunner - P.F.C. Johnny Hutcherson
Image courtesy of Johnny (Hutch) Hutcherson  D troop 3/5 Cav. 1968-69.

The Skull was the drinking vessel for D troop. "The skull belonged to the entire unit. The enlisted troops would come and get it for when they partied. In 1970 and 1971 a Trooper earned his scarf by drinking from the skull." Don Callison. Note - The skull has been adorned with one of D troops distinctive "Silver Belly" Stetson hats (worn by Don and visible in photo above) and yellow scarf.

Click here to read an interesting story about a Cav scarf and a very narrow escape

Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"


Unusual scarf for Gun Platoon pilot. D 3/5 was not known for the classic red & white scarf, but rather yellow ones which were a troop tradition. Can anyone shed any light on this?


This is my favorite, and only picture of "Pig Pen" and me together. What's cool about this picture is it shows the scrounged dual visor "Air Farce" Helmet I wore (inside bubble). It also shows that I was pretty new to Loaches because I was still carrying a grease gun. You can see it up on the instrument cowl. I was wearing the Western holster set-up and the "Gun" is barely visible on the right. I wasn't wearing the "Montagnard" bracelet that I still wear today, but I had earned my scarf. I Still have the gun and holster and show it at Reunions.
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Sunk Loach

Read Don's Story about the "Sunk Loach"
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"


Vietnamese made "Beercan" pin depicting an OH-6 "Loach". This pin can be seen, pinned to the yellow scarf, in the Skull photo
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

2 views of D 3/5 Snoopy Mascot. Note tiny Cav scarf. "I was from an aviation family. My Mom had given me Snoopy while I was at home in Idaho while on leave in April 1970. I was between Flight School and Viet Nam. Snoopy was one of the accouterments that always seemed to be on the Bar that was part of Russell Allison and my room. The picture was probably taken in June or July of '70 at Vinh Long. I don't remember when I put the scarf on him."
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

The "WAR" medal was our response to the many "peace Medals" that were worn at the time. We used to call the peace sign 'The Footprint of the American Chicken'
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Army Aviator's wing and rank devices for W.O.1 & W.O.2 worn by Don Callison. "These are a set of aviator wings I bought when I graduated from Flight School. My Mother has my original wings."
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Hugh Mills, Charlie Horse 38, a very short time before being forced down by rotor failure in his Cobra. See rescue story to the right.


"Rescue near Hue" article


Jolly Green lapel pin presented to those recued after the mission.
Image courtesy of H.L. Mills

I was with B troop 3/5 ground cav.When they stood down I went to D troop. I did this because there were many guys from B troop now in the air troop and no medic.Because the ground and air were never togeather, even though both 3/5 .Because D troop colors were sent North and replaced another air unit everyone was confused. I have even been accused of being a liar. I was at Bearcat when the 9th ID came in.Sometime after I left they went to the Delta, there a ground cav was no good so 3/5 was sent North but for air Delta or plains no matter so D troop stayed with the 9th. I returned to Viet Nam in 1971 and was assigned to B troop 3/5 Blacknights.We supported the 5th ID out of Dong Ha. The 5th stood done we pulled back to Quantri and supported the 101. Thats where 3/5 stood down.9th had already stood down so where D troop was no one knows but the colors were then transfered to North Phu Bi wher we covered the pull back of the 101 and D troop was still there when I left in Feb or Mar 1972 - John Wood
Image courtesy of John Wood

Change of command at Dong Tam 1968 featuring Cav hats and Scarves
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Change of Command Ceremony
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Mike Rasbury at the Change of command - note "Silver Belly" Stetson, scarf and saber!
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Model 1902 Army Officer's sword carried by Gun Pilot Mike Rasbury. Wearing the sword was part of Troop tradition for officers and they were known to be carried in the aircraft as well. Legend has it that, in at least one instance, a D trooper's sword was used against the enemy.
Image courtesy of Mike Rasbury

This painting hung in the officer's bars at Bear Cat, Dong Tam and Vinh Long. It's on the wall behind me now
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Half of a Cav Pack
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

The Doughboys were our Aerorifle infantry or "Blues"
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

You'd be hard pressed to find another photo with this many toothy Cobras.
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Rick Waite and I together. We were shooting my grease gun.
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

My Loach - "Pig Pen"
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Check the bullet hole. The round came in from the front and exited out the "mouse ear".
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Gun Pilot Robert Odenhiemer wearing typical Light Horse troop hat and scarf
Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"

Aero Scout tools of the trade brought home by Don Callison (Warwagon 14). The butt of this .357 pistol can clearly be seen on Don's hip in the photo to the right.

Click here to read the history of this pistol

Image courtesy of Don Callison "Chicken Little"


Right side of Gun Pilot Tony Ziemiecki's Boonie hat with D 3/5 "Crusader" gun platoon emblem applied
Image courtesy of Ziemiecki family via Joe Stone

Front view of the hat features the distinctive pilot wing and crossed sabers with rank device.
Image courtesy of Ziemiecki family via Joe Stone

Left side of the hat featuring 3/5 Crossed sabers
Image courtesy of Ziemiecki family via Joe Stone

Scavenger patch design painted on the "Dog House" of a D 3/5 bird. Scavenger was D Troop’s Maintenance section call sign in ‘69-70 then C Troop 3/17 s in ‘71-72
Image courtesy of Don Callison

Light Horse logo adorning nose of Huey-a typical cav.nose painting,and I think one of my first aircraft
Image courtesy of Ralph Chapman, Crew Chief

Gun Pilot, Tony Ziemiecki wielding Civil War Cavalry saber with his Cav Stetson resting on the point. This photo offers a good view of the Early Cavalry shirts worn by some members of the troop.
Image courtesy of Mike Rasbury

Light Horse awards ceremony in which Alan "Ace" Cozollio was awarded the Silver Star. Note the variety of sabers, spurs, belts, hats and scarves that were all part of troop tradition.
Image courtesy of Ziemiecki family via Joe Stone

I was in both D 3/5 and C 3/17. I did two tours and spent about an equal amount in both,1970 to 1972.I spent most of the time in the longknives (slick platoon) but did fly with the war wagons (scouts)when the oppurtunity came along and a few times the front seat of a Cobra ("Crusaders" gun platoon) That was always a thrill. Young and dumb and wanted to experience it all. Thats why I think the Army hires 18 year olds, give them all the implements of war to play with and they will gladly go blow something up, shoot something down etc.
Image courtesy of Ralph Chapman

"Spook" Nose art on the bubble of a D 3/5 Scout platoon OH-23 (Courtesy Richard Bench). The second image is actually a photocopy of the "Spook" pocket patch (Courtesy Max Bradley). Don Callison comments -"The Spooks were the Grandpas of the Warwagons. Under Ace Cozzalio Spook 11 became Warwagon 11, etc., as they transitioned from OH-23s to OH-6As.
Image via Don Callison

A D 3/5 bird with a circa 1969 "Scavengers" (maintenance platoon) nose art.
Image courtesy of War Wagon Crewchief, Jim Hyler via Don Callison

Me leaning against my bird(962)after she was sling loaded back to camp evans from Quang Tri.We encountered a slight problem with a group of nva while on patrol just across the fence in laos-late nov/dec 71.We managed to get to Khe Sahn combat base and land on the active to check damage.I got out and made a fast inspection,we then flew her back to QT which was as far as she would go.She was then brought back to Evans via maint slick.That was the last time I flew her.I crs on total damage,but she shook like hell and was very dangerous to fly. As a footnote.65-12962 is on permenent display at the US Army Aviation Museum in Ft.Rucker Ala.
Image courtesy of George Branigan D Trp.3rd/5th.Cav.101st.Abn.Div.crewchief/scout/observer

Taking off from Quang Tri sometime during the summer of 1971.
Image courtesy of George Branigan

The gentleman on the left is CW2 Buddy Bradwell, former scout pilot, then to slicks. The gent on the right is Seigfreid. A former sniper from the 101st.,who came over to scouts.
Image courtesy of George Branigan

A paper flyer dropped from aircraft to ask the enemy not to shoot at the helos with red cross's.
Image courtesy of George Branigan

My roomate Ed White(on left)SFC.Bear(I think)and me. Note the grease guns. I scored brand new ones,still in factory wrapping for us scouts.
Image courtesy of George Branigan

Me on the way to the ao somewhere on th' Z in 71.ac 962.
Image courtesy of George Branigan

An amusing Aeorscout thing.
Image courtesy of George Branigan

Our scout patches
Image courtesy of George Branigan

"Warwagon" Scout platoon badge. Made of thin, stamped metal and hand painted - these little badges were prolific in Southeast Asia and usually refered to as "Beer Cans" because of thier flimsy construction.


Eric Blantin - Eric was with the areoscout platoon, "War Wagons ". I flew with Eric a lot as a trail, then I moved into lead. When Eric moved to lead, I broke him in on making our bomb runs. Eric was from Conneticut. He died at the age of 20 in Nov. 1969. The aircraft exploded in the reventment while he was cranking up. I was told later that it may have been an electrical problem that ignited the JP-4. I was supposed to have flown with him that day, but Jim Dale talked me into switching with him. I was doing the flight schedules at the time. The month before that I was supposed to fly with Conrad Wheeler, but somebody wanted to fly with him and we switched. Since I hadn't made the change on the board when they died down in the U Minh forest, pretty much everybody thought that I was with Conrad. Greeno was with Wheeler, and I can't remember off hand what Greeno's first name was.Greeno and Dale transferred over from 9th Aviation before the 9th ID left country and both flew scouts.
Image courtesy of Don Langlois

Just so you can appreciate the uniqueness of our organization, this was delivered for us.
Image courtesy of Bill King

Click here to see a series of pictures taken in July 1969 at an awards – change of command ceremony.
Image courtesy of Paul Aulik, Recondoc 10-68 to 9-69

D Troop Letter Head
Image courtesy of Don Langlois

I'm the guy in the flight helmet.
Image courtesy of Steve Jackson, War Wagon Crew Chief 12

I'm top far right, in front of me is Ed DeBow KIA 3/18/69, on my right is Thomas Grose KIA 2/25/69 the other names I'm afraid escape me except for front far left is La Point can't recall his first name sorry.
Image courtesy of Steve Jackson, War Wagon Crew Chief 12

Insignia worn when I was a Maintenance officer with D troop. Other than orientation flight in Quang Tri, I didn't fly combat. Just maintenance checkout flights. A chance to fly with a Cobra driver was interrupted by mortar rounds. "Jingle bells, artillery shells, VC in the grass, You can take Merry Christmas and shove it up your ... As(s) shepherds watched their flocks ..." that's all I remember of the Cav Song Book.
Image courtesy of Roger Crick

Hughes emblazoned foot pedal from OH6A #67-16398 "Pig Pen" flown by Don Callison - Scout platoon, Warwagons 14 of D/3/5 Cav
Image courtesy of Don Callison, Warwagon 14

A well worn "Warwagon" D/3/5 Aeroscout Platoon patch removed from a nomex flight shirt.
Image courtesy of Don Callison, Warwagon 14

I began my career in the Army as an Enlisted man and airplane mechanic and crewchief. (I started flying airplanes in 1963 when I was in high school.) From January 1966 through early 1968, I was assigned to a joint service project at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. I made lots of AF friends there and became a “Scrounger Extraordinaire” around the flight line. After graduating Flight School at Savannah in early 1970, I took thirty days of leave enroute to Vietnam and was driving home to Idaho. I stopped by the Eglin area to attend the wedding of an Air Force buddy. I had some time on my hands and since I had decided I wanted an Air Force Dual Visor flight helmet, I visited some old haunts on the base. I found that the NCO in charge of the Personal Equipment shop was an old acquaintance. He was very willing to trade a brand new, white dual visor helmet for my well worn Army APH-5. He was eager to trade because he said the local C-123 pilots were hot to get their hands on the Army’s “ballistic” helmets. My helmet was not a ballistic model but who was I to dispute the good Sgt’s observations. We had just about sealed the deal when I told the NCO there was just no way I was going to wear a white helmet while flying low level Aeroscout missions in Vietnam. He told me, for a bottle of Jack Daniels, he’d have his shop Zoomies paint it Olive Drab for me. We made the trade and when I picked up the helmet a couple of days later I saw that the “painter” had gone “above and beyond”. The helmet had a terrific tan and green camouflage pattern sprayed on. The proud Airman couldn’t wait to turn the helmet around to show me his handiwork on the backside. He had blended in a tan “Bird” or “The Finger” on the back. I was elated, to say the least! I could simply turn my head to let those next me know that they were #1 with me too. J Sometime during my tour I painted the helmet black. I also painted the visor several times with different themes. “War Wagon 14” has always been displayed on the back of each of my helmets throughout my flying career. Even the one I wear today. I’m glad to see the helmet returned to the camouflage pattern it originally had.
Image courtesy of Don Callison, Warwagon 14 with credit to Don Mong of www.gunfightergrafx.com who volunteered time and materials for the restoration

On the far left of front row receiving awards is Mike Rasberry, next - I'm not sure, next is Gary Winset and far right is me Larry Loftis receiving a DFC. All of us were WO's....
Image courtesy of Larry Loftis, Long Knife 22

Rex Gooch, aka Longknife 23, wears his new Cav hat outside his hooch at Vinh Long - December 1971
Image courtesy of Rex Gooch

Rex Gooch, aka Longknife 23, wears his new Cav hat outside his hooch at Vinh Long - December 1971


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