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                                          Music - Robin Williams "Good Morning Vietnam"

 

While speaking at an awards ceremony at LZ Two Bits landing strip which was next to the Special Forces Camp, April 1967, GEN William C. Westmoreland commented that the First Team’s Finest was the only MP Company that he knew of that boasted Bob Hope as a member of the unit since the Korean War and also the only unit he knew of that US Air trusted to provide security for its air strip at that location and further that the exploits of this famed cavalry unit are known Army wide.

 

 

On 3 July, 1965, in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning, Georgia, the colors of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) were cased and retired.  As the band played the rousing strains of Garry Owen, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division were moved onto the field.  As part of the reorganization, the 11th Air Assault Military Police Company was redesignated as the 545th Military Police Company, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

Shortly thereafter, by mid August, an advance party of Military Police from the 545th MP Company was shipped out by troop transport and aircraft carriers from Charleston, Virginia in August 1965.  The military policemen from the 545th MP Company acted as the Provost Marshal Section for each ship, including guarding prisoners who had attempted to go AWOL.  As their ships arrived in Vietnam beginning 12 September, the 545th Military Police Company set up operations and began to expedite traffic.

Once an adequate traffic control system was established, the troops were flown by helicopters or accompanied convoys from Qui Nhon up Highway 19 to the Division Base Camp at An Khe.  Arriving at Camp Radcliff, they commenced the construction of their company area while providing security and carrying out Division Military Police Duties.  Beginning in mid September several Infantry battalions supported the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division.

On 01 October, Operation Shiny Bayonet (the First Teams first Brigade-sized airmobile operation) commenced with the Military Police providing convoy security; traffic control points; guards for captured materials and weapons; forward collection points and in some instances, 24 hour bridge security along Highway 19 from Qui Nhon through the An Khe Pass and Mang Yang Pass where four thousand French Soldiers lost their lives.

By mid October an MP Desk with traffic and criminal investigation division (CID) sections were established in the division base areas.  A second MP Desk was operated in the Village of An Khe.  In late October through November the Plei Me-Pleiku Campaign kept assigned MP platoons of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades busy. The Security Platoon accompanied the Division Forward Headquarters.  By the end of 1965, the 545th MP’s had established and operated key roadblocks with the assistance of the Vietnam National Police.

Starting on 25 January 1966, the 545th MP Company supported operations “Masher/White Wing” by providing guards for captured materials and weapons and operated an enclosure for detained VC suspects.  The MP’s aided Military Intelligence Teams whenever they became involved in sweeps of populated areas – guarding, searching, detaining, protecting and detecting.  MP’s of the 545th regularly accompanied Civil Affairs personnel to secure them while they operated in areas of tactical operations within the Division’s AO.

In late march, during operations “Lincoln and Mosby”, convoy escorts from An Khe to the forward CP of the 1st Brigade were provided.  In October of 1966, forward collection points were set up where brigades were operating.  All military age males and detainees were sent by the maneuver battalions to the collection point supporting its brigade.  There, confirmed enemy were interrogated for immediate tactical information, then evacuated through regular prisoner of war channels.  Other detainees were held at forward collections points for questioning by military intelligence, the National Police or Hamlet Cadre in order to classify them as friendly or enemy.

 "Dinky Dau Blues"

In June of 1967, the 545th MP’s launched into operations with the Police Field Force (PFF).  These were combined operations, mainly with the Vietnam 222nd Battalion, Combat National Police.  The mode of operation was to cordon a village at dawn.  The Vietnamese Police searched houses and questioned people as they moved through.

After the 1st Cavalry Division moved south to III Corps, the 545th MP’s continued their missions of Theater of Combat (TOC) security and convoy control.  They also began combined operations with the Vietnamese National Police in traffic control and “populace and resource control”.  The progress of the war meant an increase, rather than a decrease, in the duties of the 545th MP Co.  There were fewer prisoners of war to care for and fewer hostile hamlets to search, but relative peace of 1969 increased the need for traffic control, black market suppression and elimination and the maintenance of security in all the civil and military rear areas.

On 05 May 1971, the colors of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) were moved from Vietnam to Fort Hood Texas and another chapter of the colorful history of the 545th Military Police Company came to an end.

Information obtained from the Historical Archives of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas   

 

 

I AM AN MP – DON’T FOLLOW ME

I am the Infantry, follow me. Not a foot soldier, we're much more you see. We'll take the fight to the enemy. I am the Infantry, the first of the three. I am the Calvary, follow me. A modern horse soldier in an APC. Charging straight forward to the enemy. I am the Cav, most daring of the three. I am the Armor, follow me. The arm of decision I'll always be. When the going gets rough, call on me. I am the Armor, the best of the three. Armor, Cav, and Infantry rush headlong into the melee. Breaking the lines like an angry sea deep into enemy territory. Approaching a crossroads, what do we see? The area secured by two lonely MP's Directing us forward, how can this be? How long have they been waiting for me? What a crazy person this MP must be. He has no firepower or armor like me. And I thought everyone followed the three Armor, Cav, and Infantry. I am the MP, don't follow me. You don't want to be where I will be. Guarding the crossroads, waiting for the three. Just my partner, a sixteen, a sixty and me. With the objective taken, wait and see. No one will remember the lonely MP Who held this ground so they could run free, but that's my job, supporting the three."

Author: Sgt. Allan L. Perkins, USA MPC

 

 Vietnam Photo Album     Vietnam Photo Album 4      Vietnam Photo Album 3      Vietnam Photo Album 4

                                   Vietnam Photo Album1          Vietnam Photos Album 2          Vietnam Photo Album3            Vietnam Photo Album 4

Vietnam News Clips

Vietnam News Clips 

 

(Click above to enter the photo albums)

[More Photos To Be Added To Gallery as we get them in]

(Make sure to turn off music at top of page before watching Video's)

 

 

545th MP Co, Ankie, Vietnam 1965-1966

 


  

Cordon and Search operations, 545th MP Co, 1st Platoon

Video by SSG Ira Harrison Vietnam 1967 - 1968

 


 

Shock and awe over Vietnam

 

   

Camp Evans, RVN 1968

 

Gods Own Lunatics -  A Vietnam Retrospective.

 

Welcome Home.

(Click on the link below to hear some oldies and then some)

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Sam Reinert
CPT MP USAR (Ret)
Founder
545th Military Police Company Association
626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA
(765) 962 4627 phone & FAX
http://545thmpassn.com/