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              Music "Theme - We Were Soldiers"

We Were SOldiers

Assn Logo


545th Military Police Company
We were Soldiers and we were there
As of January 26, 2012


Almost everyone has seen the movie We Were Soldiers – some of us more than once! What most you don’t know is that the 545th MP Company was no stranger to COL Hal Moore or his unit which were part of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division. The 3rd Platoon in particular was very familiar with the units in the 3rd Brigade.

Picture 1

Picture 2           Picture 3

The Real COL Moore                               The Movie LTC Moore

 

According to the history books, on the morning of Sunday, November 14, 1965, approximately 400 young soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson in the movie) were transported via helicopter to Landing Zone "X-Ray" in the Ia Drang Valley, known also as "The Valley of Death," deep in the interior of South Vietnam. There Moore and his men found themselves surrounded and outnumbered five to one by the North Vietnamese. The savage battle that ensued over the following 48 hours was the first major encounter between the armies of North Vietnam and the United States.


The battle also marked the first systematic use of helicopters for battle purposes, under fire. Helicopters became known as the new cavalry, and in fact, Moore's unit is called the First Battalion of the Seventh Cavalry. The idea that his unit is the same as that of General Custer gets a lot of play. To emphasize the possible parallels between Moore and Custer, the movie opens the film with a massacre of French soldiers at the hands of the Vietnamese in 1954. Later in the film, Moore contemplates his mission by staying up late at night studying reports about the French massacre and stories about Little Big Horn. Custer comes up again during the battle, when Moore wonders what went through Custer's head when he first realized he had led his men into a slaughter.

Picture 4


Moore and his men are in a desperate situation, surrounded and outnumbered deep in the enemy's homeland, like Custer. Custer's enemies, however, outnumbered his troops 10 to 1, twice that facing Moore's men. More importantly, Custer did not have the benefit of air and heavy-artillery support from several miles away, or doubtless he would have lived to tell tall tales about his heroism.

The 3rd Platoon of the 545th MP Company often picked up POW’s from COL Moores unit and had many other official contacts with them as well as all the other units of the 3rd Brigade.

After the action at LZ X-Ray, LTC Moore was promoted to Full Colonel and given command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division

On July 4, 1966, GEN Westmoreland, LTG Larsen, and MG Norton arrived at the Special Forces Camp at Dong Tre during Operation Henry Clay for the Change of command ceremony for the 3rd Brigade. COL Moore turning the unit over to COL Charles D. Daniels and the 545th MP Company had Security Duty for this function.

 Seen here below are members of the 3rd Platoon commanded by their Platoon Leader, 1LT William A. Rampmeier.

 

Picture 5

1LT Rampmeier (who is a member of our association) is the 545th MP Officer on the left rendering honors to COL Hal Moore as he proceeds to the parade field near the air strip.

 

 

Picture 6

General William C. Westmoreland and members of his staff are escorted to the Parade Field by a 545th MP

as he walks them through the security gauntlet and Guard of Honor towards the Parade Field.

 

 

Picture 7

GEN Westmoreland followed by COL Daniels, LTG Larsen and other members of the general’s party


Picture

The Change of Command Ceremony commences Note the 545th MP perimeter guard in the foreground

 

Picture 9

 GEN Westmoreland pins the Distinguished Service Cross on COL Moore

 

Picture 10

GEN Westmoreland pays respects and says farewell to COL Moore.

 

And the 545th Military Police Company was there.

 

Ltr 1

 

Picture 11

SFC Jimmy Waynick our Association Chaplain with LTG Hal Moore as he appears today.

Inscription reads “To the members of the First Team’s Finest” and signed Hal Moore

 

General's Moore and Casey.

 

 

LTG Harold Moore Video on Leadership.

(To hear and see this video properly turn off the audio at the top of the page)



Prepared by:

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/