Blackhorse on the move in style

m48a1 blackhorse 11th acr vietnam

Troopers check map coordinates from the deck of their M48A1 Patton Tank just a few kilometers east of the Cambodian border in March, 1971. (11th Armored Cavalry Regiment photo by Mike Roch)

And yes, that does appear to be a captured NVA twin 14.5-mm ZPU-2 gun mounted on top of the beast, covered by a picnic table umbrella. What else?

Background on the regiment

The 11th ACR “Blackhorse” was one of the first horse cavalry regiments established in the regular army since the Civil War. During the 1916 Punitive Expedition against Villa, the 1st Squadron rode 22 hours straight to the rescue of United States forces besieged in Parral. Ditching their horses for tracks and wheels after WWI, they were in Europe in time for the Battle of the Bulge and the final push to Germany.

The regiment spent most of the period from 1945-1994 in West Germany first as combat troops in the end stages of WWII, then as constabulary troops, then holding the Fulda Gap for a pending Warsaw Pact invasion. The notable exception to this time period was 1966-72 when the Blackhorse went to Vietnam. Largely the only U.S. armor in the region, they were in large part a fire brigade rushed from place to place, seeing lots of heavy action. In 2009, the unit received a much delayed a Presidential Unit Citation for its Vietnam service.

Since 1994 the Blackhorse have served as the OPFOR at the NTC in Fort Irwin with two active squadrons, a round-out squadron (1/221 CAV) from the Nevada National Guard, and an artillery battalion (1/144) from the California Guard.


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