In 1959 the 1st Battle Group, 5th Infantry was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. It was reassigned to the 25th Division on 1 February 1963 and reorganized and redesignated as the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry on 12 August.
It was sent to Vietnam in January 1966 and it was one of the few mechanized units to serve in that war.
- The 5th won a Valorous Unit Award when The 2nd Brigade Task Force, 25th Infantry Division, distinguished itself by extraordinary heroism in ground combat against the Viet Cong in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January through April 1966. Ordered to secure a base of operations for itself and the remainder of the 25th Infantry Division in the vicinity of the town Tan An Hoi in the Cu Chi District of Vietnam, the Brigade Task Force embarked on 66 days of continuous combat operations in a completely Viet Cong dominated, heavily entrenched and fiercely defended area. On January 1966, combat operations began to seize, clear and secure the area selected for a base of operations. For the initial four days, brigade combat elements moved forward against devastating automatic weapons and continual harassing sniper fire, well established mine fields and vast underground systems of tunnels, trenches, spider holes and fortifications unrivaled in Vietnam. Displaying extraordinary heroism and unwavering determination, task force elements methodically cleared the area of a fanatical enemy force that was manning the fortifications. This entire action was characterized by numerous acts of personnel sacrifice and heroism. During the period 30 January to 5 April, the Brigade conducted eleven major operations against the Viet Cong with battalion or larger sized forces engaged in fierce battle against a hostile enemy. On 5 April 1966, after 66 days of continuous combat, the Brigade had seized, cleared and secured the base of operations and surrounding area in the vicinity of Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. A total of 449 Viet Cong had been killed by body count. Viet Cong activities throughout the Cu Chi District were severely disrupted and the Viet Cong greatly discredited in the eyes of the local populace. During those momentous 66 days, the Brigade displayed utmost courage and indomitable spirit, and as a unit it demonstrated extraordinary heroism as it unwaveringly and unceasingly pitted itself against hard core, experienced, and entrenched and determined enemy forces. The indomitable spirit and extraordinary heroism with which the 2nd Brigade Task Force engaged, battled and defeated a fortified and determined enemy during this period of continuous combat operations is in keeping with the finest tradition of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon all members of the Task Force who participated in the Battle for Cu Chi. *(text of the Valorous Unit Award)
- Under the Command of then Lieutenant Colonel, now Major General (Retired), Andrew H. Anderson, The 5th Infantry (Mech) received its third Presidential Unit Citation: "The 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division and its attached units distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism in combat operations against numerically superior enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam from 18 August to 20 September 1968. During this period the 1st Battalion Task Force, through reconnaissance in force, ambush, counterambush, and reaction missions effectively destroyed a regimental-size enemy force and prevented the enemy from seizing the initiative in its "third offensive." The officers and men of the Task Force displayed outstanding bravery, high morale, and exemplary esprit de corps in fierce hand-to-hand combat and counteroffensive action against well disciplined, heavily armed and entrenched enemy forces. An example of the outstanding bravery and aggressiveness occurred 21 August during a reconnaissance in force mission. The lead elements of Company C, 1st Battalion came under heavy mortar, rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun, and automatic weapons fire. The company deployed against the enemy forces while the scout platoon protected the company flank and prevented reinforcement by a battalion-size enemy unit. Through skillful use of close supporting fires from artillery, helicopter gunship and tactical air, the officers and the men of the Task Force repulsed human wave counterattacks and defeated a numerically superior enemy force, which left one hundred and eighty-two dead on the battlefield. The individual act of gallantry, the teamwork and the aggressiveness of the officers and men of the 1st Battalion Task Force continued throughout the period of prolonged combat operations, resulting in the resounding defeat of enemy forces in their operational area. The heroic efforts, extraordinary bravery and professional competence displayed by the men of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry and attached units are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon themselves, their units, and the Armed Forces of the United States."
The 5th fought for five years in Vietnam, again establishing its reputation for tough fighting, perseverance in harsh conditions and excellence in the face of enemy opposition. For its participation in the Vietnam War The 5th Infantry was presented the following Battle Streamers: Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase II, Counteroffensive Phase III, Tet Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase IV, Counteroffensive Phase V, Counteroffensive Phase VI, Tet 69/ Counteroffensive, Summer–Fall 1969, Winter–Spring 1970, Sanctuary Counteroffensive, Counteroffensive Phase VII; Presidential Unit Citation, Ben Cui; Valorous Unit Award, Cu Chi.
In 1975 the 5th Infantry was deployed to Ortoe Point, Guam. Their mission was to build the first tent city to help inprocess the refugees from Vietnam. They not only built the city, but they also did supplies, cooking, and setup the electricity to maintain the city. Their mission lasted 90 days as part of the 5th Support Group.
Two 5th Infantry soldiers received the Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam:
- First Lieutenant Stephen Holden Doane, Company B, 1st Battalion, 25 March 1969, Hau Nghia Province (posthumous)
- Staff Sergeant Marvin R. Young, Company C, 1st Battalion, 21 August 1968, near Ben Cui (posthumous)
Read more about this topic: 5th Infantry Regiment (United States)
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