This website is dedicated to

Centaurs Air Cavalry Veterans

25th Infantry Division     3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry

D Troop (Air), 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry     F Troop (Air), 4th Cavalry


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(Just like when we were part of the Green Machine - Check the Bulletin Board at least weekly to stay informed on Centaurs activities and future events )

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Centaurs Main Page   D Troop origin   F Troop origin   Contact us   Centaurs In Contact   New Stuff   '67-'68 History   '68 & Later History   3/4 Cav Association   3/4 Cav Assn Reunions   Centaurs Reunions   Centaur Society   I Remember (Stories)   Historical Photos   Current Photos   Photos & Other Stuff   Audio Files   Awards & Honors   In Memoriam   Links Page



    D Troop was the TO&E Air Cavalry Troop of 3rd Squadron, 4th United States Cavalry. The Squadron included the Headquarters Troop, three armored Cavalry Troops and the Air Cavalry Troop. The Squadron was the reconnaissance and reaction force for the 25th Infantry Division. D Troop was based at Cu Chi, the Division and Squadron HQ base. D Troop conducted operations as an integral unit with the Squadron within the Division Area of Operations in III Corps, west and northwest of Saigon and also conducted operations under the control of 25th Division. 

A good example of the effectiveness of the Air Cavalry Troop operating as part of an Armored Cavalry Squadron was the Squadron operation at Ton Son Nhut Airport during Tet '68.

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When the  3/4 Cav Squadron returned to Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division, the Air Cavalry Troop remained in-country. D Troop was re-designated F Troop (Air), 4th Cavalry Regiment on 10 February 1971 as a separate Air Cavalry Troop, retaining the CENTAURS unit call sign and logo.

F Troop CENTAURS initially flew in Support of the Second Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, that had also remained in Vietnam when the Division returned to Hawaii. F Troop was later assigned at various times to the 11th Aviation Group and the 12th Aviation Group, flying in support of South Vietnamese military units. F Troop operated in multiple locations in South Vietnam including places that some of us Cu Chi based D Troop veterans would have absolutely no interest going to without the rest of the Squadron. I can tell you from personal experience that "If you just absolutely, positively, gotta' get shot down" it is preferable to do that while conducting operations with one or more of the Armored Cavalry Troops in your own Squadron.

F Troop Centaurs continued to accumulate individual and unit honors while operating as an independent Air Cavalry Troop and was one of the last U.S. Army units to depart Vietnam - standing down on 26 February 1973. A good example of the value and effectiveness of the Air Cavalry Troop operating as an independent unit is that when so many of the Armored Cav and Air Cav Squadrons went home many of the Air Cav Troops remained in-country and continued combat operations.

Welcome back, welcome aboard, F Troop CENTAURS.  See the recently posted  F Troop 1971 - 1972 YEARBOOK.

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(The good kind, not the "&*^%$#*TAKING FIRE!!!*&%#@* kind)

Reunite with as many D/F Troop CENTAURS veterans as possible. View the Guestbook to see if one of the guys are trying to find has checked. Use an email to Tom Fleming, Dale Dow, or me to send a message to other CENTAURS, veterans and interested web site visitors. Send your contact Email to Charlie Johnson ('HOGS' - '67-'68), Dale Dow  (Infantry Platoon Leader  "Penguin" 1968), or Tom Fleming D Troop Commander 1968) and we will post your contact message in the Guestbook.

Unless you advise to the contrary we will post your Email, mail address, telephone numbers, etc. just as you send it since it is presumed we are all providing this information because we want to contact, and be contacted by, former Troopers from D Troop & F Troop, the Cavalry Squadron, or from other units. 

Send digitized images that you would like to see published on the web site, with descriptions or information on the photographs or other images, to Charlie Johnson as attachments to an E-mail message.

Have you maintained contact with D Troop/F Troop friends over the years? Direct them to this site.

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3/4 Cav Lexington 2000 reunion pictures: 3/4 Cav website.  D Troop photos at the 3/4 Cav Reunion 2000 in Lexington, KY D Troop 3/4 Cav Pictures.  D/F Troop photos at the 3/4 Cav Reunion 2002, Chattanooga, TN. 

D Troop 3/4 Cav and F Troop 4th Cav current and historical photos, stories, etc.

Current Photos - Photos of Centaurs veterans, family, friends of more recent origin.

Historical Photos - Photos of, or photos sent in by, Centaurs veterans from 'way back when' ('when' being when we were all younger and slimmer).

Essays, Stories   

Personal Contact Info for D Troop Veterans 

Personal Contact Info for F Troop Veterans


D/F Troop Veterans in Contact Roster    D/F Troop KIA-MIA Roster

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3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Association

If you have not already joined the Squadron Association we encourage you to do so. The membership dues pay the cost of publishing and mailing the Association Newsletter. A lot of Air Cav Troopers, both D Troop & F Troop, have contacted the Squadron Association but not all who made contact have joined. Most of the contacts by Air Cav Troopers have been by the Vietnam era vets. We aren't getting any younger and it is our turn to support the Squadron, and be part of the Squadron Association much as we did during combat. As a young Armor officer Aviator I always felt more comfortable with all that mobile steel nearby, whether in combat or back at base camp. I now am just as pleased, and comfortable, to be a part of the Cavalry Squadron Association.

The annual fee to join the Squadron Association is beer money. Paying the one time, lifetime, membership fee to join would be an act of confidence in your personal longevity. Do it now. You will be glad you did. The rest of the guys in the Squadron Association will appreciate your support. In addition to all the good feelings you will get, you will also receive Squadron Association Newsletters in the mail. Click here to go to the Squadron Newsletters to show you what you are missing if you haven't already joined the Squadron Association either as an Annual or Lifetime Member.

Go to the 3/4 Cav Association website for more info, or contact Dale Dow.

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3/4 Cav Association Reunions

NEXT REUNION: The 2012 Squadron Association reunion has been scheduled for May 16 through May 20, 2012 in downtown Nashville, TN. We will be staying at the Millennium Maxwell House hotel. You can learn more about the hotel at their website Registration forms, hotel reservation information and tour information is scheduled to be posted in the Squadron Association winter newsletter. Go to our 2012 Cav Assn Reunion page for additional information. Rooms available for reservation at our Reunion preferred rate are rapidly being used up. May 2012 is not that far away in Bi-Annual Reunions time frame.

MOST RECENT REUNION: April 29 - May 2, 2010 in Tucson, AZ at the Hotel Arizona was another great get-together for Squadron Veterans including D/F Troop Centaurs. This was our first reunion in the high desert country and everyone enjoyed the Arizona scenery.   

Previous Reunions

2008: The Squadron reunion in the Cincinnati, Ohio area in June, 2008 was a great success for the Cav Squadron including D/F Troop Centaurs. See the 2008 Reunion Page for more information.

2006: The Squadron reunion in the Kansas City, Missouri area July 26-30, 2006 was another huge success. This was the first Squadron Association reunion held west of the Mississippi River. We saw more Air Cavalry Troopers at this reunion than ever and, for the first time, there were more D/F Troopers at the reunion than from any other Troop. See the 2006 Reunion Page for more information.

2004: The Squadron reunion held in the Louisville, Kentucky area, June 24-27, 2004 was another success but your webmaster missed this one. See the 2004 Reunion Page for more information.

2002: The Squadron reunion held in the  Chattanooga, Tennessee area, September 5-7, 2002 was a lot of fun for Centaurs veterans especially since we had a lot of first time D Troop and F Troop attendees at this reunion including famous local Chattanooga personality Smokey (He got shot down again?!!!) Burgess and his lovely bride. Great Smokey Mountain scenery too. See the 2002 Reunion Page for more information.

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D Troop & F Troop Centaurs Reunions


The 2011 Veterans Day D/F Troop Centaurs Reunion held November 9th to 12th in Dayton, OH. Marvin Runyon put the reunion together and was the host in Dayton. Contact Marvin via email HERE for more information. You can also contact Fred Reese HERE who is assisting Marvin with the reunion planning.  See the 2011 Reunion webpage where info regarding the 2011 Centaurs Reunion will be posted.



The 2010 D/F Troop Centaurs Reunion was on November 9-11, 2010 in Springfield, Illinois. The reunion was held at the ROUTE 66 HOTEL in downtown Springfield. See the 2010 Centaurs Reunion web page for info on that reunion.

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  In answer to your question "Why is the photo of the HOG gunship bigger than the others"? Because HOGS are bigger, nastier and better looking than any other pre-Cobra helicopter. 

(Thanks to Norm Clark, HOGS door-gunner, for the photo of Doug Olsen's pretty UH-1C above.)

     If you or a family member served with the Centaurs in Vietnam during 1967 - 1968 you are requested to participate in the Centaurs History Project - Second Year version. The Centaurs that came to Vietnam from Hawaii and flew out of Cu Chi during that first year, which ended about March 1968, have compiled a very enjoyable history of that first year in the book Centaurs in Vietnam by Carl Burns. That book is a very enjoyable read for those of us who did not serve with the D Troop during that first memorable year and helps us to appreciate why certain things were done the way they were when we got there.

     Go the Centaurs 1967-1968 History Project main page to get started as a participant-story teller or to see some of the stories, both funny and serious, from the Centaurs second year in Vietnam.

     Special thanks to Tom Fleming for suggesting (as if any Air Cavalry Troop Commander ever truly 'suggested' anything when talking to one of his Troopers) that certain old Centaurs should volunteer to manage and coordinate the history project. Large thanks to Bain ('Short Round') Cowell and Rick Arthur (who taught me how to hover an overloaded Charlie Model HOG even when the flight manuals and Bell Helicopter said they wouldn't hover) who, following Tom's 'suggestion' then 'volunteered' to take on the Centaurs second year history project. Very large digital thanks to Bruce ('Crazy Bruce') Powell for recording some of the stories on digital video and working toward having the stories available on DVD. We may be able to show some short clips of the video sessions on the website at a later date.

I have volunteered to put a war story on paper, in the format in which it was recently brought back to life and encourage you to read that story and a couple of other stories that you can reach via the Centaurs History Project main page. After reading a couple of those stories you will realize that your stories are a long way from the "dumbest thing I ever heard of in my entire life" and you will want to share them with the other Centaurs who served in the Troop both before and after the Centaurs second year in Vietnam.

Put your stories to pen and paper and send them to Short Round or Rick or, more likely, via email to them, Tom Fleming, Dale Dow or Charlie Johnson.  


Centaurs veterans during the period 1968 and later. Click HERE to go to the page set up for use by Centaurs who want to participate in the Centaurs Unit History Project covering the period from early to mid 1968 until F Troop's stand down in 1973. It's time to participate in your part of the project. We aren't getting any younger. (Well, maybe you are. I'm not.) 

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Click HERE for information on the Centaur Society project and HERE for the Centaur Society Newsletter project. This project is currently being worked on by Bruce Powell (Scouts, Heavy Scouts, Cobras - 1967/1968), Dale Dow (Aero Rifles Platoon Leader and Penguin -1968), Rick Arthur (HOGS -1967) and others. The Centaur Society will work toward contacting more D Troop veterans from the 1967-1968 years, assist the completion of the Centaurs 1967-1968 History Project and the DVD oral history project Bruce Powell is working mightily on. Contact any of the guys mentioned here, Tom Fleming or me for information on how you can participate, the list of guys already involved with the project, etc. 

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     Click HERE to visit our links page to other sites you might enjoy.  

This Centaurs web site was developed by Jim Messina (Service Platoon - 1968) and is currently being maintained by Charlie Johnson (Aero Weapons 1967-1968).



CENTAUR BULLETIN BOARD: Fred Reese suggested we establish a Bulletin Board and it is now part of the website. Notices of new information that might be of interest to Centaurs veterans will be posted on new or existing web pages and you will be referred to that information via the Bulletin Board.

Click on the Bulletin Board button here Bulletin Board or at the top of this page to visit the Bulletin Board.

(No, we do not have a 'Suggestion Box' but you can do the same thing by sending an email to the Centaurs webmaster. The old webmaster enjoys receiving emailed suggestions to enhance or improve the website. For example: that's how Fred Reese sent in his suggestion that we should have a Bulletin Board, that's how Bruce Powell sent in a suggestion to improve the Bulletin Board process, etc. 


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January 14, 2013  All Rights Reserved to the various original authors and photographers, or to the webmaster