To the 1/8ᵀᴴ Cavalry
By David O. Valandry
Big Duke 5
I knew of your deeds before I joined your ranks.
Your fame was widespread including those on your flanks.
On the 6ᵀᴴ and 7ᵀᴴ of December past,
you met the NVA and he breathed his last.
You had fought a battle that is still talked about,
of your valor at Dai Dong there is not any doubt.
Let's meet the men who withstood the test,
and count them among America's best.
"A" Company had a commander bold,
an Irishman named McAndrews who was not very old,
yet this young captain with a flip and a grin,
said, "They need us coach, put Alpha in."
"B" Company went in on the night of the 6ᵀᴴ,
lost two men but got in their licks.
They fought all day on the 7ᵀᴴ of December,
a day that every man in "B" will remember.
"C" Company joined in the fight I know,
but had some casualties to a thing called "Go-Go."
"D" Company proved that they had what it takes,
when they tangled with "Charlie" while OPCON to the 2/8ᵀᴴ.
This was late in December, but after all
our only purpose is to make the enemy fall.
Now Big Duke "6" was a real fine man,
he commanded us with an iron hand.
Yet for all his size, and being tough;
for "SNUFFIE," he couldn't do enough.
The men knew well that there wasn't a day
when "6" didn't see them and have something to say,
they knew that the skipper would be on hand
and help them survive this troubled land.
Ed Burba as the "3" and Lum the LNO,
combined their talents, and put on many a show.
As a team they were great, as ** individuals just fine,
I'd be proud to serve again, any old time.
With Zrojewski as one and Wilson the four,
it's a wonder we got mail or something to pour.
Vigue and his headquarters crew,
brought in from the snatches a CD or two.
Now Heintzman and Church came out of the field,
thinking perhaps it was a real good deal.
They soon found out much to their woe,
when working in the TOC, time goes slow.
Carter and Chung, those ingenious gents,
played cards for money both dollars and cents;
but experience proved, with billfolds bent,
that the money, instead of coming in, went.
Jim Poor and Top Fischer, my hat is off to you,
for keeping the company up tight,
and fighting the whole night through.
I have missed some names, but I know these men,
their faces are not forgotten, the memory is not dimmed.
Some place, some day, we will all meet again,
and remember each other as fighting men,
and as Big Duke always said, as he flew away;
"Keep your head and tail together every day."
Captain Thomas McAndrews, of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, who was 28 at the time. [BACK]
Lieutenant Jerome E. Church, then of Warren, Wisconsin. A very popular commander of "A" Company’s First Platoon (the subject of this website). [BACK]
"To the 1/8th Cavalry," Item Number 6890101001, David Valandry Collection. Virtual Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University.