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Hilbert Chole

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Lieutenant Colonel Hilbert Chole, USA (ret.) enlisted in the Washington State National Guard in 1954 at the age of 18. About a year later he transferred to active duty as an infantryman and served in the enlisted ranks. In 1964 he graduated from the Infantry officer Candidate School and was commissioned as an Armor Officer. His last assignment in the Army was as the Squadron Commander for the 1st Squadron (Air), 17th Cavalry (Airborne) of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in.


He retired in 1978 after 24 years of military service. He was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, and his combat decorations include the Silver Star (2 awards), Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross (4 awards), Bronze Star (4 awards), Air Medals (34 awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4 awards), and other service awards. He was also awarded the Senior Aviator and Parachutist badges, the Airmobile Badge and the Army Staff Badge. Lieutenant Colonel Hilbert Chole is the author of Flashing Sabers.


According to the book description of Flashing Sabers, “The year is 1967 and his 31st birthday as captain Bert Chole arrives for his first tour of duty in Vietnam. Thus opens this memoir of a professional soldier’s introduction, after thirteen years of preparation and training, to the reality of war and the daily life and death struggle the members of Bravo Troop had become accustomed to. Bravo Troop 1/9 Air Cavalry Squadron was perhaps the most well known and most effective unit to come out of the Vietnam war.


He describes some his early time in the Army, prior to flight school, and the events leading up to his decision to volunteer to serve in the notorious 1/9 Cavalry - a decision many advised against. In addition to his personal experiences as a Scout Platoon Leader in the fragile OH-13 helicopter, we meet a cast of characters who truly were larger than life in every sense of the word, and near the end of the book learn of the Tet Offensive of 1968, the relief of the Marines at Khe Sahn and a modern day daring cavalry raid into the Ashau Valley. For those interested in airmobile warfare you will find a detailed description of these maneuvers and how the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile) made such a difference in the war. If warfare and Army Aviation in Vietnam are intriguing to you, then this is the book to read.”

Flashing Sabers
Hilbert Chole  More Info

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