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Little Sorrel and Blackhorse Six

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  • Little Sorrel and Blackhorse Six

    You may remember "Little Sorrel" as Confederate General Stonewall Jackson's favorite horse. But Little Sorrel was also the favorite mount of Colonel George Smith Patton, 39th Commander of the Blackhorse, in Vietnam:



    The Blackhorse is, of course, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment:



    Little Sorrel was a UH-1H (Huey) helicopter and was usually piloted by CWO Charley Watkins (right):



    Chief Watkins usually flew nap of the earth and was said to change co-pilots more often than flight suits due to his propensity to draw fire. There were actually two Hueys used so that Col Patton could keep flying when one helicopter needed maintenance. Whichever Huey was aloft with Col Patton was Little Sorrel for the time being.

    Little Sorrel went down on one operation in September 1968. A Chinese .51 machine gun hit Little Sorrel and it was suddenly without power. Chief Watkins auto-rotated Little Sorrel in and made a hard, controlled crash that shook everybody up but did not injure anyone. As the crew began dismounting Little Sorrel's door guns for a defensive perimeter Blackhorse intelligence officer Andy O'Meara looked around for Col Patton. "Blackhorse Six" (Patton) was running toward a wood line from which small arms fire was coming and firing at muzzle flashes with his .357 Magnum revolver. O'Meara caught up to Blackhorse Six and reminded Col Patton that the regimental commander had not ought to be the point man of a regimental assault. Patton reportedly said, "**** you, O'Meara." Then he grabbed O'Meara's M16 and kept firing.

    Ground troops arrived and assaulted the enemy position and a wounded enemy soldier was captured. As the wounded Viet was being evacuated, Blackhorse Six snapped to attention and saluted him.

    Regarding Patton's .357 revolver, I wonder if it was this one:



    The above information comes form the book "Growing Up Patton" by Benjamin Patton.
    Last edited by KRJ; 17 Apr 16, 11:28.
    "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

  • #2
    Great story...
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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    • #3
      Heck of a soldier.

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      • #4
        Another view of General Patton's .357:



        In the book Growing Up Patton, Ben Patton does not say if his father carried the same .357 in Vietnam that his grandfather carried in WWII. Perhaps it was not the same one. After all, why risk a family heirloom? Still, I like to think it could have been the same one.

        Incidentally, the Blackhorse Six in this story was born George Smith Patton IV. He dropped the roman numerals after his more famous father died in 1945.
        "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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