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  1. #1



    In the first major engagement of the war between regular U.S. and North Vietnamese forces, elements of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) fight a pitched battle with Communist main-force units in the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands.

    On this morning, Lt. Col. Harold G. Moore’s 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry conducted a heliborne assault into Landing Zone X-Ray near the Chu Pong hills. Around noon, the North Vietnamese 33rd Regiment attacked the U.S. troopers. The fight continued all day and into the night. American soldiers received support from nearby artillery units and tactical air strikes. The next morning, the North Vietnamese 66th Regiment joined the attack against the U.S. unit. The fighting was bitter, but the tactical air strikes and artillery support took their toll on the enemy and enabled the 1st Cavalry troopers to hold on against repeated assaults.

    At around noon, two reinforcing companies arrived and Colonel Moore put them to good use to assist his beleaguered soldiers. By the third day of the battle, the Americans had gained the upper hand. The three-day battle resulted in 834 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed, and another 1,000 communist casualties were assumed.

    In a related action during the same battle, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was ambushed by North Vietnamese forces as it moved overland to Landing Zone Albany. Of the 500 men in the original column, 150 were killed and only 84 were able to return to immediate duty; Company C suffered 93 percent casualties, half of them deaths.

    Despite these numbers, senior American officials in Saigon declared the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley a great victory. The battle was extremely important because it was the first significant contact between U.S. troops and North Vietnamese forces. The action demonstrated that the North Vietnamese were prepared to stand and fight major battles even though they might take serious casualties. Senior American military leaders concluded that U.S. forces could wreak significant damage on the communists in such battles–this tactic lead to a war of attrition as the U.S. forces tried to wear the communists down. The North Vietnamese also learned a valuable lesson during the battle: by keeping their combat troops physically close to U.S. positions, U.S. troops could not use artillery or air strikes without risking injury to American troops. This style of fighting became the North Vietnamese practice for the rest of the war.

    Battle of Ia Drang (documentary)- Operation Silver Bayonet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Amongst the Gentle People
    I personally know another Nam Vet who did battlefield cleanup after that one. He told some horrific tales about what was done to our wounded by the VC/NVA. They could be incredibly cruel to military and civilians. Of course, Ken Burns did not address that at all. It would have ruined his narrative.
    My Mate Winston

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Happy on the mountain
    We always start out with a baptism of fire, because we never remember the hard taught lessons of war. In WW2 it was the Kasserine Pass, in Korea it was the Frozen Chosin....
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    We always start out with a baptism of fire, because we never remember the hard taught lessons of war. In WW2 it was the Kasserine Pass, in Korea it was the Frozen Chosin....
    Heck, in Korea it started with Task Force Smith...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2001
    I was assigned to 1st Cav in Jan of '66. I worked with some of the people from LZ X-Ray. I think both had been wounded in that battle. Obviously, intel had no idea at that time that their landing zone was close to a PAVN R & R area.
    "Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
    -Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    That is a fair criticism, Burns hardly touched on the mutilation atrocities.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    inland nw

    Had the privilege to spend a lot of time flying with Too Tall Ed on wildland fires in the early 70's. Never knew his back story till after he passed away, it was like well he was a pilot in the 1st Cav and I was a crew chief with 1/10th Cav, too soon to talk about then.
    Ed Freeman
    Snake in We Were Soldiers Once and Young!
    Survivor of Pork Chop Hill Korea

    magilla the contrarian
    that which does not kill me
    makes me stranger
    Last edited by magilla; 11-14-2017 at 08:48 PM. Reason: just cuz

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    A worm hole, far, far away
    We were soldiers once. Don't know how true the movie was to actuality, but it is a heck of a movie.
    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Source – The Declaration of Independence

  9. #9
    Many medals awarded for that battle. Should have been many more.
    From Wikipedia:

    Notable award recipients

    Although many notable decorations have been awarded to veterans of the Battle of Ia Drang, in his book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young, Lt. Gen. Harold Moore writes:

    "We had problems on the awards... Too many men had died bravely and heroically, while the men who had witnessed their deeds had also been killed... Acts of valor that, on other fields, on other days, would have been rewarded with the Medal of Honor or Distinguished Service Cross or a Silver Star were recognized only with a telegram saying, 'The Secretary of the Army regrets...' The same was true of our sister battalion, the 2nd of the 7th." [86]

    Medal of Honor

    2nd Lt. Walter Marm, Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, received the Medal of Honor on Nov. 15, 1967, for his actions while serving as a platoon leader on 14 November during the 3-day battle at LZ X-Ray. His MOH citation recounts several examples of conspicuous gallantry, some despite being severely wounded.[89]
    Capt. Ed Freeman and Maj. Bruce Crandall who were helicopter pilots during the battle were each awarded the Medal of Honor on July 16, 2001 and Feb. 26, 2007, respectively, for their numerous volunteer flights (14 and 22, respectively) in their unarmed Hueys[90] into LZ X-Ray while enemy fire was so heavy that medical evacuation helicopters refused to approach. With each flight, Crandall and Freeman delivered much needed water and ammunition and extracted wounded soldiers, saving countless lives.[91]

    Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star Medal

    Lt. Col. Harold "Hal" Moore, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions at LZ X-Ray. His DSC citation particularly commends his "leadership by example" as well as his skill in battle against overwhelming odds and his unwavering courage.[92]
    Sgt. Ernie Savage's precise placement of artillery throughout the siege of the "Lost Platoon" enabled the platoon to survive the long ordeal. For his "gallantry under relentless enemy fire on an otherwise insignificant knoll in the valley of the Ia Drang," Ernie Savage received the Distinguished Service Cross.[93]
    2nd Lt. John Geoghegan was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Air Medal. He was killed during the battle when he rushed to the aid of fellow soldier, Willie Godbolt, who was wounded by incoming hostile fire. Their names are next to each other on the Vietnam Wall.[94]
    Specialist 4 Bill Beck and Specialist 4 Russell E. Adams (Platoon 3, Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry) were awarded the Bronze Star with Valor in 1996.
    Journalist Joseph Galloway was the only civilian awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism during the Vietnam War. On Nov. 15, 1965, he disregarded his own safety to help rescue two wounded soldiers while under fire.[95] He was awarded on January 8, 1998.[96]

    ARVN Unit Citation

    • The 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry was awarded the ARVN Gallantry Cross with Palm by Major General Vĩnh Lộc, II Corps Commander.[97]

    Presidential Unit Citation

    The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) And Attached Units: Presidential Unit Citation, DAGO 40, 1967: 23 Oct. to 26 Nov. 1965: Distinguished themselves by outstanding performance of duty and extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam, becoming the first unit so honored for actions during the Vietnam War.[98]

  10. #10
    Last edited by Calhounshd; 11-14-2017 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Delete. Dupe

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2001
    In CLE again
    Rick Rescorla was a VERY interesting guy with multiple national services.

    Money graph:

    was a United States Army officer and private security officer of British origin who served in Northern Rhodesia as a member of the Northern Rhodesia Police (NRP) and as a commissioned officer in the Vietnam War, where he was a second lieutenant in the United States Army.[2]

    As the director of security for the financial services firm Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center, Rescorla anticipated attacks on the towers and implemented evacuation procedures credited with saving many lives.[3] He died during the attacks of September 11, 2001, while leading evacuees from the South Tower.
    "The Spoor of an ELEPHANT
    is only RELEVANT
    to an ANT
    or a SYCOPHANT"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Housecarl View Post
    Heck, in Korea it started with Task Force Smith...
    I lost an Uncle in this battle, MIA since.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by fairbanksb View Post
    We were soldiers once. Don't know how true the movie was to actuality, but it is a heck of a movie.
    I had the pleasure of talking to Joe Galloway a year or so ago and asked him that question. He said that about 80 to 85% of the movie followed the book. The other 15 to 20% was pure Hollywood.
    There are only two types of warriors in this world. Those that serve tyrants and those that serve free men. I have chosen to serve free men, and if we as warriors serve free men, we must love freedom more than we love our own lives. -- Sergeant First Class Stefan Mazak, 5th Special Forces Group


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