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.
My father’s first battle. He was in Charlie Company, described in the 4th paragraph.
It was also my mother’s birthday – she hasn’t had a happy birthday since 1965. That was Pop’s day – he’d just sit around and remember and the older he got, the worse it got.
I remember when the movie “We Were Soldiers Once” came out. He wanted to see it but didn’t want to see it if you know what I mean. One of the theaters had a midnight showing so I took him to that one. Man, that fucking place was filled with Vietnam Vets – no wives or girlfriends, just men and I think I was the youngest one in the place. It did do him a lot of good though.
At least he’s among his Brothers now.