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Carlisle in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Battle of the Ia Drang Valley

 
 
The battle of the Ia Drang Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
1. The battle of the Ia Drang Valley Marker
Inscription. The 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile) arrived in Vietnam in September 1965. Their mission was to defeat the enemy by pioneering a new concept of warfare that used helicopters to fly over enemy positions or rough terrain and insert troops directly into the battle area. On November 14, 1965 this concept was put to the test, when 450 Soldiers of the 1st battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, commanded by LTC Harold G. Moore, Jr., were airlifted to a point near the Cambodian border dubbed LZ X-Ray. Unknown to them, they had dropped into the midst of a major assembly area for the 2,000 man NVA 66th Regiment, augmented by another 700 soldiers of the NVA 33rd Regiment. The Chu Pong Massif, a 2,041 foot high mountain that overlooked the landing zone was honeycombed with tunnels linking NVA storage areas and quarters.

As American units fanned out around the LZ, 2nd Platoon of B Company, numbering 29 men, lost contact with the main body of troops while pursuing NVA soldiers. The platoon collided with over 500 enemy troops moving to assault the American position. The embattled platoon was surrounded and cut off from the main force during the three day battle that ensued. The entire 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry found themselves greatly outnumbered as they tenaciously defended the perimeter of their LZ. Soldiers fought for their lives against repeated

Insert - the Chu Pong Massif and LZ X-Ray image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
2. Insert - the Chu Pong Massif and LZ X-Ray
NVA assaults, while also trying to break out and relieve the isolated platoon. The Americans were supported by intense artillery fire and air attacks, including B-52’s dropping tons of high explosives and fighter-bombers with napalm.

The battle raged through three days and two nights. Reinforced by elements of the 2nd battalion, 7th cavalry and the 5th Cavalry, the American perimeter around LZ XD-Ray held firm. On November 16 the NVA units melted into the surrounding woods and jungles. The isolated platoon had been rescued the day before. They had suffered many casualties, but most survived and the NVA never took their position. The Battle of the Ia Drang was the first engagement between US and NVA forces and revealed that the NVA were the true adversary the United States faced and not merely the Viet Cong.

“The din of battle was unbelievable. Rifles and machine guns and mortars and grenades rattled, banged and boomed. Two batteries of 105mm howitzers, twelve big guns located on another landing zone five miles distant were firing nonstop, their shells exploding no more than fifty yards outside the ring of shallow foxholes….We were dry-mouthed and our bowels churned with fear, and still the enemy came on in waves….”
LTG Hal Moore
We Were Soldiers Once…. and Young (1992)
 
Erected by U.S. Army

Insert - the battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
3. Insert - the battlefield
Heritage and Education Center.
 
Location. 40° 12.3′ N, 77° 9.448′ W. Marker is in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in Cumberland County. Marker can be reached from Army Heritage Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Carlisle PA 17013, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bill Beck and Russell Adams (here, next to this marker); The Ia Drang Battlefield (here, next to this marker); COL. Joseph D. Newsome (a few steps from this marker); Final Act – LZ Albany (a few steps from this marker); Guard Tower (a few steps from this marker); Duty (a few steps from this marker); One-Oh-Five (within shouting distance of this marker); Army Aviation in Vietnam (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Carlisle.
 
Categories. War, Vietnam
 
Insert - at the LZ image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
4. Insert - at the LZ
Insert - at the LZ image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, September 11, 2012
5. Insert - at the LZ
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 19, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 17, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 17, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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