Hell on Hamburger Hill | HistoryNet
Conmy had little good intelligence on actual enemy strength or where they were specifically located in the A Shau.
Not wanting to give the enemy a chance to reinforce and strengthen his position on the mountain, Honeycutt decided he could not wait for his sister battalion to arrive.
It will never be known just how many NVA were killed and wounded and were carried into Laos or were buried in collapsed bunkers and tunnels on the mountain, but a Special Forces patrol on the Laotian side of the border reported that some 1, enemy dead and wounded had been removed from the hill during the battle.
During this operation, the Marines discovered that the North Vietnamese Army had constructed major roads in the area, and intelligence revealed that some 1, trucks were moving supplies into area base camps.
Cobra gunships and aerial rocket artillery were called in. Meanwhile, Delta Company struggled to get into its assigned attack position, severely hampered by the difficult terrain and under constant enemy machine gun and RPG fire.
At hours, exactly nine days and five hours after Bravo first made contact on the mountain, the Rakkasans, reinforced with the additional company from thetook the summit—only to find that most of the enemy had already fled.
With the Currahees halted, Colonel Conmy ordered Honeycutt to postpone his attack to wait for the Retired Army officer James H. On military maps it was simply Hillso labeled for its height in meters. As they attacked, they mistook the command post for enemy and opened fire, killing two Americans and wounding 35, including the battalion commander.
Despite these losses, Colonel Honeycutt adamantly protested the relief of his battalion, demanding that his men, who had already paid such a high price, be allowed to continue the mission to take the hill, saying all he needed was one additional company.
What is without doubt, however, is that the 7th and 8th battalions of the 29th NVA Regiment had been virtually wiped out. It was preceded by Operation Massachusetts Striker and would be followed by Operation Montgomery Rendezvous, each targeted against a different area of the A Shau.
Delta Company, which had been securing the battalion CP, took more than five hours to advance meters in the face of heavy enemy fire. He committed three additional battalionsand ARVN to the battle and ordered the relief of the badly batteredwhich by now had suffered heavily in the repeated assaults up Dong Ap Bia.
However, it would be difficult going for the American troops as they trudged through heavy jungle and rugged terrain.
Giving up such hard-won territory seemed to typify the purposelessness of the war. With the battalion CP in disarray, command and control in broke down.
After visiting the command post and interviewing a number of soldiers in the area, he met with Zais. In preparation for the new attack, Conmy threw every resource he had against the mountain. Of the four original company commanders in the battalion, one was dead and one was wounded, and eight of 12 platoon leaders were casualties along with several NCOs. Charlie Company initially made rapid progress toward its objective, but the North Vietnamese counterattacked and in the ensuing fight, the unit lost its first sergeant, two of its three platoon leaders, the company executive officer, two platoon sergeants, six squad leaders and 40 enlisted men.
The battle was the result of a renewed effort in early to neutralize the North Vietnamese forces in the A Shau, a kilometer-long valley in southwestern Thua Thien Province along the border with Laos. On May 16, the plan called for the to continue its attack as before up the two ridges, but to hold short of the summit to exert pressure on the enemy defenses while the assaulted from the west and south to sweep across the top of Hill toward Hill The steep slopes of Dong Ap Bia were cloaked by a heavy undergrowth of sawtooth elephant grass, thick stands of bamboo, and double-and-triple canopy jungle.
By this time, both Honeycutt and Conmy realized that the North Vietnamese, who usually fought hard for a while before quitting the battlefield, were going to stand and fight on Dong Ap Bia.
Lieutenant Colonel Weldon F.
Honeycutt ordered Charlie Company to the aid of Delta, but a sudden blinding rainstorm halted the attack and the Rakkasans again reluctantly withdrew back down the mountain. He ordered Bravo to continue to attack up the main ridge while Charlie launched another attack up a small finger meters south of Bravo.
Apache Snow called for the insertion of 10 battalions of American and South Vietnamese troops into the valley to disrupt the Communist buildup and destroy enemy forces. A livid Honeycutt ordered the attack helicopters out of the area. The battle for Dong Ap Bia came at a time when support for the war was on a steeply downward path.
It was an area long occupied by the NVA and it was fortified with tips judi slot, spider holes, deep tunnels black jack hamburger trenches. The enemy continued harassing them every step of the way, and in some cases pitched battles broke out.
On the 18th, with the still some meters from Hill and nearly twice that distance from Hillthe brigade commander, not wanting to postpone the attack again, ordered a coordinated two-battalion assault with the attacking from the north and attacking from the south. A February poll revealed that only 39 percent of the American people still supported the war, while 52 percent believed sending troops to fight in Vietnam had been a mistake.
This time they made it to within meters of the summit, but yet again, a helicopter gunship mistaking friendly troops for the enemy salvoed an entire rack of rockets into Bravo, pummeling the company command post, killing one American soldier and wounding the company commander.
General Zais arrived on the scene around this time and considered calling off the attack because of the heavy casualties and intense media attention but, backed by General Stilwell and General Creighton Abrams, MACV commander, he decided to continue the attack. The drew the most difficult mission, which was to air assault into a landing zone 2, meters northwest of Hill and move cross country to clear and occupy the mountain.
At hours on May 20, after 10 artillery batteries fired more than 20, rounds and tactical airstrikes dumped more than 1 million pounds of bombs, andpounds of napalm virtually denuded the top of the mountain, the once again started up the mountain, supported by thewhich renewed its attack on the southern side. Operation Apache Snow was phase two of a three-phase operation to clean out the valley.
The seizure of Dong Ap Bia had been a costly affair.
Bravo Company, unable to move forward, withdrew into defensive positions for the night about 1, meters from the summit. By this time in the battle, every officer in the company was killed or wounded and the unit had suffered more than 50 percent casualties. The next day, Honeycutt ordered his battalion to renew the attack.
This was the first of five black jack hamburger fire incidents during the battle, caused by the thick jungle that rendered target identification very difficult. At hours, after the prep fires were concluded, 64 Huey helicopters inserted the lead elements of the and into their assigned landing zones at the northern end of the valley.
Finally, bythe hill was secured. The Associated Press sent a reporter, Jay Sharbutt, to investigate the situation. There was only light contact throughout the first day. Delta Company almost made it to the top of the hill as the battle degenerated into a close-quarters fight, with friendly and enemy troops separated by only a few meters.
More than enemy bodies were found on the hill when the battle was over. The brigade plan for the next attack called for the insertion of two additional battalions to the northeast and southeast of Dong Ap Bia. He ordered Delta to slide back down the ravine where it was located and attempt to launch a flanking attack up the north side of the mountain. Nevertheless, the battle continued.
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Bravo arrived at about and moved out toward the mountain. On May 17, with the having made little progress, the two-battalion attack up the hill was again postponed. On Black jack hamburger 14, he launched a coordinated attack on Dong Ap Bia with three companies. The lead element of the company had a short but sharp fight at sunset, but Honeycutt ordered its commander to form a night defensive position and continue the attack in the morning.
The controversial battle ultimately led to a reappraisal of U. Despite the fratricide, the attack ground on. The division commander relented and left the in the fight, giving Honeycutt black jack hamburger company from the for the new attack. The battle had been won but at a very high price—then only to be abandoned for the Communists to reoccupy. Even though the valiant effort of U.
Alpha and Bravo companies once again headed up the hill.
During Dewey Canyon, the Marines captured 16 mm guns, 73 anti-aircraft guns and more that tons of materiel, including nearly 1, AKs and more than a million rounds of small-arms and machine-gun ammunition.