Skip to comments.Battle of Dak To
Posted on 09/11/2020 6:14:43 AM PDT by w1n1
Almost Fifty-three years ago, the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) fought in close quarters and uphill through deep foliage to take Hill 875 in what became known as the Battle of Dak To
The 173rd Airborne Brigade had already seen action before moving inland to South Vietnam's Central Highlands in early November of 1967. This support included a role in Operation Junction City in the spring, as well as a search-and destroy (S&D) mission in the vicinity of Tuy Ho on the south-central coast.
The 173rd was assigned to Dak To after intelligence reports indicated that North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regiments had reinfiltrated the region after the termination of Operation Greeley in late summer. Just before noon on November 6, "D" Company, under Capt. Thomas H. Baird, was moving up a trail to Hill 823 when one of the men spotted an NVA communications ("commo") wire running alongside the path. A white pith helmet was also located nearby, further confirming NVA presence.
t approximately 1 p.m., the trail widened and the soldiers came across fresh bare footprints. Although the 173rd had been in existence since 1915, it was restructured in 1963 as an airborne infantry brigade combat team, and members of the unit became known as Sky Soldiers. In the heavily forested hills and steep valleys near Dak To, however, they would fight on foot.
Nearby, as the "B" and "C" companies and the engineer platoon prepared to receive a battery on another knoll, "A" companys recon squad moved out on S&D operations to clear the ridge to the west. Suddenly, moments after soldiers spied glimpses of NVA in the trees, they fell under heavy AK-47 fire, and the battle was officially on.
Over the next three-plus weeks, the 173rd would fight up and down the hill, with heavy fighting following on November 13, with B Company sustaining especially heavy casualties. The official "after action" report made special mention of the terrain where much of the fighting on the 13th and afterward had occurred. Read the rest of Battle of Dak To.
“Sadly, this final push also resulted in one of the worst friendly fire incidents in Vietnam, when a Marine Corp fighter bomber accidentally dropped a 500-pound bomb near the American perimeter, killing 42 men and injuring another...”
I'm pretty sure it was Tuy Hoa, pronounced "Tooey Wah". My Battalion HQ was there. A good friend of mine was in the 173rd; it was a bitch.
I respect the men who have their lives to fight communism but do not respect the politicians and industrial forces that dragged this war out for a decade when the mightiest country in the history of the world could have ended this in a week. Or better yet not jumped in at all and used other methods to control and inhibit the north.
Now they fill Home Depot, Target, Walmart with crappy, cheap furniture and goods while North Carolina industries are memories.
Yikes, that's 1,817 casualties out of, what, 4,000 in a brigade? Nearly 50%? That's just crazy.
Sir, IMHO, you can lay the blame directly at the feet of Lyndon Baines Johnson, with many conspirators and accomplices, many of whom wore stars on their shoulders. LBJ is an American disgrace and especially so, him being a Texan.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident / resolution was a bigger lie than ‘weapons of mass destruction’.
Sir, thank you - you and the Lord knows what happened but the vast majority of the “skulls full of mush” will only remember the talking points fed them by a unionized, pre-liberalized core of propagandists. They can’t stand America. We have a huge job ahead of us. THe truth will win, hope I am alive when it does.
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