Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry
In The Battle Of The Ia Drang Valley
The Ia Drang Valley campaign actually began on November 14, 1965, with an air assault into LZ X-Ray, by elements of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt Col. Harold Moore. An initial firefight developed at about 1230 hours. The battle continued to grow until it was determined that the enemy consisted of 500-600 North Vietnamese Regular troops.
The first elements of B Company, 2nd Bn, 7th Cav., were lifted in starting at about 1705 hours. Fighting continued to build.
On November 15 at about 0910 hours, A Company, 2nd Bn, 7th Cav., began landing at X-Ray.
On November 16 at about 0400 hours, an enemy force of several hundred, attacked B Co, 2nd Bn, 7th Cav. At about 0930 hours, more elements of the 2nd Bn, 7th Cav., began arriving at LZ X-ray. At about 1040 hours, the battle weary 1st Bn, 7th Cav., began withdrawing to LZ Falcon and Camp Holloway for rest and refit. The rest of the 2nd Bn, 7th Cav., arrived throughout the day.
During the night of November 16 and the early morning of November 17, the enemy conducted light probing attacks.
On the morning of November 17, 1965 the 2nd Bn, 7th Cav., was ordered to move through the jungle to LZ Albany about 2 miles away. The battalion under Lt Col Robert McDade, who was new to command, moved out in columns with flank protection. Company Alpha was in the lead, followed by Charlie and then Delta, the Bn Command group and Company A, 1st Bn, 5th Cav., in the rear. The move was to allow B-52 bombers room to "work over" the mountains near LZ X-ray.
Just shortly after 1300 hours all hell broke loose. Elements of the 8th Bn, 66th NVA ambushed the middle of the long column and succeeded in splitting the column in half. The Delta Company mortar platoon bore the brunt of the initial attack. This writer was with the mortar platoon and can attest that the shooting came from every direction and almost everyone in this area was killed or wounded. Grenades and mortar rounds were exploding everywhere. The enemy were firing down from the trees. Wounded troops were being executed by the enemy. Heavy fighting continued into the night, with many showing extreme bravery in trying to defend our position. Finally on November 19, the survivors were air lifted away. In a later battle, Lt Col McDade was recalled and replaced as Battalion Commander.
This story was very brief but should not detract from the horror, carnage and bravery, that took place in the Ia Drang Valley. A full story can be found on our web site "LZ Albany."