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He said the road, if extended another four miles, would have allowed the North Vietnamese to bring their big mm guns within range of Hue. The 5, men of the 9th Regt.

A Lovely Day in the A Shau Valley

In the ensuing campaign, the Marines killed 1, NVA regulars and unearthed what were then the largest enemy supply caches of the war — tons of weapons and ammunition. Monsoon rains and fog hampered Marines in the early weeks, but Feb. When the Reds pulled out of their their bunkers, they left behind two Russian mm cannon with foot barrels. Marine commanders viewed the abandonment of the big guns as an indication that Communist strength may have been sapped after weeks of jungle fighting.

A little over a week later, senior Marines felt confident enough of the success of Dewey Canyon I to begin lifting thousands of Marines off the fog-shrouded peaks overlooking the valley, leaving only scattered units as a watchdog and mopping-up force. It will take the enemy a while to build up in A Shau.

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Then we'll go in and unbuild it. Home News. Army's Special Forces camp of the same name. The battle was a strategic victory for the PAVN in that they were able to take control of the A Shau Valley and use it as a base area for the rest of the war. The camp had been established in Throughout February and March, , platoon-sized troops from the camp were sent out to conduct reconnaissance patrols in the surrounding area.

Under interrogation, they indicated that four battalions of the PAVN th Division were planning to attack the camp. Based on that information, night patrols were dispatched to confirm the enemy positions but no sightings were made. However, Air Commandos conducting reconnaissance flights observed large build-ups of PAVN troops along with anti-aircraft emplacements.

Return to the A Shau

As a result, airstrikes were ordered against enemy positions. On March 7, the A Shau camp was reinforced with seven U. On March 8, the camp was placed on general alert and the camp's defenders had taken up their positions. A PAVN assault was launched during the night, but it was beaten back. Because of poor weather conditions that would hinder tactical air and resupply efforts, the PAVN decided to continue despite their heavy casualties.

The second attack began during the early morning hours of March 9 with mortar bombardment, damaging communications and reducing many defensive positions to rubble. However, the slow moving aircraft was shot down and crashed about five kilometers north of the camp. All six crewmen survived, but they were promptly attacked by the PAVN. Between and hours, supplies of ammunition were flown in by C and CV-2 aircraft, but the resupply drops often landed outside of the camp perimeter and could not be retrieved.

return to the ashau Manual

At the same time, helicopters were called to evacuate the wounded. At hours a PAVN assault team penetrated the eastern perimeter, where hand-to-hand combat took place for three hours. By the greatly outnumbered defenders had withdrawn to the camp's north wall. Fisher landed his A-1 on the airstrip rescuing Myers, for this action Fisher was later awarded the Medal of Honor. As fighting continued the situation deteriorated as ammunition began running short and the decision was made to evacuate all personnel.

Return to the A Shau: Vietnam Living History Event

At hours all communication equipment was destroyed. The survivors carried out their evacuation orders and destroyed all abandoned weapons and withdrew further to the north wall.


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Special Forces troops as they abandoned the camp. This reached a point where the helicopters were so overloaded some Special Forces soldiers were forced to fire upon their allies to allow the helicopters to take off. The others were listed as MIA , although many would turn up later, having escaped on their own. American control ceased at the camp at hours when overrun by PAVN troops.


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During the battle the U. The numbers of South Vietnamese soldiers present at the camp or how many casualties they suffered varies.