: 8th of November



93DevilleUSMC
11-08-08, 03:06 PM
The 43rd anniversary of the battle is today.

YouTube - Big & Rich - 8th Of November


Historical narrative, per wikipedia:

Operation detail

At about 0600 on the morning of 8 November C Company began a move northwest toward Hill 65, while B Company moved northeast toward Hill 78. Shortly before 0800, C Company was engaged by a sizable enemy force well dug in to the southern face of Hill 65. At 0845, B Company was directed to wheel in place and proceed toward Hill 65 with the intention of relieving C Company.

B Company reached the foot of Hill 65 at about 0930 and moved up the hill. It became obvious that there was a large enemy force in place on the hill, C Company was getting hammered, and by chance, B Company was forcing the enemy's right flank.

Under pressure from B Company's flanking attack the enemy force—most of a People's Liberation Armed Forces (Viet Cong) regiment—moved to the northwest, whereupon the B Company commander called in air and artillery fire on the retreating troops. B Company halted in place in an effort to locate and consolidate with C Company's platoons, managing to establish a coherent defensive line running around the hilltop from southeast to northwest, but with little cover on the southern side.

Meanwhile, the PLAF commander realized that his best chance was to close with the US forces so that the 173rd's air and artillery fire could not be effectively employed. PLAF troops attempted to out-flank the US position atop the hill from both the east and the southwest, moving his troops closer to the Americans. The result was shoulder-to-shoulder attacks up the hillside, hand-to-hand fighting, and isolation of parts of B and C Companies but the Americans held against two such attacks. Although the fighting continued after the second massed attack, it reduced in intensity as the PLAF troops again attempted to disengage and withdraw. By late afternoon it seemed that contact had been broken off, allowing the two companies to prepare a night defensive position while collecting their dead and wounded in the center of the position. Although a few of the most seriously wounded were extracted by USAF helicopters using Stokes litters, the triple-canopy jungle prevented the majority from being evacuated until the morning of 9 November.

[edit] Operation results and aftermath

The result of the battle was heavy losses on both sides—48 Paratroopers dead, many more wounded, and 403 dead PLAF troops.

Operation Hump is memorialized in a song by Big and Rich named 8th of November (Introduction, by Kris Kristofferson):
“ On November 8th 1965, the 173rd Airborne Brigade on "Operation Hump", war zone "D" in Viet Nam, were ambushed by over 1200 VC. 48 American soldiers lost their lives. Severely wounded, and risking his own life, Lawrence Joel, a medic, was the first living black man since the Spanish American war to receive the United States Medal of Honor, for saving so many lives in the midst of battle that day. Our friend Niles Harris, retired 25 years, United States Army, the guy who gave Big Kenny his top hat, was one of the wounded who lived. This song is his story. Caught in the action of kill or be killed, greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brother. ”