MAP - IA DRANG VALLEY, PLEIKU, Mike Force, Vietnam War

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  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Dec 15,2008
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PLEIKUIA DRANG VALLEY DECEMBER 1968 Pleiku Ia Drang Valley

Pleiku - Ia Drang

IA DRANG -

The Battle at IA DRANG (la Drang), South of Pleiku marked the first major engagement of US Military Forces with the Viet Cong, including Mike Force Special Forces Units, 1st Cavalry Division and the 7th Cavalry in Vietnam.

14 November 1965 saw the start of the battle along the Drang River with the 1st Cavalry Divison inflicting heavy casualites on NVA Units operating in the area with over 2,500 NVA KIA's.

The 1st Cavalry and US Special Forces lost over 230 dead in the four days of battle.

The 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry (Airmobile) arrived in Ia Drang Valley with a 450 Man Unit and initiated contact with a much larger Viet Cong Force hidden in mountainous areas surrounding the valley. The assault by the NVA was devastating, with a much larger force the VC attacked a small, 270 metre perimetre surrounding the 7th Cavalry Position.

For the next two days the 7th Cavalry, led my Lt. Colonel Harold Moore defended their position against growing forces. The arrival of South Vietnamese Troops, enough to equal the NVA force arrived on the 16th of Novemebr and the NVA retreated.

The NVA Forces, retreating towards Loas were re-enforced by a PAVN Regiment and in a turn-around headed back into the Ia Drang Valley. Outside the battle zone, the VC Forces met up with the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry, on foot moving to re-enforce the 1st Battalions position they engaged in hand to hand combat with the enemy throughout the morning. By mid-afternoon, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry had lost 155 men.

The Battle of Ia Drang Valley was the first time that major forces had been helicoptered into battle and was to set the theme of conflict for the coming years.

Whilst US losses at Ia Drang were high with a total of 234 Dead and some 300 wounded the battle was considered a success by the US and in a rare show of reality by the North Vietnamese it was recognised as a defeat. The US Forces during the remainder of the war attempted to draw the NVA into their massive firepower, Artillery Helicopters, B-52 and Spectre Gunships while the NVA were, by the time of the TET offensive to have abandoned, w possible direct conflict with the US, preferring Guerilla Tactics.

Measures, 29 x 22.5 inches ( 74 x 57 cms ).

Excessively Rare - 1971.

Pleiku (Play Cu)

Pleiku is the Capital of Pleiku Province in South Vietnams Central Highlands. During the french Indochine War Pleiku was a French Garrison Town and on the departure of the French in 1950's became the headquarters of the South Vietnam Army in the II Military Tactical Zone.

In 1962, CIA Operatives commenced training and command of Indigenous Special Forces Units out of Pleiku. Due to proximity of Pleiku to the Laos Border the Camp at Pleiku (and Pleiku itself) was under almost constant siege by the Viet Cong from as early as 1961. Due to this the mojority of Indigenous Special Forces Operatives from this base utilised nearby clandestine locations as their base camps and the Special Forces Detachment at Pleiku never grew to more than 200 odd men prior to 1964.

In 1964 the Special Forces base at Pleiku was extended and expanded its population with the arrival of the 5th Special Forces (Airborne) Company B, Combat Operations Detachment Company B and was designated Detachment C-2. The immediate strength of Pleiku, in US Special Forces Personnel alone grew to over 400 and it was to remain as one of the larger of the MACV USSF Command Centres until 1971.

In One night in February 1965 the Special Forces base at Pleiku, under attack from the Viet Cong lost 8 men KIA and 10 aircraft from the Helicopter base. (This attack a similar attack at Qui Nhon led to infamous Operation Flaming Dart, the bombing of North Vietnam).

On New Years Eve 1971 all US Military Personnel in Pleiku evacuated leaving the city and base in the hands of The South Vietnamese Special Forces, Tiger ...

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