American troops suffered their heaviest losses of the Viet Nam war on Wednesday when a column of the First Cavalry (Airmobile) Division was ambushed by North Vietnamese regulars.
American troops suffered their heaviest losses of the Viet Nam war on Wednesday when a column of the First Cavalry (Airmobile) Division was ambushed by North Vietnamese regulars. By Thursday morning (18 November), the North Vietnamese had withdrawn and the cavalrymen evacuated their dead and wounded.
A battalion of the First Cavalry was being withdrawn from positions in the Iadrang Valley when 500 North Vietnamese ambushed it. The North Vietnamese struck at one company, damaging it severely American officials do not release casualty figures for specific engagements, but correspondents report the casualties were extremely heavy. Several hundred of the North Vietnamese were said to have been killed or wounded before they broke off the action.
A number of North Vietnamese regulars were discovered dead on the battlefield. One is shown in our film.
(The fighting in the Iadrang Valley began Sunday, 14 Nov. A Brigade of the First Cavalry was assigned to track down and destroy North Vietnamese units which were believed operating in the area. The North Vietnamese attacked a battalion of the brigade and three days of furious fighting ensured, ending in Wednesday's ambush as the battalion was withdrawn. By the end of the week, the cavalry-men were still engaged and several South Vietnamese battalions had joined the fighting.)