Good Morning RallyPoint on this day, November 17, 2020. Here is your history for the Vietnam War on this day 17 November through the years of the war.. Welcome home all Veterans and those that gave their all, may you rest in peace...!
Today, 17 November in Vietnam War History
17 November 1954, General J. Lawton Collins arrives in Saigon. Affirming $100 million in US aid, he announces, ‘I have come to Vietnam to bring every possible aid to the Government of Diem and to his Government only…. It is the legal government in Vietnam, and the aid which the United States will lend it ought to permit the government to save the county.’ Warning that the Army will receive US military aid only if it supports Diem, Collins announces, ‘This American mission will soon take charge of instructing the Vietnamese Army.’
17 November 1967, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson stated on television that "we are inflicting greater losses than we're taking...We are making progress." He had received reports that indicated a positive situation in Vietnam. Two months later the communists launched a massive offensive during the Tet New Year holiday in January 1968.
17 November 1965, Battle of the Ia Drang Valley Continues at Landing Zone Albany. During part of what would become known as the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley, a battalion from the 1st Cavalry Division is ambushed by the 8th Battalion of the North Vietnamese 66th Regiment. The battle started several days earlier when the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry engaged a large North Vietnamese force at Landing Zone X-Ray at the base of the Cheu Pong hills (Central Highlands). As that battle subsided, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was ordered to move cross-country to Landing Zone Albany, where it was to be picked up by helicopter and moved to a new location. The U.S. unit was moving through the jungle in a long column when the North Vietnamese sprang a massive ambush along the length of the column from all sides. Companies C and D took the brunt of the Communist attack–within minutes, most of the men from the two companies were hit. The North Vietnamese forces had succeeded in engaging the U.S. forces in very tight quarters, where supporting U.S. firepower could not be used without endangering American lives. The cavalrymen returned fire, but the Communistss were fighting from prepared fighting positions and many of the American leaders had been felled in the initial stages of the ambush. As night fell, the cavalrymen waited for the North Vietnamese to attack but illumination flares provided by air force aircraft made the enemy cautious. By morning, they had withdrawn. Senior U.S. military leaders declared the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley an American victory. That had clearly been the case with the fight at Landing Zone X-Ray, where the three-day battle resulted in 834 North Vietnamese soldiers confirmed killed with another 1,000 communist casualties likely. However, the battle at Landing Zone Albany was another story. Although there were over 400 enemy soldiers lying on the battlefield after the fighting was over, the battle had been an extremely costly one for the 1st Cavalry troopers. Of the 500 men in the original column moving to Landing Zone Albany, 150 had been killed and only 84 were able to return to immediate duty. 93 percent of Company C sustained some sort of wound or injury–half of them died.
The Battle of the Ia Drang Valley was important because it was the first significant contact between U.S. troops and North Vietnamese forces. The action demonstrated that the North Vietnamese were prepared to stand and fight major battles, and senior American leaders concluded that U.S. forces could wreak significant damage on the communists in such battles. The North Vietnamese also learned a valuable lesson during the battle: they saw that they could negate the effects of superior American firepower by engaging American troops in physically close combat, so that U.S. artillery and air fire could not be used without endangering American lives. This became standard North Vietnamese practice for the rest of the war.
Casualties on both sides are high, and of 400 Americans caught in the fight, 151 are killed and 121 are wounded. Both the North Vietnamese and the United States claim victory in the battles in the Ia Drang Valley at LZs X-Ray and Albany. MACV commanders, including General William C. Westmoreland, argue that the battle also vindicates the concept of airmobile operations.
17 November 1965, General Meeting of UN refused admittance of China.
17 November 1965 – 18 November 1965, 30 Marine UH-34D helicopters, supported by fixed-wing attack aircraft, lifted 788 ARVN troops to the relief of an invested ARVN garrison at Hiệp Đức District. In this initial lift, 20 of the 30 helicopters were hit by ground fire as they approached the landing zone. Despite marginal flying weather, accompanying attack aircraft and armed helicopters dropped some 14 tons of high explosive bombs and fired 512 rockets into VC positions near the landing areas. VC losses during the period were 38 confirmed dead with many more probable’s. The following day, 22 UH-34Ds lifted 463 more ARVN troops to Hiệp Đức.
17 November 1967, Operation Cove, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and 2nd and 3d Battalions, 26th Marines security operation, Thừa Thiên Province
17 November 1967 Acting on optimistic reports he had been given by General Westmoreland and by U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Ellsworth Bunker, President Johnson said at a press conference that his advisers had assured him that the war in Vietnam was going well, in response to a reporter's question, and that it was a different kind of conflict. "We don't march out and have a big battle each day in a guerrilla war. It is a new kind of war for us. So it doesn't move that fast... We are making progress. We are pleased with the results that we are getting. We are inflicting greater losses than we are taking." Johnson received rave reviews from all that saw this press conference, many newspapers calling it "Johnson's new style" while others said this was the "real Johnson" as the President bullishly informed Hanoi that the United States was prepared to protect their ally from invasion from an aggressive neighbor
17 November 1967 – 17 December 1967, Operation Strike/Operation Uniontown, 9th Infantry Division and 199th Infantry Brigade operation, Biên Hòa Province
17 November 1970, The court-martial of 1st Lt. William Calley begins. Calley, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) of the 23rd (Americal) Division, had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4 on March 16, 1968. My Lai 4 was one of a cluster of hamlets that made up Son My village in the northern area of South Vietnam. The company had been conducting a search-and-destroy mission as part of the yearlong Operation Wheeler/Wallowa (November 1967-November 1968). In search of the 48th Viet Cong Local Force Battalion, the unit entered the village but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting innocent people as they ran from their huts. They then systematically rounded up the survivors, allegedly leading them to nearby ditch and killing them. Calley was charged with six specifications of premeditated murder. During the trial, Chief Army Prosecutor Capt. Aubrey Daniel charged that Calley ordered Sgt. Daniel Mitchell to “finish off the rest” of the rounded-up villagers. The prosecution stressed that all the killings were committed despite the fact that Calley’s platoon had met no resistance and that no one had fired on the men. The My Lai massacre was initially covered up, but came to light a year later. An Army board of inquiry, headed by Lt. Gen. William Peers, investigated the massacre and produced a list of 30 persons who knew of the atrocity, but only 14, including Calley and his company commander, Capt. Ernest Medina, were charged with crimes. All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Calley, whose platoon allegedly killed 200 innocent people. Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat,” Calley was paroled in 1974.
17 November 1973, President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting in Orlando, Fla., that "people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook."
17 November 1992, Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts, Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Hank Brown of Colorado made an unprecedented tour of Vietnam's military headquarters but found nothing to substantiate reports of American prisoners sighted there after the Vietnam War.
Today is November 17, 2020
Vietnam War Memorial facts
135 Names on the wall were born on 17 November
200 Names on the wall died on 17 November
245 men earned the Medal Of Honor in the Vietnam war and 160 of those men are listed on the wall
Some additional wall facts;
HOW ARE THE NAMES ARRANGED ON THE WALL?
They are in chronological order, according to the date of casualty within each day, the names are alphabetized. For the dead, the date of casualty is the date they were wounded (received in combat) or injured (received in an accident); for the missing, the date they were reported to be missing. The list starts and ends at the vertex (apex), beginning at the date 1959 (with first two names listed from the date of July 8, 1959) and the inscription (IN HONOR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND OF THOSE WHO REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED IN THE ORDER THEY WERE TAKEN FROM US.) on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with the date of 1975 and its inscription (OUR NATION HONORS THE COURAGE, SACRIFICE AND DEVOTION TO DUTY AND COUNTRY OF ITS VIETNAM VETERANS. THIS MEMORIAL WAS BUILT WITH PRIVATE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. NOVEMBER 11, 1982) at the bottom of 1W (last 18 names listed are from May 15, 1975). Thus the war's beginning and end meet; the war's complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself. Although 1959 is marked as the beginning on Panel 1, East wall, a Captain (Army) Harry G. Cramer was killed 21 October 1957 during a training action. He is listed on line 78, panel 1, East wall, which was added approximately a year after the Memorial was dedicated.
Thanks to our supporters and volunteers, VVMF provided more than 5,000 free name rubbings for those who couldn’t make it to The Wall.
If you are interested in receiving a rubbing of a name on The Wall, please fill out our Name Rubbing Request Form. One of the incredible Wall volunteers will do the rubbing and send it to you at the address you list. This service is provided free of charge thanks to the many supporters of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The form can be found here: https://donate.vvmf.org/page/signup/request-a-name-rubbing There are no volunteers completing rubbings at this time due to the COVID-19 Virus. Please allow 90 days for the rubbing to be received.
Other items of interest;
Americans used poop to their advantage. This is, again, the result of trying to track the movement of men and materiel down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The United States placed sensors along the supposed routes of the Trail but when discovered, these sensors were, of course, destroyed. The U.S. needed to place sensors that wouldn’t be detected or destroyed. The answer was poop – in the form of a poop-shaped radio beacon. The Air Force dropped these sensors from the air and they would detect movement along the trail during the night, relaying the signal via radio. Since they looked like disgusting poop, the VC and NVA would often just leave them alone, thus ensuring the Americans would be able to listen along the trail.
Tactical Tree Crusher
Throughout the war, the Army wrestled with the problem of clearing vegetation to find Vietnamese hiding spots. Since Agent Orange took too long and could be washed away by heavy rains, the U.S. needed another way to clear paths for the troops. In 1968, they leased two vehicles designed for logging companies and sent them off to Southeast Asia. These became tactical tree crushers.
A 60-ton vehicle with multi-bladed logger wheels knocked trees over and chopped the logs as it drove. The U.S. military version would have a .50-cal mounted on the rear for self-defense, as well as a couple of claymores on the sides to keep the VC away from the driver. The vehicle was very effective at clearing trees, but the engine was prone to giving out and the large design made it an easy target for the enemy, so the military version was never made.
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. Viet Cong guerrillas would often carried Bamboo Pit Vipers in their packs to (hopefully) kill anyone who searches through them. They would also tie the deadly snakes to bamboo and hide them throughout their tunnel complexes. When the Bamboo was released, so was the snake – right onto the enemy. The snakes were nicknamed “three-step snakes,” because three steps was all you could make before the venom kills you. U.S. “tunnel rats” had to be specially trained to navigate and disarm these traps.
The NVA and VC loved to fly flags and they knew U.S. troops loved to capture enemy flags. So when they were forced to leave a base or location, they often rigged the flags with an explosive of some kind, so when US troops started to take down the flag, it would set off the charge. In fact, any attempt to move the pole or flag set off the booby trap. This is similar to a “keepsake, lose hand” trap, where the NVA would intentionally rig anything a U.S. troop would consider a war trophy with an explosive.
“I hope they try something because we are looking for a fight.” General Westmoreland taunts the Viet Cong, saying In a 17 November 1967 Time magazine interview
One of the lessons learned during the Vietnam War was that the depiction of wounded soldiers, of coffins stacked higher than their living guards, had a negative effect on the viewing public. The military in Iraq specifically banned the photographing of wounded soldiers and coffins, thus sanitizing this terrible and bloody conflict. Walter Dean Myers
Thank you for the sacrifices you and your families are making. Our Vietnam Veterans have taught us that no matter what are positions may be on policy, as Americans and patriots, we must support all of our soldiers with our thoughts and our prayers. Zack Wamp
“Much of my early career was spent working with two of the most toxic chemicals ever discovered, dioxin and aflatoxin. I initially worked at MIT, where I was assigned a chicken feed puzzle. Millions of chicks a year were dying from an unknown toxic chemical in their feed, and I had the responsibility of isolating and determining the structure of this chemical. After two and a half years, I helped discover dioxin, arguably the most toxic chemical ever found. This chemical has since received widespread attention, especially because it was part of the herbicide 2,4,5-T, or Agent Orange, then being used to defoliate forests in the Vietnam War."
Congressional Medal Of Honor for actions on this day 17 November: None
Edited 2 mo ago
Posted 2 mo ago
Those numbers from the Ia Drang valley or horrendous. I have four things things to say about the snakes in Việt Nam. (1) While they are indeed deadly, that three step drop thing was an over exaggeration. (2) They were slow and stupid, unlike the poisonous snakes in the US, that are fast and clever. (3) Every damn one of them were Communists that needed killing. (4) They taste best with when cooked in a bamboo stalk with rice, dried chilies, water and a native vine that grew abundantly in the jungle that the Montagnards called La Neip (spelled phonetically because they had no written language). Thanks for another great share, CWO3 Dennis M..
CWO3 Dennis M. thank you for posting and I am grateful of Vietnam War Veteran sacrifice to duty. I had a Vietnam Veteran named Fred Payton [1937-2017 RIP] whom served in the battle of Irang with the 1st CAV. What a battle. He told me the real deal of his life experience.
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