The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam

The Ia Drang Campaign


A Vietnamese military maxim states:

He who controls the Central Highlands
controls South Vietnam

In late October ’65, a large North Vietnamese force attacked the Plei Me Special Forces Camp. Troops of the 1st Brigade were sent into the battle. After the enemy was repulsed, the 3rd Brigade replaced the 1st Brigade in early November.

After three days of patrolling without contact, Hal Moore’s 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was ordered to air assault the Ia Drang Valley on Nov 14. 

His mission: Find and kill the enemy.

Plei Me Special Forces Camp

Plei Me is garrisoned with a 12 man US Special Forces Team and 350 Montagnard mercenaries under the command of MAJ Charlie Beckwith (creator of the Delta Force).

Landing Zone Xray

Little did the troopers of the 1/7 CAV suspect that FATE had sent them into the first major battle of the Vietnam War between the American Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam – Regulars – and into history.

Landing Zone Albany

A B-52 strike of 800 500 pound bombs (200 tons) is headed for the near slopes of Chu Pong Mountain above X-Ray. 2/7 CAV ordered to move to Lz Albany.