The Fight at Landing Zone Albany
Jack Smith, the famous ABC reporter, was a Private First Class (PFC) in C Company 2nd Battalion 7th Cavalry and wrote his first person account of the action at LZ Albany. It was published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1967 and is a chilling account of the events. The 1st Battalion had been fighting continuously for three or four days, and I had never seen such filthy troops. Some of them had blood on their faces from scratches and from other guys’ wounds. Some had long rips in their clothing where shrapnel and bullets had missed them. They all
Albany. 17 Nov 65 A B-52 strike of 800 500 pound bombs (200 tons) is headed for the near slopes of Chu Pong Mountain above X-Ray early on 17 November scheduled to drop at 11:17 AM. To get out of the danger zone, both Cavalry Battalions are ordered out of X-Ray. 2/5 CAV leads enroute to the Artillery position at LZ Columbus. 2/7 CAV follows with orders to break off shy of Columbus and head for a small clearing 1.5 miles to the Northwest. 2/5 CAV reaches Columbus and goes into position without any problems. The head of the 2/7 CAV
The 2/7 CAV Battalion Command Group and A Co 2/7 CAV reach Albany after interrogating the two PAVN prisoners. All Company Commanders are called forward and begin arriving at the clearing. The column is 550 yards long. C Company and A/1/5 put out flank security. PAVN soldiers of the fresh 8th Bn, 66th Regt (which had not seen action) deploy down the Northeast side of the column. Survivors of the 33rd PAVN Regiment deploy at the head of the 2/7 column.
At 1:20 PM, PAVN mortar rounds explode in the clearing and down the length of the column of American companies followed by a violent assault which fragments the column into small groups. When the firing begins, the Cavalrymen drop into the tall 3-5 foot high elephant grass where it is impossible for the soldiers of either side to identify friend or foe except at extremely close range. Within minutes, the situation becomes a wild melee, a shoot-out, with the gunfighters killing not only the enemy but sometimes their friends just a few feet away. When the firing begins, Captain George