Resolve to Write

Joe Galloway and Hal Moore stayed in touch with each other over the years and, in 1976, shook hands on a promise to write a book on the X-Ray Battle. Both men were busy; Moore in the Army and Galloway with UPI – there was little time for research. By 1983, Moore had left the Army and his job at the Crested Butte Ski Area and was ready to research. Galloway was still working with UPI but soon changed to a job in Washington, DC, with U.S. News and World Report.

In April 1983, Moore and Galloway met for three days to plan details. They resolved to do five things:

Write the book in:
– the words of the Americans who fought in the battle, their stories
– the words of the PAVN commanders who opposed the Americans, their stories
– the words of some of the survivors of men who were killed
– Re-visit the X-Ray battlefield with the PAVN commander
– NO Politics

During this meeting, they produced the first research letter. It was sent to the few known addressees in April/May 1983. The research was built up from there. As a side note, all the original research was donated to the Army and is stored at Carlisle, PA.

In the summer of 1990, U.S. News sent Galloway and Moore to Hanoi to do research with Vietnamese military officials in connection with a story to be written on the 25th anniversary of the Ia Drang Battles – and hopefully to return to the Ia Drang with the PAVN commander. They could not pull off the Ia Drang visit but were able to talk at length with Sr. General Vo Nguyen Giap and Major General Hoang Phuong, Chief of PAVN Military History. As a Lt Colonel historian, Gen Phuong was on the ground in the Ia Drang Battles. Also, during that visit, they contacted Sr. General Chu Huy Man, who declined to talk with them. They believed that Man, Moore’s PAVN counterpart, was the principal battle commander.

They talked with each officer for 5 hours, 15 hours total. it was not until they got to Hanoi that they learned that Lt. Gen An was the on-the-scene PAVN commander giving the orders at Xray and Albany as a Senior Lt Colonel, not then-Brigadier General Man.