Posted on Facebook by Stolen Valor
On this day in History 3 November 1967, the Battle Of Dak To begins.
In some of the heaviest fighting seen in the Central Highlands area, heavy casualties are sustained by both sides in bloody battles around Dak To, about 280 miles north of Saigon near the Cambodian border.
The 1,000 U.S. troops there were reinforced with 3,500 additional troops from the U.S. 4th Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade. They faced four communist regiments of about 6,000 troops. The climax of the operation came in a savage battle from November 19-22 for Hill 875, 12 miles southwest of Dak To. The 173rd was victorious, forcing the North Vietnamese to abandon their last defensive line on the ridge of Hill 875, but the victory was a costly one because the paratroopers suffered the loss of 135 men, 30 of whom died as a result of an accidental U.S. air strike on U.S. positions. In the 19 days of action, North Vietnam fatalities were estimated at 1,455. Total U.S. casualties included 285 killed, 985 wounded, and 18 missing.
During this battle, the North Vietnamese failed to achieve one of their main objectives, which was the destruction of an American unit. They came close, but the Americans, despite heavy losses, had achieved the true victory: they mauled three enemy regiments so badly that they were unavailable for the Tet Offensive that the Communists launched in late January 1968.
The Battle of Đắk Tô was a series of major engagements of the Vietnam War that took place between 3–22 November 1967, in Kontum Province, in the Central Highlands of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The action at Đắk Tô was one of a series of People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) offensive initiatives that began during the second half of the year. North Vietnamese attacks at Lộc Ninh (in Bình Long Province), Song Be (in Phước Long Province), and at Con Thien and Khe Sanh, (in Quảng Trị Province), were other actions which, combined with Đắk Tô, became known as "the border battles."
During the summer of 1967, heavy contact with PAVN forces in the area prompted the launching of Operation Greeley, a combined search and destroy effort by elements of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade, along with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's 42nd Infantry Regiment and Airborne units. The fighting was intense and lasted into the fall, when the North Vietnamese seemingly withdrew.
By late October, however, U.S. intelligence indicated that local communist units had been reinforced and combined into the 1st PAVN Division, which was tasked with the capture of Đắk Tô and the destruction of a brigade-size U.S. unit. Information provided by a PAVN defector provided the allies a good indication of the locations and intentions of North Vietnamese forces. This intelligence prompted the launching of Operation MacArthur, and brought the units back to the area along with more reinforcements from the ARVN Airborne Division. The battles that erupted on the hill masses south and southeast of Đắk Tô became some of the hardest-fought and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.
Photo: Wayne T. Winters, A/1/503d - 173rd Airborne Brigade, calls for a medic to help a wounded Soldier during the battle of Dak To on Hill 882.
These outposts on the Cambodian border took a hit nearly every fall........my turn was in November 1969 at Bu Prang, on the Cambodian border against the 66th NVA Infantry Regiment. Was pulled out of the battle on my birthday, November 21, 1969.....they were all fierce battles that we fought over and over again. Take the ground and depart.......only to fight for it all over again another day.......now this was the definition of insanity.........
A toast to the thirsty ground for those who drink no more.A glass lift high for cold DakTo Then emptied like them all
A toast for them hat didn't return and to them that s haunted still And when the steel pots emptied A drink can never heal
Tomorrow is another day A mission coming down Dont forget to set your claymores guns up you sillyclown My mind My
mind its just faces I can see Before the passing troop has gone I hope they carry me. I'd walk myself and carry on
But my legs betray me now To those sent up to save Dak To No one left behind --anyhow.