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"A Walk in the Sun" Student Film

By Dan Reed 
Originally published on Published Online: November 09, 2012 
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Veterans of the Battle of LZ Albany worked closely with students to help them re-create the chaos of combat that occurred during the final two days of fighting in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. (Courtesy of Rob Crossley)
Veterans of the Battle of LZ Albany worked closely with students to help them re-create the chaos of combat that occurred during the final two days of fighting in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. (Courtesy of Rob Crossley)

"This film shows the horror of war to the next generation"…Lt. Jim Lawrence, XO, Delta Co., 2-7 Cav.

During the long, hot walk to Landing Zone Albany in the Ia Drang Valley, Specialist 4 Bob Towles of Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry's Anti-Tank Platoon, in about the middle of a 550-yard-long column of more than 350 men, gets word that it's time to take a break. Sweating in the hot sun, he drops his three LAW rockets and reaches for some water. One of the men alongside him points into the jungle and asks, "Are those our flankers out there?" Towles glances over. "I think so," he replies.

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Suddenly, the men hear a shot ring out from the head of the column, then several more, followed by automatic weapons fire and mortar rounds. The company is ordered to form up and wait. The troops peer into the jungle toward the gunfire and watch for the flankers to retreat back to them, but they never do. Instead, seconds later, enemy fire pours through the bush—zeroed in on them and so thick it seems like a swarm of bees—followed by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers running through the jungle right into them. Knocked off his feet by an exploding rocket propelled grenade (RPG), a stunned and bleeding Towles gets up, fires his M-16 rifle at the onrushing enemy. He fires at another, then another. But Delta is being flanked and overrun on all sides.

"Cut!" I shout. "Great shot. Excellent job." The real Bob Towles, standing beside me, nods in agreement.

Student Matt Schmidt, left, portrayed Spc. 4 Bob Towles, right, in the movie. (Courtesy of Rob Crossley)
Student Matt Schmidt, left, portrayed Spc. 4 Bob Towles, right, in the movie. (Courtesy of Rob Crossley)
The actor "Bob Towles" was one of my Lorain County Joint Vocational School (LCJVS) students, Matt Schmidt. He and others in my high school American Military History class were in northern Ohio in the spring of 2009, portraying a day of the Vietnam War that had long fascinated me—the rest of the story in the film We Were Soldiers about the cavalry troopers who stayed on after the fight at LZ X-Ray. In the book We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, on which the movie was based, authors Lt. Gen. Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway gave a full accounting of the battle that followed X-Ray—Albany. I had decided to re-create some of the scenes from the book for my own documentary, A Walk in the Sun, and to make it part of my students' learning experience. As a reenactor, I had always wanted to involve my students in living history. When one student suggested that we film scenes of the history they were learning, so began a series of films my classes have worked on, ranging from the Colonial Rogers' Rangers to the Marines on Iwo Jima.

A Walk in the Sun tells the story of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and two companies of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry at LZ Albany during the final two days of heavy fighting in the Ia Drang Valley. Outnumbered by the enemy and cut off from reinforcements on Nov. 17, 1965, the exhausted soldiers wondered if they would make it out alive. About 350 U.S. soldiers marched into the fight, where they faced an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 NVA. Of those 350 Americans, 155 died in the battle.

To tell this story accurately, we had to make contact with the men who fought there. I was acquainted with war reporter Joe Galloway and he put me in touch with Captain George Forrest, commanding officer, Alpha Company, 1-5 Cav; 1st Lt. Larry Gwin, executive officer, Alpha Company, 2-7 Cav; and Towles of Delta Company, 2-7 Cav, who had written his doctoral thesis on the battle. They were to be the main characters portrayed in the movie, but when word got out about the project, more than 20 veterans of the battle wanted to be interviewed.

Larry Gwin sent me pictures of the Ia Drang Valley and, surprisingly, it was a pretty close match to terrain in northern Ohio, where my parents had several acres of property we could use for location filming. My consulting vets said it would work for the Central Highlands.

From the interviews, I drafted the screenplay, which included dialogue, narration and camera shots for all the scenes. I had the veterans edit it and made their corrections. To set the stage for the battle, each soldier's storyline had to be introduced as well as their unit and fellow troopers. The screenplay provided the basis for our filming schedule, which ran spring through fall 2008 and spring through fall 2009 and included days for close-up shots and days for long, landscape scenes. Bob Towles, who lived nearby, was with us every day of filming except one. Specialist 4 Dick Ackerman, of Recon Platoon, Delta 2-7, was able to attend one day of filming as well. The movie was shot on mini-digital videotape and featured an original sound track written and
performed by Oberlin College Conservatory students.

Rescue of Ghost 4-6, Kluge talks to Jeannette. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
Rescue of Ghost 4-6, Kluge talks to Jeannette. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
One of the most valuable aspects of this kind of interdisciplinary teaching approach is its ability to create energy and enthusiasm for learning history. It's not just about relating facts; it's about remembering stories of courage and sacrifice. Students not initially involved became curious and wanted to learn more about the Vietnam battle; in all, more than 100 students participated from classes as diverse as history, carpentry, electricity and cosmetology. We also had input and support from our community. Newspaper, radio and television interviews during filming told the story of how LCJVS students were re-creating the fight at LZ Albany. The movie was shown on local cable television throughout the county.

As A Walk in the Sun opens, 2nd Platoon of Alpha Company, 7th Cavalry, under Lieutenant Gordon Grove, leaves the LZ X-Ray perimeter on the morning of November 17, bound for LZ Albany after three sleepless nights of missions and patrols in the area. Tension grows among the troops as they wonder what happened to the numerous dead NVA soldiers they had seen the previous day while scouting the same area. If the dead men had been picked up by their comrades during the night, could the North Vietnamese still be in the valley, waiting somewhere ahead of them in the jungle?

With his platoon halted, Sergeant John Eade realizes that the typical air cover of gunships is no longer overhead. Uneasy about that, he asks his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Megdelio Caraballo-Garcia, "Where are the gunships that are supposed to be covering us?" Caraballo-Garcia says, "I don't know, maybe they're keeping out of sight so they don't give our position away."

Tense marching music plays as the column is halted in the open, in tall grass surrounded by jungle. Recon Platoon's 2nd Lt. Pat Payne and Staff Sgt. Ron Benton have captured two NVA soldiers.

With the battalion halted, its commander, Lt. Col. Robert McDade, moves to the head of the column to personally interrogate the prisoners and then calls all of his company commanders to come forward at once. As he and his command group move to an island of trees in the center of the Albany clearing, the film's narrator announces, "The stage has been set for one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War."

McDade briefs his company commanders, and Delta's Recon Platoon moves across a clearing on the other side of the island of trees when the first shots ring out. Payne, Benton and Ackerman hit the ground in a hail of bullets. Ackerman and three others dart to the tree line.

Payne rushes back to the command post in the copse of trees and requests to pull his platoon back across the clearing and set up positions in the trees for a better field of fire. Given the OK, he hurries to Recon Platoon, finds his radioman and yells into the radio: "All recon squads, this is Recon 6! Listen up! On the count of 3, move back across the LZ to the tree line…. All recon, here we go, 1, 2, 3, go, go go!"

To give my students a sense of the chaos and cacophony of battle, our Interactive Media teacher, Rob Crossley, hauled a sound system into the field. We couldn't re-create the bullets whizzing by their heads, but I wanted to envelope the actors with the sound of combat.

Matt Schmidt portraying Spc. 4 Bob Towles in action. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
Matt Schmidt portraying Spc. 4 Bob Towles in action. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)

Crossley's class created animated maps that show the soldiers' positions and troop movement, so viewers could make sense of the unfolding battle. We also spliced in actual U.S. Army combat footage for its historic impact. I wanted more special effects than our previous films had, so Crossley's students devised explosions, muzzle flashes, bullet strikes, an RPG launch and helicopters in flight, most added scene by scene during post-production.

For one night shot, filmed in daytime, we simulated the flight and landing of a helo at 2230 hours on November 17, when the cavalry came to the rescue under heavy fire. That night, flight leader Major Will Bennett led 12 helicopters of Alpha, Bravo and Charlie companies of the 229th Helicopter Assault Battalion to evacuate the wounded and bring Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry reinforcements.

Filming the fight. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
Filming the fight. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
We filmed the sequences using a Vietnam-era Huey at an American Legion post in Holmesville. For the interior shots of Bravo Company Chief Warrant Officer Lee Komich's night flight into Albany, we covered the helo's windows with blankets and in post-production added special effects to re-create tracers and the aircraft's movement. With "whup whup" sound effects, the helicopter appears to be flying as it approaches the landing zone.

"Look for red light over LZ," Captain Ken Weitzel, the 229th's liaison on the ground, radios to Bennett's helos. Guided in by the flashlight's beacon, Komich lands the chopper while the narrator describes the scene:

"Komich's crew chief, Spc. 5 Richard 'Smitty' Smith, watching out the door as the helicopter came closer to the ground, was guiding Komich to a safe touchdown when he saw a stump sticking out of the grass that they were about to land on. Smitty yelled in the intercom, 'Go forward, go forward!' Komich did exactly as he had trained and put the Huey down. Immediately there were men running up to the helo with wounded while the crew began dumping ammo, medical and ration crates out the other side. Five to eight men were loaded on board and then the chopper lifted off."

Animation shows the waves of helicopters that landed in groups of two throughout the night under heavy fire, with only one pilot being hit. In the action sequence, troops jump off under fire while tracers, smoke and chaos surround them.

Leading one of the platoons, 2nd Lt. Rick Rescorla yells, "Come on, let's let them have it!" when he and others jump from the helicopter and run to the U.S. lines, as men in the trees cheer. Lieutenant Gwin would remember years later that this was the most heroic and boldest air assault he'd ever witnessed.

Teacher Dan Reed, left, conferring with Spc. 4 Bob Towles. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
Teacher Dan Reed, left, conferring with Spc. 4 Bob Towles. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
The film is not sugar coated. I wanted my students to understand what it means to be a soldier, and the book We Were Soldiers Once…and Young conveys that. Weeks in advance of filming, students learned about the battle through lectures, films and veterans' recollections. Joining the student cast were some school staff, reenactors and military recruiters.

The temperatures during shooting reached into the 90s, about 15 degrees cooler than the Ia Drang battle, but still hot for those not used to it. We had period items to give us the look of an actual 1965 Cavalry unit in the Central Highlands. Army Navy stores and the Internet were my "quartermaster depots" for authentic uniforms and equipment, with funding help from the local VFW, American Legion and AMVET posts. Reenactors and collectors donated items for props to help with authenticity as well. We used the OG-107 cotton twill uniform issued at the beginning of the war, not the jungle fatigues that were just coming out, along with all-leather black boots and the 1956 webgear, not the 1967 nylon. We did the best we could with period haircuts and makeup, provided by some of the school's cosmetology students.

Actors were issued their uniforms, helmets, load-bearing equipment and M-16 rifles (airsoft), as well as their food for the day—canned "C rations" donated by a local grocer. They carried water for the day in two plastic canteens—the only items the actors were required to purchase from a local Army Navy store. Students acting as squad leaders had to make sure their canteens were filled. Some were detailed with extra duty such as keeping track of an 81mm mortar and a PRC 25 radio and other items built as props.

I made dog tags for all of the students that included their parents' phone numbers, just in case. They carried individual first-aid kits in painted Altoid tins, and were to take care of themselves as best they could in the field. One adult served as a "medic" to see that no one was dehydrating or having any other problems. The two veterans of the battle on location gave actors encouragement and advice, showed them how to carry a pack or rifle, and gave them firsthand descriptions of how the action unfolded. Students learned what it means to be tired, hot and thirsty while carrying a heavy pack, and about the loyalty soldiers have for each other and the sacrifices they make.

I had explained to students that we were re-creating a traumatic event in real people's lives and we needed to do it with the utmost respect and authenticity possible. Everyone behaved admirably, and, I believe, gained important insights. As one of my students told me: "When I'm now tempted to think how miserable the summer heat can be, I remember that it's not 105 degrees, I'm not thousands of miles from home, I'm not carrying 60 pounds of gear and no one is trying to kill me. These guys went through a lot, and many still are. The brief experience of doing this film made me more aware of our soldier's trials."

In the movie's final scene, a soldier picks up a lone U.S. flag from an anthill and attaches it the butt of his bayoneted M-16. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
In the movie's final scene, a soldier picks up a lone U.S. flag from an anthill and attaches it the butt of his bayoneted M-16. (Courtesy Rob Crossley)
In the movie's final scene, soldiers killed in action lie on the ground while men are cleaning up the landing zone. There's a lone U.S. flag on an anthill, and a soldier picks it up. He walks to where the bodies are lined up for evacuation and sticks his bayoneted M-16 into the ground. He wraps a rubber band around the gun's butt and places the flag there, while the camera pans from it to the row of KIA, most covered in ponchos. The film's narrator intones:

"The men of Albany fought hand to hand, with rifles, bayonets, grenades, at close quarters with little cover from air and artillery due to the closeness of the enemy….Today, anyone wishing to visit and remember the brave men who gave their lives in the 'Valley of the Screaming Souls' can see their names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Panel 3 East."

A Walk in the Sun debuted at the 2-7 Cavalry reunion in September 2010. Following the screening for the veterans, I asked all the LZ Albany survivors to stand. When they stood, with a lump in my throat I told them: "This film is now yours. It is your story, your history and it is for you and your families and your comrades who didn't come home with you." The ovation I received was humbling and one of the greatest honors of my life. Some of their feedback is included below.

Dan Reed teaches history at Lorain County Joint Vocational School in Oberlin, Ohio.




Capt. Joel Sugdinis, left, with Dan Reed at 2-7 Cav Reunion.
Capt. Joel Sugdinis, left, with Dan Reed at 2-7 Cav Reunion.

"This film showed our wives and families what real combat is like" — Capt. Joel Sugdinis, Commander, Alpha Co., 2-7 Cav


"There are certain things that you could never have
portrayed: the horrendous din of battle all around us;
the deafening noise of hundreds of weapons being fired
at close range; the shouting of orders and the screaming of
brothers warning each other of danger; the utter chaos of the
battlefield….That's the nature of combat.'"
—Lt. Larry Gwin, executive officer, Alpha Co., 2-7 Cav


"Thank you for all the intellectual and physical effort that went into recording history for all of us. If all of America's classrooms performed at the level found at your school, we would be blessed as a nation" — Lt. Col. Ken Weitzel (ret.) LNO on LZ Albany for 229th Helicopter Assault Bn.


"What a great way to bring history alive to the younger generation" — Lt. Bud Alley, Communications Platoon, HQ Co., 2-7 Cav



19 Responses to “"A Walk in the Sun" Student Film”

  1. 1
    Pat Payne says:

    Dan, a terrific article. Thanks for remembering us by making the firm. All the best to you and your students.

    Pat Payne

  2. 2
    Bill McClure says:

    I was in 2nd Bn 7th Cav, but had evacuated from Viet Nam three weeks before this battle with malaria. I watched it unfold on TV in Walter Reed Hospital and then greeted the wounded as they came into the hospital few days later. I've always read all I could get my hands on about this battle and talked to many of those involved, but I can never get enough. You have done an admiral job with this story and the kids involved will never forget it. They will also have a different take on Veteran's Day in the future.
    Thanks again for all you've done.
    Bill McClure 1st Lt Inf. 095673

  3. 3
    SSG Keith O. Maynard,USARET says:

    Thanks for the story of the grunts, but the 229th Avn. bn . made trip after trip into Albany, as we did to X-ray. I did day and night missions to Albany and picked the guys up off the LZ I could find.Our Aircraft held , even with milion rounds around us, and at us, till we got the guys aboard. As we took off every green tracer in the world was after us. You get to the field hospital off load your guys, then the shakes begin, but you must do it over, and over, if your ship will fly, but thats Cav! Gary Owen

  4. 4
    peter tapia says:


  5. 5
    Dan Reed says:

    SSG Maynard,

    In the film we covered the 229th a lot. We interviewed a number of pilots and crew members and they stories are told in the film. Send me an address and I'll send you a copy.
    Dan Reed

  6. 6
    Russell L. Ross says:

    Russell L. Ross

    3rd squad RTO reconpltoon

    question. during the time the skyraider made its first pass firing it 20mm, I

    called in that I was in the recon platoon and were holding down the far side

    of the lz, and were receiving m-60 and m79 fire from our rear.

    someone ordered me to bring everyone back to our rear. was it you?

    I got every one back, the rest the company to our right came in after

    the sgtmajor got naplamed. again was it you? that ordered me to bring

    everyone back?

    • 6.1
      Dan Reed says:

      Mr. Ross,

      According To Pat Payne (not sure if he will read this comment page), but he said he ran back to the copse of trees, talked to Capt. Spiers (S-3) and suggested that he move your group back into the trees for a better field of fire. He got permission and then called "all recon platoons to pull back to the trees on the count of 3". So yes, I believe that was Lt. Payne.
      Dan Reed

  7. 7
    Russell L. Ross says:

    question is to Pat Payne, Russell L. Ross

    • 7.1
      Dan Reed says:

      if you'd like a copy, please send me an email and I'll forward one to you.
      thanks for your service.
      Dan Reed

      • 7.1.1
        Ken Maloon says:

        Hello Dan,

        My name is Ken Maloon; an avid historian who is currently working at Aberdeen Md. I would love a copy of "Walk in the Sun". I just finished the book "We Were Soldiers" and am very intrigued about the LZ Albany fight. I would love to visit both the LZ X-ray and Albany locations one day just to stand on the hallowed ground. It would be an honor.

        My mailing address:
        Ken Maloon
        305F Forsythia Court
        Abingdon MD 21009
        or phone: 732-693-2578

        (I would pay up front for a copy).

        Best now and in the future:

  8. 8
    Russell L. Ross says:

    Sorry it wasent Pat then. The voice didnt say that. it said bring everyone

    back. and I had to go and tell the company to our right to pull back.

  9. 9
    Russell l. Ross says:

    its commander, Lt. Col. Robert McDade, moves to the head of the column to personally interrogate the prisoners <true

    this isnt true.
    With the battalion halted,<false

    there was no order to halt the battalion.

    and then calls all of his company commanders to come forward at once.< false

    Mc Dade had called the company commanders foward befor, the call came that the recon platoon had captured two prisorners. only company commanders were called to come, leaving the xos in charge of the companys

    as this web page belongs to the Weider group, after I post this I' be erased as I have been from all the other wilder magazines.

    Mcdade was using my radio he pulled me out of line and had me move with him, he kept his RTOs on the freq the were on. he changed my freq 5 times, thats why i ask pat if he was the one that
    had ordered me to bring ever one back, so mister Gwin can thank me for bringing his company back from the far side of the lz as he wasent supposed to be away from his company, he was about 50 yards away with battalion hq, he never made it back to them.

    What is the penality for writing a false after action report?

    Moore left dead at LZ X-Ray, Using LZ Albany as an excuse, Moore goes to back

    to LZ X-Ray to retrive his dead.

    Hardback We Were Soldiers Once and Young. Page 320-321.

    Moore "the 2/7 Battalion was still missing 4 troops, The 1/5, 1 troop."

    Moore "I would personally lead a search for them."

    In April 6, 1966 Moore goes back to the Ia Drang to LZ Albany. So He Said.

    Moore only takes troops from the 1/7 1 Platoon aprox 44 troops,

    Sergeant Major Plumley, Matt Dillion.

    No One in the 1/7 had seen the battle field at LZ Albany over estamated 600 yards

    long,estamated over 100 yards wide.

    Moore takes no troops from the 2/7!

    In a matter of minutes after landing, They find the missing troops!

    Fact Moore flew back to LZ X-Ray not LZ Albany.
    Steve Hansen
    +Didn’t you go back to the Ia Drang in March for Operation LINCOLN?

    Hansen "Yes, we did return to the Ia Drang".

    "In fact, we air assaulted back into XRay."

    It was quiet.

    "The mission was to search for and retrieve the remains of some MIAs.( Missing in


    We found them.

    The battlefield had been cleaned up pretty good by both sides. We found a scattering

    of stuff and I noticed the remains of one NVA soldier near the "Ant Hill" that sheltered

    the command post during the battle.


    Moore said he wouldn't leave any troop behind on the Battlefield dead or alive.

    Memories of Vietnam

    Submitted by Stephane Moutin-Luyat

    Steve Hansen

    Memories of Vietnam

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006 by Stephane Moutin-Luyat

    Steve Hansen, two-tour veteran of the Vietnam war, shares his thoughts and

    experiences in this fascinating interview.

    ArmChair General Lt. Col Hal Moore: "I will leave no one behind" [DIGITALLY


    Moore didn't know what he was doing in Nam, Killed his men.


    Moore said he wouldn't leave any troop behind on the Battlefield dead or alive.

    Galloway is using Ernie pyle's books (which he has the whole collection as a

    blueprint) to write,hes just changing the ww2 to Iraq,Vietnam, other present day wars.

    Russell L. Ross
    1741 Maysong court
    San Jose Ca 95131 PH 1-408-926-9336

  10. 10
    Russell L. Ross says:,_Chapelle.jpg,_Chapelle.jpgHenri Huet's poignant photograph of Chapelle receiving the last rites in Vietnam.
    Despite early support for Fidel Castro [1], Dickey was an outspoken anti-Communist, and loudly expressed these views at the beginning of the Vietnam War. Her stories in the early 1960s extolled the American military advisors who were already fighting and dying in South Vietnam, and the Sea Swallows, the anticommunist militia led by Father Nguyen Lac Hoa. Chapelle was killed by a tripwire landmine in Vietnam, on November 4, 1965; her last moments were captured in a photograph by Henri Huet. She became the first female war correspondent killed in Vietnam, as well as the first American female reporter to be killed during battle.

    Galloway and poo's wasent even there when she died, but yet galloway writes.

    She got her jump wings in vietnam


    There was Dickie Chapelle, with her horn-rimmed glasses and a boonie hat decorated with

    the jump wings she’d earned in some other war long before.

    She told me that the first rule of war corresponding was that you must survive in order to write the story and

    ship your film.

    ++A Marine walking in front of her set off a booby-trapped mortar shell and a tiny fragment nicked her carotid


    +She bled to death, her head in the lap of another reporter, Bob Poos, while a Catholic chaplain gave her the

    last rites.

    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Never mind that dateline. It will always be Saigon to me, the place where I landed 40 years ago to cover a war that would eventually consume much of my youth and much of my country’s innocence before it ended in bitter, bloody chaos three decades ago.

    The old familiar streets are still here, but now they’re lined with chic shops and boutiques instead of the seedy bars where delicate Vietnamese women once wheedled overpriced “Saigon Teas” out of big American GIs.

    The traffic is, at once, both denser and calmer as motorcycles have replaced bicycles and the man-powered cyclo taxis have been banned from the center of town. Pedestrians seem to risk death just crossing a street full of speeding motorbikes, but it’s a carefully choreographed dance. There are rules for the walker: Don’t run. Don’t try to dodge. Just walk slowly straight ahead and let the motorbikes adjust for you.

    The Vietnamese are still the hardest-working people I have ever known, hustling and bustling and chasing a buck and a living with determination. The majority of them, 60-plus percent, are under the age of 30, and for them the war is something in the history books.

    The country and the people are far different than they were when we came and when we left. In the cities, the old shabby yellow colonial buildings that survived have been spruced up and modernized. Office towers and high-rise hotels tower over their older neighbors. Cranes are everywhere in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as new construction sprouts on every available scrap of land.

    Communists may still rule here, but business is still business, and business is good in Vietnam. The country’s economy grew at a rate of 7.7 percent in 2004.

    Two-way trade between Vietnam and the United States has reached $6 billion annually. Trade with neighboring China is also at $6 billion a year. A local Honda plant cranks out millions of the ubiquitous motorbikes that sell for the equivalent of $1,000 to $2,000.

    On the outskirts of Hanoi, a huge gate modeled after the Brandenburg in Berlin, complete with sculpted horses, marks the entrance of a new subdivision for the very affluent. A planned but still unbuilt house there sold six months ago for $250,000. The same non-existent home has already changed hands twice. The last buyer paid $450,000 for it.

    Yet in poorer rural areas such as Quang Tri province, the per capita income is still around $200.

    What we call the Vietnam War the Vietnamese call the American War. “You see, we have fought so many wars over a thousand years that we could never call yours `the Vietnam War’ – it would be meaningless to us,” explained an earnest young guide in Hanoi.

    The American War takes up only one paragraph in the history book taught in grade schools in Vietnam today. But a big, busy bookstore on what once was Tu Do Street in old Saigon carries shelves full of books about the war and biographies of some of the great North Vietnamese Army commanders, such as Gen. Nguyen Huu An, who did his best to kill all of us in the Ia Drang Valley during some terrible November days in 1965.

    A friend and fellow scribbler, Phil Caputo, inscribed a copy of his book “A Rumor of War” to me: “As an old French general once told another, `The war, old boy, is our youth – secret and uninterred.’” By then, in the late 1970s, both of us knew exactly what that old French general meant.

    It seemed so simple and straightforward when we began that march 40 years ago with the landing of the first American Marine battalion at the port city of Danang. We were a modern superpower blocking the spread of communism to a Third World country.

    War has a way of looking simple going in – and generally turns out to be far more complex and costly than the architects ever thought possible. This one sure was.

    The Vietnam War consumed the presidency of the brash Texan Lyndon B. Johnson, who sent the first combat troops there. It brought young American protesters into the streets and helped topple Johnson’s successor, Richard Nixon. A third president, Gerald Ford, inherited an orphaned war that ended in chaos and defeat on his watch.

    To those who fought it, mostly young draftees on both sides, the war was unavoidable, a duty their country demanded of them. To those caught in the middle, the peasant farm families, it was an unending and deadly disruption to their lives. One and a half million Vietnamese perished in those 10 years. On the black granite wall in Washington, D.C., the names of 58,249 Americans who died in Vietnam are engraved.

    The war gave me the best friends of my life and took some of them away almost immediately. I can still see their faces as they were then.

    There was Dickie Chapelle, with her horn-rimmed glasses and a boonie hat decorated with the jump wings she’d earned in some other war long before. She told me that the first rule of war corresponding was that you must survive in order to write the story and ship your film. A Marine walking in front of her set off a booby-trapped mortar shell and a tiny fragment nicked her carotid artery. She bled to death, her head in the lap of another reporter, Bob Poos, while a Catholic chaplain gave her the last rites.

    And Henri Huet, half French, half Vietnamese, all heart, all smiles. He took me on my first combat operation, teaching me every step of the way how to do this insane work and stay alive. He went down in a South Vietnamese Huey helicopter inside Laos in 1971 with the finest photographer of the war, Larry Burrows of Life magazine, and another who might have inherited Burrows’ mantle had he lived, Kent Potter of UPI.

    I think of them all, all 66 who died in our war giving everything they had, telling the truth and showing the real face of war to America and the world.

    I think, too, of the young American soldiers who died all around me in the Ia Drang Valley and elsewhere in a war that seemed like it would never end – and never really has in my memory and in my heart.

    >>There were men such as Jim Nakayama of Rigby, Idaho,

    >>who had so much to live for.

    >>His wife,


    >>gave birth to their baby girl, Nikki,

    >>a couple of days before he died on Nov. 15, 1965.

    Then there were those on the other side, such as Gen. An who did his best to wipe us out in the Ia Drang and came damned close to it. Years later, in 1993, he and some of his officers went back to our old battlefield with us, walked that blood-stained ground and shed tears with us for all who died there, American and Vietnamese.

    Gen. An died of a heart attack a year later.

    In 1995 my good friend Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and I visited Gen. An’s home in Hanoi to pay our respects to his widow and children. There, in a glass case of his most precious possessions, along with his uniform and medals and photographs of the young warrior, was a copy of our book, “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young,” which told the story of the battle.

    I think, too, of Col. Vu Dinh Thuoc, who started his career as a private storming the French positions at Dienbienphu and progressed to lieutenant commanding a company at the Ia Drang and on to colonel commanding a division in the final attack on Saigon.

    As we later walked the battlefield together, Thuoc tapped me on the chest and said:

    “You have the heart of a soldier. It is the same as mine. I am glad I did not kill you.”

    So am I, colonel. So am I.

    And I am glad that peace and a measure of prosperity have at last come to Vietnam and its people after a thousand years of war. There’s no room left for anger or bitterness, only memories, and they, too, will vanish soon enough.


    Joseph L. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers. He spent 22 years as a foreign and war correspondent and bureau chief for United Press International, and nearly 20 years as a senior editor and senior writer for U.S. News & World Report magazine. His overseas postings included four tours as a war correspondent in Vietnam.

    On May 1, 1998, Galloway was decorated with the Bronze Star with V for valor for rescuing wounded soldiers under fire in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. His is the only medal of valor the U.S. Army awarded to a civilian for actions during the Vietnam War. He is the co-author, with retired Lt. Gen. Hal G. Moore, of the national bestseller “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young,” which was made into the movie “We Were Soldiers,” starring Mel Gibson.

  11. 11
    Russell L. Ross says:

    What happened to the Pathfinders Landing Zone Log book for LZ X-Ray and LZ Falcon..

    The Pathfinders at LZ Falcon should'nt have been handling the POWs.

    It implies that they didn't have much aircraft landing and leaving.

    There was a pathfinder in Orange 1's Huey in the first lift.

    The Pathfinder log book kept track of every Huey coming into X-Ray, its call sign, it's tail number, What it

    brought in ( IE Ammo, water, troops. ) and what it carried in and carried out. ( dead, wounded, walking

    wounded, equipement, American, and enemy. ).


    No one expects the battalion commander to act as a rifleman no matter how proficient he is.

    As he does so. who commands his battalion?

    Who gives guidance to his Company Commanders, he is taking responsibility away from his men and not

    meeting his own.

    Moore did'nt let anyone that outranked him, land on LZ X-Ray!

    Leadership Principle 9

    Develop a sense of Responsibility in your subordianates.

    Delegation of authority commensurate with responsibility developes mutual

    confidenece and respect between senior and subordinates.

    It also encourages the subordinate to exercise initiative and to give wholeharted


    The leader who, by properly delegating authority, demomstrates faith in his

    subordinates will increse their desire to accept greater responsibility.


    Page 58:

    Lt. Col. Moore didnt bring in his Execuitive Officer Wirth ( 2nd in command )

    to help run the battalion command post.

    The XO was suppose to run Moores combat command post at LZ X-Ray.

    Lt. Col. Moore "The Battalion Rear Command Post was run by my Executive Officer

    Major Wirth", At LZ Falcon, 3 miles away.

    Page 34

    Moore "I went to school on the Division Commander, authority must be pushed down to the

    man on the spot.

    Moores doing everybodys job implies there wasent much action going on and he didn't have anything to do.

    Or Moore didn't trust his troops to do their jobs, he could have suppervised them, implyingt he had nothing to


    Page 40

    Moore "I personally to influence the action would be in the 1st Huey to land on X-Ray."

    Page 60

    Moore leading his command group clear a sector of X-Ray, on the way back to the LZ, meet the

    troops who were suppose to clear that sector.

    Shows Moore didn't know how to clear an Landing Zone. Moores troops were running all over the landing

    zone creating friendly fire situations.

    Troops clearing the same objective. True Moore wase'nt suppose to be there.

    Page 73

    Moore "I was tempted to join A co or C co's company's men."

    Page 108

    Moore "My operations Officer`& the Avaition Liason Officer had controlled all flights into X-Ray, I

    then took control, every Huey coming to X-Ray must radio me for landing instructions.

    Page 109

    Crandall Moore was now a signalman at the far end of the LZ was standing up, directing us where

    to land.

    Page 109

    The Brigade Commander had given Moore pathfinders.

    Page 195

    Moore "I personally lead the final counterattack to make certian that the Company Commander of

    Bco 2/7 & his men did a safe, clean, job & to look for my Missing Troops.

    Leadership Principle 9

    Develop a sense of Responsibility in your subordianates.

    Delegation of authority commensurate with responsibility developes mutual

    confidenece and respect between senior and subordinates.

    It also encourages the subordinate to exercise initiative and to give wholeharted


    The leader who, by properly delegating authority, demomstrates faith in his

    subordinates will increse their desire to accept greater responsibility.

    Galloway wont protect his Integrity a journlist most important asset .

    In a message dated 1/15/2004 3:23:36 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

    like i say russell, if you had anything worth taking i would sue

    you for libel and slander and take it all.

    but you don't. only a couple bottles of blue pills which you need to use more regularly.

    Russell L. Ross 11/ 21/14 as of this date I'm still waiting for Mr Joe Galloway to sue me.

    My screen names are

    Russell L. Ross

    1741 Maysong ct San Jose, CA. 95131-2727

    PH 1-408- 926-9336

  12. 12
    Russell L. Ross says:

    Russell L. Ross said..

    Joe Galloway gave live interview to Helke Hasenaure a reporter for

    West Point's SOLDIER'S Magazine, In Feb. 2002 interview, Using this date as I'm giving a 30 days

    to go to press to be distrubuted on >>March 3,2002.<<<

    Joe Galloway stated that "Clark had died", to Helke Hasenaure.

    4th week in Feb.. Giving 1 week before being printed in a newspaper March 3, 2002

    Joe Galloway writes a story for Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer.

    About how Clark survived the naplam attack. Date it printed March 3, 2002.

    Same date

    Soldiers Magazine march 3, 2002, Clark died.

    Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer, March 3, 2002, Clark survived naplam attack.

    Joe Galloway KNIGHTRIDDERS military consultants FICTION EXPOSED.

    From Soldiers the Offical U.S. Army Magazine. March 3, 2002<<

    An Author's Quest Story By Helke Hasenauer about Joe Galloway. page 33

    ph 1-703-806-4486 Sun, Mar. 03, 2002March 2002< Galloway "Clark DIED".

    Moore didnt see Joe Galloway save Jimmy!

    Harold G. Moore, then the 1st Battalion commander,

    didn't learn about Galloway's actions until the two collaborated

    on "We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young,''

    a best-selling book about the history of the battle published in 1992.

    Moore, who retired as a three-star general, put Galloway in for the award.

    FICTION: Fabarication applies particulary to a false but carefully invented statement or a

    series of statements, in which some truth is sometimes interwoven, the whole usually

    intended to deceive.

    The Greatest Hero

    "People everywhere are smitten- With a tale that is written.

    Once a hero's deeds are known- They're as good as etched in

    stone. Every word, folks take to heart- And think this makes

    them very smart. Amazing how the very wise- Never stop to

    realize- That what they read may not be true.

    Groo Moral:
    Even when the words are true the may not speak the truth. Groo

    Moore didnt see Joe Galloway save Jimmy.

    Harold G. Moore, then the 1st Battalion commander,

    didn't learn about Galloway's actions until the two collaborated

    on "We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young,''

    a best-selling book about the history of the battle published in 1992.

    Moore, who retired as a three-star general, put Galloway in for the award.


    Posted on Sun, March. 03, 2002 Joe Galloway writes how Clark survived the napalm attack.

    After I pointed this out to them that Clark was alive they took it down.


    Posted on Sun, Mar. 03, 2002 BY Joe Galloway

    Specialist 5th Class Paul Clark, demolitions specialist, 8th Engineer BattalionPaul Clark, the son of

    a coal miner from Boomer, N.C., was a newlywed when he received orders to go to Vietnam with the

    1st Cavalry Division in 1965.

    His main job in 'Nam would be to clear away trees, brush and anything else that would prove to be

    an obstacle to the landing of helicopters.

    As for combat, Clark, then 24 years old, knew when to fire his rifle and when to keep his head down.

    Which he did during the first day of fighting at Landing Zone X-Ray.

    But on the second day…

    "We could hear the plane (an F-100); I could see the canister being released from the wing.

    I had a pretty good idea where it would hit.

    That's why we started running.

    It wasn't supposed to be dropped there."

    Clark, an Army veteran of six years at the time, and his pal, PFC Jimmy Nakayama, tried to

    outrun the spreading napalm.

    They weren't fast enough.

    The "friendly fire" killed Nakayama two days shy of his 23rd birthday.

    The napalm engulfed Clark, leaving him with severe burns over much of his body.

    It took skilled surgeons 10 years to rebuild his face.

    His wife didn't even recognize him when she saw him at the burn unit at the San Antonio


    I had one uncle in the Army and two in the Navy and I don't know why, but I always liked the Army


    I went to basic at Fort Knox, Ky. After a battery of tests decided what specialty I was suited for. I got

    into engineering. I spent six months there with the 54th Engineers. After that I went to Germany for

    five years, all at the same base. Then got orders to Fort Benning, 11th Air Assault.

    I'd heard stories about the South. When I first got here, I didn't even go out downtown. I would catch

    a flight on weekends and go home, to New York, where my family is. Then one weekend, some

    guys, since I had a car, asked me to carry them downtown. They stayed and stayed and stayed. So

    I went in to find out what they were doing. That's when I fell in love with Columbus. There's a lot of

    women. I'm young, single… that made me fall in love with Columbus.

    Columbus was out in front when it came to integration in the '60s. It was because of the military post.

    'We're the ones who went in first'

    In Germany, for instance, we were taught how to blow up bridges, certain bridges should be blown if

    something happens.

    A few of the explosives we dealt with were C-4, Flex X, land mines and, of course, dynamite. The

    land mines, you have to be real familiar with them.

    With the 11th Air Assault, our job was to blow bridges and clear helipads. Sometimes we'd use

    explosives to clear out the trees; other times, chain saws. It all depended on how much time we had.

    Our job was to clear.

    We're the ones who went in first. We had to be there to clear things out before they bring the

    infantry in. Our secondary mission is to reorganize as infantry.

    At the time, I wasn't supposed to be going to Vietnam because I had been out of the country for five

    years. I'd been told I'd be shipped to Fort Campbell (Ky.), to the 101st, since I was Airborne. I got

    married, and found out then I was going to Vietnam anyway.

    I got married with the idea I would be going to Kentucky. There was nothing my wife could say.

    We went by bus to Hunter Air Force Base (in Savannah) and flew out of there on C-130s with stops

    in California, Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa and then, Vietnam.

    It was blistering hot. Of course, it had been hot here; it may have been worse here than there

    because of the humidity. After a while, you get used to the heat.

    The 8th went to An Khe. We were part of the division (1st Cav). We had people from all the units in

    the 1st Cav as advance party. To lay out they had their areas picked out. Each unit would come in

    and all of us would go in and clean it out so they could bring the helicopters in.

    My job was clearing, cutting trees, moving dirt and bushes and things, getting them out of the way. It

    was 30 days before the main body got there.

    Most of us had C rations. We liked it better than the regular food.

    We weren't allowed to go into the town until the VC were cleared out of there. You never went into

    town without your weapon.

    'Go to pieces or do your job'

    One or two Viet Cong regulars were captured when we landed (at LZ X-Ray on Nov. 14). I'm not

    sure what was said when they were interrogated. But we moved on. Then all hell broke loose.

    That's the only way to describe it.

    We knew it was a "hot" LZ. We were among the first to arrive at the landing zone. If they needed an

    LZ cleared, then Col. Moore would direct us to do it. We went right along with the rest of them — we

    all had weapons, we were just like an infantry platoon. I also had C-4 on me.

    The first shots came about 15-20 minutes after we landed. That was the first time I'd ever been shot at.

    You've been trained to react when you're fired upon. I think that's the first thing that happens. Then

    it finally sets in that somebody is trying to kill you. You can go either way — go to pieces or do your

    job. I chose to do my job. That will keep you alive.

    We followed Colonel Moore's group after landing. We went through bamboo, into the wood line.

    That's when we got hit. We knew we'd run into some pretty good fighting. But nobody knew right

    then that we'd run into one of the largest, best-equipped North Vietnamese units there.

    I think our guys were ready for a fight. We were more alert.

    People were getting killed and wounded. Col. Moore's group was using a large ant hill as cover.

    There was a dry stream bed that a lot of us used as cover. It ran a long way.

    If we could get to them, we would try to pull the wounded back into this dry stream bed where they

    wouldn't get any further harm. This went on and on and on… air strikes, artillery barrages…

    'We could hear the plane'

    The next morning is when I got hit. With napalm.

    Napalm burns, liquid fire. As long as it can get oxygen, it burns. I was familiar with napalm. Only the

    U.S. had napalm. The enemy didn't even have airplanes.

    It's designed to clear out areas and kill people.


    I was in the dry stream bed that morning.

    We had just pulled some soldiers back who had been wounded.

    We were on our way back when it hit us.


    We could hear the plane… I could see the canister being released from the wing. I knew what it was.

    It was silver. I had a pretty good idea where it would hit. That's why we started running, trying to get

    away from it. It took just a matter of seconds to explode. It wasn't supposed to be dropped there.

    A lot of us began running in different directions. Nakayama and I were running together. It gets on

    your body and just sticks. It's like a jelly, hot.

    I knew what had happened right away. One of the other soldiers took his fatigue jacket off and put it

    over me to smother the fire. You had to cut the oxygen off to stop the burning.

    The fire really got me from the waist up, but the main portion got me in the head and shoulders.

    Arms? Just spots. My hands were completely burned. My head, shoulders, that's what took the

    brunt of the attack.

    My whole scalp. My eyes, nose, mouths, ears… have all been rebuilt. It was all burned off.

    'Your mind takes over'

    I think once something this bad happens to you, your mind takes over. The mind is a wonder

    mechanism. It blocks out part of the pain. So a lot of things you don't know that you did.

    My eyelids were rebuilt. My whole face was rebuilt.

    But I did not lose my sight. That was a miracle.

    I was pretty alert during that time. One of the people told me not to go to sleep, not to close my

    eyes. This stayed with me until I got to Brook (Army Medical Center in San Antonio). The doctor

    there said if I'd ever gone to sleep I would never have woke up.

    I didn't see my face until… they don't have mirrors in the ward… I got to where I could walk around

    and I went down to another ward, went into the bathroom and I saw my face then. I was shocked.

    I don't know if I cried.

    I was somewhat bitter at first. But that wore off after a while. My mother and all my family… as long

    as it didn't bother them, I didn't care about it.

    I think I got the best of care after I got back to the U.S. I was in a hospital eight months. I was a

    newlywed. My wife was able to visit with me almost immediately. My mother and her traveled

    together. My wife was 24 at the time. We're still married.

    Some of the guys, after I was out of the hospital, from the engineers I used to run with at Fort

    Benning, came to visit. About four of them came through and spent about 10 days with me.

    'I know he felt bad'

    Plastic surgery went on for about 10 years, off and on. Rebuilding my face took the longest. They'd

    do a little bit and have to wait until it took hold, or start back growing or get life in it. My ears, this

    was cut, it started down here on my neck. They made a tube. To get blood circulating in it, they

    would move it and walk it up beside my head, then attach my ear. It took a while. My ears probably

    took the longest.

    Every once in a while I look at some of the old pictures of myself and say "they didn't do a bad job

    at all." I never saw any of the pictures of myself before they put me in the hospital.

    I probably would like to see exactly what they looked like.

    It doesn't really bother me that I was the victim of "friendly fire."

    They had a big investigation here at Fort Benning after I started work. Some Air Force people here.

    They asked me if I thought it was deliberate. I think they were going to hang the officer who dropped

    it. They knew who it was.

    "No, I don't think it was deliberate. Maybe he saw something on the ground we didn't see."

    I think it was an accident. They didn't prosecute the pilot. The general who headed the investigation

    told me I probably saved one of his better officers. I never met the pilot, never talked to him. I know

    he felt bad.

    'In my own time, I'll tell him'

    I have one son, 26 years old. He works in Atlanta, in telecommunications.

    He never wanted to be in the Army. I asked him when he was very small if he wanted to go into the


    He said: "No, daddy." I never approached him about it again.

    He never asked me about my time in Vietnam, or the accident.

    In my own time, I'll tell him about it.

    My wife knew it was my job. I was doing what I was paid to do.

    When I went back on active duty, I taught in the Infantry School. Taught demolition, how to stop

    tanks with different things when you don't have any weapons.

    I hadn't talked to anyone about Vietnam in 30-something years until I talked to you the last time. I

    had a drinking problem. I thought it would help. But after you wake up, you have the same problem.

    The problem never goes away. But finally I went to talk to a psychiatrist. And I prayed. And I haven't

    had a drink for over a year. The problem had lasted a long time.

    I drank to forget the nightmares. That day and other things I saw during my tour.

    I'm 61, and I feel a lot better about myself.

    They were the best you had, America, and you turned your back on them.

    Copyright Joe Galloway

  13. 13
    Russell L. Ross says:

    Joe Galloway used Ernie Pyle,s saying it was Sunday.

    Joe Galloway has Ernie Pyles Books all them.

    From Ernie's War The Best of Ernie Pyle's World War II Dispatches

    by David Nichols

    Page 81

    Nobody keeps track of the days or weeks. I'll wager that ninety percent

    of our front- line troops never knows when SUNDAY comes.

    Page 326

    You have meals at the table. These men eat from mess kits, sitting on


    You have pajamas, and places to go on Sunday.

    These men sleep in their underwear, and they don't even know when

    SUNDAY comes.

    Joe Galloway writes.

    From We Were Soldiers Once and Young by Harold G. Moore ( Ret )

    and Joseph L. Galloway

    Page 55

    Moore " It was 4:30 ( Military time 0430hrs ) a Sunday morning,

    November 14.

    Page 59

    Moore "It was a Sunday morning but I didn't realize that: over here we

    paid attention to the date, not the day".

    Back in Columbus, Ggeorgia, it was Saturday nite.

    Moore a devoted catholic didn't know it was sunday?

    He Had reports to file orders, after action reports to write.

  14. 14
    Russell L. Ross says:

    PFC Salvatore Fantino with the bugle Rescorla's platoon captured at X-Ray

    Photo source – unknown (if you know or have a better copy, please let us know so we can improve this picture and properly attribute the photo)


    From Pleiku by J.D. Coleman

    Page 242 hardback

    Page 261 paper back

    ( LT. Larry ) Gwin remembers how Rick Rescorla, platoon leader of 1st platoon, Bravo Company, came

    swaggering into the tiny perimeter , toting an M-79, an M-16, and a ( BUGLE ) he had captured

    two days before on X-Ray.

    From We Were Soldiers Once and Young by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore ( Ret. ) and Joseph L. Galloway

    Page 279

    ( Lieutenant Larry Gwin ) watched the reinforcements arrive:" I saw Rick Rescorla swaggering into our lines

    with a smile on his face, an M-79 on his shoulder, his M-16 in one hand."

    Page 287

    On the dying enemy soldier Rescorla noticed some thing shiny. A big, battered old French army BUGLE

    carrying a manufacture date of 1900 and the legend "Couesnon& Cie, fournisseure de L' Arm'ee.94

    rue D' Ancoie'me. Paris.

    Command Group


    All of these photos are copyrighted and reuse is not permitted without permission of Joe Galloway and Hal Moore

    1/7 Cav Command Group at Plei Me 13 Nov 65

    Left to Right
    Sgt Maj Basil Plumley, Cpt Greg (Matt) Dillon (S3), LTC Hal Moore, Cpt Tom Metsker (S2), , Kneeling -PFCJohnson and Sp4 Bob Ouellette

    Metzker was KIA on 14 Nov 65

    Photo by Joe Galloway


    Joe Galloway takes this picture, Naming everyone in the above picture

    The troop Kneeling in the command picture on the left is a PFC Johnson. The only Blood in the picture.

    Yet in the command group picture page 2 of the photos section of the book.

    Joe Galloway writes he an undentified troop, in the caption.

    Note Moore and Plumley wearing white T shirts. picture is altered its darkend, T shirt is whiter in other

    pictures of Moore and Plumley.

    Page 149-150 SP/4 George McDonald, trooper wearing white Tshirt, Every one was ordered to dye

    underwear Army Green.

    On the front of the book We ARE SOLDIERS STILL is the same command group picture.

    It has been croped to cut out PFC JOHNSON, The only Blood in the picure, it shows JOHNSON's helmet.

    Its made to look like it is Matt Dillon helmet.

    Joe Galloway couldn't have taken this picture, 13 Nov,1965.

    Page34 Moore early on the 13th Col. Brown shifted my battalion to new areas south and southwest of

    Plei Me.

    Page 35 On the 13th Galloway was at was at Pleiku in the morning and then went to catecka.

    Joe Galloway "today is my birthday".

    That nite ate pound cake in a fox hole on the perimeter with B company 1/7 at Catecka.

    Page 133 Nite Falls chapter 11. Nov 14,1965.

    At Catecha, Joe Galloway, Attempted to load with B company 1/7 in the morning. Was kicked off lift.

    Col. Brown took Joe Galloway, when he went to see Moore at LZ X-Ray around noon. ?

    page 83 1400hrs ( 2 pm ) saw skyraider crash.

    Moore didn't let Col. Brown land at LZ X-Ray. 1200hrs

    page 92 The Storm of the Battle Moore I waved off Brown at 1400 hrs.

    Diffrence of 2 hours between Moore not letting Brown Land at LZ X-Ray 1200hrs 1400hrs

    Joe Galloway said he was taken to LZ Falcon by Col. Brown. 1215hrs

    Where he spends the afternoon, With other reporters trying to get a ride LZ X-Ray. 1215hrs.

    Meets Dillon ask for ride into LZ X-Ray,gets ok from Moore.

    Joe Galloway then hides the rest of the afternoon from other reporters.

    Page 133

    Nov 14th .

    That evening Joe Galloway is also at Catecha attempting to load with B compamy 2/7. 1600hrs.

    Page134 That evening at LZ Falcon meets Dillion. Got ride to LZ X-Ray.

    Joe Galloway is in two different places at the same time, WHICH IS IMPOSIBLE!

    LZ FALCON and Catecha. time aproximately 1600hrs

  15. 15
    Russell l. Ross says:


    Why the power struggle?

    Kinnard had been given cart-blanc to get anyone he wanted for the 11 Air Assault when it started in 1963.

    Kinnard had chosen McDade, He was chosen for the G-1 spot

    Moore Wasn't though of.

    What happened? It would appear Col. Moore would be the first one chosen by Kinnard for the 11 AIr Assault

    test, When it started up in 1963.

    Page 17

    Moore knew everyone in the 11 Air Assault, He had worked with them in the Airmobility R&D,

    General Jim Gavin,Colonel John Norton, Colonel Phip Sneff and Colonel Bob Williams.

    Kinnard was Moores Boss when Moore tested Parachutes .

    Page 19

    Col. Brown was in the 11 Air Assault in 1963

    Moore Battalion commander was Col. Brown they were students in the Infantry advance course 1 year,

    Korea 1952, 1953 Col. Brown was Commander of the 32nd Infantry Regiment.

    This Statement by Moore is questionalbe.

    Page 20

    While I commanded 2 companys .


    Moore Claims 14 months combat in Korea.

    From Hal Moore A Soldier Once and always by Mike Guardia

    Actual combat time less than 1 month.

    1 week on the MLR . unknown what he did. MLR is Main Line Resistance

    Page 67

    1 month heavy morters 2,800 yards behind MLR. Moore Life is good here, Good chow, dry place to

    sleep cot and all.

    Regiemental S-3

    Page 77

    Moore had to have commanded of a rifle platoon or a rifle company, In order to get promoted to his next rank.

    Page 77 page 78 page 79

    Less than 1 month in Command of K company

    Moore then went to Division G-3 for the rest of his tour.

    But Moore had to write a letter to Major General Kinnard ( His Old Boss ) begging for a Infantry Battalion in the

    11 air Assault Division.

    It wasn't till 1964, 1 year after it started he got the call.

    Page 11

    Moore got the call only because they wanted to test 11 Air Assault as a Division.

    Moore didn't get a Battalion with the 11 Air Assault but instead was given a Infantry Battalion in the 2 infantry


    The 2nd Battalion 23rd Infantry.

    Page 17

    FALSE Moore the 2nd Battalion,23rd Infantry was >DETACHED< from the 2 Infantry Division, and Assigned

    to the 11 Air Assault.

    Was the 2nd Battalion 23rd Infantry was detached from the 2nd Infantry Division and then assinged to

    the 11 Air Assualt Division in 1964?


    They were Attached to the 11 Air Assault .


    They wore the 2nd Infantry Division Patch on their left sleeve.

    1. They didn't wear 11 Air Assault patch on their left sleeve.

    2.They wore the 11 Air Assault Patch on their right shirt pocket,

    The unit you were assigned to, You wore that patch on the left sleeve.

    ASSINGMENT: is the placement of units or personnel in an organization where such placement is

    ( Relativley Permanent ) and / or where such oraganization controls and administers the units or personnel

    for the primary function, or greater portion of the function, of the unit or personnel.

    Attachents: is the placement of units or personnel in an organization where such placement is

    ( Relatively Temporary.)

    Subject to limitations imposed by the attachment order, The commander of formation, unit, or organization

    receiving the attachment will exercise the same degree of command and control over it as he does

    over units and persons organic to his command.

    However, The responsibility for transfer and promotion of personnel normally will be retained by the parent

    formation, unit or organization.

    Col. Moore, Had never commanded a Infantry Battalion before.

    Keep abreast of current military devolopments.

    Col. Moore "I thought up a new technique for the inital lift."

    There are only two types of Air assaults.

    Col. Moore under the delusion he had come up with a new technique,

    The ground Commander must concider two general types of Airmobile assault when preparing the ground

    tatical plan.

    These types of assaults differ primarily in the proximity of the LZ to the assault objective.

    The first and preferred type is the landing of the assault echelons immediately on, or adjacent to, the


    The secound type of assault involves landing a distance from the objective in a secure LZ, and requires

    assembly, reorganization, and movement to an attack position prior to the assault on the objective.

    Some simulare characteristics of Col. Moore and Custer.

    Both were considered to Flamboyent, by fellow officers.

    And not well liked.

    George Armstrong Custer ( His men called him yellow hair ) Commander of the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry at

    the battle of the Little Bighorn.

    The Indians would wipe Custers detachment of the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry out to a man.

    Starting the Indian wars, The UNITED STATES would unite and almost wipe out all the Indians taking their

    lands and putting them on Reservations.

    LT.Col. Harold G. Moore ( His men called him yellow hair ) Commander 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry at the battle

    of Landing Zone X-Ray November the 14,1965 Pleiku Provance of South Vietnam.

    Col. Moore's men with help from the reinforcement's saves Landing Zone X-RAY, Starting the Vietnam war.

    Which almost tears the United States apart.

    Both Battles ( The Little Bighorn ) and ( Landing Zone X-Ray ) were fought by the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry.

    On a Sunday, In a Valley, By a River, In tall Grass and near a Large Mountian or Hill top.

    Both Commanders were told the size of the enemy troops.

    By their Scouts. But didnt belive them.

    Scout to Custer "There is a very very large Indian camp down there."

    Custer "Where I dont see any camp".

    10 minutes before lift off for LZ X-Ray, Intelligence Lieutenant to Col. Moore "There is a PAVN Regiment

    1,500 troops near the Chu Pong mountain.

    Col. Moore that didn't really bother me.

    Both the Commanders wanted to force the Enemy to stand and fight.

    As the enemy's tatics were hit and run.

    Custer in the lead charges into the valley his troops behind. to cut off the Indians, So they couldn't escape on to

    the plains.

    COL. Moore ( His men called his Yellow Hair ) would be the first one on Landing Zone X-Ray, hopeing the

    North Vietnamese or the Viet Cong wouldn't excape in to the mountians and into Cambodia.

    The Indians and North Vietnamese would send 1,000 or more men out to meet the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry

    The Commanders then realized that the size of the enemy forces was true. their scouts were right.,

    They were out numbered.

    Both battles were defensive. After the initial charge by the 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry

    They would pull back, Circle the wagons and let the enemy throw them selves at their defense's.

    Custer didn't get his renforcements.

    The 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry Custers detachement was wiped out to a the man.

    Col. Moore I didnt have that problem "I had something Custer didn't, Reinforcements with in Hours.

    Col. Moore's Men with the help of the Reinforcements save Landing Zone X-Ray. starting the Vietrnam War.

    Irt would almost destroy the United States.


    What happend to Moores H-hour.

    H-hour is difined as the time the lead helicopter touches down on the Landing Zone.

    Col.Moore puts the H-hour at 1030hrs.

    He then gets word the Artillary cant fire until H-1017.

    H-hour get delayed.

    The new lift off time should be 1030hrs

    So that should make the new H hour 1100hrs.

    As Moore dosent have any increments in his lift off plans fore his H hour.

    Increments are used for the h hour for delays in the origanle h hour.

    He dosent have any start point. SP

    nor does he have any reliese points RP

    Col. Moore ( who is in the lead Huey ) sets foot on LZ X-Ray at H-1048.

    13 minutes early.

    Moore I saw the splash of the WP round hit LZ X-Ray. signling the end of the artillary prep fires.

    How did he see this,They are suppose to be at tree top level and Moore is facing to the rear of the Huey

    Leadership Principle 9

    Develop a sense of Responsibility in you subordianates

    Delegation of authority commensurate with responsibility developes mutual confidenece and respect between

    senior and subordinates. It also encourages the subordinate to exercise initiative and to give whole harted

    cooperation. The leader who, by properly delegating authority, demomstrates faith in his subordinates will

    increse their desire to accept greater responsibility.


    Col. Moore "I went to school on Kinnard authority must be pushed down to the man on the spot."

    Col. Moore I personally to influence the action would be in the 1st Huey to land on X-Ray.

    Col. Moore leading his command group clear a sector of X-Ray, on the way back to the LZ, meet the troops

    who were suppose to clear that sector.

    Col. Moore "I was tempted to join A or C company's men" , who would be in charge of the company?

    what would the Company Commanders do?

    Col. Moore Matt and Mickey had controlled all flights into X-Ray, I then took control, every Huey coming to

    X-Ray must radio me for landing instructions.

    Crandall " Col. Moore now a signalman at the far end of the LZ was standing up, directing us to land."

    The Brigade Commander ( Col. Brown ) had given Col. Moore pathfinders

    Col. Moore I personally lead the final counterattack to make certian that the Company Commander of

    Bco 2/7 & his men did a safe, clean, job and to look for my Missing Troops.

    Col. Moore didnt bring in his execuitive Officer Wirth ( 2nd in command )to help run the battalion command post.

    Col. Moore The Battalion rear command post run by my Executive Officer Major Wirth

    The Excuitive Officer's location is normally in the Battalion Command Post. during combat.

  16. 16
    Russell L. Ross says:

    Russell l. Ross
    1741 Maysong ct
    San Jose,ca 95131
    1-408- 926-9336

    Fiction We Were Soldiers Once and Young X-Ray part

    Did Joe Galloway purloin Ernie Pyles and Bill Mauldines quotes?

    Galloway used the works of Ernie Pyle to write his book We Were Soldiers Once and Young.

    He used Bill Mauldine books also.

    Page references are from the hardback.

    Fiction only to Moore and Joe Galloway, Gwin, L.( the Bugle) stories.

    The stories of the Officers, enlisted troops of the battalion cant be disputed.

    Are Moore and Rambo the Reporter Joe Galloway Hero's?

    Pages are from the hardback.

    Lt. Col. Moore knew nothing, nothing.

    Moore there were no training texts, or manuals on Air Assault tactics.

    But there were Manuals, and texts.

    1950's FM 57-35 Army Transport Avation-Combat Operations.

    1963 FM 57-35 Airmobile Operations.

    FM 7-20 the Battalion Commanders hand book.

    Manuals are kept in all of the company's and Battalion orderly rooms.

    Airmobility and Air assault is in different meaning.

    Page 37

    Crandall \Moore wanted Aviation present, to be part of his Staff\.

    Moore, Crandall or his ALO had to coordinate the flight time from Plei Me to X-Ray, flight routes, fire support,

    resuppy, Medevac Huey.

    Moore couldn't plan the operation with out Crandall or his ALO ( aviation ) present.

    Page 60

    As Crandall flared the huey to land at Landing Zone X-Ray Moore & his troops starts firing

    their weapons.

    FM 57-35

    There is no firing from the helicopter during flight, landing or any other time.

    Pity the troop to their right a face full of hot brass, left ear drums ringing, brass on floor or getting caught

    in the Huey's controls.

    The most outrageous LIE

    Page 287

    At Landing Zone Albany. There on the dying enemy soldier something shiny.

    A big battered old French army Bugle.

    FACT: This Bugle was captured at Landing Zone X-Ray and brought into Landing Zone Albany

    by the reinforcements.

    Moore couldn't READ a MAP? Page 30 November 9, 1965 Moore \What does the RED STAR that is on the

    intelligence map mean?\

    The Red Star is not a military symbol its explanation should have been on the lower right side ( margin )

    of the map.

    Moore \ I had no doubt the 1/7 my Battalion would be chosen to mount the attack into the Ia Drang as the 2/7

    had a new commander.

    Fact! \ the 1/7 was closer to the objective then the 2/7 \ and had nothing to do with the readiness of the

    Battalions. (Gen.John J Tolson).

    FM 57-35

    Key personnel are distributed among the aircraft of the lift so the loss of one aircraft does not

    destroy the command structure.

    Page 58

    Moore and Crandall in the same Huey.

    Page 59

    The lift is flying at 110 knots. FM 57-35 When different types of aircraft fly in a single lift, cruising speed of

    the slower aircraft must be the controlling speed of the lift.

    UH-1B's are Gunships fly at 80 knots UH-1D's are Slicks 110 knots.

    I ask Bco's 1/7 3rd Platoon Leader Dennis Deal, why didn't Moore lay on water for his men B co would be on

    the LZ for over 4 hours and why he said it was not the Aviations job to haul out Wounded Troops?

    B co's 1/7 3rd Platoon Leader Dennis Deal \dont ask me I knew nothing about Airmobile tatics.\ Page 106

    Moore we needed water, medical supplies and ammo.

    Page 107

    Bco 1/7 3rd Platoon Leader Dennis Deal by 3pm we ran out of water, the wounded kept begging for water.

    Page 145

    November 15, 1965 at 6:20am Jemison shared his last drops of water.

    Page 112

    November 14, 1965 While all day long the Battalion Supply Officer was riding in and out of X-Ray. 240# of

    water, medical, ammo not coming in, 1 Wounded troop not going out.

    Page 106

    Moore \hauling Wounded was not the slick crews job\ ( Aviation )

    FM 7-20 the Battalion Commanders hanbook, Hauling wounded is the secoundary mission of all military


    FM 7-20 page 271 paragraph 313 returning aircraft may be used for the evacuation of casualities.

    Page 63 Moore used his command Huey to haul out a non wounded POW.

    Page 167 but none his wounded troops, Lt Franklin terribly wounded was set aside to die.

    FM 1-100 Army Aviation The Command and Control Huey is to be used for Command and Control ONLY it

    shouldn't be used for anyother purpose, like RESUPPLY.

    a Medevac Huey was suppose to fly with the assault echelon ( 1st Lift ) Crandall was suppose to lay on


    Page 105

    a wounded troop was stumbling toward the aid station, Galloway \ stay away go back\ what was this 17 year

    old's thoughts 25 feet from the aid station and treatment and told to stay away?

    FM 57-35 page 12 paragraph 24 supply 6 miscellaneous. a. probable water supply points are

    predesingnated. and comes in with the fowllowing echelon.

    Galloway had no military service.

    Page 39

    Moore \we had never maneuvered in combat as a battalion\

    Page 28

    Moore the Battalion made 2 sweeps near An Khe.

    Page 31

    nov 9 Moore \We shuttled the Battalion in 16 Hueys\

    Page 32

    nov 9 Galloway \My first time out with Moores 1/7 Battalion.\

    Original story Solider of Fortune November 83 Page 25 Nov 9 Galloway \before nitefall Moore waved his

    battalion across a stream\

    Each Huey could carry 10 Troops. 10 troops X 16 Hueys=160 Troops per lift.

    Page 30

    a enemy base camp.

    Page 55

    a radio transmision intercepted, estamated a N V regiment was near X-Ray.

    Page 57

    commo wire was seen.

    Page 39

    Moore puts only 80 men (5 per Huey) in the initial lift.

    Page 57

    riflemen extra ammo all they could carry.

    Air Assault tatics emphasize maximum initial lift, to get maximum lift each huey carries

    minimum amount of fuel + 30 min reserve, with refueling & ammo Points near the Pickup Zone.

    Page 40

    Moore \later lifts could carry more men 100 as fuel burned off\.

    Page 198

    Rear area Operation Officer Dick Merchant \the Huey could carry 10 men\

    Page 111

    Winkle\I had a total of 16 men in my Huey\.

    Fourner \it was left up to each pilot how many men he carried\ on later lifts I was carring 9-12 troops.

    How it should have happened according to Air Assault Tatics FM 57-35

    With only 16 Hueys weight is a factor, so the initial lift ( the assault echelon ) must contain sufficant Troops to

    secure the Landing Zone.

    The Alowable Cargo Load the ( ACL ) of each UH-1D for this mission should have been 3,000 pounds as its

    under 50 nautical miles ( only 14.3 miles to the objective ) using the Space method a space is defined as the

    weight of a fully combat equiped troop ( 240 pounds ) 10 Troops = 2,400 pounds per Huey.

    How it should have been done

    Page 39 B co 114 troops, A co 40 troops, Ground Commanders command group 6 for a total of 160 troops in

    the 1st lift.

    Moore was a Pilot?

    Page 58

    Crandall ( The Aviation Commander ) is starting the Huey from the left seat the co-pilot seat,

    There is no starter on that side.

    Page 58

    Moore as they load the Hueys \what is the flying time fromPlei Me to Landing Zone X-Ray\? 14.3 miles.

    Page 37

    Moore and Crandall plan an Air Assault.

    Page 40 with a time table & failed to put down the flying time from Plei Me to Landing Zone X- Ray, with out

    this information, How did they plan the Assault?

    Page 58

    Mills 13 min 15 sec.

    Page 59

    Speed ( rate ) 110 knots this time will take them 25 miles away.

    The correct time is 8 min. Formula for Time is Distance X 60 divide by Rate ( Speed ) 14.3 X 60 = 858 divide

    by 110 = 7.8 min = 8 min time is rounded up to the nearest min.

    Formula for Distance is rate ( Speed ) X time divided by 60 110 X 8 = 880 divide by 60 = 14.6 miles =

    15 miles miles is rounded up to the nearest 1/2 mile.

    Using 7.8 min for time for the distance 110 X 7.8 = 858 divide by 60 = 14.3 miles The distance from Plei Me

    to Landing Zone X-Ray.

    Page 188

    A blazing flare under an unopened parachute hit the ammo dump, the Sgt.Major grabbed it with his bare

    hands, it burns at 4,000 degrees, it needs the parachute to lite the candle.

    no parachute no blazing flare, and what about the explosive bolt on the flare?

    Stories Part Fiction he embelished for the U.S. NEWS and World Report

    Oct 29,1990

    Pg 32 Fatal Victory

    Pg 36 Vietnam Story.

    ARTICLES Galloway Plagarized. U.S. News and World Report Oct 25, 93

    Page 45 Step by Step into a Quagmire SOURCE: Stanley Karnows Vietnam a History Pages 479-485.

    U.S. News and World Report Feb 4,1991 Page 49 \Who's Afraid of the truth\

    SOURCE: Soldier of Fortune Dec 84 Pg 104 Press Escorts by Fred Tucker. ( TUCKERS GORRILLAS ).

    In the movie Gibson portray Galloway as a Reporter who pick's up a weapon only to protect

    the wounded. BUT!!! Galloway was the most heavely armed Reporter in Vietnam.

    Page 32 Joseph L. Galloway Had wrangled a ride in to the Plie Me camp while it was under siege, and

    because of the shortages of fighters found him self assigned to a .30 cal light machine gun.

    With two other reporters.

    After the battle was over Major Charles Beckwith hands Galloway an M-16 rifle, Galloway told Beckwith,

    Strictly speaking, under the Geneva Convention he was \A civilian noncombatant.\

    As you see there is no logic. Galloway has just spent 3 days manning a .30 cal machine gun killing PAVN

    troops and after the battle is over decides he is a civilian noncombatant?

    The question is why didn't Galloway join the service?

    He was always to busy playing Soldier instead of being a Reporter. He wanted to be at any battle he could

    get to, to record it, But when he get's there at the battle. He start's to play Soldier.

    You cant write or record History, While you busy playing soldier.

    Of all the reporters in Vietnam, Galloway was the most danegerous to the Americian troops,

    in His Walter Mitty and Rambo persona. He had no idea what the soldier's job was.

    He as a reporter and could do what he wanted and go where he wanted to at any time.

    Joseph L. Galloway( Rambo the Reporter ) ROAMED all over VIETNAM, Killing as he pleased.

    Page 35

    November 13,1965 Galloway hitched a ride from Pleiku to Catecha the 3 Brigade headquaters Galloway \ I

    dug a foxhole out on the perimeter with B company 1/7, Under one of those $50.00 tea bushes, set out some

    spare magazines ( M-16 ).

    Galloway playing Soldier, It would have been better if he said I set out some spare film rolls. to record events,

    his mind set is playing soldier.

    Page 32

    Galloway writes: \ At first lite I pinched of a small piece of C-4 explosive from the emergency supply in my

    pack and used it to boil up a canteen cup of water for coffee.

    Walter Mitty part: If you lit C-4 very carefully you could be drinking hot coffee in maybe 30 secounds.

    If you were careless it blew your arm off.

    If Galloway was so eager to receive the Bronze Star, Then he should be ready to pay the price for violating

    the UCMJ.

    Conspiring to take a million Helicopter and receiving Military equipement, 1 M16 Rifle, 1 Carl Gustaf.

    I had to sign for all my equipement as all soldiers did and had to turn it in when I left.

    Who did Galloway leave the M-16 with, Does he have papers saying he turned it in? The same with the

    Carl Gustaf, Where did he get it? Did he buy it, Pick it up on the Battlefield? Did he sell it when he left? If he

    turned it in, Does he have the paper work to show it?

    Galloway conspired with a friend ( A Huey Pilot )into flying into Plei Me camp.

    There were orders for all aircraft to stay out of the area,

    The friend went AWOL, He and Galloway took the Huey and flew into Plei Me, Beckwith needed, medical,

    and ammo.

    At Plei Me Major Charles Beckwith had put Galloway and 2 other Reporters on a machinegun.

    had given Galloway an M-16 Rifle.

    MYTH's: Page 156- 157 Vincent Cantu and Galloway meet during fierce attack on D and C

    company's. Galloway was taking pictures. Vincent Cantu braved the fire and sprinted to where Galloway


    TRUTH: Soldier of Fortune Sept 83

    Page 28 Galloway writes \During a ( LULL!!).\ I met Vincent Cantu this was before the(skyhawk) naplmed the

    Command post.

    MYTH's: Page 35

    Galloway The plantation billed the U.S. $50 for each tea bush and $250 for each rubber tree.

    TRUTH: Soldier of Fortune Sept 83

    Page 25

    Galloway They billed U.S.$25 for each tea bush $125 for each rubber tree.

    Galloway only left the safety of the Command Post During \ LULL's \ in the Battle,

    As soon as the firing started up, He would headed right back to the Command post,

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