Screaming Eagles Through Time

April-May 1969

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April 20

C Co., 1st Bn., 502nd Abn. Inf. uncovers a massive enemy cache on the Yellow Brick Road (Highway 614) in northern Quang Nam Province at the end of the A Shau. Included in the 100-ton find are 632 new SKS rifles, 13 trucks, more than 300 rockets and nearly 500 mortar rounds, an<b>d numerous items of signal equipment, including 40 field telephones, 13 switchboards and 27 radios. It takes nearly a week to airlift the entire cache to Camp Eagle.

April 24

On behalf of the division, Maj. Gen. Melvin Zeis receives the Revolutionary Medal from the Government of Vietnam.

May 1

Eagle Beach is dedicated as the Division rest site as D Co., 1st Bn., 506th Inf. moves in for a stand-down.

May 8

Massachusetts Strijer ends after nin weeks. Scoreboard: 178 enemy killed, 859 individual and 34 crew-served weapons captured, and huge amounts of ammunition, signal and medical equipment and food confiscated.

May 10

Operation Apache Snow, a XXIV Corps operation, begins with a massive air assault of troops. Sixty-five helicopters lift two Screaming Eagle battalions to two landing zones near the Laotian border within 45 minutes; the rest of the units are in place within four and a half hours. The 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. makes initial contact with trailwatchers near Dong Ap Bia.

May 10-20

The Rakkasans wage a fierce battle to wrest control of Dong Ap Bia (Hill 937) from the 29th NVA Regt. On the last day they are joined by the 1st Bn., 506th Inf., 2nd Bn., 501st Inf., 2nd Bn., 3rd ARVN Regt., and a company of the 2nd Bn., 506th Inf.

May 12

Redlegs and troopers of the 2nd Bn., 501st Inf. fend off a vicious attack on Fire Base Airborne, a Screaming Eagle outpost built in the enemy's A Shau "warehouse area." Thirty-one enemy die - and Airborne remains alive as an irritating roadblock for the enemy. During the Dong Ap Bia fight the 2nd Curahee battalion exploits the warehouse.

May 15

The 1st Brigade learns as 12:30 in the morning that it will move with two combat battalions and support elements to the Chu Lai-Tam Ky area to support the Americal Division. The operation is dubbed Lamar Plain. Only 38 hours after the alert, troops from the 1st Bn., 320th Arty. and a battery of the 4th Bn., 77th ARA Arty., a company of engineers and elements of the 2nd Sqdrn., 17th Cav., and two assault helicopter battalions. Almost immediately the Geronimo's CA, they begin uncovering NVA base camps more tha six months old, with beds slept in only the night before.

In the first week, Screaming Eagles killed 90 enemy. By June 11 the total was raised to 222 and by the first of July to 313. With Lamar Plain continuing, a total of 481 enemy had been killed, 247 individual and 26 crew-served weapons captured and 19 prisoners taken, as of Aug. 5.

In the operation the 1st Brigade relived part of its history, for it was fighting not far from where the brigade won the battle of Duc Pho in late 1967. Twice in its previous history the Always First brigade had been attached to Task Force Oregon, which was later redesignated the Americal Division, and fought for several months in the Chu Lai area.