Hamburger Hill veterans return to Fort Campbell - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Hamburger Hill veterans return to Fort Campbell

Veterans of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division gather at a memorial dedicated to fallen Soldiers of the 187th Infantry Regiment. Source: Ft. Campbell Public Affairs Veterans of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division gather at a memorial dedicated to fallen Soldiers of the 187th Infantry Regiment. Source: Ft. Campbell Public Affairs
Colonel Viet Luong, Commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, speaks with a Vietnam-era Veteran of the brigade during a previous reunion of "Rakkasan" Veterans. Source: Ft. Campbell Public Affairs Colonel Viet Luong, Commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, speaks with a Vietnam-era Veteran of the brigade during a previous reunion of "Rakkasan" Veterans. Source: Ft. Campbell Public Affairs

From Ft. Campbell Public Affairs:

FORT CAMPBELL, KY (WAVE) - Dozens of Vietnam-era, 101st Airborne Division Veterans will return to Fort Campbell May 12 - 13 to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the Battle of Hamburger Hill.

The 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, "Iron Rakkasans" will welcome the Veterans back to Fort Campbell and will host several events in their honor.

Two generations of Rakkasan war-fighters will participate in a memorial run in the early morning hours of May 12 that will be followed by a visit to the Sabalauski Air Assault School, where Veterans will witness a demonstration of 21st Century combat insertion techniques and Air Assault operations. The Vietnam-era "Iron Rakkasans" will also get a chance to rappel off of the famed Air Assault tower here.

On May 13, a memorial ceremony will be held in honor of the "Iron Rakkasans" who gave their lives assaulting up Hill 937 and will be followed by an open house at the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment Headquarters.

The Battle of Hamburger Hill, also known as the Battle of Dong Ap Bia Mountain, occurred from May 10-21, 1969. The 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division commenced Operation Apache Snow by striking at the enemy on his ground. For four days the enemy harassed the men of the brigade with mortar, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms fire. Undaunted by this enemy action, the units of 3rd Brigade continued to uncover huge amounts of enemy stores and equipment and to destroy enemy forces.

After pinpointing a stronghold on Dong Ap Bia Mountain, the Brigade launched a series of determined attacks during the ensuing eight days to drive the well trained and equipped enemy from his entrenched positions. Each day, the enemy continued to infiltrate reinforcements to help repel the determined American and Vietnamese forces.

After eight days of intense combat, units of the Brigade broke through the enemy defenses and overran their bunker complexes. The battle continued for another 36 hours while the "Iron Rakkasans" searched for and destroyed all remaining pockets of enemy resistance. During the 12 days of battle the 3rd Brigade and attached units eliminated more than 500 enemy troops, seized large quantities of weapons, explosives, and other military equipment.

Throughout their history, the "Iron Rakkasans" have lived by the motto "Ne Desit Virtus - Let Valor Not Fail" and continue to do so today.

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