Battle of Hamburger Hill
The Battle of Hamburger Hill was a battle of the
Vietnam War which was fought between the United States and South Vietnam
and North Vietnamese forces from May 10 to 20, 1969. Although the
heavily fortified Hill 937 was of little strategic value, U.S. command
ordered its capture by direct assault.
What do you know about
the Battle of Hamburger Hill? Try this Vietnam War History Made
Easy Trivia quiz.
The battle took place on Dong Ap Bia (Ap Bia Mountain) in the
rugged, jungle-shrouded mountains of South Vietnam, 1.2 miles
from what country's border?
2. The battle on Hamburger
Hill occurred in May 1969, during Operation Apache Snow, the
second part of a three-phased campaign intended to destroy
People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Base Areas in the remote A Shau
3. Lt. Col. Weldon Honeycutt
commanded 3rd Battalion/187th Infantry. Moving out of the
helicopter landing zone (LZ) on the north ridge, which company
made heavy contact with the North Vietnamese within a kilometer
of the summit late in the day?
4. Honeycutt quickly directed
Cobra helicopter gunships to support a hasty assault. In the
heavy jungle, the Cobras mistook the 3/187th battalion command
post on the LZ for a PAVN unit and attacked, killing two and
wounding thirty-five, including Honeycutt. This friendly fire
incident disrupted battalion command and control and forced
3/187th to withdraw into night defensive positions.
5. One 3/187th unit descended
into a steep muddy ravine on May 12 in a flanking maneuver,
suffered numerous losses, and was unable to extricate its
casualties for two days. The company eventually returned to the
battalion LZ on May 15 without participating in the assault.
What was the company?
6. The 1/506th had made no
significant contacts in its area of operations, and at midday on
May 13, the brigade commander, Colonel Conmy, decided it would
move to cut off North Vietnamese reinforcement from Laos and to
assist Honeycutt by attacking Hill 937 from the south. Its Bravo
company was heli-lifted to Hill 916, but the remainder of the
battalion made the movement on foot, from an area 2.5 miles from
Hill 937, and both Conmy and Honeycutt expected the 1/506th to
be ready to provide support no later than the morning of May 15.
When was the 1/506th ready to go into action?
7. The effectiveness of U.S.
maneuvers forces was limited by narrow trails that funneled
attacking companies into squad or platoon points of attack,
where they encountered PAVN platoons and companies with prepared
fields of fire. With most small arms engagements conducted at
close range, U.S. fire support was also severely restricted.
Units frequently pulled back and called in artillery fire, close
air support, and ARA, but the North Vietnamese bunkers were
well-sited and constructed with overhead cover to withstand
8. On May 16, an Associated
Press correspondent learned of the ongoing battle on Hill 937,
travelled to the area and interviewed Major General Melvin Zais,
in particular asking why infantry rather than firepower was used
as the primary offensive tool on Hill 937. More reporters
followed to cover the battle, and the term "Hamburger
Hill" became widely used. Who was the correspondent?
9. The 3rd Brigade launched
its four-battalion attack at 10:00 on May 20, including two
companies of the 3/187th reinforced by Alpha Company 2/506th.
The attack was preceded by two hours of close air support and
ninety minutes of artillery prep fires. The battalions attacked
simultaneously, and by 12:00 elements of the 3/187th reached the
crest, beginning a reduction of bunkers that continued through
most of the afternoon. Some PAVN units were able to withdraw
into Laos. When was Hamburger Hill secured?
10. The 101st Airborne
Division eventually committed five infantry battalions, about
1,800 men, and ten batteries of artillery. U.S. losses during
the ten-day battle included 421 wounded. What was the Killed in