Army Reporter information
for 173 ABN BDE

For date 671231

173 ABN BDE was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Operation BOLLING
South Vietnam
Location, Tuy Hoa
Description: The following is an edited version from the "1967 Action Summarized" column that appeared in the 20 Jan 1968 issue. The 173rd Abn Bde, the first U.S. ground combat unit to arrive in Vietnam, conducted 11 combat operations against the enemy in the II and III Corps Tactical Zones in 1967. The year began as the paratroopers launched two multi-unit operations directed at two VC strongholds - the Iron Triangle, 30 miles north-northwest of Saigon, and War Zone C, near the Cambodian border. On Feb 22, 780 paratroopers of the 2/503rd Abn made the first combat jump of the Vietnamese war to begin Operation Junction City. During the last week of May, the paratroopers were deployed to the central highlands west of Pleiku to join with the 4th Inf Div in Operation Francis Marion. The airborne infantrymen deployed in the Dak To area, where a Special Forces camp had been encountering heavy NVA activity. On a ridge overlooking the brigade's forward base camp at Dak To, a company of the 503rd Infantry engaged an NVA repeated human wave assaults were launched against the U.S. perimeter during the seven-hour battle but the enemy was driven back. The brigade deployed back to Tuy Hoa during September and October to conduct and operation aimed at protecting the Vietnamese rice harvest from VC and NVA terrorists. In November, the airborne soldiers were brought back to the Dak To area to join the 4th Inf Div in Operation MacArthur. During the battle for Dak To, the 173rd made repeated contact with large forces of North Vietnamese soldiers in heavy engagements which lasted for 20 days. A remote, bamboo-covered hill, designated Hill 875, became the focal point of the long battle as a battalion of NVA soldiers, well dug-in, battled the infantrymen in a four-day contest. The fight was marked by numerous human wave assaults by the enemy and casualties were high. On Thanksgiving Day, elements of the 4/503rd Abn made the final assault on the crest of the hill and joined with other paratrooper units to claim the hill. The 173rd Abn Bde is presently engaged in Operation Bolling, near Tuy Hoa. The brigade's fighting strength was raised during October as the 3/503rd Abn joined the other battalion from FT Bragg, N.C. During 1967, paratroopers of the 173rd killed 1,778 enemy soldiers. They captured 6,656 weapons and 120 tons of rice, enough rice to feed a 500-man battalion for eight months.

The source for this information was 6801AR.AVN supplied by Les Hines

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021