Battle of la Drang

Fallen Hero’s Hometown and State:

Branch of Service: United States Army


The Battle of Ia Drang was the first major battle between the United States Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also referred to as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), and was conducted early in the Vietnam War. It comprised two main engagements, centered on two previously scouted helicopter landing zones (LZs), known as LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany.

Surrounded and under heavy fire from a numerically superior force, the American forces at LZ X-ray were able to hold off and drive back the North Vietnamese forces over three days of battle from November 14-18, 1965.

At LZ Albany, the American forces were ambushed in close quarters. They were unable to use air and artillery support due to the close engagement of the North Vietnamese. American forces suffered an over-50% casualty rate before being extricated from the battle. With an estimated 234 KIA and 245 WIA, the Battle of la Drang was one of the costliest battles of the war.


Date of Death: November 14, 1965

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