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I'm Oliver North and this is more stories.
-- Fort Rucker Alabama -- of army aviation.
And this is the united states army aviation music.
Mention the Vietnam War conjures up images of -- always like this.
Or single clad Viet -- setting up booby traps then disappearing like ghosts in the -- Movies and driven home these stereotypes.
But tonight we showed you another Vietnam can take you inside -- of the fiercest and least -- battles of the war.
In April 197801.
Airborne division the -- screaming Eagles begin to build fire page report on mountaintop fortress.
Surrounded by rugged jungle relied on helicopters to get everything they needed in and -- And that's bring the jungle was full battle hardened north Vietnamese they -- -- outnumbered Americans by at least the -- to walk.
The enemy objective was so.
Destroy the Americans.
Tonight on war -- the siege of fire base rip cord.
Standard for us to help.
-- -- -- And lieutenant Hawkins.
Very proud of -- side.
You're looking at the remnants of fire base report -- was found by 23 year old first lieutenant chuck Hawkins and it will eleventh 1970.
-- -- -- -- -- -- And maybe the year before that.
Now Charlie company second of the 50601.
Airborne division was tasked with -- claiming it was apparent -- and swept.
-- -- -- The men were digging foxholes when suddenly a sharp explosion -- -- here.
One of the fellows named any high interest against foxhole and replaced him at fox hole -- before.
He dug in to apply it to -- hand grenades and that thing went off in his face.
Twenty year old -- Gerald -- pretty rushed to help.
I -- miles and miles and it was -- game.
Career you know -- me.
-- completely gone just an example of the kind of dirty little every day.
Things that you can expect to happen if you're not careful and even when you've been careful.
Mistake from a year ago.
Turns up to bite you least expect it.
I want to induce.
The American people -- 1970.
America had decided to get out of the Vietnam War.
In the ten years since president John Kennedy dramatically increased the number of military advisors.
Over two million Americans have served in Vietnam 51000.
Had already died there.
Even with the was -- away the war was claiming almost a hundred American lives every week.
Keith Nolan is the author of ten books on Vietnam including records.
By February 7 as there is no political will -- if you're an optimist here thinking this afternoon and handle -- Americans -- if -- -- realist you know that's.
It's gonna cave in some of the last American units where you.
The draft he's being sent to fight and sometimes die were men like twenty year old York Pennsylvania native Bob smoke.
-- -- -- She was worried she knew how was she -- marrying dad before.
He went off.
Al Martin was just eighteen and a recent graduate of Mohawk tie in Pennsylvania.
Did you think.
Go right it.
I wasn't going and I honestly I awaited draft where -- -- -- -- won't be -- -- we -- nine Vietnam was from it was very popular by 9070.
It's something we're really -- my life.
Soldiers like Sheldon Bob needed strong leaders and in 1970 the army faced a critical lack of experienced sergeants were non commissioned officers.
These rates make any army runs smoothly.
You mostly -- guys.
Who would show him you know leadership potential intelligence.
When they're going to basic training and what these guys and suddenly you're at 536.
Those are -- -- -- -- What's the lesson here in the service normally it would take a long.
Probably six years so I was an army.
Ten months and -- used to it.
After rushing through the high speed training process 41 year old Gary -- from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania went to Vietnam.
He was an instant later a -- It was or any resentment that you picked up but you've been shaken things.
-- a lot nobody had their respect for.
The screaming Eagles were operating in the ice core -- reviews.
To the west the -- included the actual -- in the famous quote chi Minh trail and record -- just outside the valley.
It was a bad things.
Jerusalem to -- the stories.
Coaching -- And it was.
That's useful for that's that's what I expect that night we went through so -- files into.
The American forces were battling with -- -- -- under the control the primeval wilderness in and around the actual about.
September the four month long monsoon season run.
The average daily -- a whopping twenty inches challenged me in and machine especially.
The UH one helicopters.
Commonly called news.
Bad weather in the infield choppers in the shop was meant building.
It's from record with -- launching campers say it into this enemy controlled area and rip or not support the building of other fire bases in this.
The big goal being destroyed their supply can't say it's the same like a reasonable strategy.
You hear -- are we feel we'll hear me.
And I their frustration.
And -- it is time.
Try and and redeploy.
The planned offensive was code named Chicago peak this first phase was led by 39 year old Californian lieutenant colonel Andre Lucas.
Then 41 year old -- Ben Harrison hills from Truman Arkansas and he became -- commanding officer three months into the operation.
-- Knew what it was.
It was qualified and dedicated totally -- -- He -- your craft helicopter.
And drove it.
Putting the fire -- fire base were to artillery batteries Sargent Al Martin -- to five -- 155.
A battery signal thing.
And they're they're firing missions where.
All of -- fourteen modeling so.
Anybody else feel the support we -- and the only way to move that thing from that corrections.
That for action news.
That's hard work lot of work.
Battalion commander and -- -- -- mission might -- seem simple.
Build a base and kill the enemy but the obstacles would prove daunting.
The rugged terrain around report was marked with steep slopes and dominated -- several levels they were simply known as hills 9021000.
If the north -- can control these pills they can walk mortar -- right into your location from record so -- for the turned in the battle for these hills these hills -- the only -- There was also -- One year earlier the 101 airborne division -- -- hamburger hill.
Victory cluster 56 American lives and then the -- was abandoned.
There was a definite hangover from hamburger hill -- -- wasn't feasible anymore to have these meat grinder.
US GI vs NB -- battles anymore.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Under general -- it was no rag tag army.
Just coming down the -- -- trail element.
-- they truly believe they were fighting for the fatherland and reunification of Vietnam for 23 year old first lieutenant we would just dug a professional adversary was both a blessing.
And a curse.
Would you describe the enemy that you were up against us I think there's a lot of people misunderstand who were two different wars and yeah.
Well are you and I were in is different from one house it was.
I mean that as far as I was concerned it was a real reason or.
You have to worry about who's the bad guy.
The NBA he saw nothing but those civilians -- -- that we thought it.
I we have a lot of respect do they were rehearsals.
-- the war wound down -- 101 was looking to exact one last pound of flesh.
Fighting the last major army operation was left to men like Gary Redford Al -- doctor Kathy Lee we just dog and Bob smoker.
Men committed to each other.
In the heat of battle -- survival and to help.
Buddy out -- not -- that was going to be one.
If somebody comes temperature -- yeah.
Do it again.
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