Screaming Eagles Through Time
March 1968


March 8 - The Division launched Operation Carentan with airborne infantrymen of the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Thua Thien province, north of the new forward base camp, Camp Eagle, located southwest of Hue. Joining the "All-Americans" in the initial assault were members of B Troop, 2nd Squadron (Abn), 17th Cav. and F Co., 58th Inf. Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP).

March 9 - Screaming Eagles of the 2nd Brigade rejoined the Division after completing their phase of Operation Jeb Stuart near Quang Tri City with the 1st Air Cavalry Division. They killed 1,011 enemy during their phase of the operation.

March 10 - A large weapons cache was discovered by A Co., 1st Bn. (Abn), 501st Inf. It included 16 rockets of 122mm, 321 rounds of 60mm mortars, 170 rounds of 82mm mortars, 107 RPG-7 rounds, 228 RPG-2 rounds, 24,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 2,800 blasting caps and 28 cases of TNT. Paratroopers of C Co., 2nd Bn. (Abn), 501st Inf. killed 25 enemy during a contact with an NVA company. Meanwhile, Screaming Eagles of A Co., 1st Bn. (Abn), 501st Inf. captured a weapons cache containing 16 assault rifles, 10 rounds of 60mm mortars and 15 rounds of 82mm mortars after a bitter battle resulting in seven NVA killed. During the same period, other Division forces captured 22,700 pounds of rice along the banks of the Song Bo. It was found mostly in caves.

March 11 - Members of C Co., 326th Engineer Bn. (Abn), clearing Highway 1 north of Hue with the 1st Bn. (Abn) 502nd Inf., discovered and dismantled an NVA booby trap of 11 rounds of 105mm shells buried in the road and wired for command detonation. Staff Sgt. Ronald Henn, Clarksville, Tenn., had to take the wires out and remove the shells because exploding them in place would have blown too large a hole in the road.

March 12 - Paratroopers from C Co., 2nd Bn. (Abn) 501st Inf. killed 41 NVA at the close of a two-day battle three miles north of Hue.

March 18 - Screaming Eagles from 1st Brigade's 2nd Bn. (Abn) 327th Inf. were given the mission of clearing Route 547 leading out of Hue toward Fire Support Base Bastogne. They encountered extensive NVA bunker positions along the road. In one two-hour battle, 25 enemy soldiers were killed.

March 20 - Members of the 82nd's 1st Bn. (Abn) 505th Inf. encountered an NVA company four and one-half miles east of Hue along the coastal plains. An all-day battle resulted in 26 enemy killed and two detained.

March 21 - Late in the evening, the North Vietnamese made a daring attack on the night defensive perimeter of the 2nd Bn. (Abn), 501st Inf., using B-40 rockets as covering fire. Using small arms, automatic weapons and direct artillery fire, the paratroopers drove the enemy force off, killing 22.

March 22 - Five miles west of Hue, gunships of B Co., 101st Aviation Bn. caught a company of NVA in an open field, killing 34. Later three sampans were destroyed by a Light Fire Team (LFT) from the battalion, resulting in nine more enemy deaths.

March 28 - Rifle companies of the 1st Bn. (Abn) 501st Inf. made contact with elements of the 803rd NVA Regiment. D Co. paratroopers swept an area two and one-half miles north of Hue. Stiff enemy resistance indicated a sizeable force in the area. The battalion sweep, aided by naval gun fire, artillery and air strikes, netted 24 NVA killed, 10 AK-47s and eight SKS carbines captured.

March 29 - The 1st Bn. (Abn) 501st Inf. conducted a cordon operation four and one-half miles northwest of Hue. When an NVA platoon located in the village began to fire on them, air strikes and supporting artillery fire were called in. By early afternoon, the NVA broke contact and the paratroopers began a sweep of the village. Thirty-three bodies were found as well as 20 weapons.

March 30 - Seven and one-half miles east of Hue, D Co., 2nd Bn. (Abn) 501st Inf. found 31 NVA killed in the previous day's action in their area of operation (AO).

March 31 - The last day of Operation Carentan saw no let-up in the relentless search for enemy soldiers and local Viet Cong in the Hue area. Fifteen miles northwest of the imperial city, airborne artillerymen from the 1st Bn. (Abn), 321st Arty. were called by an aerial observer and immediately trapped 85-100 NVA soldiers in the open field with accurate fire. Thirty of the NVA were killed. Six and one-half miles west of Hue, members of the 1st Bn. (Abn) 501st Inf. encountered a well-positioned enemy company. They called in air strikes that resulted in several secondary explosions. A quick search of the area uncovered 18 enemy dead. During the operation, 861 enemy were killed. The total weapons and munitions captured inluded 186 individual and crew-served weapons, while 1,027 rocket, mortar, and artillery rounds were kept from the enemy. More than 41,000 rounds of small arms ammunition and 45 hand grenades were captured, along with nearly 17 tons of rice and grain.