Screaming Eagles Through Time
December 1968


Dec. 1 - As the Division was ending its first year in Vietnam, Operation Nevada Eagle was still proving successful in severly limiting enemy activity in Thua Thien Province, including Hue and its environs. From May 7, when Nevada Eagle started, to the beginning of December, 2,759 enemy had been killed and 803 prisoners captured, along with enormous quantities of arms, ammunition, equipment and rice. During the first day of the new month, 24 enemy were killed, 12 weapons and one prisoner were captured. Three enemy soldiers on a rice-collection and propoganda-distribution mission turned themselves in to paratroopers of the A/2/506 northeast of Firebase Jeanne. Delta Company troopers of 1/327 discovered a small base camp and two weapons southwest of Los Banos. Nearby the soldiers found 15 fresh graves containing NVA believed to have been killed by artillery, tactical air strikes and small arms one or two days before. A/1/502 killed one enemy in one contact, later killed another and captured a third. Currahees of C/2/506 ambushed two sampans, killing three Viet Cong. The other enemy in the boats beached the sampans and moved out on foot before being engaged again by Charlie Company paratroopers, who took one weapon. Maj. Gen. Melvin Zais, Division Commander, began the month by pulling the lanyard of a 105mm howitzer at FB Sandy to send the Screaming Eagle's one millionth round against the enemy. One year before to the day, a gun of the 2/319 Artillery had fired the Division's first round in III Corps action. And, in a report early in the month, it was learned the milestone of 10,000 enemy killed by the 101st was reached late in November.

Dec. 2 - Screaming Eagles added 16 enemy killed, one prisoner and eight weapons to Nevade Eagle totals. West of FB Quick a Ranger team engaged three VC and took a prisoner and four weapons. In reaction to the contact, the Aero-Rifle platoon of D/1/1 Cav was inserted into the area and killed one enemy soldier and captured another. Two pink teams (each comprised of a Cobra gunship and a light observation helicopter) in support of the 3rd Brigade operations killed two enemy with rockets and minigun fire. The brigade also initiated a combined cordon operation along the O Lua River, netting 32 suspects the first day.

Dec. 3 - Fifteen enemy were killed, three prisoners taken and seven weapons captured in action throughout the AO. A/1/501 engaged six enemy, killing five and capturing another plus four weapons. C/2/506, in a night defensive position north of FB Long, killed two enemy with claymores. A 2/17 Cav red team (two gunships) and a CAP (Combined Action Platoon) team engaged an enemy platoon near Sandy, resulting in three enemy killed.

Dec. 4 - A DivArty aerial recon craft spotted three enemy bodies during a day of light contact. FB Brick, on Leech Island, was closed with the extraction of the Delta Raiders of 2/501.

Dec. 5 - Six enemy were killed and six weapons captured in the AO. Two night ambushes, one near FB Boise by the 2/502 Recondos and the other near Jeanne by D/1/502, were successful, with three enemy killed. Company A of the 1st Battalion Geronimos captured two enemy after engaging an unknown size force near Sandy.

Dec. 7 - Rakkasans of C/1/187 engaged four enemy in a sampan on the Song Bo River west of FB T-Bone, killing all four and sinking the sampan.

Dec. 8 - Two enemy were killed and seven weapons captured in scattered action. A 2/17 Cav aircraft destroyed one heavy machine gun after engaging an enemy automatic weapons position.

Dec. 9 - Screaming Eagles killed four enemy, captured two prisoners and eight weapons in the AO. A/1/327 discovered six German Mauser rifles in a hut south of FB Tomahawk. Recon 1/502 ambushed and killed two enemy northwest of FB Omaha. A/1/501 captured two VC near the coast.

Dec. 10 - A 2nd Brigade aircraft, fired at southwest of Sandy, returned fire, and an infantry sweep revealed two enemy killed and two AK-47s. C/2/327 ambushed two enemy, killing one, west of Hill 88.

Dec. 11 - Two combined forces cordon operations were established. With air and amphibious assaults, 1/501 with  ARVN troops, the Hue River Security Group and National Police cordoned the northern part of Vinh Loc Island, where an earlier cordon was so successful that it served as a model for cordons all over Vietnam. On the first day, 500 persons were screened, with five classified as VC. In the second cordon, in northern Quang Dien District, the 3/5 Cav combined with Popular Forces and the Hue River Security Group. In scattered action throughout the AO, three enemy were killed and five weapons captured.

Dec. 12 - No Slack paratroopers of C Company engaged nine enemy southwest of Hill 88, killing three and capturing an RPG launcher and miscellaneous ammo. The Tiger Force of 1/327 ambushed three enemy south of Old Hickory, killing two.

Dec. 13 - In the day's heaviest fighting, near Leech Island, Rangers engaged seven enemy and killed four. The 2nd Brigade's CO's C&C aircraft killed two enemy just southeast of Hue. Elsewhere, two other enemy were killed by Screaming Eagles, with one prisoner and two weapons taken. One year ago this day, the Division's 2nd and 3rd Brigades officially reported for combat in Vietnam. And, it was reported, almost 2000 Screaming Eagles, mostly in infantry battalions, extended their Vietnam tours by six months.

Dec. 14 - Two 101st AHB gunships teamed up with ARVN troops to kill 13 NVA in Phu Van District near the South China Sea. Nearby, in the second phase of the Vinh Loc cordon, Alpha and Charlie Companies of 1/501 captured seven prisoners and four weapons. Recon 1/506 surprised five NVA near FB Long and killed two, also capturing an SKS. Five other enemy killed were accounted for in the AO.

Dec. 16 - Two villagers provided Screaming Eagles information that led to the killing of one enemy and the discovery of two other enemy killed near Phu Loc. Recon/1/502 - the Chain Gang - engaged two armed VC, who discarded their weapons and fled into a group of civilians.

Dec. 17 - On the third day of the combined forces Phu Vang IV operation, two enemy were killed. The 3rd Brigade conducted multi-battalion air assaults into landing zones near FB Maureen, initiating a new operation aimed at the 6th NVA Regiment base area. Screaming Eagle units were 1/506 and 3/187.

Dec. 18 - Six enemy dead were accounted for in scattered action.

Dec. 19 - In a bizarre incident, B/2/502 reported four enemy dressed as ARVN troops approached their night defensive position early in the evening. One was heard speaking English before opening fire. The disguised enemy fled, breaking the contact. Near Phan Thiet, D/3/506 engaged 15 VC and killed three.

Dec. 20 - In response to intelligence, C/2/502 engaged an enemy squad, killing seven and capuring seven weapons, later killing another. The 3rd Brigade continued a major effort against the NVA and the Viet Cong in the Dong Tam Hanh Mountain area during a combined forces operation. D/3/187, after engaging two enemy near Rao Tang, captured an RPG launcher and later found a submachine gun. An ambush still later resulted in one enemy killed.

Dec. 21 - It was the busiest day in a month for the Screaming Eagles. Three incidents involving gunships netted seven enemy killed in the Phu Loc area, and a dozen enemy were killed elsewhere. 2/17 Cav accounted for six enemy killed in three encounters.

Dec. 23 - Linda Giese of San Mateo, Calif., sister of a paratrooper killed in action, met members of his company, A/1/327, at FB Old Hickory. When she left Camp Eagle three days later, Mrs. Giese said, "I feel like I have a hundred brothers in the company. I love them all." San Mateo has adopted Alpha Company.

Dec. 24 - Seven km east of Hue, A/1/501, after receiving small arms fire from a bunker, returned fire and captured three prisoners and two of their weapons. In the evening, paratroopers moved into defensive positions to observe the Christmas ceasefire.

Dec. 25 - Christmas night, Strike Force troopers of C/2/502 killed three enemy and captured their weapons near FB Anzio when the enemy attempted a probe of the Screaming Eagles perimeter. Paratroopers of the 101st extended their Christmas celebration to the people of Thia Thien Province. The 3rd Brigade, for instance, sent a convoy of presents to Gia Long II hamlet. Among the gifts were 50 cases of canned goods, 80 bags of rice and 200 bags of candy.

Dec. 26 - In a running fight with the enemy, A/2/502 - Attack Company - engaged 25 enemy soldiers who were leaving a village early in the morning. The paratroopers killed seven in all, captured a prisoner and took six individual weapons. The 2nd Brigade S-3, in a C&C aircraft, engaged two enemy, killing one and capturing another.

Dec. 28 - The assistant S-3 of 3/5 Cav, on a visual reconnaissance in a LOH, observed seven enemy and engaged them with an M-16, killing one. A sweep by B/1/506 netted three wounded VC as a result of the contact.

Dec. 29 - An enemy soldier carrying a sketch map and other documents was ambushed and killed 3 km north of Camp Eagle by 2/17 Cav. Four other enemy were killed in other contacts in the AO. 2/502 Recondos found a cache of seven weapons and miscellaneous munitions near FB Boise. While on ambush south of Phan Thiet in II Corps, elements of D/3/506 detonated claymores and grenades on an unknown size enemy force, killing two. The next day, Delta Company paratroopers engaged five enemy, killing them and taking their weapons.

Dec. 31 - Screaming Eagles initiated a year-round offensive, a combined forces operation in Nam Hoa District aimed at NVA battalions. It was started with multiple air assaults by 1/506 and ARVN troops along the Song Thao Ma. Elements of 3/506 in southern II Corps killed two VC in two contacts and captured large quantities of food and medical supplies.