Screaming Eagles Through Time
February 1969


Feb. 1 - The enemy increased his standoff activities with four incidents of mortar and rocket attacks on allied positions and otherwise continued to evade physical contact. Nine 122mm rockets hit Camp Evans (only four inside the perimeter), causing no casualties and only minor damage. Counterbattery fire was immediately employed.

Feb. 2 - Bravo Company of 2/327 killed two enemy and captured two weapons southwest of Nuoc Ngot Bridge following a mortar attack on FB Tomahawk. Also attacked was Camp Eagle, where seven 122s landed, causing one minor wound.

Feb. 4 - In two heavy contacts seven minutes apart near Phu Loc, No Slack paratroopers of B and C Companies accounted for 17 Viet Cong killed, three prisoners and 18 weapons captured. Two more weapons were found the next morning.

Feb. 5 - The 1st Brigade terminated its operation in the Ruong Ruong Valley. Always First paratroopers killed 80 enemy, captured 10 prisoners, 80 individual weapons and one crew-served weapon in the 30-day operation, which was part of Nevada Eagle.

Feb. 6 - In three contacts west of FB Quick, A/2/502 killed two and captured three weapons. Also, southeast of the Citadel, recon troopers of 1/501 engaged three VC in a bunker, killing them and taking a weapon.

Feb. 8 - FB Veghel closed as the 2nd Brigade began to phase out its operation against enemy supply routes out of the A Shau. The 1st Brigade's O-Deuce continued to RIF deeper into the 4th NVA Regiment base area, southeast of Phu Loc. Near Phan Thiet, 3/506 surprised five VC at a rice supply point, killed one and captured the other four in addition to 2100 pounds of rice.

Feb. 9 - Combined forces in the 1st Brigade AO engaged two enemy, killing five and capturing the other five. 2/502 paratroopers with the 1st ARVN soldiers killed two and captured two weapons. The Ready To Go 2nd Brigade terminated its operation. FB Bastogne, near the A Shau, was closed. In II Corps, D/3/506 killed three NVA in a firefight. At Camp Eagle, the Division Memorial Chapel was dedicated by Maj. Gen. Francis Sampson, Army Chief of Chaplains.

Feb. 10 - Penetration into enemy base areas and extensive operations on the plains resulted in occasional contacts with squad to platoon sized elements. As 2/501 pursued the 5th NVA Regiment near Nui Ke, A Company killed two enemy. The 3rd Brigade initiated a new phase of its operation. Camp Evans received two 122mm rockets, one landing inside the perimeter. In a 20-minute firefight, B/3/506 killed four of 10 enemy and took four weapons and documents.

Feb. 11 - Nevada Eagle totals were raised by four enemy killed, one prisoner and three weapons captured in scattered contact.

Feb. 12 - The Screaming Eagle Division's "orphan" battalion in II Corps, the 3/506 Currahees, was in heavy contact. Charlie Company combat assaulted into a hot LZ in support of RFs and was immediately engaged by the NVA. In a seven-hour firefight, the paratroopers killed 20 enemy while D/2/320 Arty killed five. Other elements of I Field Force's Task Force South accounted for another 28 enemy killed. Back in I Corps, the 1st Brigade opened a new offensive operation with a combat assault by 2/502 north and east of FB Brick. The 2nd Brigade's 1/501 established a new cordon southwest of FB Sandy. Elsewhere, Screaming Eagles deployed to complement the disposition of ARVN troops for the Tet holidays.

Feb. 13 - The new Leech Island operation continued as 2/502 searched for an enemy sapper battalion. 2/501 continued to recon in the Nui Ke area, killing three enemy. 2/17 Cav gunships, while supporting the 9th Marines' Operation Dewey Canyon north of the A Shau, killed five enemy. 3/506 Currahees discovered 22-1/2 tons of rice.

Feb. 14 - The 3rd Brigade initiated a new phase of its operation against the 6th NVA Regiment with 1/506 completing an air assault and beginning a RIF toward FB Sword. Screaming Eagles conducted extensive patrol and RIF operations aimed at thwarting enemy attempts to position for a repetition's of 1968's Tet Offensive. Four enemy were killed and 16 weapons captured during the day. The largest haul, of 12 weapons, was found in a hut near Leech Island by Strike Force troopers. Included in the find were nine M-2 carbines, two Chicom SMGs and an Russian SMG. Near Nui Ke, paratroopers of 2/501 killed two VC and captured an RPG launcher and an AK-47.

Feb. 15 - Scattered contact with squad-size or smaller enemy forces resulted in 11 enemy killed, two prisoners and 16 weapons captured. 2/502 found seven enemy dead, later discovered five weapons in a tunnel during patrols north and east of FB Brick. In two brief contacts in the rocket belt, 1/502 killed one enemy, captured another and took an AK and an RPG launcher. Rakkasans of Company A engaged a squad, killing one enemy, taking a prisoner and four AK-47s, two machine guns and two RPG launchers northwest of FB Katy.

Feb. 16 - Screaming Eagles moved into defensive positions in the evening for a 24-hour Tet holiday ceasefire. Earlier encounters with small enemy groups resulted in six killed and nine weapons captured. B/2/502 found seven hooches with bunkers and five weapons. First Strike troopers killed two enemy and captured their weapons.

Feb. 17 - Screaming Eagles joined with the people of Thua Thien Province in celebrating the Tet holidays. The 501st Signal threw a party at Tay Loc orphanage, inside the Hue Citadel. The orphanage had been destroyed in last year's Tet Offensive but rebuilt with the 101st's aid. Support Command and Division Artillery also gave parties at orphanages, and the three brigades gave a total of 15 parties at schools and orphanages. The Division band played at three locations, and Screaming Eagles were provided with newly minted coins and specifically printed holiday greetings to give to the people of the province. The Division also extended the helping hand to the widows and orphans of 1st ARVN Division soldiers who died defending their homeland.

Feb. 18 - Seven enemy were killed and one weapon captured in scattered action. 1st Brigade paratroopers killed six in the lowlands along QL-1 and in RIFs northwest of FB Bricks.

Feb. 19 - Nine enemy were killed and 10 weapons captured in the AO. 2/501, while patrolling the Nui Ke rocket belt, killed four enemy and captured five weapons. Gunships supporting sniffer aircraft killed three enemy in two contacts southeast of FB Tennessee.

Feb. 20 - The 1st Brigade initiated a new offensive operation with assaults south of FB Normandy for probes into the 5th NVA Regiment base area. In search and clear operations northwest of Bastogne, A/1/502 killed one enemy and captured one weapon when they spotted a VC installing a booby trap. B/3/506 Currahees found 1200 pounds of rice in an area surrounded by 105 booby traps; the next day, the paratroopers discovered 1500 pounds of rice.

Feb. 21 - Combined forces in the 2nd Brigade AO killed four enemy and took two weapons, and the allies in the 3rd Brigade AO captured two prisoners and one weapon.

Feb. 22 - Rockets and mortars hit targets all over Vietnam - except in the Screaming Eagle AO - as the enemy launched its long awaited offensive after the Tet holidays ended. Division Rear at Bien Hoa was hit with enemy rockets and mortars during communist attacks, including ground assaults, in the Saigon-Long Binh-Bien Hoa area. The 3rd Currahee battalion at Phan Thiet was the only Screaming Eagle combat unit to become a target. Enemy mortars buffeted LZ Betty as the offensive began early in the morning. An enemy force estimated at two VC companies attacked the base in two places. Echo Company mortar-men fought the VC sapper teams on the fringes of the company area, repulsing the ground attack. Contact continued until dawn. The Currahees accounted for 14 enemy killed, one prisoner taken and eight AK-47s and large amounts of explosives and satchel charges captured. Meanwhile, in the Division AO in I Corps, there was light and scattered contact.

Feb. 23 - The weather broke to permit the 1st Brigade's offensive to continue. Rakkasans conducted a combat assault into LZ Susan in the Khe Lo Loi Valley southwest of FB Brick. While flying support for the assault, 4/77 Aerial Rocketry Artillery killed three enemy, and D/101 AHB killed another. The 3rd Brigade's operation continued as elements of 1/506 killed three enemy while repelling an attack in Firebase Sword early in the morning. Sword received mortars, RPG rounds and sporadic small arms fire in what was possibly the only enemy-initiated contact of the new offensive in the 101st's AO.

Feb. 24 - Ten enemy were killed and 10 weapons were captured in the AO. the 1st Brigade operation continued despite poor weather as elements of 3/187 with ARA and artillery support killed two enemy and captured five SKS rifles and a carbine southwest of FB Brick. C/2/327 killed two and took one weapon southwest of Phu Loc. The 3rd Brigade began the third phase of an operation as 1/506 discovered a hut and four bunkers, two RPDs and an AK, also killing six NVA when A Co. engaged 20 to 30 NVA fleeing the area.

Feb. 25 - C and D Cos. of 2/502 combat assaulted into LZ Red. In four contacts, 3/187 killed two enemy and captured two weapons southwest of FB Brick. The 2nd Brigade initiated a combined cordon southeast of Sandy, with elements of 1/501, 1/502, C/2/34 Armor, ARVN troops, RFs, PFs and National Police. Elsewhere, B/2/501 engaged three NVA, killing one and capturing two AK-47s, one carbine, a 60mm mortar tube and 10 mortar rounds.

Feb. 26 - A and D Cos. of the Rakkasans, in three contacts, killed three VC and captured one crew-served and one individual weapon. B/1/502 captured two tons of paddy rice in the combined cordon near Sandy. A combined cordon was established along the west bank of the Song Bo south of the An Lo Bridge by 3rd Brigade and ARVN elements.

Feb. 27 - The short Song Bo cordon was terminated, with combined forces netting six members of the VC infrastructure and one M-60 machine gun.

Feb. 28 - The month drew to a close with an important day in 101st Airborne history: Operation Nevada Eagle terminated at midnight. On the last day of Nevada Eagle, four enemy were killed and one crew-served weapon was captured. 2/502 and 3/187 continued to probe deeper into enemy base areas. In rocket belt RIF operations, D/1/502 captured a complete 60mm mortar. Also terminating with Nevada Eagle was the 3rd Brigade's operation as elements of 1/506 discovered four enemy dead. In the 36-day operation, Screaming Eagles accounted for 40 enemy killed, one prisoner and 46 individual and 10 crew-served weapons captured.