|This site is dedicated to the heroic men of the 2nd Battalion 11th Field Artillery and their experiences in Vietnam. Where does one begin with such a subject? We will start with a statement written by Brig. General Weldon Honeycutt.|
Brig General Weldon F. Honeycutt USA Ret.
Commander, 3D Battalion 187th ABN INF RVN
Operation Apache Snow, 8 May 8 June 1969
I was the Battalion Commander of the 3D Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry, 101 Airborne Division during the period December 1968 to July 1969. During the period 8 May 69 to 8 June 69 we were locked in close and continuous combat with the 29th NVA Regiment for the mountain designated as Hill 937 or Dong Ap Bia later called “Hamburger Hill”.
The battle for Dong Ap Bia began on 10 May 1969 with an Air Assault, by the 3d Battalion 187th Inf. Into the Ashau Valley. This valley was the base camp for the 29th NVA Regt. This regiment was equipped with the best and latest equipment and was given the mission of attacking and taking the city of Hue, South Vietnam and to destroy US Forces in the I Corps zone.
The very first day light contact was made with the enemy and within two days it generated into close and continuous contact with the enemy lasting, with very short periods of respite, for the next ten days.
During ten days of heavy fighting for Dong Ap Bia, Troopers of the 3d Bn was on more than one occasion engaged in hand to hand fighting requiring close and continuous fire support that was accurate, precise, timely and of the right caliber. During more than one engagement it was necessary for the supporting fire to be called for as, “Danger Close”.
This fight for Dong Ap Bia was the largest and toughest battle during the Vietnam war resulting in over 600 NVA soldiers killed by the 3d Bn and their supporting units while suffering only 36 KIA and 220 wounded.
Without question this low casualty rate was a direct result of the magnificent support rendered by B Battery 2d/11 Field Artillery.
During many close engagements only the 155mm Artillery was accurate enough to be used as the Airstrikes, Gunships, and 105mm Artillery could not do the job without injuring or killing my troops. As evidenced by wounds I received from air support.
For the action at Dong Ap Bia the 3d Bn 187th, it’s attached assigned and supporting units was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism. Due to administrative oversight B Battery 2/11 FA was not included on this list.
I can, without the slightest hesitation, certify that B Battery 2/11 was instrumental in the accomplishment of the mission to destroy the enemy and secure Hill 937. Without their support my mission would have been much harder and would have resulted in far greater losses on the American side.
I urge in the strongest terms possible that B Battery 2/11 FA be added to the list of units receiving the Presidential Unit Citation for their outstanding performance of duty during the fighting at Dong Ap Bia. Not to include this unit would be a slap in the face of some of the finest fighting, most courageous soldiers I have ever served with in combat.
WELDON F. HONEYCUTT
Brig Gen USA Ret