Popular Vietnam war stories include the story of the Battle of Ia Drang and the story of Roy Benavidez risking his life to save his comrades in Cambodia. The book "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam" is about the Battle of Ia Drang, while "Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines" is about Benavidez.Continue Reading
The Battle of Ia Drang occurred in November 1965. Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore and 450 of his men dropped out of helicopters to the Ia Drang Valley, where 2,000 soldiers in the North Vietnamese Army surrounded them. The brutal battle took place over four days, and during that time both sides found successful tactics. The U.S. Army was effective when it used its air support and artillery, whereas the North Vietnamese Army had success fighting at close range because the United States couldn't use those advantages. Both sides considered the battle a success.
Roy Benavidez' story occurred on May 2, 1968, when he heard a 12-man Special Forces group request help over the radio, as about 1,000 North Vietnamese soldiers surrounded them. Benavidez got on a helicopter and jumped out with only his medical bag and a knife. Benavidez saved at least eight men during the experience, which he later called "six hours in hell." He received 37 wounds from a combination of bullets, bayonets and shrapnel, and multiple doctors declared him dead afterwards. Unable to move, he spit on a doctor's face to show that he was still alive and later recovered at a medical center.Learn more about Vietnam War