What Was the Role of the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam?


Quick Answer

During the Vietnam War, the 101st Airborne Division landed at Cam Ranh Bay and carried out air assault missions. By the end of the war, the division shifted from using airplanes to deliver troops to using helicopters for the same task.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

The first wave of soldiers was sent out to Vietnam in 1965 and the rest followed in 1967. The 1st Brigade arrived first and fought as a separate division until the rest of the troops arrived. The 1st brigade consisted of an aerial unit that contained rocket-firing helicopters, an airmobile infantry, six battalions of artillery and an air reconnaissance unit.

The 101st Airborne Division stayed mostly in the Central Highlands and in the A Shau Valley. It was a major force in the battle known as "Hamburger Hill." After the battles ended, the 101st Airborne Division was the last division to leave Vietnam. The division was awarded 17 Medals of Honor and lost almost 20,000 soldiers. This was a devastating blow to the division, which only lost 9,328 soldiers during World War II.

As of 2015, the 101st Airborne Division is based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and is the only airborne division in the Army. The 101st Airborne Division is most commonly known as the "Screaming Eagles."

Learn more about Vietnam War