From: Tucson, AZ
Apache Snow Version 1.03
On 10 May 1969, the Americans launched Operation Apache Snow. The 101st Airborne Division's return to the Ashau Valley. The NVA had built up a considerable presence in the area. The roads in the Ashau were paved and the NVA used trucks to move supplies here. This was the heart of NVA or Indian country.
For 15 days the Airforce has been blasting holes in the triple canopy jungle to help with the landing of troops and supporting units. Only of five of the thirty locations would be turned into LZ's on this day. The Americans would insert 3 Bn's of the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airmobile Division and 1 ARVN Bn as well. At first things went well. Slowly the infantry penetrated the valley. They found NVA division sized base camps along with paved roads. All trails seemed to lead to Dong Ap Bia. The 187th Bn was ordered to take the mountain while the rest of the forces were to look for the NVA in the valley. Every square foot of the valley held NVA supplies and the US/ARVN soldiers were uncovering staggering amounts of NVA supplies. Then the 187th Bn found the NVA on the mountain and the fight for Hamburger Hill began. It eventually involved all of the forces in Apache Snow to take the mountain. During the fight the NVA planned to assault a fire base but the forces were spotted and routed before the attack could take place.
The local Montagnards called it "the mountain of the crouching beast", the maps called it Dong Ap Bia, or Hill 937. The 101st ended up calling it Hamburger Hill. Operation Apache Snow was a search and destroy mission. To fix the enemy and then to destroy him with firepower. At Hamburger Hill it turned into one bloody frontal assault after another against an NVA bunker system. The part of Apache Snow that will always be remembered will be the fact that Hamburger Hill was abandoned after it's capture. That was what search and destroy was about, but it didn't set well that after a ten day fight we would turn the ground back over to the NVA, and leave the valley to him. It was a very controversial victory.
2.5 Km per hex with 6 hour turns.
"In an operation of this magnitude, some losses must be expected."
SAC Commanding General Curtis LeMay, circa 1964