LZ Albany Battle - Chinese Observers' Perspective

This is a map of the LZ Albany battle as it occurred on 17 November 1965, drawn by the Chinese Observers - who revisited the battlefield and did detailed research after the battle - and published in Beijing in 1971 (courtesy of James Trevor).

It shows the NVA units involved:
- 1st Company/1st Battalion/33rd Regiment;
- 2nd Company/1st Battalion/33rd Regiment;
- 6th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment;
- 7th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment;
- and 8th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment;

It depicts their maneuvers as following:

On November 16, while a 1st Air Cavalry unit is moving up northwest toward the position of 1st Battalion CP/33rd Regiment nested at the east side of Ia Drang river,
- 8th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment marches down southeast along the Ia Drang river,
- 6th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment and 7th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment march down on a collusion path toward the 1st Air Cavalry unit.

On November 17, around 12 o'clock,
- 6th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment makes contact head on with the 1st Air Cavalry unit,
- 1st Company/1st Battalion/33rd Regiment and 2nd Company/1st Battalion/33rd Regiment maneuver eastward and attack the lower and upper flanks of the 1st Air Cavalry unit respectively,
- 8th Company/8th Battalion/66th Regiment switches its direction northwestward and attacks the 1st Air Cavalry unit from behind.

The map illustrates inaccurately the activities of the American units:
- On 11.14, 1/7 Air Cav Battalion (identified as "1st Division/3rd Brigade/1st Battalion"; 3rd Brigade had another battalion: 2/7 Air Cav) was at LZ X-Ray, which was located rather at Chu Pong footstep instead of nearby Ia Drang river, as shown on the map.
- On 11.16, 1/7 Air Cav was extracted by HUEY helicopters to LZ Falcon, five and half miles east of LZ X-Ray; then from there transported by Chinooks to Camp Halloway.
- On 11.17, 2/7 Air Cav marched out of LZ X-Ray northward to LZ Albany along with 2/5 Air Cav moving to LZ Columbus.

Nguyen Van Tin
11 August 2014

Documents

- Primary

- Books, Articles

* Pleiku, the Dawn of Helicopter Warfare in Vietnam, J.D. Coleman, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1988.

* We Were Soldiers Once… and Young, General Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, Random House, New York, 1992.

* "First Strike at River Drang", Military History, Oct 1984, pp 44-52, Per. Interview with H.W.O Kinnard, 1st Cavalry Division Commanding General, Cochran, Alexander S.

* The Siege of Pleime, Project CHECO Report, 24 February 1966, HQ PACAF, Tactical Evaluation Center.

* Silver Bayonet, Project CHECO Report, 26 February 1966, HQ PACAF, Tactical Evaluation Center.

- Viet Cong