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Apache Snow

Written March 2013, edited May 2019

Operation

Dates: 

10 May 1969 - 7 Jun 1969

Area of Operation:

A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province

Allied Units:

USMC 1st and 2d Battalions 9th Marines; US Army 3rd Brigade 101st Airborne, 3d Battalion 187th Infantry, 2d Battalion 501st Infantry, 2d Battalion 506th Infantry; ARVN 2d Battalion 3d Regiment 1st Infantry Division

Allied Casualties:

US 56 KIA, 327-420 WIA; RVN 5 KIA

Enemy Units:

NVA 29th Regiment

Enemy Casualties:

597-977 KIA

Objective(s):

To cut off the North Vietnamese so that they could not attack coastal areas.

Significance/Notes:

The battle for Hill 937/Ap Bia Mountain, promptly nicknamed “Hamburger Hill”, took place during Operation Apache Snow. This operation, including Hamburger Hill, was the final straw for many Americans back home. Their outrage was fueled by the publication of portraits of the 430 men killed in the week of battling for Hill 937.

 

Not long after securing the territory, Allied forces abandoned Ap Bia Mountain and NVA troops returned to reoccupy the land. In the end, Apache Snow (with the battle for Hill 937 in particular) became another motivator for the US government’s change in policy towards Vietnamization.

Sources:

Further Reading: