HAMBURGER HILL PERSONAL BATTLE ACCOUNT
I was with the 101st Airborne Div., 2 Bn. 327th Inf., Delta Company. My platoon and a platoon of Pathfinder Special Forces were placed on the back side of Hamburger Hill near the Laos border, our platoons split up and went our separate ways to avoid detection. We were to call in air strikes and artillery on the NVA as they tried to escape into Laos. The first day The Special Forces were all killed. The 3rd day we walked into a L shaped ambush and myself and 2 others were wounded. My wound was minor and treated in the field. One of the others was e-vac after the ambush and 2nd was e-vac 2 days later from an infection in the wound.
Repelling the ambush used up all our ammo but for a few rounds. We spent the next five days evading detection and continued to call in artillery and air strikes. During the next five days we e-vac 2 others because we were with out water or food along with the ammo and their tongues swelled to where it was cutting off their air. Three more had to be e-vac because they came down with malaria.
The question that must be on your mind now, did they bring out ammo, food and water on the many helicopter e-vacs? Sad to say was, no! We did find water in a bomb crater. On the 8th day we called in a Cobra helicopter strike on an estimated 2,000 NVA troops crossing the valley near the Laos border. Five Cobra helicopters were dispatched and 3 of them were shot down with in the first few seconds. The Cobra's backed off and fighter jets were dispatched with napalm. We were then pulled out, because we were too close for a napalm strike, and was fed and resupplied and sent back to help collect the American dead.
The trees left standing on Hamburger Hill, at and near the Colonel Honeycutt photo, were imbedded with flesh and it looked like hamburger all over everything from the bodies getting blown up. Someone took a C-ration box and wrote on it "Hamburger Hill" and placed it on a tree, and that's how the name came to be.
Wayne Gaskins <email@example.com>
Roan Mountain, TN
You can visit Wayne at his home page and also his Screaming Eagle unit page