Just A Little Walk In The Woods
with the Delta Raiders
Company D, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
Delta Raiders of Vietnam Association
Company D, 2nd Battalion, 501 Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
There is a special bond between men who have served in combat together. It's a bond that goes far beyond the the limits of normal friendships. You become very close to those you depend on for your life. We became brothers in Vietnam... We became family.
During July of 1970 one of the last major battles between American and NVA ground forces took place in Northern I Corps near the Ashau Valley. The 101st Airborne Division had set up Fire Support Base Ripcord right in the middle of a major NVA supply route. The NVA sent a reinforced Division into the area to move us out. Our Company was sent into the Ripcord Area of Operations to take and hold Hill 805, which overlooked the firebase. Over half of the the men in our company were killed or wounded, but we held that hill for five days and nights. Due to political pressures to keep American casualties low, the 101st was forced to withdraw from the battle, but not until they had suffered more casualties then they had on Hamburger Hill. Because of the uproar over the battle for Hamburger Hill during 1969, reporters were kept out of the Ripcord area. Ripcord had become the forgotten battle. Forgotten by everyone but those who were there.
During 1976 the father of one of our KIA's contacted a few of the men who had served on Hill 805 in an attempt to learn more about the battle that had cost him a son. He wasn't aware of it at the time but he had started a crusade.
The Delta Veterans he had located kept in touch with each other and started trying to find the other men from their platoon. Each person who was located set out to find others, and eventually almost everyone who had survived the fighting for Hill 805 had been located, as well as several of the men who had served with Delta Company before and after that particular battle. From there the search for Delta Raiders expanded in both directions. It had taken on a life of its own, as if it were meant to be. It had become an obsession to find everyone who had served in Vietnam as a Raider.
We have now located 450 of the known 1143 veterans who served in Vietnam with Delta Company (D, 2/501) between December of 1967 when the company was sent to Vietnam, and July of 1972 when the Division came home. Our goal is to locate everyone who served with Delta Company in Vietnam, and the family members of those Raiders who were Killed in Action.
The Delta Raiders of Vietnam Association holds a reunion every other year and publishes 4 issues of the Raiders Newsletter annually.
If you or a family member of yours served as a Delta Raider, please contact us at: RHBlackie@aol.com
From Shakespear's "Henry V"...
But we...shall be remembered;
we few, we happy few,
we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
shall be my brother;...
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|email me at: RHBlackie@aol.com|
This page is dedicated to Mr. John Palm, the father of Terry Palm (KIA 7/14/70)
John was the inspiration for DROVA