LZ Albany (17 Nov 1965)

For more information and photos, see LZ X-Ray.

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A B-52 strike of 800 500 pound bombs (200 tons) is headed for the near slopes of Chu Pong Mountain above X-Ray early on 17 November scheduled to drop at 11:17 AM. To get out of the danger zone, both Cavalry Battalions are ordered out of X-Ray. 2/5 CAV leads enroute to the Artillery position at LZ Columbus. 2/7 CAV follows with orders to break off shy of Columbus and head for a small clearing 1.5 miles to the Northwest. 2/5 CAV reaches Columbus and goes into position without any problems. The head of the 2/7 CAV column captures two PAVN soldiers at 11:57 AM 100 yards east of Albany.

The 2/7 CAV Battalion Command Group and A Co 2/7 CAV reach Albany after interrogating the two PAVN prisoners. All Company Commanders are called forward and begin arriving at the clearing. The column is 550 yards long. C Company and A/1/5 put out flank security. PAVN soldiers of the fresh 8th Bn, 66th Regt (which had not seen action) deploy down the Northeast side of the column. Survivors of the 33rd PAVN Regiment deploy at the head of the 2/7 column.

At 1:20 PM, PAVN mortar rounds explode in the clearing and down the length of the column of American companies followed by a violent assault which fragments the column into small groups.
When the firing begins, the Cavalrymen drop into the tall 3-5 foot high elephant grass where it is impossible for the soldiers of either side to identify friend or foe except at extremely close range. Within minutes, the situation becomes a wild melee, a shoot-out, with soldiers killing not only the enemy but sometimes their friends just a few feet away.

For the next two hours, the battle roars. A-1E Skyraiders are brought in dropping napalm and 250 pound bombs which slow down the enemy actions, and the fire slackens. Artillery is brought in. By dark, B Co, 2/7 CAV had landed to reinforce Albany. There is now a small perimeter at Albany and one at the tail of the column. In between are American survivors being hounded and killed throughout the night. Also, in the night, a few isolated Americans escape and evade; trying to make it to the artillery position at Columbus.

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