U.S. 1st Infantry Division troops engage in one of the heaviest battles of Operation Junction City. The fierce fighting resulted in 210 reported North Vietnamese casualties.
Operation Junction City was an effort to smash the communist stronghold in Tay Ninh Province and surrounding areas along the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon. The purpose of the operation was to drive the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops away from populated areas and into the open, where superior American firepower could be more effectively used. Junction City was the largest operation of the war to date, involving more than 25,000 troops.
The first day’s operation was supported by 575 aircraft sorties, a record number for a single day in South Vietnam. The operation was marked by one of the largest airmobile assaults in history when 240 troop-carrying helicopters descended on the battlefield. In one of the few airborne operations of the war, 778 “Sky Soldiers” parachuted into the Junction City area of operations 28 miles north of Tay Ninh City.
There were 2,728 enemy casualties by the end of the operation on March 17.