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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:07 PM

In Hanoi...

...it is now exactly 47 years ago that soldiers landed at LZ X-ray. Thanks for your service and sacrifice.
Congratulations and thanks to 2Lt Marm, Too Tall and Snake****.
I have been told that CSM Plumley died about a month ago. RIP.


-eom-

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Reply In Hanoi... (Original post)
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2012 OP
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #1
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2012 #2
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #3
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2012 #4

Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 02:20 AM

1. Yes, reports said CSM Plumley died in Columbus, GA, near Benning

For those not familiar with the reference, LZ X-ray was the battle depicted in the movie, 'We Were Soldiers,' starring Mel Gibson. The movie was based on the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, which was co-authored by Ret. LTG Hal Moore (the LTC Bn. Commander of 1/7 Cav at X-ray) and Joe Galloway, the reporter who was there. The battle was the first major test of the airmobility concept.

When the Cav was having a reunion in D.C. over Veterans Day in '92 I dropped by their hotel before their banquet because a friend had been KIA with the Cav just before X-Ray and I was looking to find anyone who knew him. (I found two men who were with him when he was killed.)

The book had just come out, and Moore and Galloway signed my copy. I ended up drinking beer with two of the Cav guys, and it wasn't until very late that night that I discovered who my drinking companions were: Sgt. Ernie Savage, who had ended up commanding the 'Lost Platoon' that was cut off during the battle, and Doc Loos, the platoon medic who miraculously had managed to keep many of the platoon's wounded alive through the long ordeal (the men put Doc in for the MoH, but I think the Army awarded him the DSC). So Ernie and Doc signed my book, too.

I wouldn't remember the date of that reunion except that Galloway included it with his inscription: "8 Nov 92"

I had bought the book and read it as soon as it came out, and I told my older brother it was the best non-fiction battle account from the VN War that I'd seen. My brother had served in the Marines just before VN and had followed the war news closely back then, both because he was an antiwar activist and because he saw his two little brothers end up in-country with the 101st Airborne Div.

The point of this story is that when I told my brother about the book, he excused himself for a few minutes and when he came back he was holding an old, yellowed newspaper clipping he'd saved for 27 years. It was one of Joe Galloway's dispatches about the battle at X-ray, which my brother saved because he thought it was some of the best war reporting he'd ever seen.

One final bit of trivia: The editor of the local newspaper where I live is a friend who told me it was Joe Galloway who got him his first job in journalism. Small world...

Here's to the men of 1/7 Cav and the other survivors of the IA Drang...and to those they lost. And to my friend Dick Coffey, Delta 2/8.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:33 AM

2. Thanks for a great story and especially your service.

My cousin went to VN and came back a bit of a different guy. From everything I've read Moore and Plumley were good guys; fierce, fair and deadly loyal. IMHO Galloway's reporting set a bar in reporting for many to follow later in the war and in the wars that came later. Also, Doc Loos is MoH material, a real miracle worker. The story about Ernie Savage's relentless effort during the battle reminds me of the story of 1Lt Ed Silk's MoH.

To the 1/7, some very special guys.

Here's an article about the gathering you attended: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/10/us/veterans-journal-back-to-a-valley-of-death-with-love.html

Thanks again.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:48 PM

3. Thanks for that article

I didn't know there had been a published report on it. Good article, too.

When I lived in the D.C. area, I'd see the Ia Drang vets each year when they came to the Wall on the veterans' holidays. Some would wear the distinctive cavalry hat or the insignia of the 7th Cav or one of the other 1st Cav units that were there. But even without the hat or insignia, you could spot them in front of Panel 3 East...

Another interesting detail about Joe Galloway is that, for his actions at LZ X-ray, he is one of the very few civilians ever to have been awarded the Bronze Star for Valor.

And if it hadn't been for Hal Moore's exceptional leadership, that battle could have turned out very differently.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 05:55 PM

4. You're welcome

Joe Galloway has a keen and clear eye for the truth. It's rather apparent that he's not someone that will run and hide during a battle. Hal Moore is a leader and a valuable soldier. Everything I've heard, read or seen says the same.

Here's a bit of Joe Galloway trivia: considering the time difference, his family in Texas my have still been celebrating his 24th birthday as the first troops arrived at LZ X-ray, he was born on November 13th.

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