Operation Apache Snow
Dates: 10MAY1969 – 7JUN1969
Area of Operation: A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province
Allied Units: USMC 1st and 2d Battalions 9th Marines; US Army 3rd Brigade 101st Airborne, 3d Battalion 187th Infantry, 2d Battalion 501st Infantry, 2d Battalion 506th Infantry; ARVN 2d Battalion 3d Regiment 1st Infantry Division
Allied Casualties: US 56 KIA, 327-420 WIA; RVN 5 KIA
Enemy Units: NVA 29th Regiment
Enemy Casualties: 597-977 KIA
Objective: To cut off the North Vietnamese so that they could not attack coastal areas.
Significance/Notes: The battle for Hill 937/Ap Bia Mountain, promptly nicknamed “Hamburger Hill”, took place during Operation Apache Snow. This operation, including Hamburger Hill, was the final straw for many Americans. Their outrage was fueled by the publication of portraits of the 430 men killed in the week of battling for Hill 937. Not long after securing the territory, Allied forces abandoned Ap Bia Mountain and NVA troops returned to reoccupy the land. In the end, Apache Snow (with the battle for Hill 937 in particular) became a big motivator for the US government’s change in policy towards Vietnamization.
- The Vietnam Center and Archive (at Texas Tech Univ)
- Vietnam War Almanac by James H. Willbanks