Carentan I terminated on March 31, with the
launching of Operation Carentan II. The new operation was conducted
in the same area, northwest from the coastal plains; south from Hue;
due west to the A Shau valley.
Operation Carentan II proved to be a testing point for the
Screaming Eagles. North Vietnamese regulars challenged Paratrooper
forces almost daily. The normal tactic of hit and run was absent from
the enemy's fighting strategy. The Screaming Eagles earned a
reputation among the enemy units. Those who wear the Eagle on their
shoulder were to be avoided.
The mission of Carentan II was to continue driving hostile forces
from the area around Hue, and to begin clearing operations toward the
A Shau Valley for a possible future raid into that area. The first
major battle occurred on the famous "Street without Joy." The 2nd
Squadron, 17th Airborne Cavalry began sweeping the area destroying
bunker complexes and other fortifications that had long been NVA
strongholds. Assisting in the "Street" sweep were 2nd Brigade
troopers from the 2nd Bn.,501st Abn. Inf. A sweep of the Phong Dien
village after a night cordon and artillery bombardment resulted in 66
During the same period, other 2nd Brigade troopers were completing
a week-long reconnaissance-in-force along the Song Bo River, three
miles northwest of Hue. Army aviation, artillery, tactical air, and
the airborne troopers combined to kill 200 enemy and capture 44
Another cordon operation around the village of Dong Xuyen, three
miles north of Hue, netted paratroopers from the 1st Bn.,501st Abn.
Inf., 53 enemy killed in three days of bitter fighting.
Meanwhile, "Always First" troopers from the 1st Brigade launched
Operation Delaware west of Camp Eagle.