In what was termed "one of the 101st's toughest missions in
Vietnam," Operation Delaware was initiated by troopers of the
1stBrigade on April 19. The primary mission of Delaware was to
provide a blocking force for the 1st Air Cavalry assault into the A
Shau Valley and to interdict enemy supply routes along Highway 547 and
547A leading out of the valley toward Hue. The Brigade, with the 3rd
ARVN Airborne Task Force, was to operate in the Rao Nho and Rao Nai
valleys to establish Firebase (FB) Veghel.
On April 23, the 1st Bn., 327th Abn. Inf. continued their clearing
operations at Veghel, six miles east of the A Shau Valley. Scattered
resistance was met as the paratroopers prepared the LZ for insertion
of heavy engineer equipment and artillery pieces.
Company C, 2nd Bn., 327th Abn. Inf. engaged two NVA companies
along route 547, 15 miles southwest of Hue on April 25. The bat-
talon's Co. A moved to assist while Co. C maintained contact. The
surprised NVA left their positions under a deadly hail of fire as the
paratroopers flanked the fortifications. Thirty-two Communists were
killed and seven weapons captured when the battle subsided.
Operation Delaware concluded on May 17. The 1st Brigade units
had killed 318 NVA and captured three prisoners and 121 weapons during
the 28 day operation. The Brigade also succeeded in interdicting
route 547, completely cutting off its use as a re-supply route by