In their new airmobile role, the Screaming Eagles
exercised their new wings with a combat assault by 2/502nd and 2/327th
into the A Shau Valley, the North Vietnamese stronghold west of Hue.
Designed to cut off supply routes from the west, the operation began
with an airlift of two battalions from the 1st Brigade. The next day
two battalions of the 1st ARVN Division air-assaulted into the area
secured by the 2nd Bn., 327 Abn. Inf. near Ta Bat airfield.
The paratroopers met scattered contact throughout the operation.
Two bitter tastes of allied power first by the ARVN units and then by
the 1st bn., 327th Abn. Inf. discouraged any future contacts. The NVA
who had not fled the area were forced to de-escalate to small
harassing attacks on the bordering fire bases with mortar and
On August 21, the allied troops were airlifted from the valley
floor. During the 17 day operation, 181 NVA were killed and four
taken prisoner. The Screaming Eagles also captured 58 individual and
As the paratroopers left the picturesque valley, the NVA
sanctuary was a shambles. Base camps were destroyed, roads
obliterated and caches uncovered. The remaining NVA were left in a
valley ringed with artillery and littered with mine fields to
discourage its future tactical value.