Vietnam 1st Battalion
Greg De Lurentiis
D Company 1968 – 1969
I arrived in Vietnam in June of 1968. I was assigned to the 101st Airborne even though I was not jump qualified. I tried to get to jump school but there was no time for that I was told while at Ft. Knox after my training as a APC driver. But in those days of 500 dead per week the Army was filling slots and the 101st needed slots filled. I arrived at Phu Bai in June and was assigned to D Co.
The rest of June and July we were I believe at FB Eagles Nest. During the second week of August my company was doing ridge security for an assault into the Ashau. It was a failure, with the VC or NVA being very ready and shooting the choppers out of the sky. We left our ridge, were ambushed on the way to the floor of the valley retreated up the trail and proceeded to go over the edge and down the face into the valley.
Several days later after humping all night and through the next two days with little sleep, and using the aid of Spooky to guide us through a mine field we arrived within several hundred meters of the base of “Hill”. We were told this is where Charlie rules the valley from. Soon we were hit with artillery from the East. Very very accurate. Walking the rounds from the tree line our and back. We moved out to the base of the hill. Early morning we moved up the Hill. Over the next several days our band tried to reach the top, to get to the people who lived there and commanded control over the valley and the Yellow Brick Road.
My platoon, with my squad leading the way was the last of the best to try. We were not successful and in the end left two fallen comrades there. We were ordered to leave the Hill, others would recover the dead.
Ten months later Spc 4 Laurel Lee Blevins remains were recovered, Jose Graniela was never recovered. Both are on the wall. I now and have for some time believed that the Hill we assaulted in August 1968 became Hamburger Hill in May 1969. I have found two who were in D Co who believe that as well. One was posted on the Screaming Eagles page you so wonderfully have put together and maintained.