Deadliest Battles List

20 Deadliest U.S. Battles of the Vietnam War, 1965 – 1973

Battle                                                   Deaths                 Dates                                                                      Print

Ia  Drang Valley*                                 300           Oct 23 – Nov 26, ‘65

Khe Sanh                                                205           Jan 20 – Apr 14,  ‘68

Dak To**                                                   192           Nov 1 – Dec 1, ‘67

Cu Nghi                                                     121           Jan 28 – 31,  ‘66

Hue                                                              119           Feb 2 – Mar 2,  ‘68

Kim Son Valley                                      107           Feb 16 – 28,  ‘66

Con Thien (ambush near)                  84             Jul 2,  ‘67

“Nine Days in May”                               79             May 18- 28,  ‘67

Dak To                                                         76             Jun 22,  ‘67

Firebase Ripcord***                            75             Jul 1 – 23,  ‘70

Vin Huy                                                       73             May 30 – Jun 2, ‘67

Ong Thang                                                70+           Oct  17,  ‘67

Hamburger Hill (Ap Bia)                      70             May 10 – 20,  ‘69

Dong Ha                                                     68             Apr 29 – May 4, ‘68

Tam Quan                                                  58             Dec 6 – 20,  ‘67

LZ Bird                                                        58             Dec 27, 66

Dong Son                                                   54             Sep 4,  ‘67

Con Thien                                                  51             Jul 2-3  ‘67

Thom Tham Khe                                   48             Dec 27 – 28, ‘67

Tan Son Nhut Air base (near)          48             Mar 2,  ‘68

* LZ Albany alone claimed 155 KIA on Nov 17, making it the single deadliest U.S. action of the war. LZ X-Ray resulted in another 79 KIA over two  days, Nov 14 – 16.

** 158 of the KIA were sustained at Dak To over six days, Nov 17 – 23.

*** Editor’s Note: Battle deaths in Sigler’s book for FSB Ripcord are listed as 61. Based on Keith Nolan’s research a better figure is 75 KIA, including one ARVN interpreter attached to A Co., 2/506th Infantry. This makes the battle of Fire Base Ripcord the 10th deadliest battle of the Vietnam War. – Chuck Hawkins, editor 

Note: Lengthy operations are excluded. Only actions that could be categorized as single or directly related engagements are tabulated. 

Source: From VFW magazine, November 2001; reprinted from Sigler, david B. Vietnam Battle Chronology; U.S. Army and marine Corps Combat Operations, 1965 – 1973. 

Special thanks go to Rick Blythe (HHC, 2/506) for supplying this information to Ripcord report.