Facts about Ripcord

Facts about The Battle of Ripcord

A-Shau Valley, Vietnam                                                                                  Print
101st Airborne Division
March 12, 1970 – July 23, 1970

The Military discouraged the Media from covering the Battle (because they did not want another Hamburger Hill controversy)

So no one ever knew that:

  • The battle lasted 4 1/2 months
  • 139 American Soldiers were killed in The Battle for Ripcord
  • 3 American Soldiers are Missing in Action
  • 3 American Soldiers were awarded The Medal of Honor
  • 5 American Soldiers were awarded The Distinguished Service Cross
  • The Siege of Fire Base Ripcord and heaviest of the battle was from July 1st to July 23rd, 1970 in which 75 Americans were killed.
  • There were approx  25,000 NVA Soldiers in the area of the A-Shau Valley
  • Alpha Company of 76 American Soldiers was attacked by approx 400 NVA (6 to 1) on July 22nd in which there were 14 Americans killed and 56 wounded.
  • The loss of this Battle gave the NVA open territory to move down South in mass forces
  • Hamburger Hill (one year earlier, same area) was the political reason additional troops were kept from being sent in to Ripcord for fear of  bad press to America. This left the Americans there on and around Ripcord in danger.
  • Chuck Norris the actor had a brother Weiland Norris in Alpha Co. killed in this battle.
  • Bob Kalsu from the Buffalo Bills was killed in this Battle.
  • Oliver North did a story about Ripcord on “War Stories with Oliver North”.* The book written “Siege of Fire Base Ripcord” by Keith Nolan details the battle and the men that fought it.
  • National Geographic TV Show "Inside The Vietnam War" features (in the 3rd hour of the show) the story of "Fire Base Ripcord".
  • The book “Hell on a Hilltop” by Gen Ben Harrison tells of the battle by the American General and the NVA General who fought the American Soldiers.
  • Chris Brady wrote the book "Remembering Firebase Ripcord" which has over 100 interviews by Ripcord veterans.