Ambush At LZ Albany, The Days Before

The fight at LZ X-Ray started on November 14, 1965, and began with an assault by the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the Command of LTC Hal Moore, a story related elsewhere. All units of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, had been pre-positioned by air lift with CV-2 aircraft, from the base camp at An Khe, to an area near Pleiku. Final assault into LZ X-Ray was by UH-1D helicopters. Throughout the operation, CV-2 aircraft were being used as airborne communication relays from the battlefields. Two batteries of 105 mm artillery (12 guns), Battery A and C, from the 1st Battalion, 21st Artillery, were in position to support the ground forces, from LZ Falcon. The assault force came under heavy attack by NVA troops. B Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was lifted into X-Ray to re-enforce the 1st Battalion, starting at about 1705 on November 14th. The 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, was moved into LZ Victor, south and east of LZ X-Ray, late on the afternoon of November 14.

On November 15 at 0800, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, headed by foot march to LZ X-Ray. At about 0910 hours, the Bravo Company 3rd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry began landing at LZ X-Ray. At 1205 hours, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, closed into X-Ray. LZ Columbus was established with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 21st Artillery and Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 17th Artillery and would eventually fire in support of the Albany battle.

On November 16, more attacks were made on the defensive lines at X-Ray, but by 0930 hours, things had quieted down and the force in X-Ray was ordered to be withdrawn by UH-1D's to LZ Falcon and from there by CH-47 to Pleiku. Before leaving, the remainder of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, was brought in by overland march from where they were waiting at LZ Columbus. By 1456 hours, the following units were extracted. The 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, and the Alpha Company 3rd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry. By 1830 hours, all these units were at Camp Holloway at Pleiku.

LZ X-Ray was now the responsibility of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry and the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, who now dug in for the night. The night was fairly quiet with only occasional sporadic shooting which got heavy at one time with illumination being fired. For many, this was the last night they would ever see.

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