173rd Airborne Brigade, atop Hill 875, Dak To, Central Highlands, South Vietnam: photo by Kyoichi Sawada, November 1967; image by Photo Tractatus, 7 July 2011
The battle for Hill 875 was over, and some survivors were being brought in by Chinook to the landing strip at Dak To. The 173rd Airborne had taken over 400 casualties, nearly 200 killed, all on the previous afternoon and in the fighting that had gone on all through the night. It was very cold and wet up there, and some girls from the Red Cross had been sent up from Pleiku to comfort the survivors. As the troops filed out of the helicopters, the girls waved and smiled at them from behind their serving tables. "Hi, soldier! What's your name?" "Where you from, soldier?" "I'll bet some hot coffee would hit the spot right about now."
And the men from the 173rd just kept walking without answering, staring straight ahead, their eyes rimmed with red from fatigue, their faces pinched and aged with all that had happened during the night. One of them dropped out of line and said something to a loud, fat girl who wore a Peanuts sweatshirt under her fatigue blouse and she started to cry. The rest just walked past the girls and the large olive-drab coffee urns. They had no idea of where they were.
Michael Herr (1940-): from "Illumination Rounds", in Dispatches, 1977
Hill 875 at Dak To in November 1967, after 21 days of fighting with heavy casualties on both sides: photo by AP, 5 November 1967; image by Photo Tractatus
Troops of the 173rd Airborne coming off duty after campaigning in the Central Highlands (Battle of Dak To, 1967): photographer unknown, November 1967); image by RM Gillespie, 21 August 2007 (US Army)
Wounded American soldiers being moved to aid station (Battle of Dak To, 1967): photographer unknown, November 1967); image by RM Gillespie, 21 August 2007 (US Army)
Hill 875 Casualty, Dak To. Swathed in battle dressings, but still gripping his weapon, a wounded soldier of the 173rd Airborne awaits evacuation from Hill 875. American troops captured the summit of Hill 875, climaxing the longest and costliest battle of the Vietnam war. The battle claimed the lives of 280 Americans and nearly 1400 North Vietnamese: photographer unknown, 23 November 1967; image by Tommy Japan, 2013
Dak To, South Vietnam --- In Battle. A member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade crouches beside the body of a dead comrade and equipment left by wounded at the height of the battle on Hill 875. U.S. Army paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade began a final assault up the bloody slopes of Hill 875: photographer unknown, 22 November 1967; image by Chinh Dang-Vu (chinhdangvu1), 2013
Dak To, South Vietnam. Plasma is given to a wounded member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade on a ridge on Hill 875 November 21, 1967 as another member races into battle. U.S. paratroopers November 22, 1967 stormed up Hill 875 and smashed into the Communist hilltop fortress that kept them trapped for three days. They hurled grenades and fired flamethrowers into North Vietnamese bunkers still being bombarded by army artillery and jet planes splashing flaming napalm: photographer unknown, 22 November 1967; image by Chinh Dang-Vu (chinhdangvu1), 2013
Dak To, South Vietnam --the battle for hill 875 is over and American troops are at the hill's so these battle weary men of the U.S. 173 Airborne Brigade pause for a moment's rest. American troops went to the top of hill 8 75 after some of the bloodiest fighting of the Vietnam War: photographer unknown, 23 November 1967; image by Chinh Dang-Vu (chinhdangvu1), 2013