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Operation Apache Snow

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Title: Operation Apache Snow  
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Subject: Thua Thien-Hue Province, 1969 in Vietnam, VMO-6, Operation Medina, Farm Gate
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Operation Apache Snow

Operation Apache Snow
Part of the Vietnam War
Date May 10 – June 7, 1969
Location A Shau Valley, Republic of Vietnam
Result Indecisive
United States
Republic of Vietnam
North Vietnam
Viet Cong
Commanders and leaders
Melvin Zais ??
Two ARVN battalions
101st Airborne Division
Ten artillery batteries
506th Infantry Regiment (United States)
29th North Vietnamese Army Regiment
Casualties and losses
102 killed, wounded unknown
977 killed and wounded
3 captured

Operation Apache Snow was a joint U.S. and South Vietnamese military operation during the Vietnam War in the A Shau Valley. The A Shau Valley was an important corridor for the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), moving supplies into South Vietnam and used as staging area for attacks. Previous sweeps of the valley in Operation Delaware and Operation Dewey Canyon had not been able to keep the NVA from operating in the valley.

Apache Snow was planned as an operation involving ten battalions. The initial assault force consisted of troops from the 187th, 501st, and 506th Infantry Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division and the 1st ARVN Division. The plan was to block escape routes into Laos and assault enemy formations and strongholds. The operation began on May 10, 1969.

The main objective became Hill 937, the resulting battle became known to the soldiers as "Hamburger Hill", an up to date reference to the bloody fighting during the Korean War at a place called "Porkchop Hill". After ten days of fighting, which involved 11 infantry assaults up hill 937 primarily by the 3rd battalion, 187th infantry, (causing heavy U.S. losses), US forces managed to capture the hill. A few weeks later the hill was quietly abandoned by U.S. forces.

Operation Apache Snow continued until June 7, with U.S. troops making limilted contact with the enemy. It failed to deny access to the valley to North Vietnamese forces. The valley continued to be used as staging area for attacks in northern South Vietnam. The month‑long operation accounted for 675 enemy killed, three prisoners, 241 individual and 40 crew‑served weapons captured, and more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition discovered


  • "Operation Apache Snow and the Battle for Hamburger Hill". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  • "Operation Apache Snow". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  • "Operation Apache Snow". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  • "The summer offensive in the A Shau valley". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 

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