Firebase Bird

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Firebase Bird
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Type Army
Site information
Condition abandoned
Site history
Built 1966
In use 1966-7
Battles/wars Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg
Vietnam War
Garrison information
Occupants 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry
6th Battalion, 16th Artillery
2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery

Firebase Bird was a U.S. Army firebase located in the Kim Son Valley in southern Vietnam.

History

Bird was located in the Kim Son Valley.[1]

In December 1966 Bird was occupied by C Battery 6th Battalion, 16th Artillery and B Battery 2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery and defended by elements of the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry. On the early morning of 27 December after preparatory mortar fire Bird was attacked by 3 Battalions of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) 22nd Regiment. The PAVN quickly breached the perimeter and occupied all the 155mm and some of the 105mm gun pits. The remaining guns of 2/19 Artillery were then used to fire Beehive rounds directly at the PAVN stopping the attack. Supporting artillery fire was called in from nearby Firebase Pony and helicopter gunships also arrived to give supporting fire, forcing the PAVN to retreat.[2]

U.S. losses at Firebase Bird were 27 dead and 67 wounded, more than 60 percent of the defenders, while the U.S. claimed that PAVN losses in the attack and a four-day pursuit of the attackers were 267 dead.[3]

B Battery 2/19 Artillery was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its actions,[2] while SSGT Delbert O. Jennings be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.[2]:238

The attack on Bird was the subject of the book Bird by military historian S.L.A. Marshall.

Current use

The base has reverted to jungle.

References

  1. Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–58. ISBN 978-1555716257. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hagerman, Bart (1990). U.S.A. Airborne: 50th Anniversary, 1940-1990. Turner Publishing Company. p. 237. ISBN 9780938021902. 
  3. McGarrigle, George L. (1998), Taking the Offensive: October 1966 to October 1967, Center of Military History, United States Army, pp. 91-92; Powers, Robert (2009). 1966 the Year of the Horse. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 9781608442027.