Firebase Bird

Firebase Bird was a U.S. Army firebase located in the Kim Son Valley in southern Vietnam during the Vietnam War.[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][4]

B Battery 2/19 Artillery was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for its actions,[2] while SSGT Delbert O. Jennings would 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. Today the base has reverted to jungle.

Firebase Bird
Coordinates14°17′46″N 108°53′17″E / 14.296°N 108.888°E
Site information
Site history
In use1966-7
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon

Vietnam War
Garrison information
Occupants1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry
6th Battalion, 16th Artillery
2nd Battalion, 19th Artillery


  1. ^ Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–58. ISBN 978-1555716257.
  2. ^ a b c Hagerman, Bart (1990). U.S.A. Airborne: 50th Anniversary, 1940-1990. Turner Publishing Company. p. 237. ISBN 9780938021902.
  3. ^ MacGarrigle, George (1998). Combat Operations: Taking the Offensive, October 1966 to October 1967. Government Printing Office. pp. 91–2. ISBN 9780160495403.
  4. ^ Powers, Robert (2009). 1966 the Year of the Horse. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 80. ISBN 9781608442027.
Firebase (U.S.-Vietnam War)

Firebases in the U.S.-involvement Vietnam War, were a type of military base, usually fire bases.

It may refer to:

Firebase 6, Central Highlands

Firebase Airborne, central South Vietnam

Firebase Argonne, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Atkinson, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Bastogne, Thua Thien Province

Firebase Berchtesgaden (Firebase Eagle's Nest) Thừa Thiên–Huế

Firebase Betty, Bình Thuận Province

Firebase Bird, southern South Vietnam

Firebase Birmingham, Thừa Thiên–Huế Province

Firebase Checkmate, central South Vietnam

Firebase Crook, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Cunningham, central South Vietnam

Firebase Currahee, central South Vietnam

Firebase Delta, Central Highlands

Firebase Fuller, central South Vietnam

Firebase Gela, southern South Vietnam

Firebase Gio Linh, central South Vietnam

Firebase Granite, central South Vietnam

Firebase Hawk Hill, central South Vietnam

Firebase Henderson, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Illingworth, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Jaeger, Dinh Tuong Province; involved in Operation Hop Tac I

Firebase Jay, southwest South Vietnam

Firebase Kate (Firebase White) Quang Duc Province; aka Landing Zone Kate

Firebase Maureen, central South Vietnam

Firebase Mile High, Central Highlands

Firebase Neville, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Pedro, central South Vietnam

Firebase Ripcord, Thua Thien Province

Firebase Ross, Quảng Nam Province

Firebase Russell, Quảng Trị Province

Firebase Sarge (Firebase Dong Toan) central South Vietnam

Firebase St. George, Central Highlands

Firebase Thunder III, southern South Vietnam

Firebase Tomahawk, central South Vietnam

Firebase Veghel, central South Vietnam

Firebase Vera, central South Vietnam

Operation Apache Snow

Operation Apache Snow was a joint U.S. Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) military operation during the Vietnam War designed to keep pressure on the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) units in the A Sầu Valley and prevent them from mounting any attacks on the neighboring coastal provinces.

Operation Austin IV

Operation Austin IV was a search and destroy operation conducted by the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade in western Quang Duc and Phước Long Provinces, from 1 to 18 May 1966.

Operation Burlington Trail

Operation Burlington Trail was a security operation conducted during the Vietnam War by the U.S. 198th Infantry Brigade in Quảng Nam Province, South Vietnam from 8 April to 11 November 1968.

Operation Bushmaster II

Operation Bushmaster II (also known as the Battle of Ap Nha Mat) was a US Army operation that took place in the Michelin Rubber Plantation, lasting from 1 to 6 December 1965.

Operation Custom Tailor

Operation Custom Tailor was an American cruiser and destroyer strike force that conducted a daring raid on Haiphong, North Vietnam, in May 1972. It was a history-making strike that involved the most formidable cruiser/destroyer fleet in the Western Pacific since World War II. During the strike, military targets within four miles of Haiphong were hit and enemy opposition was heavy.

Operation Essex

Operation Essex was an operation by the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines in "Antenna Valley", Hiệp Đức District south of An Hoa Combat Base from 6 to 17 November 1967.

Operation Fillmore

Operation Fillmore was an operation conducted by the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in Phú Yên Province, lasting from 26 March to 21 July 1966.

Operation Flaming Dart

Operation Flaming Dart was a U.S. and South Vietnamese military operation, conducted in two parts, during the Vietnam War.

Operation Georgia

Operation Georgia was a US Marine Corps security operation around the An Hoa Industrial Complex in western Quảng Nam Province, lasting from 21 April to 10 May 1966.

Operation Manhattan

Operation Manhattan was an operation conducted by the 1st and 2nd Brigades, 25th Infantry Division and the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in the Ho Bo Woods/Bến Củi area, lasting from 23 April to 7 June 1967.

Operation Mastiff

Operation Mastiff was an operation conducted by the U.S. 1st Infantry Division in the Dầu Tiếng District, lasting from 21 to 25 February 1966.

Operation Medina

Operation Medina was a search and destroy operation conducted from 11–20 October 1967 in the Hải Lăng Forest Reserve south of Quảng Trị, South Vietnam.

Operation Osceola

Operation Osceola was a security operation around the Quảng Trị Combat Base, Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam from 20 October 1967 to 16 February 1968.

Operation Prairie IV

Operation Prairie IV was an operation conducted by the United States Marine Corps in the area around Con Thien, South Vietnam known as Leatherneck Square from April 20, 1967 until May 17, 1967. During the course of the fighting Marine casualties were 164 killed 1,240 wounded while claiming the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) suffered 505 killed and 9 taken as prisoner of war.

Operation Seward

Operation Seward was an operation conducted by the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division in Phú Yên Province, lasting from 5 to 25 September 1966.

Operation Silver City

Operation Silver City was an operation conducted by the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Biên Hòa Province, lasting from 7 to 23 March 1966.

Operation Somerset Plain

Operation Somerset Plain was a joint military operation conducted by the United States and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in the A Sầu Valley from 4-20 August 1968.

Operation Thayer

Operation Thayer (13 September 1966 – 1 October 1966), Operation Irving (2 October 1966 – 24 October 1966) and Operation Thayer II (24 October 1966 – 11 February 1967) were related operations with the objective of eliminating communist People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and Viet Cong (VC) influence in Bình Định Province on the central coast of South Vietnam. The operations were carried out primarily by the United States 1st Cavalry Division against PAVN and Viet Cong regiments believed to be in Binh Dinh. South Korean and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces also took part in the operation.

The sustained operations were deemed a success by the United States, which claimed that more than 2,500 alleged PAVN/VC soldiers were thought to have been killed by American forces at a loss of about 300 American dead. Many areas under PAVN/VC influence were abandoned by the rural population as non-combatants fled the fighting or were forced by American and South Vietnamese forces to leave their homes. Though Operation Thayer was praised publicly, the US Military historian S.L.A. Marshall took a contrasting view privately, declaring that Operation Thayer was a "complete bust", that artillery was shooting at "clay pipes" and that the enemy was "either not there or so adroit and clever" as to completely avoid US search-and-destroy. The PAVN/VC were able to break up into smaller units and evade open-battle against an overwhelming air-land-sea deployment of US forces, and much like in Operation Masher which preceded it, they were able to return and contest the region once the operation had died down.

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