Courage Under Fire

The 101st Airborne’s Hidden Battle at Tam Ky

LTC Ed Sherwood US Army (Ret)

The story of the young men of "Never Quit" Delta Company at the bloody but forgotten battle of Tam Ky, Vietnam, in 1969.
Date Published :
February 2021
Publisher :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009643
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The Battle of Hamburger Hill (Operation Apache Snow) fought by the storied 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade began on May 10, 1969. Five days later, 100 miles south, the 101st Airborne’s 1st Brigade began Operation Lamar Plain, a second, hard-fought battle near Tam Ky. On May 14, newly elected President Nixon announced the US no longer seeks a military solution in Vietnam. As Hamburger Hill’s high casualties became public, a political firestorm erupted. Still raging, the battle at Tam Ky and its high casualties were never disclosed.

Now almost forgotten, this is the untold story of the unheralded, courageous, young infantry soldiers of Delta Company and others who fought it. As casualties mount and leaders are lost, they live up to their unit motto, “Never Quit!” Fighting with their battalion under harsh, battlefield conditions, they persevere to victory in an unpopular war, with battle odds and a growing number in their nation against them.

About The Author

Ed Sherwood led an infantry platoon at Tam Ky in Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, fighting with the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division He was wounded in action on June 2, 1969. After Vietnam, he continued serving as an infantry officer with multiple assignments in the 3rd Armored Division in Germany, the US Army Infantry School, and the 197th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, GA. Ed retired from active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1988 due to medical reasons.


The Infantryman’s Creed

Introduction: Into the Fray

Part 1               Combat Operations Before Tam Ky, 1 March–15 May 1969    
Chapter 1         Hue and Beyond, 1 March–11 April
Chapter 2         The A Shau Valley, 12 April–15 May

Part 2               Initial Combat Operations at Tam Ky, 15 May–2 June 1969
Chapter 3         Arrival and First Combat Assault, 15–16 May
Chapter 4         Finding the Enemy, 17–20 May
Chapter 5         A Brutal Day-Long Engagement, 21 May
Chapter 6         Recovery and Review, 21–22 May
Chapter 7         Follow-on Operations, 23–30 May
Chapter 8         A Broken Cease Fire, 31 May
Chapter 9         Change of Command, 1–2 June

Part 3               The Decisive Battle at Tam Ky, 3–12 June 1969         
Chapter 10        Hill 376: The Final Challenge
Chapter 11        Combat Assault and First Contact, 3–4 June
Chapter 12        Trouble on the Hill, 5 June
Chapter 13        The Move to the Top, 6 June
Chapter 14        Nearing the Top, 7 June
Chapter 15        Unexpected Setbacks, 8 June
Chapter 16        Turning Point, 9 June
Chapter 17        Aftermath, 10 June
Chapter 18        Coming Off the Hill, 11 June
Chapter 19        Extraction, 12 June
Chapter 20        Final Thoughts on Hill 376 and Tam Ky
Epilogue           Looking Back Over 50 Years Later

Appendix 1 Operation Lamar Plain: A Hidden and Almost Forgotten Battle
Appendix 2       The Enemy at Tam Ky
Appendix 3       Organization for Combat at Tam Ky
Appendix 4       Delta Company Soldiers
Appendix 5       Delta Soldiers Killed in Action, 1 March–15 August 1969
Appendix 6       1-501st Medics Killed in Action, 1 March–15 August 1969           
Appendix 7       PTSD and Agent Orange
Appendix 8       Life After Vietnam
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations


"A fine bit of hidden history about the 101st Airborne's Battle at Tam Ky. I recommend it highly!”

- Joe Galloway, co-author with Hal Moore, "We Were Soldiers Once and Young", and co-author with Marvin J. Wolf of "They Were Soldiers"

"Those who fought, and especially those who died at Tam Ky, were never recognized - - until now!"

- Richard Kolb, editor and, contributing author of "Brutal Battles of Vietnam"

Courage Under Fire is a story that should have been told in 1969 but was not for a variety of political and military reasons. The brave soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division and other Vietnam veterans had a profound impact on my own military career that spanned from 1970-1996.   The Vietnam War changed the way the American people look at war, media, and politics. The Vietnam war changed the military for the better. Courage Under Fire tells the story of the courage and bravery of the Vietnam soldier in a compelling fashion fit for audiences of all generations;   As a retired Army Infantry officer, retired U.S. history teacher, and a proudly still serving veteran, I highly recommend Courage Under Fire.

- LTC (R) Dale Barnett, Former National Commander, The American Legion 2015-16.

"The National Infantry Association proudly recommends adding this book to your leadership reading list…Undaunted personal courage, the never quit attitude that enabled young soldiers to overcome miserable conditions, giving everything for your family – your team in combat, and charging into hell are the focus of Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ed Sherwood’s new book."

- Colonel (Retired) Robert E. Choppa, President of the National Infantry Association

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