In August 1966, led by the 2nd Brigade, the 4th Infantry Division’s (“Ivy Division”—a play on the Roman numeral IV) headquarters closed in on the central highlands of Vietnam. On September 25, 1966, the division began a combat assignment against the North Vietnamese that would not end until December 7, 1970.

Eleven additional battle streamers would be added to the 4th Infantry Division colors as the Ivy soldiers fought in places such as the Ia Drang Valley, Plei Trap Valley, Fire Base Gold, Dak To, the Oasis, Kontum, Pleiku, Ben Het, An Khe, and Cambodia. With the largest assigned area of operations of any division in Vietnam, the Ivy Division was charged with screening the border of South Vietnam as the first line of defense against infiltration down the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos and Cambodia, and to preempt any offensive on the more populated lowlands.

Triple-canopy jungles, extreme heat, and seasonal monsoons were constant challenges to the division, in addition to the North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong. By the time the Ivy Division completed their assignment in Vietnam and returned to Fort Carson, Colorado, at the end of 1970, some 2,497 Ivy soldiers had been killed and 15,229 had been wounded. Eleven Ivy Division soldiers earned the Medal of Honor during that period.

Courtesy of 4th Infantry Division

Watch below for a more in-depth look at the experiences of the 4th Division in Vietnam.

Featured photo courtesy of  Jack “Gordo” Aragon, May (1st/10th, B Troop, 4th Infantry Division)

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