Joe Galloway set the standard for today’s journalists. Whether he was reporting from Vietnam with General Hal Moore or the Persian Gulf with General Norman Schwarzkopf, or writing about the battles of today,  his work has been steeped in honesty and integrity. He remains the only civilian to receive a medal of valor from the U.S. Army, for heroism during the Vietnam War—the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device. In 1991, he received a National Magazine Award for his U.S. News & World Report cover story “Vietnam Story.” With General Hal Moore, he wrote the classics We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young and We are Soldiers Still. I met Joe a few years ago in Los Angeles. It was an honor—not a meeting to be forgotten.

SP: In last week’s Creative Process interview, I mentioned to General Hal Moore that many of the readers of this series are artists and entrepreneurs, waging personal battles to succeed in their individual fields. The military is often the last place they’d think to look to for advice on how to think creatively under fire. In a Digital Journalist article, you wrote:

“You cannot always remain a witness, above and removed from the story you are covering. There are some events which demand your participation. The battle of Landing Zone XRay was one such event in my life.”

In your decades of covering the military, you’ve seen people jump in within seconds, as you and medic Tommy Burlile did to try to save the life of Jimmy D. Nakayama. But in other instances, people pause.

Galloway aboard a U.S. Marine H-34 helicopter enroute to an operation in I Corps, in early 1966.

What is it within you that’s always made you jump in—from putting your own life on the line while trying to save the life of another, to being “there” to get the story that needed telling? What’s kept you from pausing? Aside from the rights and wrongs of the different situations, what inside you has made you jump?

JG: You ask me to analyze what has always made me jump when others might pause. Tough question. I’ve always been competitive and 22 years at United Press International (UPI), the now defunct news wire service, only sharpened that edge. UPI’s motto was always: A Deadline Every Minute. You learned to move fast, get the story fast and first, write fast and leave The Associated Press in the dirt.

When I went to Vietnam to cover the war in the spring of 1965 I had just turned 23 years old. I spent my first seven months covering the U.S. Marines. The learning curve is steep in combat. You learn to read a situation, or a man, instantly and if you are wrong it can cost you your life.

At the core, down deep, is a willingness to act on instinct when the situation leaves no time for chewing things over or searching the memory for a textbook solution. I trust my instincts. They are the sum total of all I know, all I have read, all I have experienced, all I have learned. Instinct has served me well all my life. It has permitted me to jump when others might not, and survive to tell the stories.

Galloway preparing to depart with a convoy of 172nd Stryker Brigade in Mosul area in January 2006. This was his last combat tour.

SP: Why did you choose to cover the military? You were still a teen when you started out as a journalist, and just into your 20s when you asked to go to Vietnam. Many of us struggle with our careers well into adulthood. What made you so sure at such a young age? And how prepared were you when you jumped out of Bruce Crandall’s helicopter November 14, 1965?

JG: I was fairly certain by 1963 that Vietnam was about to become an American war, my generation’s war, and I wanted to report on that war. In my youth I had read a collection of Ernie Pyle’s World War II columns and I knew that if I became a reporter, and my generation had its war I wanted to cover that war like Ernie Pyle covered his war—from as far forward as possible.

I had my first taste of reporting on my high school newspaper, and quit college after six weeks. I was 17 and on my way to the recruiting office to join the Army, dragging my mother along to sign the papers because I was so young. We drove past the daily newspaper, The Victoria Advocate, just two or three blocks short of the Courthouse and the recruiters,  and my mom asked: “What about your journalism, Joe?” I told her to stop the car, walked in and asked the managing editor for a job. He hired me on the spot. I loved everything about the life and never looked back.

As for how prepared I was when I jumped off the Huey on November 14, 1965, I believed I could handle whatever was thrown at me. Everyone I had marched with for the previous seven months had seen to that. I carried all I needed on my back—poncho and poncho liner, a change of underwear and socks, four canteens full of water, some instant coffee packs, two Nikon F cameras, four lenses, black and white and color film, notebooks, an M16 rifle and 20 loaded magazines, a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson .38 special belt gun and a box of ammo, and two books—Bernard Fall’s Street Without Joy and T.R. Fehrenbach’s This Kind of War.

I had earlier flown over the LZ XRAY battlefield in Col. Tim Brown’s command helicopter and had seen just how intensely the battle was raging below. I knew what was waiting for me there: the major battle I had been searching for the past seven months. I had turned 24 the day before; I was young and thought I was immortal, if not bulletproof. I knew I was the only reporter getting in to cover this fight; I knew I had left Peter Arnett of The Associated Press, my competition, miles behind and was about to give him the biggest ass-kicking of his career. I was ready and happy to be on that helicopter.

SP: In a Ia Drang panel, you discussed meeting General Hal Moore, and how you ended up on that helicopter in:

“I spotted and recognized Hal Moore’s S3, his operations officer, Matt Dillon, and I grabbed him and I said ‘Matt, I need to get in there.’ And he said ‘Joe, I’m going in as soon as it is dark, with a couple of helicopters full of ammo and water, but I can’t take you without Col. Moore’s say so.’

“And I said ‘Well, get him on the radio.’ And I followed him and we went into a little GP medium tent, which was the battalion rear, and he got on the radio, and in the middle of the fight, he’s talking to the colonel and he’s telling him, I’m coming in and here’s whose coming, and here’s what I’m bringing and he said, ‘Oh, by the way, that reporter Galloway wants to come in too.’ And Hal Moore, God bless him, said ‘If he’s crazy enough to want to come in here, and you’ve got room, bring him along.'”

Galloway on the morning of the ceasefire in the Persian Gulf War, with the 24th Infantry Division (Mech), in an onion field outside Basra, Iraq.

Since then, you’ve continued to cover America’s battles abroad. How has the media/military relationship changed and/or stayed the same? How did you adapt through the years, to continue to “get the story?”

JG: Relations between the military and the media have always been difficult, if not openly adversarial. In more than four decades of covering wars and our military I’ve come to see relations between the two institutions as resembling the pendulum on an old clock, moving very slowly back and forth between good and bad, warm and ice cold. One thing which has changed is the level of control the military exerts on the media. Vietnam was the most openly covered war in our history. There was no censorship and only the most rudimentary of rules. You turned up in Saigon with a letter from some publication and in a day or two you had your U.S. and South Vietnamese military press cards. You were required to sign a single sheet of paper with five or six very basic “operational security” rules you agreed to follow: I will not report troop movements while they are still underway. I will not report the actual number of friendly casualties in a battle while the battle is still underway. In eight years of the American war in Vietnam, 1965–1973, I believe only six or seven correspondents ever had their credentials revoked for violation of those rules.

The next big operation was Grenada and that little war took place without a single reporter or photographer on the ground with the American forces. When the media threatened to hire boats and come anyway, the admiral commanding responded: If they do sink them! This was a modern low point in the struggle, matched in history only by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s threat to hang any reporter he found in his area of operations as an enemy spy.

This led to creation of a ready reaction media pool of a hand full of press subject to activation and movement by the Pentagon in a few hours time. The pool was activated for the Panama invasion, flown to the scene and then was locked up in a hangar on an air base and kept there until the mini-war was over.

The Persian Gulf War saw more than 1,000 news people turn up in Saudi Arabia to cover the impending action at a time when the military was planning to create ten pools of ten media people each, just 100 war correspondents to cover three-quarters of a million allied troops on land, air and sea. Each of the pools would have its own official minder, usually a colonel, who had the authority to censor pool reports. At the last minute the number of pools was increased to a total of 15; the number of press people to 150.

That didn’t work very well at all for either side. The media was largely shut out of covering combat. The system for collecting pool reports and film was a single officer who made a daily run by humvee some 200 miles along a road on the Saudi-Kuwait-Iraq border and then hitched a ride on a plane bound for Dharan and the media headquarters in the International Hotel. Between the outright censorship and delayed reports, the U.S. Army high command awoke to find it had virtually no tape or photographs of the tank battles in Kuwait and Iraq.

The pendulum began to swing back toward better relations as a consequence. With planning for the first U.S. troops entering Bosnia, the terms “embed” and  “embedded reporter” were first heard—and the Army was now welcoming media who were willing to join a unit being deployed for a long stay, several weeks instead of a day or two.

By the time of the invasion of Iraq in early 2003, embedding journalists with military units was in full flower—more than 730 media would go to war alongside the troops. But to qualify, they were required to sign a 36-page, single-spaced, double-sided document that spelled out what they could and could not do on pain of being expelled from their unit and from the war.

Galloway speaking to Army Reserve officers in San Diego, with a shot of the young war reporter over his shoulder. The picture was taken summer 1965, in Danang, by Steve Northup.

As for me, I was viewed and treated differently by the military, even when they were really pissed at the press. I had almost literally grown up with soldiers and Marines. I liked them and treated them fairly and dealt with them honestly, and I was waved through gates that were closed to others in my profession. Along the way my co-author and best friend, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, and I gave literally hundreds of speeches at the military academies, war colleges, staff colleges, captain’s courses. Thousands of officers heard those talks and, through them, got to know us.

Whenever I went on military operations, whether the Haiti incursion or two recent tours in Iraq, there were always friends there among the senior NCOs and officers at all levels.

SP: I’ve done a lot of research for my own writing in the past, but I’ve never had to face people who were, years earlier, killing those around me. In the Digital Journalist article mentioned above, you wrote:

“On the 1993 documentary trip Hal Moore and I and half a dozen other American veterans of the battle went back to XRAY and ALBANY in company with half a dozen North Vietnamese generals and colonels who had fought against us there. Together we walked those old battlefields and agreed that those events of November, 1965, had been pivotal in all our lives. We have broken bread with them in their homes in Hanoi. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t lived it, but in a strange sort of way we are blood brothers. There is no hatred; only a shared relief that at least some of us survived to carry the memories of those who died, and bear witness to the horror of this war and all wars.”

How did you feel going back into Vietnam to meet with North Vietnamese leaders, while researching We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young? When you were researching, did you find that how you remembered things, weren’t so? Or did many of you remember the same thing?

JG: On our first trip to Hanoi in 1990 researching the book, Hal and I talked about how we might be received on the long flight across the Pacific. We hoped to meet and interview men we had fought; men who did their best to kill us, as we did them. We were flying to the enemy capital which our country had bombed. We had no idea how we would be received, and so we were a bit nervous. But on that trip, and subsequent trips in 1991 and 1993, we were always warmly received both by civilian officials and the military men we met, from Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap to Maj. Hao, who was one of our minders on the trip to LZ XRAY and ALBANY.

Both we and they were full of questions about those three days in November 1965. The answers at times surprised the questioners, again on both sides. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Hu An, Gen. Moore’s opposite number in command on the battlefield at XRAY, was genuinely surprised to learn that Moore was not in command at LZ ALBANY and that it was not Moore’s 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry but a sister battalion, 2nd Battalion 7th Cavalry, which his troops ambushed at LZ ALBANY, on November 17, with such deadly effect.

In our interviews of the American veterans of the Ia Drang battles, we found that the individual soldier’s recollection of what happened in that small slice of territory around his foxhole or position was near letter perfect. Hal and I had determined from the beginning that we would do our best to get the soldier’s-eye view of our battle. Conventional wisdom holds that an Infantryman only sees a tiny slice of a battle—maybe ten yards either side and 20 yards in front of his foxhole. That’s true, but if you can get the story of each soldier, foxhole to foxhole, around the entire perimeter, you will get the true story of that battle. And each soldier’s story and memory can be checked against what the guy in the next foxhole saw and remembers.

SP: General Barry McCaffrey said:

“Joe Galloway has more time in combat, under fire, than anyone wearing a uniform today. He rode along on the 24th Division’s tank charge through 250 miles of the western Iraq desert in the Persian Gulf War, and did a splendid job of telling the story.”

You’ve covered battle after battle since Vietnam, putting your own feet on the ground. In the past few years, you’ve criticized the leadership behind our current battles. When you don’t agree with a war on a personal level, how do you cover it with an even hand, as a journalist? In your column following the death of Robert McNamara, you wrote:

“Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McNamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: “I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process.” Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme—when they were not bald-faced lies.

“Upon hanging up I would call Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam and run McNamara’s comments past them for deconstruction and the addition of the truth.

“The only disagreement I ever had with Dave Halberstam was over the question of which of us hated him the most. In retrospect, it was Halberstam.

“When McNamara published his first book—filled with those distortions of history—Halberstam, at his own expense, set out on a journey following McNamara on his book tour around America as a one-man truth squad.

“McNamara abandoned the tour.”

Before you started writing your opinion column, how did you keep your personal opinions out of your reports? How did you keep it even?

JG: I never had a problem separating my personal opinions from the news stories I was writing. I grew up working for UPI, a worldwide news agency. There was never any room for personal opinions in a UPI news story. Never. I spent 22 years with UPI, and my next employer for almost 20 years was U.S. News & World Report magazine. The editors at U.S. News, at least during the first part of my time there, believed strongly in presenting the facts and letting your reader make up his own mind about the issue at hand. The top editor at Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau was Clark Hoyt, who had a well deserved reputation as one of the straightest shooters in the business. He even kept some of my angriest opinions out of my opinion column, counseling me to always keep an even keel and bring the reader along by presenting the facts in a clear, concise way.

SP: You’ve been a leader within the journalism and military community, and you’ve known legendary leaders in the military community as they’ve risen—such as General Norman Schwarzkopf, whom you met in Vietnam, and then went on to cover, and embed with during Desert Storm. Most recently, General McChrystal has been in the news, with people questioning his leadership skills. What’s your advice to our next generation of leaders, both civilian and military? What is it that has worked for you and for others?

JG: Whether you are leading an Army, a battalion, a platoon, a Fortune 100 corporation, or a one-man band, the principles and ethics of leadership are fairly simple and straight-forward. It is following them consistently, year after year, for a lifetime that is somehow difficult.

I’ve been fortunate to see some great military commanders at work, close hand, and while all of them keep a flexibility of mind that allows for changing situations, those leaders hew to the same high personal standards with little visible change over the decades.

By this I speak specifically of Generals Hal Moore, Norm Schwarzkopf, Sam V. Wilson and Barry McCaffrey, all of whom I count as personal friends, comrades-in-arms and mentors. I would trust any of them with my life, and have done just that many times over the years.

What are some of the traits these leaders share?

They speak the truth to those they lead—calmly, clearly and consistently—and they expect to hear the truth in return.

They lead by example, asking no man to do something they would not do themselves, have not done themselves many times before.

They push the power down but follow up to make sure the job is getting done right. They also push the rewards and acclaim down to those who did the job. They are aware that, while the power can be pushed down, the responsibility always rests with them.

They praise their people publicly; offer criticism or corrections in private. They respect the dignity of those who work with and for them.

They are leaders who believe that studying, learning, reading does not end at the exit door of the last school they attended. They know that this is a life’s work and never ends. My friend Hal Moore, now 88, spends most of his waking hours with stacks of newspapers on one hand, and stacks of books on the other, working his way through them diligently.

They have all lived long enough to see both our country and the world change greatly, and not always for the better. None of them are afraid to speak up, from retirement, when asked for their opinion of some of these changes. None of them were afraid, when serving, of engaging with the media, one-on-one or in large groups.

None of them had or has a political bone in their bodies. Not one of them, in retirement, ever sought elected office. Not one of them, in uniform, ever spoke ill in public or in private of the elected political leaders. Not one ever challenged the ideas of civilian control of the military power delineated by our founding fathers.

All of them are men of action who know first-hand the horrors of war and the sacrifices that military service demands. They know that the deadliest work is done at platoon and company level, by young lieutenants and captains, and that if there is any disagreement between what they report and what the bean-counters in the rear believe, they give the benefit of any doubt to those who are doing the work.

All of them have strived, all their lives, to be men of character whose moral standards are the highest. Three are West Pointers whose belief in that unique school’s code—I will not lie, steal, cheat or quibble, or tolerate those who do—is as constant as their belief in Duty, Honor, Country. They know these things are inseparable and good, easily read guideposts to their personal conduct. The fourth, Gen. Wilson, graduated from a different school—at 17 he was a lieutenant leading the scout platoon of Merrill’s Marauders in Burma—but one whose standards were every bit as high as those at West Point. Wilson went into Burma with 2,000 fellow Americans; he was one of 200 who came out on their own feet.

I am proud of all of them and hope that our nation shares some of that pride. These are surely times that cry out for good leaders. Such men and women can be found in all walks of life, but we must learn to hold them to the high standards demanded by perilous times. The price of failure to meet the challenges of good leadership today will be paid by our children and grandchildren.


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  1. R. hampton on July 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Joe Galloway is a true and enduring icon within journalistic history. He set the standard….

    • Loyd Hughes SGM {ret.} on August 20, 2019 at 10:12 am

      would like to contact Joe Galloway t0 sign His book we were soldiers once and young. Which has already been signed by Hal Moore and Basil Plumley. Thank you.

  2. Erica Stuart on July 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Why the Military? When nothing makes sense any more, you go looking for reality and simple facts. But what you find is what sent you there in the first place—“why?”

  3. Ramon (Tony) Nadal on July 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I’ve known Joe since the battle of LZ-XRay where I commanded an Infantry company. He has always been a reporter who told the truth without personal biases and whom one could trust. That is not always the case. He also understood the life of the rifleman. I am glad to see that, in todays world it appears that several young reporters have picked up his mantle.

  4. Steve Hansen on July 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I was with Hal Moore, Tony Nadal and Joe Galloway at XRay. Joe has been my friend ever since. He is every soldiers friend.

  5. Matt Dillon on July 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Joe has been my friend for over forty years, he has never let the soldier down. God Bless Him.
    Matt Dillon

  6. bill beck on July 3, 2010 at 6:29 am

    The first time I met Joe was on the third day of battle at Lz X-Ray. I thought, who is this guy and what the hell is he doing taking pictures? Thank God he was there to capture history. He has been our friend and brother since.

  7. Joe Galloway on July 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    These are the friends of a lifetime, brothers really, of a family created on a battlefield. I care far more about their approval than any other. We shared the risk of imminent death in the beginning, and have shared all the good and bad times since.
    Thanks Bill, Matt, Tony, Steve.

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  13. Brian L. Galloway on January 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I am a former history teacher who just watched the film (Mel Gibson) with wife and college age daughters. I then googled “Joe Galloway” to learn of the background of a great photographer, that sets a solid example for you g journalists. I especially am thankful to read his characterization of leadership traits, and will share them with my son Connor.

  14. Loyd Hughes SGM {ret.} on August 20, 2019 at 10:13 am

    would like to contact Joe Galloway t0 sign His book we were soldiers once and young. Which has already been signed by Hal Moore and Basil Plumley. Thank you.

  15. Fredro on September 20, 2019 at 3:13 am

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  17. Russell L. Ross on March 15, 2020 at 3:10 pm


    Name: Russell L. RossEmail: [email protected]: from Hal Moore A Soldier ……Once and Always by MIKE GUARDIA page 171-172Joe Lee Galloway “I speak for the Vietnam Veteran.”BUT, JOE LEE GALLOWAY’S TRUE FEELING ABOUT THE VIETNAM VETERAN.” Damed if I’d want to go for a walk in the sun with them.””Black GI’s going thru long involved black power identification rituals.””THE REST ARE JUST COMMITTING SUICIDE.”Here dead we lieBecause we did not chooseTo live and shame the landfrom which we sprungLife to be sureJoe Lee Galloway”Once we fought this war well, NOW WE FIGHT IT POORLY.”from Hal Moore A Soldier ……Once and Always by MIKE GUARDIA page 171-172Joseph Lee Galloway’s original story of Landing Zone X-RAY Nov,14-16, 1965Twenty JAMESTOWN ( N.Y. ) POST- JOURNAL- Wednesday Evening,November 17,1965WOUNDED SOLDIER LOSES HALF HIS PLATOON IN BITTER CHU PONG FRAYBy JOSEPH GALLOWAYChu Pong Mountain, South Viet Nam ( UPI )—- The soldiers eyes were red from loss of sleep, and maybe a bitfrom crying too, now that it was all over.A three-day growth of beard stubbled his cheeks. But was hard to see because of the dirt. He was hurt, in terriblepain, but you’d never know it. Slivers of shrapnel had ripped his chest and spared his leg.He sat on the landing zone below the Chu Pong mountain where more Americans had died than ever before ina battle against Communists in a war over Viet Nam. He had gone through hell — three days of it— and still abit dazed, more from lack of sleep then his wounds, though. When I walked up to him, he spoke, But not to mein particular, nor to the other guys sitting around sipping the first hot cup of coffee they had since the fightbegan.Loses a Friend” I took care of 14 of ’em myself,” He said. “They were tough little bastards. You had to shoot them to piecesbefore they quit coming . . . just rip them apart.”I squatted on my heels waiting for him to say more, But he didn’t. Somebody told me he had lost half of hisplatoon, including a friend he had served with for more than eight years. “What is his name?” I ask.” It’s not important,” the sergeant slouching nearby said. “He’s just one of us and he did a damn good job.” Everyone did a damn good job. And nobody knew it better than Gen. Knowles, task force commander anddeputy commander of the 1st Air Cavalry.”These men were just great,” he told me. “They were absolutely tremendous. I’ve never seen a better jobanywhere, anytime,”Back From BattleMonday another American soldier walked out of the jungle into the valley of death. Bullets whizzed over hishead and kicked up dirt at his feet.” Get down you fool!” We shouted.The GI kept walking, He carried no weapon, He walked straight and tall.A mortar shell exploded nearby, He didn’t waver, Shrapnel chopped off branches above my head. But theAmerican out there in the open came on until he was within a few feet of the battalion command bunker. Helooked funny, dazed.Then we knew, he was shell shocked. He paused for a moment and looked around. He recognized the aidstation set up under the trees and walked toward it.Just as the soldier reached the station he slumped to his knees, then pitched forward on his face, That is whenwe saw his back for the first time.It wasn’t pretty, It had been blown open by a communist mortar.Medics were unable to reach the soldier because of the almost solid wall of communist bullets and jagged steelfragments coming from the jungle. So he walked out, The bullets and mortar did not bother him anymore, Hehad his.Veterans CriedThe men of the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry fought like heroes. They died the same way, Some took their woundswithout a whimper. Seasoned Veterans cried.Col. Hal Moore of Bardstown, Ky., the commanding officer of the 7th Battalion, 1st cavalry, Came over to me,tears streaming down his face, His men were catching from the slopes of this mountain range less than fivemiles from the Cambodian border.I’m kind of emotional about this, so excuse me,” Moore said to me. “But I want you to tell the American peoplethat these men are fighters.”Look at them.”Moore pointed to a Negro soldier lying in the shade of a tree. A Communist bullet had torn a huge hole in hisstomach. The soldier had his hands over the wound. You could see him bite his lip. He was in terrific pain, Buthe made no whimper as he waited for a medical helicopter.” Look at them,” Moore said again. ” They’re great and the American people ought to know it.”WAR “ACCIDENT”It was shortly after 8:30 a.m. Monday when one of those terrible accidents of war happened.I was sitting in the command bunker, A mound of dirt screening us from the communist snipers, looking at thewounded in the aid station just a few yards away.Suddenly, I felt a searing heat on my face.An American fighter-bomber had misjudged the Communist positions, and dropped a load of napalm. Theflaming jelly gasoline, impossible to shake or scrape off once it hits skin, splashed along the ground in a hugedragon’s tail of fire less then 25 yards away.Screams penetrated the roar of the flames. two Americans stumbled out of the inferno. Their hair burned off inan instant. their clothes were incinerated.” Good God!” Moore cried. Another plane was making a run over the same area. The colonel grabbed a radio.” You’re dropping napalm on us!” he shouted. ” Stop those damn planes.”At almost the last second, the second plane pulled up and away, its napalm tanks still hanging from the wings.It was an hour before a medical helicopter could get into the area and tend to the two burned men. One GI wasa huge mass of blisters, the other not quite so bad. Somehow his legs had escaped the flames. But he hadbreathed fire into his lungs and he wheezed for air.A MEDIC ASK ME TO HELP GET THE MEN INTO THE HELICOPTER WHEN IT ARRIVED. THERE WERENO LITTERS. TENDERLY, WE PICKED THE SOLDIERS UP. I HELD A LEG OF THE MOST SERIOUSLYBURNED MAN. I WASN’T TENDER ENOUGH. A BIG PATCH OF BURNED SKIN CAME OFF IN MY HAND.VC BATTALIONSChu Pong Mountain rises 2,500 feet from the valley below. From the top, you could almost lob a mortar shellinto Cambodia. The mountain slope were heavily jungled. And they hid at least two battalions of NorthVietnamese Army regulars—- possibly the same troops who pinned down two companies of air cavalrymen notfar away about a week ago.The cavalry were looking for them, spoiling for a fight. They found the Communist Monday and dropped byhelicopter into a small landing zone about the size of a football field at the base of the mountain on the valleyfloor.One platoon got about 300 yards up the mountain before the Communist opened up. From Behind, cut it offand fired on the main cavalry force from three sides with small arms, heavy machine-guns, and mortars.Time and again, the cavalrymen tried to move in and help the platoon’ pull back, It was futile. The fire was toheavy. The platoon spent the night on the mountainside. Their losses were heavy, but the damage to theCommunist was said to be heavier.”We got 70 communist bodies stacked up in front of our positions,” the platoon leader radioed back Monday.Men DyingIt was shortly before noon Sunday when the cavalrymen swept down in the area about 12 miles west of Pleiku.Ever since the nine day battle around the Special Forces camp at Plei Me, the cavalrymen have beensweeping the jungles and running into sporadic contact with hard-core Communist units.Brig. Gen. Richard Knowles, deputy commander of the air cavalry division, OFFERED ME A RIDE IN HISHELICOPTER.WE CIRCLED OVER THE BATTLE GROUND. Air strikes went in below us. An American A1E skyraider was hiton a low- level bombing run, and the pilot had no chance to bail out. The plane crashed and exploded in acluster of trees.Men are dying down there, but they are doing their job. “This is good,” Knowles said.” This is what we came for.We’ve got a U.S. battalion well -equipped down there.”Many DeadI got my chance to join the men on the ground about 8 P.M. I went with a helicopter loaded with supplies andammunition.we were level with the middle of the mountain and in the darkness we could see the muzzle flashes of riflesand machine-gun spitting bullets at us. I said a prayer.Sgt.Maj. Basil Plumley of Columbus, Ga., met us at the landing zone, and led me back to Co. Moore’scommand bunker.” Watch your step,” Plumley said, ” There were dead people, all over here.” They were dead Americans many wrapped in ponchos.At Day break Monday, Medical helicopters began landing and taking off again with the wounded. A detail wasassigned the job of collecting weapons and ammunition from the wounded before the were evacuated.Joe Lee Galloway “I speak for the Vietnam Veteran.”Joe Lee Galloway ” THIS WAR WE CAN’T WIN” March 1965 with the Marines ,I was(disabused )of that notion pretty early on with the( Marines.)disabuse = Free from Error, Fallacy or Misconception.JOE LEE GALLOWAY two faced.You thought that, but couldn’t say it in your reporting?Joe Lee Galloway ” This war we can’t win.”worked for UPI. We were not paid to have an opinion and if we did we were to keep it to ourselves.I And for me, there was the other thing. I thought, “ This war we can’t win.” with Joe Galloway: Soldier’s Reporter Speaks His MindBY VIETNAM MAGAZINE 4/18/2011 • VIETNAM FIRST PERSON, VIETNAM WAR

  18. Russell L Ross on March 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Joe Lee Galloway did not rescue Jimmy D. Nakayama or James Clark, they walked to the aid station under their own power, aided by other troops.
    Joe Lee Galloway did load two troops on the Huey when he was ask to help by a Medic.
    Joe Lee Galloway “I would later learn his name was Jimmy D. Nakayama.”
    in some of Joe Lee Galloway’s stories, he would write that Cathy was Jimmy’s wife, when her name was Trudy.

    FALSE;I pulled him up his boots crumbled and the skin over his ankle bones sloughed off. I could

    feel those bones in the palms of my hands. [The soldier, Jim Nakayama, died two days

    later.] For years I was haunted.

    “For years, I was haunted.”
    Joe Galloway, UPI Reporter, Vietnam: The War That Changed Everything

    “A U.S. Air Force plane dropped two cans of napalm on us.

    I felt the fire on my face immediately. I looked and there were two guys dancing in the fire, screaming.

    FICTION: I don’t know what got into me, but I ran into the fire.

    I grabbed the feet of this kid, and as I pulled him up his boots crumbled and the skin over

    his ankle bones sloughed off.

    I could feel those bones in the palms of my hands.

    [The soldier, Jim Nakayama, died two days later.] For years I was haunted. How can I explain it to somebody who hasn’t been there? You live with it. You carry so many ghosts. I thought for a while they’d drive me crazy.”

    — UPI war reporter Joe Galloway witnessed the four-day Battle of Ia Drang in November 1965. Galloway was awarded a Bronze Star for valor as a civilian. He’s also the coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once … and Young.

    The Troops who did help Jimmy D. Nakayama and James Clark, Not Joe Lee Galloway!

    Arturo Villarreal · Sidney Lanier High School
    Sp4 James Clark was not given any morphine by the medics. He came running towards my foxhole with

    his clothes on fire. I helped putting the fire out and I just gave him some saline solution. I took him to the

    CP and ask the doctor to give him something for the terrible pain, but the doctor told that they didn’t have

    anything to give him and he just told me to just keep giving him the saline solution.

    ++After some time pass, some helicopters landed and I put him aboard one of them.
    Nov. 14-18, 1965< this would be LZ X-Ray's battle
    Robert Saucedo should have been leaving the war. Instead, he was riding in the 16th helicopter in a formation high above the jungle on its way to the Ia Drang Valley.
    Jimmy Nakayma died in flight,3 degree burns no other injuries. ie Crushed ankle.

    "On the second day, they dropped a couple of napalms in the (landing zone), and a couple of guys bringing in choppers – the engineers – they got burned," he said with eyes distant.
    ++"They ran to our foxholes. We treated them for burns."

    ++"We treated him for burns. His face was on fire. His weapon was on fire," he said. "It was bad."

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