In November 1965 the Battle of Ia Drang in the central highlands of Vietnam was the first major battle between the United States Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN). The battle was the first time that US forces employed a large scale helicopter assault with Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers in a tactical support role.

The Americans relied on air mobility, artillery fire and close air support, while the PAVN neutralized that firepower by quickly engaging American forces at very close range.