101 airborne combat patch
ALPHA ORIGINALS
2nd Brigade
Vietnam 1967 - 1968
20 – 26 January 1968

2nd Brigade Task Force of the 101st Airborne Division, usually consisted of:  

HQ and HQ CO, 2d Bde  
1-501 Abn Inf Bn  
2-501 Abn Inf Bn  
1-502 Abn Inf Bn  
1-321 Abn FA Bn 2d Plat,  
A Btry 1-11 FA Bn, 2nd Plat  
C Co, 326 Engr Bn  
B Co, 326 Med Bn  
2d FASC Plat,
501 Sig Bn  2d Plat,
101 MP Co  
Team, 101 MI Co
265 Radio Research Co  
34th Photo Interpretation Team  
Support Units, 101 Div Spt Cmd  
2d Plat, A Co, 801 Maint Co  

...had been in its base camp near Cu Chi, west of Saigon, for about a month.  

Arriving in mid-December by airlift from Fort Campbell, KY, its battalions had been conducting
“in country orientation and training” operations in areas near its base camp, where there was a fair
amount of enemy but not much in the way of results considering the casualties we suffered. The
battalions had completed Operation Normandy, which consisted of “search and destroy”
operations run by brigade from its Cu Chi command post.  

Orders from division had then sent the 2d Bde TF to operate under division control in
mechanized/airborne infantry operations with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Michelin
rubber plantation near An Loc to the north. After four days beating the bushes with little contact,
on 22 January we learned that General Westmoreland had ordered the brigade task force to move
hundreds of miles north to come under the operational control of the 1st Cavalry Division.  
That morning, while part of the 1/501 was helicopter-borne in a combat assault, we were told to
cancel that operation and to assemble the entire 1/501 at Cu Chi, to move by C-130 aircraft the
next day from its airstrip and that the rest of the brigade would follow.  

The brigade journal, 23 January: “1-501 Inf and A-1-321 departed Cu Chi with all essential
fighting equipment for Phu Bai, RVN, as the initial element of the 2d Brigade… A total of 21 C-
130 sorties lifted 806 personnel, 51 vehicles, and 7 equipment pallets… The first chalk departed
0835 hours and the last chalk departed 1916 hours. Rear detachment of 1-321 Arty and
communications for the Bde HHC will depart Cu Chi on 24 January for Phu Bai.”  

At 0733 on the morning of 26 January, with the brigade tactical command post, I left Cu Chi. The
1st Cavalry Division had decided that the 1/502, our last battalion to depart Cu Chi, with an
artillery battery would fly directly to Quang Tri where it would be opcon to the Cav’s 1st Brigade.
By the evening of the 26th the bulk of the 2d Brigade task force that was scheduled for Phu Bai
had arrived, and the 1/502 would close into Quang Tri on 27 January.  

From the brigade situation report of 1500 January 26, to the CG, 101st Airborne Division: “2d
Bde Tac CP group arrived Hue approximately 261000 Jan. CO and party moved to 1st Air Cav
Div CP. CO reported to CG, 1 ACD, at 261130 Jan. 2d Bde CP opened at 1200. J H Cushman,
Col. Inf, Commanding. (By LTG (then COL) John H. Cushman)  

The adventures of the Second Brigade Task Force were about to begin.