RIP Hal Moore, commander battle of Ia Drang
Retired Lt. Gen. Harold G. "Hal" Moore, the American hero known for saving most of his men in the first major battle between the U.S. and North Vietnamese armies, has died. He was 94.
Joseph Galloway, who with Moore co-authored the book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," confirmed Saturday to The Associated Press that Moore died late Friday in his sleep at his home in Auburn, Alabama.
LTC Hal Moore, Commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, on the radio during the fight for LZ X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam. Photo extracted from US Army motion picture footage. (Nov 1965)"
Galloway said Moore, his friend of 51 years, died two days shy of his 95th birthday.
"There's something missing on this earth now. We've lost a great warrior, a great soldier, a great human being and my best friend. They don't make them like him anymore," Galloway said.
Moore was best known for his actions at the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, where he was a lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. His actions were later reflected in the movie "We Were Soldiers" in which actor Mel Gibson portrayed Moore. The book tells what happened to virtually every trooper involved in the 34-day campaign and the climactic four-day battle in which 234 Americans died at landing zones X-Ray and Albany in November 1965.
Galloway, a former war correspondent for United Press International, said Moore was "without question, one of the finest commanders I ever saw in action."
"Those of us who survived Landing Zone X-Ray survived because of his brilliance of command. I think every one of us thought we were going to die at that place except Hal Moore. He was certain we were going to win that fight and he was right," Galloway recalled.
Some great videos out there of the battle and of Hal Moore, if you get a chance, watch all of them: