24 May 1969: Senior US officers say the strategic location of Hill 937 – ‘Hamburger Hill’ – justified the frontal assault but paratroopers are not convinced
From Leonard Santorelli, Hamburger Hill (South Vietnam), May 23
“Hamburger Hill, was it worth it?” read a scrawled notice stuck with a bayonet to a charred tree stump on this remote north western peak overlooking Laos. Nearby lay a huge pile of discarded helmets, bullet-proof jackets, and blood-soaked rucksacks which belonged to the 55 Americans who died or the 300 who were wounded in repeated ground assaults up the steep slopes.
Senior US officers speak of the strategic location of the 3,074-ft. mountain, and to the 619 North Vietnamese they say were killed defending it, and say “Of course, it was worth it.” But the young US paratroopers who hurled themselves against fierce machine-gun and rocket grenade fire for a week before seizing the hill are not convinced.