First Boots on the Ground by William S. Phillips
November 14, 1965, Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam—Amidst the low brush,
elephant grass and enormous sun-baked termite mounds, clouds of
dust lazily drift away from the clearing nicknamed LZ (Landing Zone)
X-Ray. In preparation for an air assault by troops from the 1st
Battalion, 7th Cavalry, United States artillery has been relentlessly
pounding away at the perimeter of the LZ.
At 10:48 the helicopter touches down, and Lt. Col. Moore, Sgt.
Major Plumley, Capt. Metsker, Bob Ouellette, Al Bosse and Vietnamese
translator Mr. Nik become the first boots on the ground at Ia Drang.
Helicopter pilots Bruce Crandall and Ed Freeman would go on to
receive the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle of
Ia Drang, a battle which would go down in history as one of the
most intense of the Vietnam War. This three-day struggle would later
be documented in the best-selling book We Were Soldiers Once…and
Young by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore (Ret.) and Joseph Galloway. William
S. Phillips compellingly depicts the chaos of LZ X-Ray in First
Boots on the Ground.
The limited edition paper and canvas print is
countersigned by Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, (Ret.), Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall
(Ret.), (MOH), Command Master Sgt. Basil Plumley, (Ret.), Bob Ouellette
and Al Bosse.