Soldier of the 2nd Platoon, Company “D”, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 9 March 1968 Vietnam.
Operation Jeb Stuart was a U.S. Army operation during the Vietnam War that took place in Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên Provinces from 21 January to 31 March 1968. The original operation plan to attack People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) base areas was disrupted by the Tet Offensive and instead it saw the U.S. Army units fighting in the Battle of Quang Tri and the Battle of Huế.
Operation Jeb Stuart was part of Operation Checkers, to increase the number of manoeveure battalions in I Corps in order to support the besieged Marines at Khe Sanh Combat Base and defeat any other PAVN attack across the DMZ.
On 21 January, COMUSMACV General William Westmoreland ordered General John J. Tolson to move the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division from Landing Zone El Paso to Quảng Trị City in order to relieve the 3rd Marine Regiment and to move the 3rd Brigade from the Quế Sơn Valley to Camp Evans, to relieve the 1st Marine Regiment. To replace the 2nd Brigade which was involved in Operation Pershing, Tolson was also given operational control of the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, which flew into Phu Bai Combat Base from III Corps. When all three brigades were deployed Westmoreland instructed Tolson to commence Operation Jeb Stuart with the goal of locating and destroying PAVN units operating in Base Areas 101 and 114 to the west of Quảng Trị City and Huế.
Men of the Division deplane at Phu Bai during the unit’s movement to Camp Evans, 22 January 1968
On 22 January the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division commanded by Colonel Donald V. Rattan began deploying by helicopter to Quảng Trị, establishing its headquarters at Landing Zone Betty (16.718°N 107.194°E) two kilometers south of Quảng Trị, with the bulk of its force at LZ Sharon, another kilometer south, in order to launch attacks on Base Area 101 roughly 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) to the southwest.: 273
On 23 January, the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, commanded by Col. John H. Cushman, began arriving at Landing Zone El Paso, where Cushman established his temporary headquarters. While the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment remained to defend LZ El Paso, Col. Cushman sent his 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, to LZ Betty on 27 January to defend the facility, while the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry conducted operation against Base Area 101. On 30 January Cushman sent his 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, to LZ Jane 10km southeast of Quảng Trị near Highway 1 and Hải Lăng town, to assist the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry operations against Base Area 101.
On 25 January the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division commanded by Col. James O. McKenna began arriving at LZ El Paso and was then moved by helicopter and truck to Camp Evans.
On the night of 30/31 January the PAVN and Vietcong (VC) launched their Tet Offensive attacking targets across South Vietnam.
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