Cut Off And Alone At Night On Hamburger Hill

Chuck Vander Luitgaren


Chuck Vander Luitgaren grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and he volunteered for the draft. After basic training, followed by Advanced Infantry Training at Tigerland at Fort Polk, he went to “Shake and Bake” NCO school at Fort Benning. Shortly after completing the NCO Academy, he deployed to Vietnam. Upon his arrival in-country, his first two weeks were spent at SERTS (Screaming Eagle Replacement Training School), where he acclimatized and learned some of the local SOPs. When he finally arrived at B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, they were operating in the A Shau Valley. On May 10, 1969, he participated in the assault on Hamburger Hill. On August 1, 1969, he was wounded for the second time, and was evacuated to Japan. Following his service in the military, he returned home to Chicago and entered the work force. Eventually, he joined the 187th Infantry Regiment’s veterans’ organization. In this interview, he talks about his training, and his deployment to Vietnam. He describes in detail the fighting on Hamburger Hill, including the night he remained outside the defensive perimeter, cut off from his comrades. Finally, he explores what he has done since leaving the military, and reflects on what his service means to him.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie Courage Injuries Leadership Life After Military Military Techniques Returning from War Morale
interviewer David Siry
date 17 May 2017


name Chuck Vander Luitgaren
service Infantry
unit B Company, 3rd Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
service dates 1967 1969