“I’m The Best Battalion Commander You’ll Ever See”: Commanding At Hamburger Hill

Weldon Honeycutt


Weldon Honeycutt grew up in a large family in North Carolina during the Great Depression. There was never enough to eat, and partly because of this he joined the Army in 1946. After basic training, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, and there his association with General William Westmoreland began. During the Korean War, he joined the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. After returning to the United States, he was selected for flight school, and learned to fly both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Early in the Vietnam War, he assembled a Helicopter Task Force, and was influential in the development of helicopter tactics. After attending the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, he returned to Vietnam. He was initially assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, but requested reassignment to the 101st Airborne Division, where he assumed command of 3-187 Infantry after being originally slotted into an aviation unit. He took his battalion into battle at Hamburger Hill, one of the bloodiest engagements of the Vietnam War. After returning from Vietnam, he eventually commanded 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. In this interview, he describes many of the engagements he was in, and the attributes of the leaders he served with. He discusses leadership, and explains many of the techniques he employed over the years. Finally, he explains why it is important to lead American Soldiers well.


conflicts Korean War Vietnam War
topics Courage Morale Leadership Military Techniques Military Families Military Family
interviewer Dave Siry
date 15 May 2017


name Weldon Honeycutt
institution OCS
service Infantry
unit 3-187, 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
service dates 1946 1980