The Battle of Đắk Tô was a series of major engagements of the Vietnam War that took place between 3–22 November 1967, in Kontum Province, in the Central Highlands of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The action at Đắk Tô was one of a series of People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) offensive initiatives that began during the second half of the year. North Vietnamese attacks at Lộc Ninh (in Bình Long Province), Song Be (in Phước Long Province), and at Con Thien and Khe Sanh, (in Quảng Trị Province), were other actions which, combined with Đắk Tô, became known as “the border battles.”
During the summer of 1967, heavy contact with PAVN forces in the area prompted the launching of Operation Greeley, a combined search and destroy effort by elements of the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade, along with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s 42nd Infantry Regiment and Airborne units. The fighting was intense and lasted into the fall, when the North Vietnamese seemingly withdrew.
By late October, however, U.S. intelligence indicated that local communist units had been reinforced and combined into the 1st PAVN Division, which was tasked with the capture of Đắk Tô and the destruction of a brigade-size U.S. unit. Information provided by a PAVN defector provided the allies a good indication of the locations and intentions of North Vietnamese forces. This intelligence prompted the launching of Operation MacArthur, and brought the units back to the area along with more reinforcements from the ARVN Airborne Division. The battles that erupted on the hill masses south and southeast of Đắk Tô became some of the hardest-fought and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.