Minnick, Mark Steven, SGT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11D10-Armor Reconnaissance Crewman
Last MOS Group
Armor (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1970-1971, 11D10, 2nd Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment/G Troop
Service Years
1969 - 1971
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate
Order of the Spur
Golden Dragon Certificate


Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cyrus AS1 USN/RET Paulus-Family to remember Minnick, Mark Steven, SGT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
North Webster, Indiana
Last Address
14 EMS Ln B65
Warsaw, Indiana

Date of Passing
Jan 30, 2008
Location of Interment
Mock Addition of the North Webster Cemetery - North Webster, Indiana
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

101st Airbone Division

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present) Order Of The Golden Dragon Cold War Medal

Order of The Spur Cold War Veteran

 Military Association Memberships
Post 199Post 1342, Lakeside Post
  1972, American Legion, Post 199 (North Webster, Indiana) - Chap. Page
  2013, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 1342, Lakeside Post (Member) (Syracuse, Indiana) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Operation Apache Snow was a joint U.S. and South Vietnamese military operation during the Vietnam War in the A Shau Valley. The A Shau Valley was an important corridor for the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), moving supplies into South Vietnam and used as staging area for attacks. Previous sweeps of the valley in Operation Delaware and Operation Dewey Canyon had not been able to keep the NVA from operating in the valley.

Apache Snow was planned as an operation involving ten battalions. The initial assault force consisted of troops from the 187th, 501st, and 506th Infantry Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division and the 1st ARVN Division. The plan was to block escape routes into Laos and assault enemy formations and strongholds. The operation began on May 10, 1969.

The main objective became Hill 937, the resulting battle became known to the soldiers as "Hamburger Hill", an up to date reference to the bloody fighting during the Korean War at a place called "Porkchop Hill". After ten days of fighting, which involved 11 infantry assaults up hill 937 primarily by the 3rd battalion, 187th infantry, (causing heavy U.S. losses), US forces managed to capture the hill. A few weeks later the hill was quietly abandoned by U.S. forces.

Operation Apache Snow continued until June 7, with U.S. troops making limilted contact with the enemy. It failed to deny access to the valley to North Vietnamese forces. The valley continued to be used as staging area for attacks in northern South Vietnam. The month‑long operation accounted for 675 enemy killed, three prisoners, 241 individual and 40 crew‑served weapons captured, and more than 100,000 rounds of ammunition discovered

Other Comments:
The Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord was a 23 day battle between the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and the North Vietnamese Army from July 1, 1970 until July 23, 1970. It was the last major confrontation between United States ground forces and North Vietnam of the Vietnam War. Little was known about the battle until 1985, when the FSB Ripcord Association was founded. Three Medals of Honor and six Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded to participants for actions during the operations.


President Nixon secretly began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam early in 1969. As the only full-strength division remaining in Vietnam in early 1970, the 101st Airborne Division was ordered to conduct the planned offensive Operation Texas Star near the A Shau Valley.

On March 12, 1970, the 3rd Brigade, 101st began rebuilding abandoned Fire Support Base Ripcord which relied, as with most remote bases at the time, on a helicopter lifeline to get supplies in and the personnel out. The firebase was to be used for a planned offensive by the 101st to destroy NVA supply bases in the mountains overlooking the valley. Located on the eastern edge of the valley, and taking place at the same time as the Cambodian Incursion, the operation was considered covert.



As the 101st Airborne Division planned the attack on enemy supply bases, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was secretly observing their activities. From March 12 until June 30, the NVA was sporadically attacking the firebase. After weeks of reconnaissance by the NVA, on the morning of July 1, 1970 the North Vietnamese Army launched a mortar attack on the firebase. During the 23-day siege, 75 US servicemen were killed, including Colonel Andre Lucas, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor; and First Lt. Bob Kalsu, the only contemporaneously active pro athlete to be killed during the war.

Fighting from four hilltops, surrounded, and outnumbered nearly ten to one, U.S. forces caused heavy losses on eight enemy battalions, before an aerial withdrawal under heavy mortar, anti-aircraft, and small arms fire. After the U.S. Army withdrew from the firebase, USAF B-52 heavy bombers were sent in to carpet bomb the area Major General (ret) Ben Harrison, then the commander of the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne at FSB Ripcord, is of the opinion that perhaps the NVA losses at Ripcord, just as their losses of their major offensives of the Ia Drang in 1965 and Tet in 1968, dulled the offensive capability of NVA for two full years, resulting in the delaying of their Easter Offensive from 1971 to 1972.

Units involved


United States

2nd Battalion (Currahees), 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). The main US infantry unit involved.

2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Battery A, 1st Battalion 39th Artillery, self-propelled 8in Howitzers, and 175mm Self-Propelled Guns.

Battery A, 2nd Battalion 94th Artillery, XXIVth Corps, self-propelled 8in Howitzers, and 175mm Self-Propelled Guns.

2nd Battalion, 319th Artillery, 105mm Howitzers.

2nd Battalion, 320th Artillery, 105mm Howitzers.

2nd Battalion, 11th Artillery, 155mm Howitzers.

4th Battalion, 77th Artillery, Aerial Rocket Artillery.

2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry.

158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). Assault and Gunship companies.

159th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion. Medium Lift companies (CH-47) and Heavy Lift company (CH-54)

58th Scout Dog Platoon, 101st Airborne Division.

G Battery, 65th Artillery Quad 50

Elements of the 326th Engineer Battalion

2nd and 3rd platoons of the 220th Reconnaissance Airplane Company "Catkillers" flying O-1G Bird Dogs

287th Ordnance Detachment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

Pathfinders 101st Airborne Division

1st Platoon of the 265th Radio Research Company (Company name / designation was deliberate misinformation), a covert Army unit with direct ties to the National Security Agency.

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviation Badge (Basic)
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry RegimentCombat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division14th Armored Cavalry Regiment
  1969-1970, 11D10, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment/B Troop
  1969-1970, 11D10, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment/B Troop
  1969-1970, 11D10, Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
  1970-1971, 11D10, 2nd Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment/G Troop
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 01, 2013, General Photos4
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