We Were Soldiers

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Factual error: Just after Lyndon Johnson announces that the air mobile units will be sent to Vietnam (1965), a dance/party scene has everybody dancing and singing 'Hold On I'm Comin' by Sam and Dave. It was a hit, but not in 1965. It was a mid/late 1966 hit, almost a year after that party. The Ia Drang Valley battle took place in November, 1965, before that song was recorded.

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Factual error: Towards the end of the movie, at the last fight scene, you see the 1st air cav charging the NVA. As they go over a hill, you see the NVA waiting for them and then a helicopter gunship hovers down and kills all of the enemy. The gunship was using mini-guns which fires 6,000 rounds a minute. These were not used in Vietnam until late 1967. and were not in-country in 1965. In 1965, the gunships had two Flex M-60 machineguns on each side.

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Factual error: The helicopter pilots wear two-tone Nomex fireproof gloves - these were not in use yet in 1965. Black leather flying gloves were issued back then.

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Trivia: After Hal Moore calls "Broken Arrow" the shots of the A6 Intruders taking off from the aircraft carrier are taken from Flight Of The Intruder.

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Trivia: In the beginning of the movie, the actor playing the French solder playing the trumpet, who gets shot in the neck, is the director's son.

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Quantom X

Trivia: This can only be seen in the deleted scenes on the DVD version. In the church where the wives are having mass as their husbands are flying into combat, Second Lt. John L. Geoghegan's wife, played by Keri Russell, is sitting in front of the real widow of Second Lt. John L. Geoghegan.

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Question: Would a sergeant-major participate in a mission?

Chosen answer: This one did, everything ascribed to him in the film was true.

Farmersboy

Question: One of the deleted scenes has a young soldier relating a story about one of his tough old SNCOs who was terrified of Plumley. This tough old Sergeant arrives on parade naked except for two Medals of Honor. Is this possible? As far as I can work out the last dual recipients were during WW1 - posthumously.

david barlow

Chosen answer: Smedley Butler and Daniel Daly. Both were awarded the medal of honor twice, and lived to tell about it. Both were also U.S. Marines. More info here at http://www.grunts.net/legends/butler.html and http://www.cmohs.org/recipients/double.htm.

Question: The early versions of the M16 had severe problems with jamming. There may have been several causes; instructions issued that the rifle was "self-cleaning", improper ammunition design, improper magazine design (therefore in a later stage 18 rounds instead of 20 were used in the mag). It is not necessarily a mistake, certainly not by the filmmaker, but there are several writers mentioning serious casualties amongst fighting troops specifically because of jamming M16 rifles. Why does this book/film not even include a hint of that problem which surely must have existed at that time and place?

Airborne Ranger

Chosen answer: There is no definitive information on this topic, and although factually accurate, a technical problem with a weapon was probably not enough to build an entire sub-plot, and would not hold the interest of the moviegoer. There were enough casualties without having to take into consideration weapon malfunction.

Reformed Dispatcher

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