Tactical Operations in the Jungle, 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, US Army, Vietnam

On 11 Apr 71, with the start of Operation MIDDLESEX PEAK, the 1st Bn 6th Inf tactical area of
operations expanded westward to include both the northern and southern "Rocket Pocket" areas
west of Chu Lai.  These areas included double canopy jungle as well as the familiar paddies and
hedgerows.  These 1971 photos of a jungle patrol were provided by Rick Wade, 3rd Plt, Co C,
1st Bn 6th Inf, Oct 70-Jul 71.

Waiting on helicopter resupply in the jungle.  Note that the soldier in the middle of the photo is holding
a yellow smoke grenade that has just started to burn.  The smoke will filter upwards and mark their
position in the stream bed in the middle of dense vegetation.
Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Co. B, 1st Bn 6th Inf take a break at a mountain stream in the mountains west of Chu Lai about May 1971.

Note the limited visibility away from the stream bed.  Most enemy contacts in the dense vegetation came in stream beds, along trails, and in clearings on high ground.

This photo provided by Arthur "R.C." Castro (2/B/1-6 Inf 1970-71) arc1@earth1.net

"RC" took the photo below on his last day in the field in about May 1971, when soldiers from 2/B/1-6 Inf had moved through the jungle to the high ground to be picked up by helicopters.

While waiting on the choppers, "RC" moved over the hill to answer the call of nature.  As he squatted in the weeds, he noticed three VC about 200 m. away digging in an old resupply location.  He slipped by up the hill unnoticed.  The unit set up an ambush that resulted in one VC KIA.  The US platoon leader (1LT Simms) was WIA with a bullet wound in the leg that hit just above his boot, breaking both bones.

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