Combat Patrols, 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, US Army Vietnam, 1967 - 71

Daylight patrols in the lowlands and foothills were similar in all the years between 1967 and 1971.
James Larry Kiestler on a daylight combat patrol in the "Rocket Pocket" area in the foothills NW
of Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1969.  Photo provided by Gerald "Whitey" White, Company A, 1st Bn 6th
Inf, 1969.  Link to Whitey's personal tribute to his friend who was KIA on June 1, 1969.

Daylight patrol by members of Company C, 1st Bn 6th Inf in 1971.  Rick Wade photo.

Here a patrol from C/1-6 Inf takes a break along a village road in 1968.  When the units were
operating in the coastal lowlands, their patrols frequently traversed populated areas.  Friend or foe?
Dave Bliss photo.

Soldiers from 1st Plt., Co. A, 1st Bn 6th Inf start a night patrol in 1969.  They would move until well
after dark and then select good ambush positions along likely enemy avenues of travel.  Whitey White

If not on a night patrol when stealth mattered the most, soldiers were expected to dig in.  Digging
provided protection, but it also helped the enemy pinpoint defensive positions.  More than one man
died because he failed to dig deep enough.  The rule was--either select a position after dark that
was easily defensible and gave an advantage over likely enemy approach, or dig deep.  Digging
shallow positions was practically worthless -- they pinpointed your position and provided little
protection.  Shallow positions near trees could be deadly--aerial bursts from enemy or freindly fire
hitting the trees could cause casualties.  Some units required each man to carry extra sandbags that
could be used and reused on fighting positions. Dave Bliss photo (C/1-6 1967-68)

Soldiers from 1st Plt., Co. A, 1st Bn 6th Inf in a day position in March 1969.  During the dry
season, water wells like the one at left were key terrain features -- both the Viet Cong and US troops
depended on them for fresh water, and the vegetation provided concealment and sometimes shade.
One could not relax too much, as an ambush while at the water well happened more than once.
Whitey White photo.

Before the dry season (July and August) arrived in full force, small streams provided water.  Soldiers
who were too picky about their water source (e.g. tank tracks full of green ooze --but several
purification tablets made that muck drinkable) sometimes paid the price as a heat injury casualty.
Dave Bliss photo.

Soldiers from Company C, 1st Bn 6th Inf taking a break from a patrol in the "Rocket Pocket"
in 1969.  Photo from Terry Ivey.

Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, B Co. 1st Bn 6th Inf retun to LZ Fat City after a patrol in the area of
the "Rocket Pocket"  Photo provided by Clint Whitmer (3/B/1-6 Inf 1968-69).

SGT Dennis Linn and another soldier from B Company, 1st Bn 6th Inf, on a daylight patrol near
Tam Hoi(4) at BS 685 895 east of LZ Dottie in September 1970.  Photo provided by SGT Linn.

A PF and C/1-6 Inf patrol returns to a pacification village during the rainy season, fall 1970.

A landmark for patrols from C/1-6 Inf for the area west of Hill 43 in 1970.  This is early on in the
three or four day patrol--note the C-rations inside long OD color socks dangling from the packs.

View of a trail adjacent to a Daylight Defensive Position (DDP) in the tactical area of operations.

Soldiers from 3/A/1-6 Inf trying to get relief from the heat in a daylight position in the Rocket
Pocket area northwest of Chu Lai in December, 1969.  In the scrub and hedgerow areas, such
shelters were practically invisible from only a few yards away.  Photo from Wm Collier.

If you recognize any of the soldiers in these photos, please contact

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