Resupply Operations, 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, 1969 -71

During 1969 -71, practically all operations of the 1st Bn 6th Inf were dependent upon the mobility
of helicopters.  Aircraft from the 176th AHC (Minutemen) flew resupply missions to the troops in the
field every third or fourth day to avoid compromising their tactical locations with daily resupply flights.
The aircraft brought new soldiers to the field and took others in for R&R or other personal needs.

1971 photo of a UH-1 helicopter resupply mission flown from Chu Lai.  Photo provided by
Dennis Linn, B/1-6 Inf.  The resupply choppers usually flew above 2,000 ft before orbiting
down to their supply drop.

Hot chow for the troops in the field.  This 1969 photo from Howard Walker (1-6 Inf '67 -'70) was
not the usual practice in 1970-71, when such daily resupply flights were thought to pinpoint unit
locations for the enemy.  But hot chow was welcomed at the outlying fire support bases.  Note
the "mermite" containers used to keep the chow hot, and the water containers.

1LT Joe Trez, Executive Officer, B Co., 1st Bn 6th Inf, during a flight as a pay officer in 1971.  Note
the helicopter door gunner at the ready for even "administrative" flights.  Photo by Ray Tyndall, B/1-6 Inf.

Photo provided by Dennis Linn B/1-6 Inf.  Note 
the two soldiers on the right who have just arrived. 

Photo provided by Gerald Ray "Whitey"
White. A "new boot" arrives on the re-
supply helicopter in 1969 for A Co.

Resupply sometimes was hectic, as the unit's location was now pinpointed by the
Viet Cong who could easily follow the flight of the resupply helicopter.  Under those
circumstances, the rule was to load up quickly, bury or burn those items that could not be
carried (i.e. bulky packages from home), and move from the site to a more secure location.
Sometimes a stay behind ambush would catch greedy VC attempting to dig up items buried
at the site.  On a good day, the resupply bird arrived in a relatively secure area.  That meant
a chance to get clean, read the mail, and resupply at ones leisure.  Photos below supplied
by Arthur "RC" Casto, 2/B/1-6, 1970-71.

The rule was to fill your canteens upstream of where others were bathing.  (And don't forget to add
twice as many water purification tablets as specified!)

Mail Call for soldiers from A Co. 1st Bn 6th Inf in 1969.  Photo provided by Gerald Ray
"Whitey" White A/1-6 Inf 1969.

Resupply for Charlie Company, 1st Bn 6th Inf, in early 1970.  Water must have been scarce in that
area, and the unit may not have been moving.  Note the new cases of C Rations, the bright red mail
bags, and the duffel bag.  Photo from Clancy O'Dowd, shown here filling his 2 qt canteen.

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