The Delta

delta m60Kaplan_Rice-VietNam

A soldier carrying his gun above his head as he is submerged. Mekong Delta. 1968 Copyright Henri Huet AP

The Mekong Delta was a strange place. A big place. The only Infantry was the 9th & ARVN’s. We went around building firebases all the time, fire for a bit & turn them over to the ARVN troops. We never had the troops to cover the whole Delta but they had us dodging around all over the place. Whenever there were no operations, we fired H&I into big free-fire zones.

On firebase Schroeder we caught & repelled a major attack one night. I read a later news article that the ARVN’s we gave it to were overrun one night & everybody (ARVN’s often had their family with them) was killed down to the kids.

We were all the way down to the U Mihn forest once but normally in a great big semi-circle around Dong Tam. We fired in support of the boats a great deal. I remember the big Riverine air boats working rice paddies for Charlies under water breathing through straws. The huge fans under the boat would literally blow them out of the water. An M60 on the back took them out.

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