The pictures on this page are Thumbnails. To see a larger version, click on the
On this page is a number of "out-of-city" scenes. They are either going
to Saigon or in the boonies around our battalion size base camp. All the
pictures are "thumbnails". To see a larger version, double click
the small picture.
||I do remember this picture. Whenever we
left our base camp at Bear Cat to go to Long Binh or coming back, we had to wait at a
gathering point to build up enough vehicles for a convoy. The Military Police would
then escort us "hell bent for leather" 15 kilometers or so over an
"unsecured" hardtop road that looked much like one of our potholed country back
roads that county supervisors have forgotten. It was one one of these trips about my
6-7th day in country that I was first shot at. Oh, what a feeling. At the
rallying points, scores of children would be selling anything from silk to sodas to beer
and yes, unfortunately their sisters. This girl sold Cokes. I bought them from
her, but never drank any (sounds like Bill Clinton). Don't drink the water or sodas,
but beer was OK as long as it had disease killing alcohol in it. There were so many
children. Too many alone on their own.
||I wish I had a stabilizer on my camera.
This is what you might call a "hooch". Built out of bamboo and reeds, this
||Now, here's a sight you won't see in the
States. This is a farmer preparing his rice field with water buffalo or oxen.
When we first moved into the Delta, we were in the dry season. We set up our initial
bivouac area in the rice paddies. We were able to stay in those positions for about
six weeks or so until we moved villagers out of their own village and we took over their
"pads" of higher ground areas on which we placed our squad size tents. We
gave farm implement equipment to the rice growers and there was a huge effort to teach
them how to scientifically raise rice. In fact some kind of "miracle" rice
was introduced by the Peace Corps and others interests from U.S. universities which made
Vietnam a leading exporter of rice. The Mekong Delta was important to the Viet Cong
because it was the "breadbasket" of the country.
|I could fill up a whole website on dusty roads
and if they were not dusty, muddy ones. We wore goggles when traveling and when we
got to where we were going, everyone had the same color face...dust.
The bottom picture is a home in a rice field. If you liked coconuts, there was an
exhaustible supply of them and bananas. You know what we call "elephant"
grass or leaves around our homes was everywhere in Vietnam. When I came home and
met Dianne's (my first wife) parents in Shelby, MS, her Father took me out to see his
crops. When we came to the rice fields, I thought I was having a flash back.
There is a smell about rice paddies you never get out of you. And for the most
part, they all look alike. I will say, our Delta rice paddy mosquitoes would take on
any I saw in Vietnam.
|Now, I hope I am not stereotyping here, but...in
Vietnam women did much of the hardlabor work. Here, you see a group of women
carrying rock to build or repair a road. Not that the men were off to war, I was
told that the way they did it was that the women worked and the men either
"thought" or drove the heavy equipment.
|This was what we called a French Bailey
Bridge. It was a permanent bridge that could be built quickly. On other pages
you will see U.S. Bailey Bridges that my platoon built. This one was blown up by the
Viet Cong and the decking was stripped from what was left to use for other local projects.
|This is a common booby trap found on the roads or
on paths. Tires might be punctured and when we stopped to change tires we might be
ambushed. We were some really fast tire changers. On the path this is something that
might go through a boot. The points would often have dung on them to cause further
|I cannot remember if this was a moat or a rice
paddy. I believe it was a rice paddy. The line in the upper part of the water
is actually a hundred or more ducks crossing the road to the right and going through the
water. Moats were common beside many homes in country villages or out in the
country. The residents raised fish in them. Some were this large and others
were no more than 15-20 feet wide and the length of the side of the hooch.
|We're looking across a field to a stand of rubber
trees on a plantation. As you know rubber was a very important product prior to WW II.
The Japanese coveted the rubber producing countries of Southeast Asia. Trees
are tapped much like maple trees are tapped to get sap for syrup. The sap from
rubber trees is gathered in tanks and brought to a central location on the plantation for
||The rivers were as important as roads in
connecting farms and villages. You will see on another page the work we did on
rivers. We traveled them a lot and the Vietnamese traveled them more. Many of the
rivers were tidal and that took some getting use to.