In the Country
Home ] Up ]


The pictures on this page are Thumbnails.  To see a larger version, click on the picture.

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.

girl selling cola.jpg (26456 bytes) 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.
hooch.jpg (31231 bytes) I wish I had a stabilizer on my camera.  This is what you might call a "hooch".  Built out of bamboo and reeds, this was home.
water buffalo in rice.jpg (18260 bytes) 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.


viet dusty road.jpg (15819 bytes)

viet home in rice field.jpg (24990 bytes)

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.


viet roadbuilding nam style.jpg (17189 bytes)


Now, I hope I am not stereotyping here, 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.
blown bridge.jpg (26594 bytes)


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.
nail boobytrap.jpg (23918 bytes)


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 disease. 
viet ducks in moat.jpg (17541 bytes)


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. 
field.jpg (23757 bytes)


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 processing.
vietnam river village.jpg (15672 bytes) 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.