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Mukaan mahtuu noin 55 afilaista.
3rd of December 1967
On the Cambodian border
Prei Khmaoch Luong
“It’s humid as hell, pretty cold too what with the wind and all. Mist rolls over the mountains and hills that surround us, leaving every surface damp. Drops of water race along tent cloth as if competing with each other. The ground is boggy, it sticks to our boots like glue.”
Men of the 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Battalion, E Company are preparing for a search and destroy patrol in support of a clandestine MACV SOG mission out of FOB Emery. Among military decision makers this operation is known as Shining Brass, a concentrated effort to hamper the supply lanes of North Vietnam in neighboring states and it is taking place over the entire length of the border.
Inclement weather is stopping airstrikes from destroying freshly identified VC caches along the border trail, thus it’s down to the rifleman to win the day, as it often is. Thirty miles to the AO by helicopter, another ten miles on foot in thick Vietnamese jungle. The last time they did anything like this in poor visibility the overall commander of the operation ditched into a mountainside with his helicopter. Search and rescue couldn’t find a trace, the jungle swallowed him up.
Every man in E company hopes they won’t face the same fate. As dawn rises over mountainous, isolated Cambodia, helicopter blades chop through morning mist. The profile of a Bell UH-1 Iroquois from the 219th RVNAF screams in through the fog.