In this photograph, two American servicemen battle the rainy barrage of summers in Vietnam. Weather in Vietnam was nothing to sneeze at, in particular the rainy season which lasts from May to October. The average monthly rainfall in this season is often well over 8 inches. Moreover, soldiers not only faced the onslaught of precipitation, but the humidity and heat of summer months which could average above 80 degrees. For many Americans, entering the wet and muggy climate of Vietnam was like setting foot into a new world.
Above, a Marine walks away as smoke billows from the structure behind him. Operation Georgia, a search and destroy mission, led to scenes like this one. Marines blew up bunkers and tunnels used by Viet Cong forces. The destruction of these facilities was essential to disrupting Viet Cong supply chains, and dismantling structural safe havens where enemies could hide.
Operation Newcastle was a search and destroy mission, aptly named as this photograph reveals. The purpose of such missions was to find and ambush Viet Cong units hiding in the countryside and to decimate their hideouts and supplies. However, these missions may have done more harm than good, as the devastation they caused rural Vietnam embittered many Vietnamese.
The Marine CAP, or Combined Action Program, were joint force units consisting of a Marine rifleman squad and a platoon of Regional or Popular Forces (essentially Vietnamese militia, poorly equipped). The idea was that the Marines would help the RF/PF platoon to patrol the area around a specific village or villages. The Marines would train them, and the RF/PF would benefit from the firepower that their American allies could call in. Meanwhile the Marines were living with the villagers, helping them with local projects, providing medical aid, etc. In many instances the Marines would send home asking for toys or clothes for the children and their families helped to raise money and send any requested items.
If truly successful, the Marines would basically work themselves out of a job in that area. The RF/PFs would be able to defend the area themselves and there would be much less chance, if any at all, of Communist infiltration into the villages.
Photo of what appears to be AVRN troops depart a U.S. Chinook helicopter (Vietnam War)
USMC photograph of ARVN Airborne troops, with a Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter in the background, 1966.
The Charge–Army of Republic of Vietnam Airborne troops charge for cover after being lifted into battle by a CH-46A Sea Knight Helicopter from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM)-265. The action took place during Operation Hastings.
Under sniper fire, a Vietnamese woman carries a child to safety as US marines storm the village of My Son, near Da Nang, searching for Vietcong insurgents, 25 April 1965. As was typical in such situations, the men of the village had mostly disappeared, and the remaining villagers revealed little when questioned