Allied military operations in South Vietnam have uncovered caches of enough arms and stores in a recent three week period to supply a 10,000 man communist division for more than three months. Elements of the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division fighting 90 kilometers northwest of Saigon, just 25 kilometers from Cambodia, discovered a deep-dug 30-bunker complex crammed with 45 tons of food and ammunition. It included quantities of small arms ammunition, shells, mortar, and recoilless rifle rounds, rockets, and explosives; mostly of Communist Chinese manufacture. South Vietnamese Rangers on operations in the Mekong Delta have seized 300 automatic weapons. These guns are believed to be of West German origin. Military authorities estimate these losses to the enemy to be the worst since the beginning of the war, with significant impact on communist ability to indicate that most communist war material is transported and infiltrated on the backs of oppressed laborers and enemy soldiers.
Caribou. Photo by Tom Shoupe, 1968. Company B, 1/7 Cavalry. In Vietnam the Caribou was used to re-supply fighting forces in-country because of its unique ability to fly in and out of camps on short, unimproved airstrips. Typical cargoes were fuel (gasoline, diesel fuel, and JP-4), munitions (small arms ammunition, 2.75 inch aircraft rockets, 105mm, 155mm, 175mm, and 8 inch howitzer projectiles), food (widely varying from very conventional American steak and chicken, to live pigs, chickens, ducks, and eels for the ARVN troops), passengers (U.S. military, RVN military, RVN civilians, and even NVA POWs), and sadly, bodies.
Lighters Packed With 3RAR Vehicles Approach HMAS Sydney
Lighters packed with 3RAR vehicles approach HMAS Sydney, at Vung Tau. The departure of 3RAR troops and vehicles was the first major move in the withdrawal of the Australian forces from South Vietnam, 6 October 1971.
Combat Ration Packs and Ammunition Laid Out for 5RAR Infantrymen
‘C’ packs and ammunition laid out ready for 5RAR infantrymen about to begin an operation, 1970. Photo by Carole Talty. Vietnam Veteran comments: "We had a mixture of Australian and American C [Combat] rations. We preferred the American for the greater variety… in the Australian packs we would keep the tins. There were two tins. One for morning, one for evening and ‘dog biscuits’ for lunch. A tin of margarine, a roll of toilet paper, which was like greaseproof paper and no bloody good anyway. Box of matches, sachets of sugar, a tube of condensed milk, tea bags… sachets of coffee, a packet of rice and that was it, but we’d keep the two tins, condensed milk, tube of jam. Oh a bar of chocolate. Yeah, keep that. A packet of lollies as well, we’d keep them. Jam, rice, and that was about right. The cereal box and the dog biscuits. Stuff them. Throw that away. Get rid of all the extraneous crap and just keep what you need."