The Song Bo Dieu River in the northern province of South Vietnam offers scenic beauty, and is a vital link in the logistics chain providing support to the combat Marine.
Boat with Vietnamese going under bridge
Various views of landing craft being loaded with supplies
Ramp of landing craft being raised
Various views of landing craft going up river
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Background: The Song Bo Dieu River in the northern province of South Vietnam offers scenic beauty, and is a vital link in the logistics chain providing support to the combat Marine. Efficient logistical support is important to the success of any military operation.
The U.S. Navy provides continuous support to the Marines with its LCM's (Landing Craft, Mechanized), which make regular runs from the South China Sea to Dong Ha on the Song Bo Dieu River. The LCM, with its shallow draft is ideal for the trip. It can travel at nine knots with a full of 30 tons.
Without the gunners aboard, you could easily mistake this for a scenic cruise. Vivid jungle colors, fishing junks, and buildings lining the banks make picture taking a favorite pastime of sailors and Marines riding the LCM's. But the men manning the guns are ever alert for signs of Viet Cong.
The Viet Cong would like to halt the LCM traffic on the Song Bo Dieu, since they know the value of these supplies to U.S. forces at Dong Ha. But so far they have been unsuccessful in repeated attempts to disrupt the flow of water traffic. Hundreds of thousands of tons of supplies and equipment continue to travel the river, providing U.S. Marines with the means to drive the enemy from the northern provinces.