Elements of the 25th Infantry Division, Involving both the 1st and 2nd Brigades, kicked-off Operation WAHIAWA on May 16.
Soldiers on patrol accompanied by Armored Personal Carriers (APC's)
CU of gunner on APC
Patrol moving across open field and through wooded area
Tanks advancing on flank position
Rice cache discovered, rice loaded aboard APC's
Patrol continues through jungle area, entering abandoned village
Soldiers checking huts, caves, finding at Viet Cong flag
Radioman calling for helicopters to pick up unit for movement to another location
Flare showing helicopter landing area, helicopter landing
Troops getting aboard helicopters, helicopters taking off
Various inflight views of helicopters enroute to new sweep area
Helicopter landing, troops unloading
Patrol advancing through jungle area
Troops come under Viet Cong sniper fire from small village
Troops taking cover in a ditch
Communications man calling for artillery and mortar fire support
Various views of huts burning as a result of artillery and mortar fire
Troops passing through village, search mission continues
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Background: Elements of the 25th Infantry Division, Involving both the 1st and 2nd Brigades, kicked-off Operation WAHIAWA on May 16. The operation was a ten-day sweep and clear mission against the Viet Cong, in the ??? Rubber Plantation near Cu Chi.
On the second day of the operation, soldiers discovered a large cache of Viet Cong rice hidden in heavy jungle growth. The cache was found to be booby-trapped with Chinese-made fragmentation grenades which were quickly spotted and disarmed. Armored Personnel Carriers were used to transport the rice to a helicopter landing zone where it was picked up by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and airlifted to division rear.
After four days of probing, split forces and airlifted one battalion into an area of the Iron Triangle, a known Viet Cong stronghold. The landing was accomplished without any enemy encounter or sniper fire. But as the units moved flank formation deeper into enemy territory, they encountered sporadic sniper fire from a Viet Cong hidden in a small village. Artillery and mortar fire routed the Viet Cong from the burning village, and the sweep mission continued.
Operation WAHIAWA was terminated by the 25th Division on May 27. In addition to the large cache of rice, the division reported killing 144 Viet Cong, capturing 10, and seizing 32 individual weapons.