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3 Sep 67 Ivy Leaf

‘Cacti’ Search Holes As VC Intensify Hideouts

DUC PHO—The men of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry were only 800 meters from their battalion firebase when the first of six concealed spider holes was discovered.

Located deep in a hedgerow, the entrance was well camouflaged by a dense bamboo thicket.

The 3rd Platoon, after discovering the hiding place, began a search and clear of the spider hole, an operation that the infantrymen of the ‘Cacti Blue" have developed into an successful art.

Slowly and meticulously probing the thicket with sticks and bayonets the hole’s covering was located. The cover was a woven metal screen covered with rocks and loose dirt.

Flipping up the screen, the Ivymen detected movement inside the hole. When their call to surrender brought no response, the hideout was riddled with M-16 fire. Two enemy guerrillas were killed as grenades and assorted equipment were captured.

However, the day was only beginning for Company B. Five more spider holes were discovered in a 10-meter square area.

Searching and clearing the holes, a practice that has been robbing Charlie of his most well concealed daylight sanctuaries, netted two more enemy killed and another captured during the day.

The intensive use of spider holes and tunnels in the Duc Pho area has become a practice since the 3rd Brigade began defeating and breaking up large enemy units.

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