Cacti Green Hunts Bases
OASIS — In the largest combat assault (CA) of the year, the Famous Fighting Fourth’s 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry flew 500 men and support equipment 12 miles south of The Oasis for an operation that has led to the discovery of enemy caches and huts.
Four companies and a command element were lifted by 15 Hueys and five Chinooks from the fixed-wing air field at the Oasis.
The airlift was completed within an hour; the command element was situated at Plei Mei and each company was assigned an area of operation to search for enemy caches as they worked their way back to their firebase.
During the first day of operations Bravo Company found and destroyed two well camouflaged huts, each capable of sleeping nine men.
"The only consistently effective method of finding well hidden hootches," stated 1st Lieutenant John Kelly, the 3rd Platoon leader, "is to search the thickest vegetation and keep away from used trails."
On the second day of the operation, Bravo Company found two rice caches. Over 6,700 pounds of rice were in holes that had been concealed by two feet of overhead camouflage.
During the entire operation, companies reported a large number of the enemy’s anti-personnel devices (booby traps) which had decayed or were no longer functioning. One such booby trap consisted of a whip like piece of bamboo which, when functioning, projected an arrow along a well worn path.
In order to find hidden enemy supplies, the fighting Gypsies probed swamps with bamboo poles and searched stream banks for tunnels and caves.
Once the operation is complete, the enemy will be minus a necessity, food, and a luxury, for Charlie, sleeping huts.