Although quite sleep deprived,I'll offer my impression of today's operation, Rumble In the Jungle.
There is, I believe, something deeper,something slightly more potent and thought provoking about an airsoft Operation of historical ramifications . That real men really faced the same kind of situations and scenarios we faced today. Yet those true soldiers of America's past struggles didn't have the privilege of driving home and writing a report about it from their kitchen. Many of them never got home to begin with.Thus there was not only a fantastic amount of comradery and fun experienced today, but perhaps a bit of serious consideration of what it was that we were portaying as well.
As one of a team of four individuals of the 1st Air Cav,led by Scramble, we began our first evolution by insertion via chopper to just beyond the outskirts of the village. After a brief and tense wait , OpCom ordered us to move in to the village. The inhabitiants of this humble outpost seemed complacent enough, but our commander felt differently. In fact, he was downright paranoid that one of those innocent civilians was going to pull an RPG from his rice hat at any moment. The situation was very tense, but the villagers were very compliant to Captain Scramble's instructions,one even dropping her delicious looking chicken in the dust,as it was deemed to be quite suspicous. Then things began to get a bit edgy, as a local drunk was shot down ,his inebriated state not allowing him to comprehend the very simple command " GET BACK!!!" . Out of the villagers, a man came up to the captain, telling him to take him with us,because " American G.I number 1!" Those were our code words.We had found him... the Informant. This is what we were there for. Our informant, in possesion of critical hostile intel , now needed to be safely moved out of the village. Suddenly, shots were fired from a VC ,barely missing our now frantic commander, and the whole village erupted in chaos. The man who fired the shots was immediatly killed, as well as several other villagers, presumedly running for their weapons. We carefully and swiftly got the heck out of there, our first task succesfully accomplished.
Once safely out of the village, we kept a carefull eye on the surroundings, as well as our captured informant, as Scramble scanned the sensitive intel he had collected from the informant. A chopper arrived and evacuated the informant, as our team moved uphill towards President's Rock. We began pushing forward, splitting into fire teams of two. However, the area was well defended , and although the hostile causaulties were high, we only made it to sillo before a halt for lunch was called.
After a pleasant intake of victuals, our final evolution began by digging in at Red 1. Along with support from U.S Marines of the 2nd Batt.,we were ordered to defend the position until evac... our attackers being of unlimited number. A daunting task , in the least. Although it took a while for our assailants to show their faces, things soon heated up fast, and we began losing men at an alarming rate.When I was killed , there were only three remaining. I joined the other men at Knights Rock after respawn, as I was ordered. Eventaully ,all the U.S. forces made a last stand there at the rock, right as they were evacuated by the chopper for an exciting conclussion of the day.
If I was to use a single word to describe Rumble in the Jungle, it would be Convincing. The historical background and the different factions had obviously been well researched. With a few minor exceptions, everyone did an excellent part with making their uniforms and loadouts convincing as well. The scenarios were very believable, and the addition of vehicle transport and supportive fire was a huge key to the overall "feel" of the Op. All in all, I sometimes found myself thinking not in terms of a weekend airsoft game, but a real life or death scenario. This ,my friends, is an accomplishment indeed.
I'm very interested to hear what others experienced today. Many thanks to Tank for putting this all together, as well as to Komissar for hosting on his field. Scramble, I applaud your leadership today. Now if you'll exuse me... these jungle boots are killing me.
MarlFox would you mind if Airsoft Report Published your AAR Operation Rumble in the Jungle
please let me know Ken 415 706 6407
July 1st 1966:
My name is Tien and my country has been at war now for several years. The French incited a civil war between the northern and southern parts of my beautiful country of Vietnam. Now the Americans have come. I wonder why they are doing this. Before they came we had peace. Now everywhere there is war.
A few weeks ago some local men who had joined the Viet Cong came to our village. They were looking for more volunteers to help in the fight against the Americans. My wife and I had a good life in the village, so I told them I would not go. Vinh had been a soldier many years ago. His son Lin went with the men despite his father’s request that he not go. Lin was proud to defend his country against the foreign invaders who are causing war here.
It was not quiet this morning when I awoke. The people were talking about a loud noise which came from something that flew over the village. The noise passed overhead and moved away into the distance before everything became quiet again. My wife Dahn had gone to village market while I helped Pong repair a fence for his animals.
Soon after the U.S. soldiers appeared at our village. They were very aggressive and had rifles pointed at us. The one in the front yelled and gestured at Quan and Nyuen. I did not look, hoping they would go away. I wondered why they had come here. What did they want? Vinh and several others approached them. One of the soldiers shot Vinh, and he lay on the ground screaming. Several of the villagers yelled out “don’t shoot!’, but I don’t think the soldiers understood. I went to Vinh but could do nothing but watch him die. Then the soldier in front grabbed one of the villagers and began dragging him away by his kahn-ran. Many of the villagers had gathered to see the commotion, and were very scared. I could see my wife Dahn standing amongst them, and she too was very afraid.
The soldiers still had their rifles raised at us as they started to back away. Suddenly there was shooting. Chen fell to the ground, and everyone began running. The shooting continued and Nyuen the metalworker fell, and then I saw Dahn fall forward onto the road. As I approached her I could see the hole in her back, and the blood. She was still. I miss her.
I and the local villagers have sought out and joined the Viet Cong. We have been given rifles and training to fight the U.S. soldiers. All throughout the Gai Lai province, we have searched for our enemy until today. Our troops were attacked near Lai Chao, and although some of our men fell, we kept the enemy from getting through our lines. I have been recognized for my fearless effort, and now lead a small group. They say I am fearless, but what have I to lose? I have no wife and no home.
I am learning the ways of my enemy. Today, I led an attack against U.S. soldiers at a camp near Kon Tum. My men fought well. We killed many and eventually overran the camp pushing the enemy further south where they were again saved by their helicopters. We will keep killing them and find a way to defeat them.
Because of the victory at Kon Tum our leader Tran Do Sang is sending us even more men, machine guns and mortars. We will use these new weapons to attack our enemy at his base tomorrow night, when the helicopters are landed. I must go and make preparations for the attack.
I miss my wife, and know that I will be reunited with her one day. Until then, I will kill my enemy who took her from me. I miss her.
- Journal of Tien San 1966.
I was on the VC side and thought this was a very fun OP. A good deal of detail went into the pre-registration, the flow of battle, and the history to give the OP a true feel. Things on my end were kept simple and clear, and operators appeared to have had a good time. I am looking forward to the next VN OP! Well done Tank.
Airsoft Report published Game Report on Op Rumble In The Jungle Story
July, 1st, 1966:
My name is Capt. Scramble of the 101st Air Cavalry unit and my men and I have received our orders to report to the Quang Nam Province Vietnam. We have orders to pull some North Vietnamese informant out of some village in the middle of the jungle. I have herd stores of the Vietnamese “civilians” attacking GIs in inventive ways even at the most unexpected moments. Yesterday we lost a helicopter when a woman ran up and tired to give the door gunner her baby. He took it as the village was going up in flames but that baby turned out to be a bomb which blew them all to hell…so much for compassion on the battlefield.
Today was ruff but we all made it out alive. Early morning found me and my men at the helicopter pad waiting to descend into the Vietnam Jungle. It was dark as we flew through the humid night air into the black jungle each of us wondering if we would be flying back in one peace. As we passed over the village I looked out and saw people working in the rice fields below us. The brass keeps saying “win the hearts and minds” but I was just thinking that somewhere in that village below us might be the bullet with my name on it.
We landed in a swamp and hiked toward the village watching for mines and all manor of other fiendish traps the VC may have left for us. As we sat at the edge of the village we met up with the USMC who was there to protect us from a full on assault from outside VC as well as lock down the village to prevent anyone from running off and telling charley where we were.
As we entered the village I slung my rifle so as to not frighten the villagers and pulled out the pictorial cards about shooting at helicopters I was to pass to civilians. I had a code phrase given to me by some spook that was supposed to identify the informant without giving away his identify to any VC who may be in the village.
We came out of the jungle at the edge of a rice patty. There were several villagers working the water surprisingly peacefully considering their country was at war. I addressed them in the broken Vietnamese I was taught in basic but they still seemed to just stare at me so I relied mostly on simple hand singles. I repeated the code phrase hoping that one of them might be the informant and we could leave without going too far into the village; there were a lot of people and even more places to hide a weapon in there and I was not keen to go traipsing around.
I passed out the papers and gave the simple “you do this, you get this” bit about shooting at helicopters. This woman came up on my left carrying a dead chicken and a bag asking for money. All I saw was a bag and the thought of the “baby bomb” so I made her drop it in the grass; she did not seem happy but I was not going home in a bag. Regretfully none of those villagers were our informant so we had to go further.
I thought things were going to get hairy when this big guy started walking right at us with his hand on a machete in his belt. He had a bit of straw in his mouth which he twitched with his tongue making it look a bit like the tail of an agitated cat. He kept walking right at me and I told him to stop, he did not, I put up my hand and told him again a little more aggressively to stop as I put my hand on my pistol and took a half step back. I remembered that in basic they had showed us the Tueller Drill and how when facing an attacker with a edged weapon we needed to keep them at a minimum of 21 feet in order to be able to pull our weapon and react before they reached us.
I was about to give my wing guards the kill order on this man when he abruptly stopped. I decided that as he was now complying I must show him that I can be nice. I approached him with my hand still on my weapon and gave him the pictorial card. He took it and gave it a look of distain. I motioned to him to join the others - and he did - which was wonderful as I did not want to have to kill him.
Everyone was nervous after the machete man so I tired to move a bit faster so as to get out of there. I approached two men working on a fence outside their hut and tried to address them. They ignored me even when I tried to put the pictorial card in the hand of the closest man but he again ignored me and began walking up the hill towards their hut. I was afraid that they would grab a rusty AK from the hut but was not sure enough to shoot him. I followed him with my pistol out of its holster ready to shoot him down if he came back with a weapon. He did not and just as I was being relived that we were not going to have an altercation I heard drunken Vietnamese coming up on my left.
I turned to see a drunk Vietnamese man staggering around near my left guard, he was muttering in unintelligible Vietnamese and coming dangerously close. My guard yelled at him to get back but he continued to come forward. This was a very dangerous situation as he may be faking drunk to get close to us and have a weapon, he may actually be drunk and therefore is unpredictable and potentially violent, or he may be harmless but distracting and someone else may take an opportunity to attack us.
I was not sure what to do but this decision was made for me by my wing guard as the drunk Vietnamese guy tripped/lunged over a log. I herd the roar of a shotgun followed by the sharp “ZAP” of an M4 and the man collapsed backwards over the log onto the ground with blood boiling from his chest and mouth. My eyes flipped to the other villagers as they all began yelling “không bắn, không bắn, không bắn” I had no idea what this meant but to have them all yelling it was unpleasant. I was worried that the guy with the machete may come back angry about the drunk guy and we would have to kill him too.
I then I saw a villager walking up to me speaking English, he kept saying “GI number one, GI number one” this was half the code phrase I was looking for. As he approached he flashed an envelop hidden under his shirt which I took to be the information we were looking for. As he got close I grabbed him by his scarf to keep him from running away. I had the informant and now we were getting the hell out of here. I called to my men to pull back with me as we walked backwards out of the village. All the villagers were still yelling “không bắn, không bắn” but I did not care as we were leaving.
Suddenly there is a loud pop and I looked over the left shoulder of the informant to see a young Vietnamese man holding a pistol. An instant later the village erupts in gun fire; we all shoot him down several times. This eruption of violence sends all the villagers running and diving. I can hear gunfire and see them falling as we move back. I yell out “Cease fire, Cease fire” letting the USMC deal with the other villagers as we pull out.
We got back to the swamp and called in the helicopter for the informant. I made the informant sit in the grass and put a guard on him as I went through the information from the envelop. We called for a helicopter to extract him and a few minutes later sent him on his way.
The village was rough but we all made it out alive and I am thankful for that.
I write these words from a hospital bed in Thailand. I think the war in Vietnam must be over or will be soon. I will now account the events of September 25th and how I got here in this bed.
We were in a major US camp killing time waiting for the showgirls to come through on rotation. Things were slow and we were finding inventive ways to battle the heat and droves of mosquitoes. One day during lunch there was a whistle followed by the roar of many men and then the chattering of AK rifles. Everybody scrambled to cover and pure chaos ensued. Seemingly endless VC rose up out of the ground and charged the wire. We gunned them down in droves killing hundreds but they just kept coming; it was like battling the rising tide.
We fell back and fell back and fell back again we were losing men and I called for emergency helicopter extraction. The helicopters came in one after another pulling out GIs as the VC crashed against our defenses losing dozens but making progress every time. Finally most GIs were out of the base I was hold up in the final line of defense with four men. There was so much fire that we could not even look out the fire slits of the base. I herd over the radio that the last helicopter was coming and if we were not in it we would be left behind.
I was not sure how we would leave the base as to exit through one of the doors would expose us to such furious fire that there seemed to be no way out. Suddenly an RPG came in through the window and slammed into the back wall. I thought we were all dead but by the grace of god it was a dud and only smashed a hole in the wall. Suddenly I realized that that RPG had really been an angel in disguise. One by one we made it out the hole made by the RPG and ran to the helicopter pad…all of us except Sarge. As he and I went to make our run the VC tired to rush the bunker and Sarage stayed behind to cover me as I ran for the hole. I was the last out of the base as a moment later it was overrun with VC; I did not see it, but I know he did not make it out.
We held ground at the helicopter pad as we had no more to give. The VC continued to rush us like they had no fear of dieing and we killed them again and again and again but without effect.
Finally we heard the drone of the helicopter and we all piled in as the VC franticly pushed to keep us from taking off. There were too many of us for the helicopter but there was no more time and we squeezed in on top of one another leaving bits hanging out the sliding doors for the VC to snap at.
We got airborne despite being severely overloaded and continued firing on the VC with our rifles and the M60 door gun as rounds pinged off the body of the helicopter like hail on the roof of a car. I fired my weapon on full auto at rice hats, only rice hats as it was nothing but a world of rice hats and blasted sticks. I looked back and could see VC running down the runway and along the road shooting at the helicopter like dogs chasing a mail truck.
Suddenly a blast of rounds came through the door of the helicopter and raked across my body. I felt burning pain and then terrifying numbness as I knew I had been shot. As I lay there in the helicopter listening to the sounds of gun fire and the defining blast of the helicopter rotors a poem I had read a year or so ago on the wall of a war art exhibit back at the university came to my mind:
The fear freezes, stuck to my lips.
I’m too proud to be seen in the shredded rags of a scream.
The bullet, on the other hand, well, it grins and spits: ‘I got you bitch.’
As always Scramble, I am in awe an reverence at your writing skill. A pure joy to read. Thank you for the post, which is sure to entertain us all.
July 1966, Not sure what Day.
Jake, How are you little brother. I hope you, mom and dad are doing well. Its hot as hell over here and I miss the cool days there in Oregon. I saw some action not to long ago and figured I would write to tell you that Im still alive over here, a couple days ago my unit was sent into some little village in the provence of kuang-nam or some such. Couple of our boys got to fly in but me and the CO Furge humped it in. I figure walking through the bush were less likely to take an RPG. Can you belive that the gooks will shoot at our choppers? Sometimes even with just a pistol or rifle, not even gonna scratch our birds with one of those. Met up with some Air-cav guys, that were gonna trying to grap a big chief in the gook village. We were there to watch their back cause charlie over here never heard Kennedys "To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery" speach. either that or he dont care.
The Air Cav guys were doing there thing looking for the chief we were watching the villagers making sure they stayed friendly. I herd some fire and looked up apparently someone had made a go at the Air Cav Captain so he got shot. The Villagers got spooked and I figured we were gonna have a riot on our hands. We started to pull back to cover the Capt, and some rice hatted jerk pulls a pistol on me and my guys, how the hell is that a good Idea? 1 guy pulling a pistol on 3 marines. poor bastard was watering the rice patties with his blood when we left. what the hell was he thinking. The boys and I got out of there ok. only other guy we passed was cowering in the bushes saying "gung bow" or some other thing..... You think if nothing else they would learn to say please dont shoot in english.
Couple hours later we went on walkabout. I tell you what, when you get a break from the shooting and the booby traps, and you ignore the smell coming off of you from the days of sweat and mud, this place is beautiful. Reminds me of Aunt Rose and Uncle Jacks place. all green and mountians. But one of your guys steps on a landmine and Boom! nostagia is all gone. Luckly this land mine didnt go boom. and I didnt step on it. Blazed (gots the goofy grin in that photo) he steps right on top of it. Goddam if Furge dosent have great ears though. He heard the click and saw something metalic under Blazeds foot. Tells Blazed to hang tight and not move. Furge, Wolf, and Brett take off back up the hill. seems Furge spotted something that could keep weight on the mine while we got blazed off of it. I hung out watching Blazed to make sure charlie didnt come along and shoot him for stepping on their precious land mine. They came back a few mins later, and we left that mine there in the dirt. Hopefully what ever bastard set it there trys to figure out why it didnt go off.
It seems the VC had those traps out to keep us out of some mortar pits, that they had been using to shell GI's We dont call Blazed, Blazed for nothing. He packs the ordance, and those pits are now burning scrap metal that charlie ought to be cussing about for a couple of days. Time to pack up the pen, more later.
July 1966 I think its still july any way the days run together a lot. Still kicking little brother. gonna have a damn nasty scar on my face when I get home though. Havent made it back in from the bush yet we were sent to take out one of Charlies little out posts and they were dug in like nothing I had ever seen. We would have had the drop on them to if we had notice a sentry coming in on patrol sooner. little guy was walking next to us for about 30 or 40 feet... walking back to his little hole. didnt even notice us there. if we had seen him sooner maybe we could have taken him quiet like, but it was to late, Furge opened up on him just as he noticed us. we all dove for cover or took out targets we could see. but then got pinned down by enemy fire. Im pretty lucky too. took a bunch of tree bark to the face from shot that riccoshade off a tree in front of me. I could have sworn I was hit, laid there bleeding, figured half my face was gone. Not quite sure what happened after that heard my squad find a sniper in the bushes, our medic must have pulled me into cover, and slapped my towel to my face. I could hear the fire whipping all around me. I heard Furge calling for air support. I couldnt see anything from all the blood and mud in my eyes. After a while the fire tapered off. Guess Charlie figured it was time to bug out..... Figured I would write you a couple lines since i have a moment, I Wish they had left for good.
July 1966 - Its sunday little Brother. I know this because im in the hospital and the preachers are everywhere. Im still ok, it may be a couple of weeks before Im fit for duty again, so i figured I would finish off my letter
Our buddys From the Air-Cav showed back up. That Capt and his guys that pulled the chief out of his village. apparenlty we had all done enough time in country and the choppers were coming for us. Thank god. the only problem is that we had all done enough time in country to get charlies attention. we had dug into a defensive position to hold up until the choppers made it to the LZ, and they started pouring it on. buggers in the brush, those damn AKs clattering, ya see a little rice hat pop up out of no where and just try to duck before the fire starts. We had airsupport though... for all the damn good it did us. the only lead I have in me is from our own damn choppers. those flyboys dont know where in the hell they are firing..... took 2 bullets to the leg and woke up at the LZ. Medic standing over me. "No arterys are hit, and you dont have orders to Die yet marine" was all he said before my rifle was shoved back in my hands. Charlie was pouring over the LZ trying to take us. I Put down a couple guys and handed my pistol over to another guy who was out of ammo. the first bird touched the grass and I hopped on. I emptyed my weapon into the grass and brush on the way out, I saw Furge the other day. he is laying on his belly these days, apparently he took a couple of bullets to the ass on the way out. I heard the Air Cav Capt made it out but they havent told me about anyone else.
Say hi to Mom and Dad for me and tell them I will be home when this is all over
Lance Corporal Northman
June 24th 1966
I arrive in Saigon and before I get off the plane I am ordered to report to Brig. Gen. Thompson of military intelegence. The General tasks a small Platoon of the 1st Air cav and a small force of the Marines 2nd Batt. to extract a South Vietnamese supporter in the Quang Nam Province 80 miles from FOB Draex. General Thompson also reports that there is an unknown number of Charlie in the area possibly number in the thousands possibly less. I have a feeling that my some of boys are not coming home.
July 1st 1966
the 1st Air Cav arrives at FOB Draex and I tell my boys the news and give them their orders. I tell them we are getting in deep here. I breif every man personally and know every one that is going into the shit. there are many young ones going out there. I do not brief all of the men about the south vietnamese defector. Too many vietnamese in the FOB... even though they are ARVN they still can be VC. I breif Capt. "Scramble" Wright in private about the defector. Scramble is the best man for the job. Great guy even better soldier... just hope he makes it out of this.
July 14th 1966
Today we took off for the village of Hue Tri. General Thompson didn't send me enough pilots so I had to fly instead of being on the ground with my boys. If I would have known what would have happened I would have traded my seat for any of my young troopers. I took one pass over the village dropped off Capt. Scramble... I wanted to wish him luck... or say anything incouraging for that matter... but the salute he gave me said it all... i solumly saluted back and took off and returned to FOB Draex. I waited on the helipad wondering how my boys were doing until i got the call to extract the defector. Everything seemed to be going smoothly we extracted the defector to the FOB and thats when he decided to tell me that my boys were walking into charlies back yard. Charlie had dug himself in on the top of a hill with a whole network of tunnels and trench system. they were walking into a hornets nest. I had heard over the radio that my boys were getting hit hard and charlie was dug in and not wanting to budge. the Marines were moving up with little resistance on charlies flank and started to move to support my boys. a small feeling of relief came over me but i knew they were not out of the woods yet.
Sept. 25th 1966
I recieved a sit rep that my boys had captured the tunnel network and charlies fortification. thats when Siagon radioed me and said that they did not want me to step foot on the field and that they wanted me to report back to Siagon for briefing. Brass didnt want me anywhere near the fight. I dissobeyed orders and flew in to an LZ near the enemy stronghold. It was quiet when i stepped off and i knew that Charlie was waiting bush.I felt fearless and put on my Hat and went to go visit my troopers. they seemed to be doing well it was lunch time so i broke open one of my C-rats and ate lunch with my boys. I then recieved a frantic call for a medivac and that the other choppers were 1 hour out. I was the only one close enough. I responded to the call only to find top Brass waiting at the LZ with a Jeep to take me to General Thompson. thats when my boys called for an evac. I imediatly told the brass that my boys are on the ground and need me. I pushed that chopper to the limits to get to my boys. the second I landed Capt. Scramble was there and insisted i take some of the wounded marines. i dropped them off at the FOB and told them to go to sick bay. i then returned to pick up more of my boys. I ended up making three runs. the final run i was thankful to see Capt. Scramble unscathed. we loaded the chopper to max capacity and took off through heavy flak and small arms fire. onche i thought we were in the clear i heard a thump and then screams. it was Capt. Scramble and he was hit bad. he was bleeding profusly. i landed at the FOB and called for a medic and tried to rush him along with my wounded to the medical tent. i looked back at my chopper to see it full of blood and spent casings.
I visited my boys in the medical tent to see how they were doing. Capt Scramble was there and i asked him how he was doing "im doing okay sir" he said "sir when am i going to be able to get back out in the shit?" i said soon... soon... i knew what he was feeling he wanted to go join his men... to protect them. I went to go see the funeral services for the men who didn't make it back. there was Lance Johnson, Ben Billings, Roger Wagner... just to name a few... they were only 18 fresh out of high school... only boys..... god what i would give to be on the field and to have traded places with them.
Oct. 15th 1966
brass tells me that we are going back in soon. I told them this time i will be the first to step on the field and the last to step off. they glare.... this is a promise to all those who did not make it home...
Lt. Colonel Jon "Tank" Garber
1st Air Cav.
I had a lot of fun creating and running and listening to the stories from this op. Thank you all who attended and a special thanks to Bill at bell automotive for getting the jeep running and to furgie and seth for team leadership. Also to my opcom Jen and Peter. and last but not least Chris for use of his field and for leading the team that created the feel for the op and for leading the Village of Hue Tri