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Airmobile Combat Assault into Dense Jungle area

An Airmobile Combat Assault operation with company C, 1st Battalion 8th Cavalry,in June 1969 into a dense jungle area north of Xuan Loc. An instant LZ was created by a 10,000 lb. bomb dropped from a C-130 and exploded above the ground clearing an area large enough in the jungle for the huey's to insert the skytroopers into this NVA area. This was known as a "Daisy Cutter".
It was a dark day threatening rain at LZ Rock (63 km ENE of Bien Hoa) as the company C 1/8 cavalrymen boarded the 6 227th huey lift helicopters for the combat assault.
Everyone was tense with anticipation as the choppers dropped into the cleared "hole" in the jungle. The first wave quickly formed a defensive perimeter. The scene was surreal, trees were shredded, vegetable mulch and leaves were all around, a thick mist hung in the air. When the first wave huey's had departed it was deathly silent. Everyone was listening for any sounds in the jungle. Within minutes the second wave arrived, everyone quickly found their places around the perimeter. A couple of skytroopers were a little impatient and jumped from the lift bird prematurely, with an 80 pound pack on his back one machine gunner ended up in a heap on the ground, embarrassed, but uninjured. Another wasn't so lucky as he jumped from about 6 feet up, hit a stump and broke his ankle. A medic quickly came to his aid.
Soon the third wave arrived, led by a skytrooper with a 12 gauge pump shotgun. The medic, with some help, put the injured man on the last chopper of the third wave for transport back to treatment.
We knew there was a large NVA element here, but no resistance was met at the LZ, not surprising since it had only been a short time since the 10,000 pound bomb detonated there.
Not long afterward a sprawling enemy bunker complex was discovered, with huge caches of supplies and ammunition.
A very successful operation.

Part of my original assignment was to photograph the "Daisy Cutter" operation where a 10,000 pound bomb (leftover from WWII) is dropped into the jungle from a C-130 and exploded above the ground. It did a great job of clearing an area plenty big enough for the huey's to bring in the skytroopers. The Air Force wouldn't let us get with in a mile of the C-130 (I was flying in a LOH). So all I got was the shot above from about 2 miles away. You could see the jungle ripple like a pond when a stone hits the surface of the water.

5 hueys arrive at LZ Rock
6 227th huey lift ships arrive at LZ Rock to pick up the skytroopers for the first wave of the Xuan Loc jungle combat assault operation.

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