We would like to show our appreciation for the whole SEB team of their work for "SEB NAM Pack 2", this addon, mod or what ever you want to call it is excellent piece of work. It brings so much more into OFP than there is (some would say that's not even possible). The long fire fights and the atmosphere in the jungle island of Ia Drang. Excellent work, respect for SEB team!
Later OFP SEB NAM Pack was merged into Vietnam: The Experience (VTE).
PMC Jungle Patrol. 05-06-03. (Net) MadFred, Snake Man
Jungle Patrol is new SEB NAM Pack 2 mission which you can download from our OFP missions page, the players squad are two NAVY SEAL teams in the southern most airfield island, MadFred in command of the operation. Mission start time was 1600hrs when we launched from the officers tents and headed to the helipads where two UH-1H Huey's were waiting.
We boarded the helos and took off heading to the Ia Drang mainland. We first flew to the SF base in the eastern sector, from there we started our approach for the first objective set by MadFred, first village in the west from the base. I scanned the area and no hostiles were present so it was time to take the Huey down there and land.
It went well as the villagers were happy to see us there and not the VC/NVA, they greeted me with grins and we set up a South Vietnam flag into their villages flag pole while the evening meal was cooking in the campfire. Yummie I would like to have a bite but we were on the mission, MadFred had already pacified the next village more west from my position. Time to head back to the Huey and proceed with the mission, you never want to make the commander Mad.
Next we took one village south of LZ Columbus, our commander MadFred decided to take this one. He was also greeted with happy villagers down there while I was providing air cover for him with my M60 doorgunner circling above the village area. From there we proceeded into the ricepaddy fields in south west corner of the region.
I touched down to the ricepaddies next to the village which seemed to be quite empty at that time, approached it and there were villagers welcoming me once more. Flag into the pole and that objective was met with success.
Guys in the Huey gave me those looks... and were mumbling something about getting to fight finally and this is boring... Well I ensured them that you will see some fights, just wait.
Liftoff and we were again heading for next objective set by MadFred which had taken two villages at this time... I guess there was too much yapping and looking around the last objective, gotta keep up the pace. Our next objective was in the far west end of Ia Drag, MadFred was first on the area while I circled bit more to the north scanning the landscape for any movement by those pesky VC soldiers. Right when I was approaching the village, radio made that static noise and we had our first enemy contact...
MadFred was taking fire South of our objective. Immediately he radioed HQ for artillery support into the location of VC troops. The response was swift and shells started to drop on VC heads.
I joined the fight with my M60 doorgunner and he most likely took out one if not two VC's which had escaped the raining artillery shells. Good job for first contact! MadFred at this time had taken some casualties and he's medic was wounded along with two other men, we set up emergency field meet in the one pacified village a click north from the engagement zone. We thought we have enough time to safely land, treat our wounded and takeoff again before the enemy catches up on us. Also it gives us opportunity to have few chosen words with those VC sympathizers.
They were bit scared when big NAVY SEAL's came over with angry faces carrying CAR-15 rifles... After we have gotten all the wounded treated properly and were just about to embark the Hueys for next objective, my number two shouts contact at 12 o'clock 100meters out! It was NVA soldier!
We briefly engaged the contact and he was taken down by hail of 5.56mm bullets, we were laying prone waiting for more which never came... he was a loner. Unknown what he's purpose or mission were but he was just alone there, maybe bringing a message to the VC sympathizers in the village? Hmm...
Next we flew more north over the river and MadFred ordered us to set down on the north side of the river in preparations to check out the next village as it seems to be under VC control.
Our feet on the ground finally. Man the stuff don't appear to be the same when you look it from window of a speeding helicopter. When you set your foot on the ground and start to travel through the jungle bush it is totally different. Behind every tree, every bush and rock you can expect some nasty VC or mine waiting for you, you really need to be sharp on that situation, no question about it.
When we approached the village which was good distance away we noticed that some clouds are gathering up in the sky. We might get ourselves and another crappy weather night ahead of us. As we approached the village we heard some gunfire coming behind us in the SE direction, there was no way telling what was going on as the sounds were so muffled at large distance but other US troops were definitely engaging the enemy. We heard M16 and AK47 firing wildly, but it was rather quick firefight. MadFred was usually in the lead so to speak and I was on his right hand side about 30 meters or so away. As we got closer to the objective village and the jungle foliage was thick as Marilyn Monroes bush he got contact with VC.
There was VC presence in the village! MadFred too some shots at the soldier and the VC went down fast, he probably didn't even see us coming. But we only saw one guy out there. Then our team mates opened fire and some grenades were launched (oops there is innocent villagers!) after which everything went quiet... We approached the village and found those villagers in the center and also some dead VC soldiers lying around there.
Another village pacified and no innocent villager casualties on this one, good work both teams. Now it was time to head back out to the helos which were waiting for us in the riverbank in south.
The travel to the helos were uneventful as there were no enemy presence or mines detected in the way, that's always good as we appreciate our health. So we took off from the riverbank and headed back to south into the next objective which was village in the steep hillside. We encountered a what seemed to be villagers to me but when we flew one time over the village they took off like ants. At that time MadFred called VC and we opened up on there with the doorgunners.
It was another rather quick fight since we got good shots and there were not many VC lurking around. I was providing air cover for MadFred who went down to meet with the villagers and set up that familiar South Vietnamese flag into their pole again. Job well done. We continued south into the hilltop and there we found more VC terrorizing the villagers.
We circled around one time and took down any VC soldiers in sight, MadFred took closer look and estimated that all enemy personnel has been neutralized, he ordered me to go clear the village and set up a South Vietnam flag up there. So I chose a open spot in the hilltop somewhat resembling a LZ in north side of the objective and set down my Huey, started to walk with my squad towards the village.
Kaboom... whizz whizz whizz ZAP! Hesus christo what the hell was that!?! everybody get down! was the order... whoa... looking around... nobody in sight... all team members still breathing... WHAT was that? Well I tell you what, it was mine!
Nobody got hurt, I ordered my men to stay still while I carefully and slowly approached back my steps into the Huey scanning every inch of the ground around me looking for mines.
I asked MadFred to scan the area for enemy presence as you can imagine while I'm sitting in a minefield the enemy gooks are the last thing I want to encounter! I carefully went through the area near the Huey looking for anything not foliage/terrain type... and there it was.
Yes a Bouncing Betty mine, two of them actually along with the one we blew up. These things are the nasties ones of them all in the battlefield. They have no mercy, they do not differentiate a US or VC soldiers, they kill. They do not have remorce, they do not retreat, ever.
Then it was time to pacify the village and finally take my men back to the Huey one by one following the safe path which I scanned for any mines. People onboard and takeoff to another village objective.
We flew south side of the hill, ehm well mountain and there in the valley were our next village to encounter.
MadFred touched down and found a nice surprise in the valley floor, a mine of course. Now this mission really takes a turn if we start to encounter this amount of mines. C'mon we must be extra careful.
Village was pacified without further incidents and we took off once again with mission accomplished in this current village.
Next we flew along the south coast into the large village which looks like it could house a POW's at some point (dunno, do these villagers keep their water buffalos behind chain-link fence?) and there we encountered good number of VC soldiers. We immediately engaged them with the doorguns taking down few, rest of them scattered. That time I picked up yet another VC squad about the same size just crossing the river in the east. I called in artillery to soften them up a bit.
It was so nice to see those shells exploding around the VC infantry, bodies were flying around and many gut watery grave in the river. The fleeing VC ran into NE direction and I was in aerial pursuit, it took some time and I ran out of M60 bullets in the doorgun at the process. Luckily more artillery was available on call...
More explosions by large incoming shells from the skies. More VC bite the dust while I circled around trying to spot any movement (besides the flying bodies). But there was nobody left to run, no VC did survive that engagement. At this time MadFred had set down near the village and pacified it, we didn't stay much longer as my gun was empty so I requested permission return to base for rearming. So we took the heading SE and flew back to base.
Dust kicked off as we touched down on the tarmac and from there we prepared to relax just a bit while the rearming, refueling and possible repairing was underway to our beloved UH-1H Hueys.
At this time MadFred expressed admire to my bird's nose art too, well maybe next time he can fly with the Air Cav bird and I'll take the swords. Or we just paint the same stuff to his, which ever works. Also MadFreds helo was taken quite beating from the enemy small arms fire, with that windshield is hard to spot a VC from normal villager...
More supply stuff was brought to the helos, some fuel that keeps them flying happily. Also some goodstuff which we left for last as I tend to be somewhat nervous around the HIGH EXPLOSIVE truck.
Luckily we acted like professionals and no mishaps did occur while reloading some ammunition from the big truck. Then it was takeoff time with me and MadFred in the gunsights, we decided to go out with this setup as we hardly used any other team members in the previous engagements from air, so if we can keep anyone out of harms way we'll do so. We took off and..
MadFred fell of the helo! Oh how did that happen?
Ah, the harness wasn't fastened on your gunner seat. That's understandable, hope you remember it the next time.
And off we flew from the base one more time into the harms way, fighting a jungle war against bastard commie enemy.
We then checked upon the Army guys of how are they doing in the southern base, when we got close MadFred started to look serious while I concentrated more into the safe landing than analyzing the details on the ground... We got ourselves into a situation again.
Dead NVA in the base. Base looked very quiet...
The Army guys guarding the base were dead along with bunch of NVA and VC apparently trying to take over the base.
It seemed like some of the guards were taken by surprise as they died with guns on their backs, that's one point for the goddamn gooks. Surprise attack to the US Army base, Mmm damn.
Its payback time! We took off and headed into NW to check out VC controlled villages.
We cleared too villages without an incident but I can tell you we were edgy... very edgy on that time. Extra passes and circles were made around the villages before setting down while MadFred carefully scanned the terrain underneath us. We did not want to take any risks with this.
Village in the northern most part of the Ia Drang was the objective, we carefully circled it before declaring it safe, I then landed from 1meter of the ground so MadFred could jump out. I didn't want to risk another mine explosion by setting the bird down to the ground. There was another VC controlled village in far west side where we flew fast.
I was asking MadFred about the status of the village, is it safe. He said yes. I looked it down one more time and detected a LOT of black pajama type personnel down there, so I asked again. Are you sure. The guy answers me "I think so". Hrrr well good luck buddy, its your ass on the line when you jump out of this chopper, so good luck :) As before I did not touch down on the ground in the fear of setting off any possible land mines, he jumped out of the helo while I hovered nearby. He cleared the village without an incident and again getting back onboard the gunners seat without helo ever touching down the ground. Off to another village we fly again, but before we get there MadFred spotted a VC and artillery was called in.
Big explosions rocked the riverbank while we scanned for any movement down there. M60 doorgun again picked any survivors of the artillery barrage and we were on our way to the objective once more.
At the objective village we did another jump of the helo without it ever touching the ground. As you can see I was dangerously close to the huts. Also it was getting real dark at this time, it was getting difficult to see without night vision goggles in that environment.
Sun were still up, but the jungle floor was so dark that you really didn't want to mess around there. Yet MadFred gladly jumped in to clear the villages, hey what wouldn't we do for the villagers. Next something happened that got me really spooked. We were flying along and were about to fly over the river in north west while all of the sudden I spotted some green glow... First I were completely baffled that what on earth is this green glow, some green light is on the ground. I thought what is this like UFO landing in Vietnam or what? Well after we turned around and made another pass of the river crossing more lights appeared, then we figured out what they were... enemy flares!
If there is flares, there is enemy. We frantically started to scan the area and there they were, crossing the river... a VC squad with sizable number of men.
Artillery was called in upon them and more flares went up. Looked like the NAM Ia Drang as turned into a local disco I tell you!
It was a crazy light show and we were the main attraction, so after the initial impressive sight we boogied our way out of there. We reached our village objective and the flaring seemed to stop, hopefully this means that there is no more enemy presence. I let MadFred jump out at 1m altitude and started to circle around the village.
While I was circling around giving moral support for our ground element and also capturing the attention of any local VC here, MadFred stumbled into one enemy VC and some claymore mines.
It seems like the poor villager was frightened about the gunfire, flares and approaching NAVY SEAL soldier and he ran directly into the claymore tripwire. Boom, he's filled with holes. So sad.
The commander MadFred got onboard the Huey again and off we flew back to the home plate to pick up some night vision goggles so we could keep on fighting during the night time.
Lights on touch down to the helipad. Man this stuff is getting exciting by the minute, its all dark down here now a totally different ball game what we had in the mission start. This has taken some time now. We had some discussions around the helo about the next move too. Then I was off to rearm the helo from our ammo truck that has apparently got flat tire, we don't know why :)
I approached very, very carefully using NVG's to help me not to collide the truck. However it was still almost easier to fly without NVG's because they seem to restrict your field of vision and that green blur really is not that good for depth perspective. So I had to fiddle around the green and very dark basic eyeball vision. Anyways the rearming went successfully as I was extra careful, we had not 500 rounds of M60 doorgun ammo again to be spent on VC bastards.
Wow, this is nice sunset, maybe I ought to ask the commander to see this.
Yes sir. This are the rare gems you see in the battlefield, learn to appreciate them...
But we had a job to do and it does not include holding hands and watching sunsets, we are NAVY SEAL soldiers and our objective is to hunt down the enemy where ever we see them. So takeoff from the helipads and off to the enemy territory again. Now we were in the jungle again, the environment was getting more and more difficult to operate with limited visibility.
As you can see when we approached the village there were enemy presence and they lit up the terrain again with flares. When the flares burnt out it was extremely dark down in the valley floor. I found it almost impossible to operate in there safely, but somehow we managed to get out of there without the helo colliding into vegetation which is the worst I could think of that time. Then we went into another hotspot in the region and once more we were lit up with enemy flares.
It was like back in the daytime when the flares were falling, all colors all around us. It was like fireworks display at home, very cool... until the guys on the ground started shooting at us! MadFred found some targets and opened up with the doorgun.
Artillery was called by our commander (not me!) and the coordinates were directly to the village. I must state my written protest that I did not call the artillery onto the village, it was my commander :) Anyways shells were dropping and MadFred let it rip with the doorgun. He then ordered me to let him go on the ground, I started to prepare for drop-off but at this time the flares ran out and no more were fired, whether the artillery and doorgun fire did its job we didn't know. I just had to turn on my NVG's which dropped the field of view like half it seemed, now it was extremely difficult to put down the Huey in the altitude that MadFred could jump out. Slowly I managed to do that, he jumped out and started to approach the village. I was still hovering at the same spot and well... basically not seeing anything except the campfire without NVG's and bunch of green blur with them. There was so much vegetation around us and the village huts so close. Then it happened... I did not hear a thing above the rotor blades flapping and engine noise, but MadFred got hit by AK47 fire from some hiding VC or NVA!
Immediately I took off from that spot and speeded back to base. Oh dear... he died. All of sudden, we were in guns blazing and rock'n roll tunes playing while steel was dropping from the sky... and then he was dead... oh my... It gave me some thoughts when I was alone flying back to the base I tell you. Anyways back at the base I picked the group respawned commander again, we flew back with a vengeance into the same village as earlier, this time we took no chances.
We ordered at least three arty barrages in there and peppered wildly with doorgun to make it absolutely sure that no living thing is walking out of that place.
Yet still some flares were up there. We kept peppering them and circling around with vengeance. When all quieted down and no more flares were in the air, I turned again my NVG's on when MadFred ordered me to get down to the ground and jump altitude. It was another hair raising experience I knew it was really and I mean really dangerous to get down there. Is there enemies lurking? Do I crash into a tree? So I brought the Huey into slow speed and carefully circled around the foliage closing into a open area by the dirt road or path what the hell ever that crap was down there in the middle of arty craters. Just as the speed was bleeding off and altitude was getting low, something happened...
MadFred ... he died! Oh damn what the heck did he jump out too early? No he said, he said he just fell out of the Huey. It was so dark I could not really tell how high we were but it was high enough to kill him instantly when hitting on the ground. Man oh man, another casualty in such close time period...
I returned to base once again alone... completely alone, my gunner seat was empty. It was long ride above the ocean when night was falling. I felt like my heart was falling with the setting sun... I joined up with respawned commander in the base...
Two Navy SEAL soldiers pondering the war at night fall... thinking about the fallen team mates... Finally after considerable thinking we decided its not worth the effort to risk anymore friendly casualties to go back into that jungle hell. So we handed over the Huey to the hangar crews and withdrew to the officers barracks in the center of the airbase. There will be another day when we go into the jungle, then we will be more careful. We will remember the fallen comrades, we will never forget.
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