Hot Ranger extraction in mountains west of Phan Thiet.
In Binh Thuan Province, near Phan Thiet, jungle-covered mountains
separated the Central Highlands from the level plain close to sea level
along the South China Sea.
Small teams of 4 or 5 men from Charlie Company, 75th Rangers, 173rd
Airborne Brigade would be dropped off in this area by Polecat slicks.
They would search for signs of enemy or enemy trails. They would
frequently get into "Fire Fights" with Company sized
Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army units. Being greatly outnumbered,
the men would call to be "extracted". The gray smoke is the
result of rockets from the Tigershark's gunships, where the enemy
were known to be. The Rangers popped red smoke where
they wanted to be picked up, the only flat spot for many miles around.
The slicks often came out with bullet holes after such extractions.
Photo by Jim Schueckler.