South Vietnamese Tanks at Pleiku
The large American combat units that once operated out of the Central Highlands base at Pleiku had already departed by 1972. I was there to report on a small American MACV adviser unit overseeing a collection of Vietnamese military training centers.
When I expressed regret at missing big show, yesterday's combined arms exercise that expended a million dollars worth of munitions for Westmoreland and the Saigon brass, the lieutenant said, "No sweat, we'll do it again."
The next day, the Army did indeed do it again so I could write my story.
Mortar teams blasted a fake hilltop village made of oil drums, tanks targeted it again and the infantry moved in.
The jets and helicopter gunships were diverted to drive off NVA tanks spotted on the Highway toward Kontum.
We stayed on alert all night, awaiting an attack that never came.