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Con Thien

American GruntNVA and VCTet OffensiveCon Thien
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AP Wire PhotosLIFE Photos '65Marble MountainNSA Hospital DaNangQue Son Valley

Inside the Cone of Fire
Mike Company, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines

Con Thien 12

When rain lashes Con Thien, mud and mist enfold the Marines in a grip from which there is no escape, it will be like this or worse until next spring when the monsoones end. Almost all air support stops. Only lonely choppers hedgehop over the bleak misery of the front to bring in emergency supplies and evacuate the wounded. Yet it is better when skies turn foul; the enemy's guns flood out, his ammo bogs down along the supply trails, and best of all, his prowling forward observers sit blinded out in the DMZ moonscape.

Con Thien 13

Somehow, the mud-smeared, often bandaged Marines on that forlorn hill seem at home, oblivious to water and wounds, even ready to laugh. Perhaps their world within our world is enough unto itself. during the month that the Third Battalion, Ninth Marines held their position at con Thien, 27 men died in action; another 577 were wounded. Yet, of the wounded, only 73 were evacuated from vietnam. The other 504 Marines went back to war-their way of life.

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