Caribous in Vietnam

Gia Nghia
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Offloading at Gia Nghia after the first sortie of the day. Gia Nghia was the site of an Army Special Forces camp that needed the fuel we brought in the red drums. The airport was unique - they had knocked the top off a small mountain to provide a generous (for a Caribou) 2000' foot dirt strip. The red soil visible in the foreground was typical of Central Vietnam and was called "laterite" because of its tendency to harden (laterize) into a rock-like surface once defoliated and exposed. When the Caribou's engines were reversed during landing at fields like this, the airplane would disappear into a large red cloud of dust.

Revised: 24 March 1999