|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.