Photographs of Thomas Jones/jones4

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Bridge 26 located West of Camp Radcliff and approximamtely 8 kilometers East of the infamous Mang Yang Pass. Night Vision "Starlight Scope" on top of the bunker.

The Battle of Mang Yang Pass was the last official battle of the First Indochina War. It was one of the bloodiest defeats of the French Union together with the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. In five days of fighting, French Groupement Mobile #100 lost 85 percent of vehicles, 100 percent of artillery, 68 percent of signal equipment and 50 percent of crew-served weapons. The Headquarters Company had only 84 men left out of an original 222. The 43rd Colonial, the 1st and the 2nd Korea Battalion which numbered about 834 men each, was now mustered at roll call with 452, 497, and 345 men respectively. The 2nd Group of the 10th Colonial Artillery, reduced to fighting as infantry after the loss of all of their guns, had shrunk from 475 men to 215 men during the fighting. Colonel Barrou and several men were taken as prisoners of war. The Viet Minh 96th Regiment suffered more than 100 KIAs in comparison.

During the overnight hours of August 24th, 1968, Bridge 26 was attacked by an estimated platoon of communist troops utilizing small arms, automatic weapons, grenades and RGP (B40 rockets). The bridge's fortified defensive bunker was neutralized by the direct hit of an enemy rocket. Ferocious fighting was "hand to hand" before the enemy withdrew as a relief force approached from the East. Killed that night from Company A, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade were 1LT Dan Abernathy, PFC Al Gutierrez and SGT Tom Herkins .

Most of the photos in this collection were taken of or near Bridge 26 on Highway (QL) 19 in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.