The Pineapple Forest
Having moved into the Pineapple Forest on Halloween, Captain Brown and C Troop, as well as the engineers tasked with flattening the area, operated from a base camp on the north edge of the woods. Rolls of concertina wire were staked around the circular patch of raw earth and more than a dozen tents erected inside: troop tents, mess tents, supply tents, a commo tent, and a tent for the command group, too. The engineers pushed up berms behind which the M48s and ACAVs faced outward at night while guarding the perimeter.
The Chinook that resupplied the base camp each morning delivered not only fuel and ammunition but enough foodstuffs to run a diner: doughnuts, eggs, and cartons of milk and orange juice for breakfast; sandwiches, apple pie, and Kool-Aid for lunch; and for dinner, beer, soda, and steaks cooked to order on field stoves. In addition, the troops plucked pineapples and wild bananas during patrols and went fishing with hand grenades. It was not a bad war in the Pineapple Forest, all things considered. Charlie Troop’s platoons alternately protected the bulldozers as they felled trees—very boring—and, weather permitting, for the monsoon rains sometimes produced mud so thick and deep that armor could not pass, ran missions in those sections of the forest not yet scraped clean. The local-force VC did little more than snipe at the intruders destroying their sanctuary, armed as they were with old carbines and Thompson submachine guns, and obsolete bolt-action Mosin Nagant rifles from Russia.