South Viet Nam: Battle for the Hills

Like some ponderous snake, the long convoy labored up the steep switchbacks on Route 19. Guards nervously rode rifle atop every truck. Three hours out of coastal Qui Nhon, the vehicles pulled into Mang Yang pass—favorite ambush point for the Viet Cong on the 100-mile highway to Pleiku. Along the edge of the narrow road were massive craters. To clear the V.C. from the pass, high-flying B-52s from Guam had blasted Mang Yang with bombs the night before. Once past the pass, the guards relaxed, and the convoy—the first since the end of May—rolled on into the beleaguered town...

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