The War: A Sudden Meeting

For nearly a month, the U.S. Army's famed 1st Infantry Division has been stalking an elusive quarry: the 271st Viet Cong Regiment, a hard-core Communist outfit that makes a specialty of terrorizing villages near "the Iron Triangle" northwest of Saigon. Last week, in the gloom of densely overgrown jungle trail 40 miles northwest of the capital, it was the 271st that found the Big Red One.

Commanded by a six-man battalion staff, some 175 troopers of the Big Red's 28th Infantry Regiment were filing two abreast through the dimly lit rain forest when the jungle suddenly...

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