One Good Deal After Another (continued)

Jungle Rot

Shortly after noon, Golf Company located another enemy bunker complex. These were occupied, tactical bunkers. Consistent with our operational plan, Golf took up fire support positions and began engaging the bunkers while Lieutenant Rudd and his Hotel Company began a move to the right in order to get on the enemy left flank and assault the position.

Captain John Cregan's Echo Company had been devastated on LZ Margo. After more weeks in the jungle he and many others developed skin ulcers -- jungle rot. Detail from a photo by Kent Wonders.

Meantime, the battalion command post was displacing to a new location. The road was taking us into an area dominated by hills to the south. Radio communications with regiment had to be sent to an intermediate station then relayed to regiment. It would only get worse if we did not change location. The new location at the top of one of the hills was reached without difficulty.

 

Captain Cregan’s understrength Echo Company was still with us but that was to change in a day or two. The companies needed rest and one way to get them rest was to change the “palace guard” (the command post security company) every few days.

 

By this time we had been in the bush for weeks. Captain Cregan was proof of that fact. He had the worst case of jungle rot I ever saw. In any case, communication with regiment was no longer a problem.

Tropical ulcer, more commonly known as jungle rot, is a chronic ulcerative skin lesion thought to be caused by polymicrobial infection with a variety of microorganisms, including mycobacteria. It is common in tropical climates. Ulcers occur on exposed parts of the body…these lesions may frequently develop on preexisting abrasions or sores sometimes beginning from a mere scratch. Source: Wikipedia.

Jungle warfare is not without medical risks as this October BLT 2/26 Command Chronology entry makes clear. Dermatology issues -- jungle rot mainly -- accounted for more casualties than all other categories combined.

Early in the evening, Golf Company while directing artillery fires on another bunker complex, observed six secondary explosions.

(c) 2019, DMZ Rats of Battalion Landing Team 2/26. All rights reserved.