Vietnam and the Turbulent Times Dictionary and Gazetteer

Compiled by Gary D. Moore - Copyright © 1994-2010
Contributions from Lt. Col. Dennis Gillem, Tony Kozlinski,
MSgt Rick Swain, USAF (Ret), and Lt. Col. Sandra K. Wilson

Alphabetical Index
(Click on a Letter)
1 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



1

1049 - Military Personnel Transfer Request Form.
11-B - MOS of an infantryman, also eleven-bravo, or eleven-bush.
1505s - Lightweight, class-A, tan colored, Air Force issue uniform (worn without a tie).
19 - The average age of the U.S. male (GI) in Vietnam (and was not eligible to vote).
1965 - Military slogan "They told us if we voted for Goldwater, we'd be at war in a year. I did, and I am!"
122mm Rocket - A VC/NVA rocket (with booster) capable of flying 22 kilometers. Larger than a U.S. mortar (81mm) by fifty percent.
201 File - U.S. Army personnel file.
2200 hrs was the typical curfew for safe cities in Vietnam.
50 cal. machine gun must be cocked twice to have it ready to fire.
51 - A communist heavy machine gun.
7 and a wake-up - Eight days left in-country, the end of a tour, or time in Military Service was over.
81 - Nickname of a U.S. mortar (the metric size of the shell).
82% of Vietnam (and Era) Vets believe that political leaders did not want the U.S. to win the war.

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A

A Shau - A valley in the South-West corner of Thua Thien province that was a stronghold of the VC/NVA.
AAR - After Action Report.
Abrams, Creighton - A U.S. General who commanded U.S. military forces in South Vietnam (1968+). General Abrams was a former tank commander under General Patton.
ACAV - Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle.
Acid - Another term for LSD.
AFN - Armed Forces Network
AFRTS - Armed Forces Radio and Television Service
AFSC - Air Force Specialty Code.
AG - Adjutant General.
Agent Orange (and other herbicides):


Description Dioxin (TCDD) Amount Foliage Use
Agent Orange 1.77 to 40 ppm Broad Leaf
Agent Blue 32.8 to 45 ppm Narrow Leaf
Agent Pink (Red) 65.6 ppm Anything
Agent White (Green) 65.6 ppm Broad Leaf
Silvex 1 to 70 ppm Fungicide
2,4,5-T (Current) 0.1 ppm or less

Aircraft - Approximately 9,000 U.S. military aircraft were lost by the end of the Vietnam War.
Airmoble - Helicopter borne combat personnel.
Airborne - Personnel trained to parachute into combat.
AIT - Advanced Individual Training.
AK-47 - The Russian Kalashnikov rifle used by the VC. An excellent weapon for the Vietnam war, 11.3 lbs loaded.
Alvares, Lt. Everett - The first U.S. military pilot taken prisoner (August 5, 1964).
An Hoa - The U.S. Marines nicknamed this valley, The Badlands.
Annamite - The mountain range traversing South Vietnam.
Anti-Malaria Pills - Ingested on a daily basis, and/or once a week while stationed in South East Asia.
AO - Area of Operation.
Ao Dia - A long shirt like garment. Traditional Vietnamese female dress (split) worn over pants.
Apache Snow - See: Operations.
APC - Armored Personnel Carrier, amphibious M-113.
Arc-Light - See: Operations.
Article 15 - A disciplinary action less than court martial.
ARVN - Army of the Republic of (South) Vietnam.
ATC - Armored Troop Carrier.
AWOL - Absent Without Leave.
Axiom of the sixties culture - You can't trust anyone over thirty.... (How old are we now?)
Azimuth - A bearing from the North.

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B

B-40 - A Chinese rocket propelled grenade (RPG).
B-52 - Largest U.S. Air Force Bomber used in Vietnam. Capable of carrying 108 500 lb bombs.
B-57 - A bomber user in the early years of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Bac Si - Vietnamese for a medic helping civilians.
Badlands, The - The U.S. Marines nickname for the An Hoa Valley.
Baez, Joan - The folk singer who was (and still is) strongly opposed to war. She and Jane Fonda went to North Vietnam in 1972. Although Ms. Baez did not believe in the Vietnam War, she refused to cooperate with the North Vietnamese.
Bamboo Viper - The small and deadly "green" snake wrongly name nicknamed the two-step.
Two Step - The name of the small and deadly bamboo viper (snake).
BAR - Browning Automatic Rifle. A .30 automatic weapon.
Bars, John Wayne - Nickname for the chocolate bars in the C-rations pack.
BDA - Bomb Damage Assessment.
Beaucoup - French, meaning, a lot, or very many.
Beaver - U.S. Army U-6A, utility transport.
Beehive Round - An explosive artillery shell.
Bennies - Warm beer and mail from the world.
Berm - An earthen embankment (normally around a perimeter).
Bird - An aircraft, normally, a plane.
Bird Dog - O-1 reconnaissance plane, used by Forward Air Controllers (FAC).
Black Boxes - Sensors dropped from helicopters during the Vietnam War to detect enemy movement.
Black Hawk - Nickname of the SR-71 reconnaissance plane.
Black Panthers - A radical African-American group of the sixties.
Black Power - An African-American theme to gain equality in the sixties.
Blackhorse - The name of the code used for sending numbers on the radio (ten digits (zero through nine)).
Blackhorse - is also the common name for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (service in Vietnam 1966 - 1972). Many vets only know the Regiment by that name. The Regiment will celebrate it's 100th birthday on Feb 2, 2001 at Ft. Myer, VA. Blackhorse is currently assigned to Ft. Irwin, CA. Submitted by: Pete Walter, Author/ Editor; "The Blackhosre Regiment In Vietnam, 1966 - 1972";Kendall/Hunt Pub.
Blasting Cap - A device used to detonate explosive materials.
Bloused - Pants tucked into boots.
Blown-Away - To be killed, or get really high on drugs.
Blue-Eyed Soul Brother - A white man who related well with blacks (African Americans).
Blue-Max - Slang term for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Blues - A slang term for quick response reinforcements, normally called for by another field unit (Reaction Force).
Bn - Battalion.
Body Bag - A black plastic bag used to transport dead personnel.
Bombs - A day's worth of bombs and shells cost U.S. taxpayers $1,000,000. Eight million tons of bombs were dropped during the Vietnam War. Three (3) times as many bombs were dropped during the Vietnam War than were dropped during WWII.
Boonierat - An infantryman.
Boonies or Bush - Informal term for the field or jungle.
Booby Trap - An explosive device used to wound or kill personnel. It is estimated that booby traps accounted for 25%-30% of injuries to U.S. military personnel in Vietnam.
Boot - Someone fresh out of Boot Camp.
Bonze (mispronounced "Bronze") - A slang term for a Buddhist monk.
BOQ - Bachelor Officers' Quarters.
Boston Five - Dr. Benjamin Spock was known as one of these people who were anti-war.
Bouncing Betty - (DH-10) A conical three pronged mine. The bouncing betty mine would jump about three feet in the air when triggered, and explode at waist level.
Bowl - A pipe for smoking marijuana, or other drugs.
Bro - Short for Brother.
Bronze - A metal used extensively in South East Asia (for flatware, dishes, and statuary). Harder than brass (from which it is made).
Brown Power - A Mexican-American theme to gain equality in the sixties.
Buddhist - The religion of the majority of the Vietnamese people.
Buff- B-52 Big Ugly Friendly Fellow.
Buffalo, Water - The big, horned creature often used on a farm in South Vietnam.
Bush or Boonies - Informal term for the field or jungle.
Butter bar - A Second Lieutenant.
Buy (bought) the farm - Die, or death.
BX - Base Exchange.

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C

C-Ration - Combat Ration. Three meals comprised one C-ration. One ration is the food required for one man for one day. There were twelve C-rations in a case in Vietnam. C-1 (C-Ration) had fruit in it in Vietnam. Ham & limas was the least favored C-ration meal in Vietnam. Paste with bad taste.
C-4 - Plastic explosive. It was used to heat C-rations when heat-tabs weren't available.
CA - Combat Assault.
Calley, Lt. William - Ordered the killing of 200-500 civilians at My Lai.
Cam Ranh Bay - A supply depot, and the place where largest U.S. Air Force hospital was located.
Cambodia - Was (reportedly) invaded by the U.S. and South Vietnamese troops, May 1970. 81 U.S. military personnel were reported killed in Cambodia or Laos during the Vietnam war.
Cammies - Camouflaged jungle fatigues.
Cane-pressure mine - Named for the exertion of air on its detonator. The VC/NVA mine placed in the trees to destroy helicopters when dropping off personnel and supplies.
Cargomaster - C-133, a big cargo plane used extensively for bring supplies from the States to Vietnam.
Caribou - C-7.
Casualty Staging Areas - The name of the U. S. Air Force hospitals in Vietnam.
CC - Company Commander.
CDS - Container Delivery System. The manner in which supplies were dropped from aircraft.
Cedar Falls - See: Operations.
Central Highlands, The - Elevations from 100 meters to 1000 meters. The highlands of South Vietnam are a prominent geographic region.
CH-47 - Chinook helicopter.
CH-54 - Skycrane helicopter.
Charlie or Chuck - The enemy, the Viet Cong.
Charlie Four - C4 plastic explosive.
Cherry - A new person in a unit without combat experience.
Chi Lai - Known as Surf City in South Vietnam (also an in-county R & R center).
Chicago Eight - The eight people arrested, and tried for disrupting the Democrat's 1968 Convention.
Chicom - Chinese Communist.
Chieu Hoi - Open arms in Vietnamese. A program to encourage defectors from Viet Cong and NVA in 1969-70 in South Vietnam. About 80,000 took advantage of this program. These were called Chieu Hois.
China Beach - Located near Da Nang. An in-country R&R center in the Northern part of South Vietnam.
CIA - Sponsored Air-America in S.E.A.
CID - Criminal Investigation Division.
CIDG - Civilian Irregular Defense Group. Militia forces trained by U.S. Special Forces..
Cigarettes - An import that approximately 50% of the VC/NVA enjoyed. Kools, Salems, and other menthols were favorite brands.
Citadel, The - A rectangular-shaped structure, surrounded by walls in Hue that was home to Vietnamese royalty.
Clacker - See: Klacker.
Claymore Mine - Anti-personnel mine that projects shrapnel in a defined pattern.
CO - Commanding Officer; Conscientious Objector.
Coal, Anthracite (hard) - Vietnam's most abundant mineral.
Cobra - AG-1H assault helicopter.
Cockadau - Vietnamese slang meaning kill.
Combat Master Piece - .38 cal (six inch barrel) pistol used by military, especially USAF Security Police personnel.
Combat Hornet - C-119 (Also Flying Boxcar).
Combat Pay - Added $50 to $65 (per month) to the U.S. military serving in Vietnam.
Comics - Topographic maps.
Commo Check - Communications check on the radio.
Communes - People with similar ideas living in groups.
Company - A military unit of 250 men.
Con Thien - Near the DMZ. Termed the Hill of Angels during the Vietnam War by the Marines.
Concertina Wire - Razor wire used as part of the perimeter defense around most secured areas in Vietnam.
Contact - Engagement with the enemy.
Cooper-Church Amendment - (passed on December 12, 1969) prohibited U.S. military in Laos.
Corps - South Vietnam was divided into four sections (Corps), I through IV.
Cost - The Vietnam war cost U.S. taxpayers approximately 150 billion dollars.
CP - Command Post.
Cronauer, Adrian - US Air Force Disc Jockey who became famous with his "Good Morning Vietnam" opener.
Crusader - U.S. Navy F-8. Used as a reconnaissance because of its speed and maneuverability.
CQ - Charge of Quarters.
CS - Riot control (tear) gas.
Cut and Slash - A day hiking through elephant grass and bamboo would do this to a person and their clothing.

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D

Dac Cong - VC Special Forces Unit.
Dai-uy - Vietnamese for Captain.
Dai-ta - Vietnamese for Colonel.
Daily-Daily - Daily anti-malaria pill.
Daisy Chain - Detonation cord linking several claymores together.
Daisy Cutter - A 15,000 pound bomb that would cut down vegetation and personnel for 300 meters. It was used to make an instant fire base.
Dak To - A battle in November 1967 that was a lesson to U.S. military forces (but no one remembered).
DD Form 4 - Enlistment contract with U.S. armed services.
DD 214 - Military Transfer or Discharge form.
Decompression - A vast number of nurses observed that decompression time was needed (but not gotten). GIs were quickly returned (individually) to the States after a tour in S.E.A.
Deer - In the jungles of Vietnam are the size of a large dog.
Defoliant - A chemical that is sprayed or dusted on vegetation that cause the leaves to fall off, and vegetation to die. See: Agent Orange.
Delaware - See: Operations.
Delta Dagger - F-102 jet.
Democrat, 1968 Convention - Held in Chicago, IL. The site of a big anti-war protest.
DEROS - Date Eligible Return from Overseas.
Desertion - There were only 24 proven cases of battlefield desertion during the Vietnam War.
Desoto - See: Operations.
Det cord - Detonation line for plastic explosives, or (daisy) claymores.
Deuce-and-a-half - A two and a half ton military truck.
Dew or Doo - Marijuana (short for doobie).
Dex tabs - A mild form of speed. Military personnel took them to stay awake while on patrol.
DI - Drill Instructor.
Di di mau - Vietnamese, to send away. Go, or get out.
Diddy boppin' - Slang term when someone moved carelessly without caution.
Diem - President of South Vietnam. Diem refuse to allow general democratic elections (as required by the Geneva Conference) because 80% of the people would have voted for Uncle Ho.
Dien Bien Phu - The site of a major battle that turned the war against the French in Vietnam in 1954.
Dien Tin - The Telegraph. The Vietnamese newspaper known for its anti-war stance.
Dime - Number 10, or one ounce.
Dioxin - This toxic chemical substance is second only to nuclear waste as harmful to life. The main ingredient of defoliants (agent orange, etc.) in Vietnam. Dioxin has been strongly linked to many cancers and is very harmful to all living things. Chemically known as: 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzopara-dioxin.
Dinky Dou - Vietnamese for crazy.
Disabled - Approximately 519,000 Vietnam Vets were disabled because of injuries.
DMZ - Demilitarized Zone. Established between North and South Vietnam - July 22, 1954.
U.S. ground troops could not cross the DMZ due to the Geneva Convention.
Don ganh - Shoulder pole on which Vietnamese women carried goods to market.
Dong - Currency of (North) Vietnam.
Dong Nai - The river just North of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
Doobie - Marijuana cigarette.
Doper - A person who used illicit drugs.
Double Intender - Something whose intent can be taken a way other than what is simply stated. Censorship laws in the sixties didn't allow some things to be said over the airwaves, so many songs had a different meaning than what was sang (though vehemently denied by the song writers).
Doughnut dolly - The name given a woman Red Cross volunteer in Vietnam.
Dove - A person who is anti-war.
Draft - Violation of U.S. Laws.


Draft Classification (ca. 1964-1972):


Drag bombs - Bombs dropped at low level that were perfect for the topography in Vietnam.
Dragonfly - A-37 jet.
DROS - Date Return from Over Seas
DRV - Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)
Drugs - By 1969, over 50% of U.S. military personnel took illicit drugs on a regular basis.
Dung burning detail - A rather odoriferous task (for which most enlisted personnel took turns) burning human waste (excrement).
Dust off - A medivac pickup of wounded personnel.
DX - Direct Exchange, or to kill someone.

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E

Early out - Discharge prior to commitment release date.
ECM - Electronic countermeasure (radar and other frequency jamming equipment).
Ecology - Defoliant and bomb craters have long term effects of the war on the Vietnamese and their country.
Eisenhower, President Dwight D. - Authorized 385 million dollars in aide in 1952, and enlarged the advisory group in South Vietnam.
Elephant grass - The tall grassy foliage found in abundance in South Vietnam. It has very sharp edges.
Elephant turd - 500 gallon rubber bladder filled with fuel.
EM - Enlisted Man.
Enhance - See: Operations.
Entrenching Tool - A small collapsible shovel sometimes with an attached pick.
ER - Efficiency Report.
ETA - Estimated Time of Arrival.
ETD - Estimated Time of Departure.
Expectant - A term for someone considered a #4 in Vietnam because they were expected to die.
Extend - Agree to stay in the military beyond commitment date.
Extraction - Removal of military personnel from the field.

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F

F-4 - Phantom jet.
FAC - Forward Air Controller.
FANK - The Cambodia Army (Forces Armees Nationals Khmeres).
Farewell gesture - Toss a smoke grenade from exiting chopper when leaving a fire base to catch a freedom bird.
Fart Sack - Sleeping bag.
Fat City - MACV Head Quarters in Vietnam.
Fatigues - Standard issue uniform (usually olive drab).
Fire Base (FB) - A bunkered, fortified area.
Fire Mission - Artillery fire.
Firefight - Confrontation with the enemy in which a minor, or major battle takes place.
Fishhook - See: Operations.
Fishing Trawlers - The Russian's monitored B-52 bombing runs from Guam to North Vietnam from these craft.
Flak Vest / Jacket - A protective vest worn by U.S. military personnel.
Flexgun - 7.62mm, M60CA1 machine gun.
Flight Time - To a Japanese (U.S.) hospital from Vietnam was 5-7 hours (to the U.S. was 23+ hours).
Flower Children - The non-violent hippie movement of the sixties and seventies.
Flowers - A Vietnamese girl would put flowers in her hair if she wanted to be dressed up.
Flying Boxcar - C-119 (Also Combat Hornet).
Flying Telephone Pole - The slang name of the Russian built SA-2 rocket used in Vietnam.
FO - Forward Observer. The man who calls in adjustments for artillery and mortar fire.
Foo Gas - A combination of jet fuel and explosives used to defend a perimeter from VC assault.
Fonda, Jane - Went to North Vietnam because of her political beliefs (in the USA we are allowed that freedom... remember) in July 1972. However, American POWs were severely beaten when they refused to talk to her. Jane Fonda is still held in low-esteem by the majority of Vietnam-era and other veterans. We ain't fond 'a Jane is a popular bumper sticker.
Formaldehyde - A chemical in beer used as a preservative in Vietnam (gave a kick if you weren't expecting it).
Frag - Short for fragmentation grenade. See: Fragging.
Fragging (or Frag) - Intentional killing of someone.
Fraternization - Prohibited socialization between officers and enlisted personnel. Still a crime in the military.
Freak - The slang term for a drug-addict, pot head, or society dropout in Vietnam and the U.S.
Freak Flag - Long hair.
Free Fire Zone - The name of the area where anything moving could be fired upon during the Vietnam War. Usually a no-man's land.
Freedom Bird - A U.S. bound plane.
Freedom Fighter - F-5. This jet was tested in Vietnam, then built up to squadron level.
Frequent Wind - See: Operations.
Friendlies - Allies.
FTX - Field Training Exercise.
Fulbright, Senator William F. - U.S. Senator from Arkansas. Became critical of U.S. involvement in Vietnam when he realized the U.S. wasn't going to win with its employed military tactics.
Funny Money - (MPC) Military Pay Certificate.

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G

G1 - Personnel officer on a general staff.
G2 - Military intelligence officer on general staff.
G3 - Operations officer on a general staff.
G4 - Supply officer on a general staff.
Gecko - A small, green lizard often kept as a pet in Vietnam to catch flies and other insects.
Ghost or Ghosting - Goldbricking, sandbagging, or hiding out in the rear as if not seen.
Giap, General - North Vietnamese Commander. Believed control of the Central Highlands to be militarily critical in South Vietnam.
Gibraltar - See: Operations.
Globemaster - C-124 cargo plane.
GMT - General Military Training, i.e., required knowledge of military life such as chain-of-command, rank, etc.
Gook - Derogatory term for Vietnamese.
Grease Gun - M-3 sub-machine gun.
Green Backs - U.S. currency was forbidden in Vietnam, but if you did have it, you got a better deal.
Grunts - A term first used during the Vietnam War as slang for ground (infantry) troops.
Guerrilla Warfare - The mode of fighting of the VC/NVA in Vietnam.
Gung Ho - A very pro-military person.
Gunship - A helicopter equipped with machine gun(s) and rockets.

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H

H & I - Harassment and Interdictory (artillery) fire.
Half-Track - An M16 light armored vehicle with .50 cal machine guns.
Haight Ashbury - The area in San Francisco that was originally a center of flower power children, but turned into a run down drug area by the end of the sixties.
Haiphong - The major port of North Vietnam.
Halozone Tablet - Used by U.S. military personnel to purify drinking water obtained from streams and rivers in Vietnam.
Ham & limas - The least favored C-ration meal in Vietnam. Paste with bad taste (and other colorful names).
Hamburger Hill - 430 were killed in the battle fought in A Shau Valley in May 1969.
Hamlet - A village in Vietnam.
Hanoi - The capital of North Vietnam during the war.
Hanoi Hannah - The female Disc Jockey broadcasting from North Vietnam. She babbled on about U.S. atrocities and the Wall Street connection aside from playing music.
Hanoi Hilton - The North Vietnamese prison where American POWs were kept in Hanoi.
Hard Hats - The name given the group supporting the War in Vietnam in 1970. They were, typically, the working class in the U.S.
Harriman, Averel - The U.S. delegate to the Paris Peace Talks in 1968.
Hasting - See: Operations.
Hawk - A pro-war person.
Hawkeye - E2-A, U.S. Navy plane used to direct aerial assaults.
HE - High Explosives.
Head - A person who smoked marijuana, or used other illicit drugs.
Heat Tab - A smokeless chemical tablet used to heat rations or water.
Heavies - Slang for high-ranking staff personnel and unit commanders.
Helicopter - The U.S. aircraft that was shot down the most, 4,865 of them.
Herbicide - A chemical substance used to destroy, or inhibit the growth of plants, especially weeds. Many herbicides kill by over stimulating growth (hormones). Herbicides can be selective (killing specific plants), or non-selective (killing everything in the area in which they are used).
Hercules - C-130 plane.
Hill 861 - The hill number made famous in the Battle of Khe Sanh.
Hill Numbers - Represented the hill height in meters.
Hippie - The name of those who dropped out of society during the sixties.
Hispanic - Is the largest minority group on the Wall in Washington D.C.
Ho Chi Minh - Vietnamese statesman who declared Vietnam independence (quoting the U.S. Declaration of Independence), September 2, 1942.
Ho Chi Minh Sandals - An entrepreneur in the U.S. copied tire tread foot ware (from Vietnam).
Ho Chi Minh Trail, The - A network of trails that began in North Vietnam into Laos, ending in South Vietnam.
Homecoming - See: Operations.
Hon Tre - The island off the coast of Vietnam used for intense Recondo School.
Hooch (hootch) - A small hut where Vietnamese lived.
U.S. personnel sometimes referred to thier living quarters as such.
Hook - The radio, or radio hand set.
Horn, The - The radio.
Horse - Heroin.
Hospital - The only combat arenal (kidney) unit was in 3rd Field Hospital, Saigon. Survival rate was 97.4%. 82% of injured were transported alive to a hospital.
Hostile(s) - Encounter with the enemy.
Hot - Referred to an LZ or area when enemy troops were in the area.
Howitzer - A relatively short range, high angle of fire canon with a 105, 115, 155, etc., shell. The canon is named for the man who invented this canon.
HQ - Head Quarters.
Hue - Lotus Flower is the nickname for this Vietnamese city. The longest battle of the war was fought here. Between 500 and 5,000 civilians were murdered while the VC held this city.
Huey - UH-1 helicopter, or any of the UH series of helicopter. The difference between a UH-1D and a UH-1B helicopter, four more people could ride in a UH-1D.
Human Be-In - A rock concert held in Golden Gate Park (San Francisco) in January 1967.
Humphrey, Hubert - The vice-president (Democrat) challenged Richard Nixon in the 1968 election.
Humpin' or hump - Going on patrol in the jungle (bush), or perform any laborious task.
Huskie - HH-43B helicopter used by air rescue teams.

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I

I & R - Intelligence and Reconnaissance patrol.
IG - Inspector General.
Incoming - Enemy artillery and mortar fire that falls with a secured area, or friendly positions.
In-country - Being in Vietnam.
Intruder - U.S. Navy A-6A carried 15,000 lbs of payload (bombs).
Iron Triangle, The - The nickname of the area South-West of Saigon during the Vietnam War.

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J

Jack Benny - The number, 39.
Jade - A gem stone that was commonly traded (and purchased) among Vietnamese.
-- Jade was contraband for military to bring to the USA from S.E.A.
Japan - Invaded Vietnam in 1940, and were defeated in 1945.
Jody or Jake - Slang for the guys who were stealing your girl while you were in Vietnam, or in the military.
Marching cadence - Ain't no use in goin' home, Jody's got your girl an' gone, sound off...1,2,3,4
Johnson, Lyndon Baines - The U.S. President that ordered U.S. bombing of North Vietnam in 1965.
-- He stopped bombing North Vietnam as a goodwill gesture on March 31, 1968.
Joint - A marijuana cigarette.
Jolly Green Giant - HH-53B (originally, HH-3E).
Jolly Rogers Phantom - VF-84 U.S. Navy jet.
Joy Poppers - A sixties movement of young and older people proclaiming Jesus as the answer to life's problems.
Juicer - Someone in the military who consumed a lot of alcoholic beverages.
Jungle Boots - Military issue footwear. A combination of leather and nylon.
Jungle Penetrator - A device lowered from a hovering chopper to extract someone.
Jungle Utilities - Lightweight tropical military issue fatigues.

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K

K-Bar - A military issue knife.
Krait, Many Banded (snake) - located throughout SEA. Very toxic venom.
KC-135 - Aircraft used to refuel fighters after a bombing mission in North Vietnam.
Keith, Bobbie - The weather girl on Armed Forces Television in Vietnam.
Kent State - Four anti-war protesters were killed on this Ohio campus in May 1970.
KHA - Killed in Hostile Action. See: KIA
Khe Sanh - The siege began, January 20, 1968, and lasted 77 days.
Khmer Rouge - Cambodian Communists.
KIA - Killed In Action. Two-Thirds of the U.S. military killed in Vietnam were 21 or younger. First American military personnel killed in Vietnam was Lt. Col. Peter Dewey, 1945. At the end of 1965, total KIA in Vietnam was 636; by January 1, 1968, the KIA total was 16,021. The last two U.S. military personnel killed in action in Vietnam were U.S. Marines on April 29 ,1975, Charles McMahon, Jr. and Darwin Jude. 58,000+ were killed during the Vietnam war, including eight (8) female military personnel.
King, Martin Luther Jr. - Assassinated on March 31, 1968. Leader of the Civil Right Movement, and a minister. Delivered a speech titled, Declaration of Independence from the Vietnam War, April 4, 1967.
Kit Carson Scout - A former VC who performed scout duties for U.S. military.
Kissinger, Henry - Nixon's National Security Advisor in 1964. He eventually became Secretary of State.
Klacker - The slang name of the device to detonate a claymore mine.
Klick - The term for one thousand meters, a kilometer.
Kook Smoke - Marijuana.
KP - Kitchen police (patrol).

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L

L-T (eL Tee) - A lieutenant.
Land Line - Ground wire communication.
Lao Dung - The party founded by Ho Chi Minh in 1951. It had been Viet Minh previously.
LAW - M-72 (66mm), Light Assault Weapon, (R. Hermann used this, and said it was also called Light Anti-Tank Weapon).
LBJ - Long Bien Jail.
Leary, Dr. Timothy - Counter culture guru who said, "..turn-on, tune-in, and drop-out" He advocated the use of LSD to expand the mind.
Leech - Found on land and in the water. They often dropped from trees, and only need to eat (suck blood) once a year.
Legs or "Straight Legs" - Non-airborne military personnel. Contrast: Airborne troops wear their trousers bloused (tucked into the top of their boots.) Regular Infantry do not do this, hence the term "Straight Legs" (according to Sgt. Don Burgett, A/506 PIR 101st Airborne WWII, the author of "Curahee" and other books concerning the 101st Airborne during WWII). (submitted by Bill Riley)
Lifer - A career military person.
Lima Charlie - Loud and Clear; term used during radio communications.
Linebacker I - See: Operations.
Linebacker II - See: Operations.
Lister Bag - Waterproof (plastic or canvas) drinking water container.
Literacy rate - Among the Vietnamese is 65%.
Little People - The enemy.
Lit-up - Fired upon.
LLDB - Luc Luong Dac Biet. The Vietnamese Special Forces.
Loach - Light Observation Helicopter (OH-6A Cayuse).
Lock 'n' Load - Place a weapon on safety, and prepare (ready) it for firing by placing a round in the chamber.
LOH - Light Observation Helicopter (OH-13).
Lon Nol - The one who ousted Prince Sihanouk (a Communist supporter).
Long Bow - A typical weapon on a PBR in the Mekong Delta. Flaming arrows were shot with this.
Long Nose - The Vietnamese slang name for the Americans.
Low Riders - A sub-culture gang of the late sixties.
LRRP - (lurp) Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol.
LSD - A synthetic compound ingested to supposedly expand consciousness.
LZ - Landing Zone.

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M

M-1 - A .30 cal semiautomatic rifle.
M-14 - A rifle issued to U.S. troops in 1965. A better weapon than the next version, the M-16, but heavier.
M-16 - Perhaps, the worst weapon ever to be forced on the U.S. fighting forces (5.56mm).
M-203 - Designation for the over-under, M-16 and grenade launcher, used in Vietnam.
M-60 - (The Pig) A light belt-fed machine gun.
M-79 - A grenade launcher. Fired 40-mm HE and buckshot rounds. A very effective weapon in Vietnam.
MACV - (Mac-V) Military Assistance Command Vietnam. The HQ for US advisors to Vietnamese forces.
Mag - Magazine (ammunition).
Majestic Hotel - The place in Paris, France where the Peace Talks were held.
Mama san - Older Vietnamese woman.
Mansfield Amendment - Legislation passed to withdrawal the U.S. military from Vietnam (but, its purpose was hampered by U.S. Government officials).
Mansfield, Senator Mike - The U.S. Senator who objected strongly to American involvement in Vietnam when John Kennedy was President. He was the Senate Majority Leader at the time.
Marijuana - The weed harvested and sold by Vietnamese to U.S. military personnel in Vietnam.
MARS - Military Affiliate Radio Station. This was one way in which a person in South East Asia could call home.
MASH - Military Assistance Command Hospital
MASH - Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
Mass Cal - Large influx of casualties.
McCarthy, Senator Eugene - A Peace Candidate, challenged President Johnson in the Democratic primary in 1968.
Medal of Honor (CMH) - 238 were awarded during the Vietnam War among the 2.6+ million who served in Vietnam.
MEDCAP - Medical Civilian Action Projects.
Medivac - Medical evacuation by helicopter. See: Dust-off.
Mekong - The largest river in Vietnam. The Mekong River is the border of Laos and Thailand to Vietnam. The Mekong Delta has more than 4,000 miles of waterways.
Menu - See: Operations.
MIA - Missing In Action. Over 2000 men are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
Mig - Soviet built jet aircraft (Mikoyan-Gurevich) used by the North Vietnamese Air Force. All jets had this first name regardless of model number.
Mig-21 - Gave the F-4s problems during the last years of the Vietnam War.
Military, U.S. -


Millipede - The multi-legged creepy-crawler with a nasty bite (a six inch one was not rare). The centipede is its cousin in the U.S.
Minigun - 7.62mm, Gatling styled machine gun that could shoot 6,000 rounds a minute.
Minorities - There are 37 in Vietnam.
Mohawk - OV-1 plane.
Monday Pill - Weekly anti-malaria pill.
Moon - July 19, 1969, a man walked on the moon.
Monkey - A jungle animal captured by Vietnamese mountain tribes to be kept as pets and/or eaten. Monkeys would often chase deer, but rarely (if ever) kill them.
Monkey Pod Wood - Easy to carve wood from which useful objects were made throughout South East Asia.
Monsoon (Rainy) Season - July to September in Vietnam. 90% of the rain occurred in Vietnam during this time of the year. The rainy season was a natural occurrence that hampered U.S. troops, but was welcomed by the VC/NVA.
Montagnard Bracelet - Made of brass.
Montagnards - Indigenous people of the highlands in Vietnam. They are much like the American Indians who once roamed the U.S. These nomads were trained as combat troops to seek out VC in the Central Highlands.
Moped - Two-wheeled motor bike introduced to the South Vietnamese as an economical means of transportation.
MOS - Military Occupational Specialty.
Mosquitoes - These flying insects were so bad you'd swear that if they all flew at once, you might fly away.
MPC - Military Pay Certificate (funny money).
Mr. H - Heroin.
Mohammed Ali - A boxer who objected to being drafted and was later barred from boxing (formally, Cassius Clay).
My Lai - (may lay) The hamlet where 200-500 civilians were murdered by a U.S. Army unit in South Vietnam.

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Additions, comments, suggestions, and corrections, or for reproduction (posting) permission,
please contact: novel@gmasw.com

Gary D. Moore
SSgt USAF 1968-1972
5161 Howard Road
Smiths Creek, MI 48074-2023

Update: September 23, 2010

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