VC Capture

American soldiers in Vietnam often faced the difficult dilemma of separating innocent civilians from the Viet Cong. Many Vietnamese worked the rice fields during the day or labored at other tasks, silently watching American troops as they trudged pass, then spent the night setting out mines and booby traps or firing a few mortar rounds at American defensive positions. Treatment of captured suspects ran a spectrum of possibilities. Americans who had witnessed losing fellow comrades to horrifying mine and booby trap explosions sometimes took out their anger on captured enemy soldiers and suspected VC. One company commander in the field, Captain Dutch McAllister, wrote in his diary of the capture of one VC suspect, a young boy, seen in this photo, and its relatively happy ending. “A very quiet day at the NDP. I sent the 2nd platoon on a Search and Destroy mission to the southeast. The platoon captured one suspect VC of about 15 years old, but the capture was a false alarm. The boy’s mother turned up with identification papers late this afternoon and we released him.”