National Geographic : 1967 Feb
EKTACHROMESFROM U.S . MARINE CORPS (LEFT) AND U.S . ARMY Men of two worlds cross paths in Viet Nam. The farmer, seining his paddy field for an extra crop-fish-exchanges glances with passing U. S. Marines who hunt guerrillas. Moving warily into the unknown, a soldier fords a chest deep river near the village of Long Thanh, 20 miles east of Saigon. NEW GEOGRAPHIC WALL MAP SPOTLIGHTS Strife-torn Viet Nam and Its Neighbors may be the source of next week's headlines. The name "Central Highlands," so often in the news, takes on clearer meaning when one looks at the rugged mountains of Viet Nam. The new map portrays them with remarkable clarity. Cartographers chose the light thrown by late-afternoon sun on northwestern slopes to achieve a striking relief effect. Among hundreds of point elevations on the map, dozens in Viet Nam soar to a mile or more-"steer-clear" warnings to low-flying pilots. Ocean soundings appear in fathoms; boxed figures beside harbor names indicate controlling channel depths in feet. An angled blue pattern, signifying paddy fields, identifies at a glance the strategically vital rice-producing areas on which all of Southeast Asia depends for its staple food. Scarlet airplane symbols indicate airstrips. Planes operating from bases such as Da Nang, Quang Tri, Tra Bong, and Quang Ngai have provided our troops in the south with power ful air support, while teaming with carrier based Navy planes to reduce the enemy's fighting capability with bombings in the north. Among the top targets of these attacks have been the two rail lines leading from Hanoi northeast and northwest toward China's Kwangsi and Yunnan Provinces. A large Communist Chinese contingent in North Viet Nam has been kept busy repairing and de fending these major supply links.