The Iron Triangle
During both the French war in Vietnam and throughout the American involvement in the Vietnam war, one of the strongholds for Viet Minh activity was in the Iron Triangle. It was a 120 square mile area located in the Binh Duong Province of Vietnam. The Iron Triangle was between the Saigon River in the west and the Tinh River on the east, bordering Route 13 for 25 miles north of Saigon. The southern apex was 7 miles from Phu Cuong, the capital of Binh Duong province. An elaborate network of tunnels and hidden fortifications were built in the region as early as the 1880s to resist French occupation. During the French war, the tunnels were expanded. Underground operations against first the Ngo Dinh Diern government and then later US-backed South Vietnamese government were built. The last decisive attack against Saigon came from the Iron Triangle region. In April 1975, General Van Tien Dung, political bureau members Pham Hung and Le Duc Tho, and the southern Viet Cong military commander Tran Van Tra joined together to organize the decisive attack.
This week we salute Jack Bradley. Jack was in the U.S. Army from March 1968 to March 1970. He was drafted and sent to Basic training at Fort Lewis Washington. He went to Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Four months and two weeks later, Jack found himself in Vietnam with the 20th Engineer Brigade. Jack’s military occupational specialty was Combat Engineer. He was assigned to the prefab yard, where he learned a trade. Several Vietnamese worked with him and his partner in construction. Every day he had to go into the village and pick up the workers. When asked what memory stays with him from his tour in Vietnam, he stated it was the poverty of the people. In 2016, he returned to a different Vietnam where the people appeared to have a better life. After his stint in Vietnam, Jack returned to the states and was stationed at Fort Rucker (renamed Novosel) Alabama where he worked as a vehicle mechanic. He is a fourth generation Rosebud county resident. His grandmother came to Rosebud county in 1882. Jack is married to Glenda, and they have 2 adult children.