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MALCOLM W. BROWNE:
Saigon AP Bureau Handbook


Page 13 of 22 Back  Main  Next


XI. RECOMMENDED FIELD GEAR

For one-day operations, a pistol belt with attached canteen and case are the basics. A jack knife, film and some candy are useful. (Candy helps fill in the long hours between meals and pleases peasant children. Chocolate always melts but sour balls are suitable.)

For longer operations, the following is recommended:

  • A GI field pack, or its equivalent.
  • A camouflaged mosquito net (not a white one).
  • Canteen with case, jack knife, C-Ration can opener.
  • Assorted canned or packaged food, especially canned meat, enough to last at least one day. C-Rations can be bought from MAAG units in the field sometimes. They cost $12 a case, which is enough for about one week.
  • A rubber air mattress, if obtainable; otherwise, a ground cloth.
  • Several pairs of socks, some underwear, and a white shirt, if there's room. Province chiefs sometimes invite correspondents in the field to dinner.
  • Toilet items, including towel and soap.
  • An ample supply of toilet paper.
  • A small flashlight.
  • Mosquito repellent
  • A light blanket, if season and area indicate it.
  • An aid pack
  • A bottle of halizone water purification tablets.
  • Aspirin
  • Matches or lighter, if you smoke. Candy.
  • A suitable map.
  • Money and identification papers.
  • Optionally, a pocket pistol.

In crossing streams, canals and ditches, the correspondent often is neck deep in water and mud. Everything not specially protected will be soaked. Cameras should be held over the head or thrown to someone on the other side before crossing. Small pocket items, such as matches and identifications papers and film can be kept dry with GI contraceptives. Items can be put in the rubbers, tying the necks closed.

All these items can be obtained in Saigon.


Courtesy Malcolm W. Browne.

Photo: Horst Faas, Mal Browne and Peter Arnett in the Saigon AP office. Photo credit: Peter Arnett collection Reporter's Notebook
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