The Vietnam War: Remarkable Photos of Unexploded Bomb Removal From the Jungles of Laos.

The Vietnam War: Remarkable Photos of Unexploded Bomb Removal From the Jungles of Laos.

Above Photo: The very tip of an unexploded Vietnam War bomb,  exposed by rain.

One of the themes of BACK, my Vietnam War-backpacker crossover novel, is the danger posed by unexploded ordnance dropped during the Vietnam War, which still lurks in the jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, waiting for unlucky modern-day victims.

Sekong UXO operatives carefully dig around the bomb to exspose it in the ground.

Sekong UXO operatives carefully dig around the bomb to expose it in the ground. Note how close the villagers’ fence is to the bomb.

There’s an estimated eighty million pieces of ordnance dropped during the Secret War in Laos still littering that country’s jungles and rice fields alone, and many millions more in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The bomb is gently removed from the ground.

The bomb is gently removed from the ground.

As the population of Laos expands and the need for farming land intensifies, jungles are being cut back. This results in new battle fronts being discovered on a daily basis, as unstable and dangerous items of unexploded ordnance are exposed. UXO Lao specialists must then turn up and deal with the threat.

The business end of the bomb is carefully secured.

The business end of the bomb is carefully secured.

I was reminded of this recently, when looking at this set of photographs from UXO Lao in Sekong Province. Their teams of operatives deal with UXO like this on a daily basis.

The bomb is ready to be removed.

The bomb is ready to be removed.

Sekong was plastered with ordnance from US planes during the Vietnam War, as they bombed and attacked the North Vietnamese supply lines that ran through the remote jungles of the province. These supply lines are better known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the ultimate destination of the hapless backpackers in my novel.

The bomb is prepared to be carried out of the jungle....

The bomb is prepared to be carried out of the jungle….

I’ve added photos of just one of UXO Sekong’s bomb removal operations to illustrate this article, captioned with explanations. This was an unexploded aeroplane bomb dropped in the late 1960s or the early 1970s on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Sekong. What was then dense jungle is now right outside someone’s back fence.

...slung on a strong branch.

…slung underneath a strong branch.

A long walk back to their vehicle, having to be careful not accidentally trip on roots and vegetation and drop the bomb

A long walk back to their vehicle, having to be careful not to accidentally trip on jungle roots and vegetation and thereby drop the bomb.

Success - the bomb is safely loaded into the UXO vehicle and packed with sandbags in c se of premature detonation.

Success – the bomb is safely loaded into the UXO vehicle and packed with sandbags in case of premature detonation.

The bomb is driven away to be safely detonated elsewhere.

The bomb is driven away to be safely detonated elsewhere.

With thanks to my friends at UXO Lao for the photos.

Our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.

MIA button

See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. 

For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:

© Peter Alan Lloyd

BACK Parts 1 and 2

Reviews: Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews 

UK: Amazon.co.uk: BACK Parts 1 and 2 

US: Amazon: Back Parts 1 and 2

Smashwords: Back Parts 1 and 2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.lloyd.94064?fref=ts

Website: www.peteralanlloyd.com

Twitter: @PeterAlanLloyd

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

Front cover of BACK Part 2.

Front cover of BACK Part 2.

 

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