The company proceeded along the eastern base of the sheer cliff rising a thousand feet above it. My arrival in the midst of Kilo’s Marines, and reaching the base of the glacis changed none of that. The fire from the other jungle inhabitants, the enemy, remained sporadic, muzzle flashes buried in the night, and in the rain and broken nightmare of decaying bracken that made surviving on the jungle floor an exercise in enduring misery.

Kilo company had come together once more, the loss of the two lieutenants with their radio operators, had been taken by the Marines of the company as a welcome movement of the hand of whatever God they believed in. I couldn’t watch them moving about in preparation for assaulting the glacis and reaching the top of the ridge some distance in front of us, as the night was one of total blackness. There wasn’t a single speck of light that reached my eyes from the moving Marines around me. There was no lighting of cigarettes or hooded tiny glows of hand covered flashlights. Kilo was a rugged weathered company, having been down in the valley without relief for more than a month, just like my own company. It took some time to finish the move downriver. Enemy fire had been sporadic and effective only in slowing our progress trying to assure that no more of our Marines were lost.