grass, often reaching heights of 8 to 10 feet, was a particular
nemesis to the grunt. Technically known as Napier Grass,
elephant grass loomed over the grunt as he walked through what
at times seem to be miles of solid walls of its razor-edged
blades. It also held the heat in like an oven while it sliced
away at the arms and face, creating small cuts that soon became
infected -- jungle rot or the creeping crud.
Elephant grass also concealed holes, nasty drop-offs, and
depressions caused by bomb craters. Often the point man found
himself tumbling helplessly into a hole. The damned grass also
hid the enemy.
Perhaps the only good thing about elephant grass was that you
could collect a batch of it each night to "feather"
Shown here taking a break from the heat, are, from left, Dave
Parker of Oregon, Bill House of Kentucky, Joe Harris of
Virginia, Dave Bartosek of Pittsburgh, and Frank Bokan of
Philadelphia. (Please see Photo No. 12)