The Flak Jacket


Flak JacketFor operations in the Ho Bo Woods and patrol base Dragon we added one more piece of equipment to our wardrobe: a flak jacket.  The risk of injury at these sites was so high that each man was ordered to wear one outside the base.  The jacket could stop a bullet, and provided excellent shrapnel protection to the back, chest and middle abdomen, though a round could still enter through the arm holes, and the neck and face were exposed, as well as everything below the belt.  They were heavy, and hot.   I've forgotten how much they weighed, but the woven padding was several inches thick.  They were so bulky that arm movement was a bit more difficult.  But they did give us an added measure of upper body protection.  And they made a handy pillow!

At right is S-2 Scout SSgt. Nguyen Thanh Queyen modeling a rubberized Army flak jacket (January 1970)  He is also sporting aviator sunglasses and an AR-15 rifle.


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The Flak Jacket:  Tales Of A War Far Away
Copyright 1995 Kirk S. Ramsey
Picture Copyright 1995 Bob Lindgren
Last modified: March 02, 1995