A modifed JCRC jungle jacket that belonged to SFC Johnson Clark who was the Team 2 NCOIC for the Element B Survey Team of JCRC from 1973 to 1975. The JCRC was set up in 1973 to attempt to resolve some of the many MIA cases in Vietnam. The teams were made up of mostly U.S. Army Special Forces (including ex-SOG personel such as Larry White pictured on the extreme lfte below) but others were involved as well. These teams went to the field unarmed and under truce. Jackets like the one shown above were worn and the helicopters were also marked with orange stripes. The flags in the post were used to mark vehicles in the same fashion, the first flag being the issue one and the second a locally made one from a more silk-like material.
In December of 1973 a JCRC team went to a helicopter crash site to look for remains. On the 3rd day of this mission the Team was ambushed and CPT Richard Rees was killed.
From M. I. A.: Accounting for the Missing in Southeast Asia.
"In early December 1973, another JCRC field activity began. The site of interest, a helicopter crashsite, was located approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Saigon in an area of rice and pineapple fields, low trees, and brush. The rice fields, abandoned for a number of years, had grown up with tall grass and weeds but were still flooded with knee-deep water and mud. Captain Richard Rees, the JCRC field team leader on this operation, flew with his team to the crash site aboard FPJMT-marked helicopters on the morning of December 13.
. . .
On the morning of the third day, 15 December, Rees and his team again boarded the FPLMT helicopters at Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon for the short 15-minute flight back to the crashsite.
. . . The first of three helicopters hovered down to a landing. Touching down gently, Rees and his men hopped out as the Vietnamese pilot held the craft stable on the dike. The other two helicopters commenced their landings adjacent to the first. Suddenly a Communist B-40 rocket-propelled grenade exploded against the first helicopter, setting it afire and fatally wounding one of the Vietnamese crewmen. Though hit by shrapnel, the other two helicopters immediately took to the air to escape a similar fate. With their means of escape gone, Captain Rees and his unarmed team were at the mercy of the automatic weapons fire which the Viet Cong ambushers now raked across the paddy field.
Rees and his men threw themselves down into the knee-deep water, hoping that the weeds and old paddy dikes would provide some degree of cover from the ambushers' fire. Captain Rees quickly realized that they were totally at the mercy of their attackers . . . In a final courageous gamble to save his team, Rees stood up with his hands raised, and shouted in Vietnamese to the attackers to stop their firing because his men were unarmed. His shout was immediately answered by a volley of fire from the brush at the edge of the paddy, and Captain Rees fell dead in the water.
. . . the Viet Cong quickly withdrew from the scene leaving behind one American killed and four team members wounded, one Vietnamese killed and three wounded, and one helicopter destroyed."
Courtesy of Guy at Brightlight Military Antiques and the Beau Brummel Collection
Photo courtesy www.specialforceshistory.com