During a firefight near the Cambodian border on June 6, 1968, a 1st Infantry Division soldier got a pleasant surprise as he watched a North Vietnamese Army infantryman aim his rifle, pull the trigger and explode in a cloud of black smoke.

American troops later examined the remains of the NVA soldier and his exploded Chinese Type 56 rifle, removing some of its parts from the body. There was nothing was blocking the bore, the incident was attributed to poor metallurgy or bad ammo, but the situation was a little more complicated than it appeared.

While it is gratifying to see the direct results of your work, some times it is more effective to set the conditions for success and then stand back and let events unfold.  Project Eldest Son, a classified program of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (SOG), placed sabotaged ammunition in North Vietnamese Army ammo dumps. The success of Eldest Son exceeded all expectations.