|Rifleman, 5th Marine Regiment, Battle of Hue, Vietnam, 1968|
|The Tet Offensive began on January 31, 1968. The city of Hue, South Vietnam, was the site of one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. Three understrength U.S. Marine battalions, consisting of fewer than 2,500 men, attacked and soundly defeated more than 10,000 entrenched enemy, liberating Hue for South Vietnam. North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces were driven out of Hue little by little as U.S. Marines retook the city one block at a time.The Battle of Hue lasted four weeks and cost some 142 American lives.
The USMC used their own body armor which was the M1955 vest. It actually an upgraded version of the M1951 vest that was worn in Korea. The USMC were also the first ones to more or less pioneer the use and development of body armour. The vest had a rope ridge fitted to the right shoulder so as to retain a slung rifle whilst on the march. The vest itself was made from nylon and had 23 separate 5 1/4in square, by 1/8in thick Doron plate inserts. These inserts overlapped (internally) in ballistic nylon pockets below the shoulder area. This vest, like the Army M1969 had a ¾ length collar constructed from 6 piles of ballistic nylon. In the medium size the vest weighed 10lb 3oz.
The helmet cover typically for a Marine is worn without the elastic band, a tradition that continues today.