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Armed Helicopters Playing Major Role in Vietnam Fighting

July 23, 1963 - Armed U.S. helicopters inflicted heavy casualties on a Communist guerrilla unit after it attacked two companies of South Vietnamese rangers north of Saigon today. This was the second time in a week that armed helicopters had been used as assault craft in the fighting in Vietnam. Previously, the armed helicopters served as escort for unarmed helicopters carrying Vietnamese troops into battle. About 70 uniformed members of the Viet Cong were believed to have been killed in the long battle today. Eight rangers were killed, and 34 were wounded. Despite the victory, military observers expressed concern about one aspect of the battle. “The Viet Cong acted as though they had unlimited ammunition,” they remarked. In the past, the guerrilla attacks have been marked by frugal and disciplined use of ammunition. The Communists have been heavily dependent on captured supplies of American-made weapons.


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