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Nine Viet Cong Slain in Operation, HU-1B Helicopters Critical to Success

Apr. 10, 1963 - Airborne troops of one of South Vietnam’s finest companies pursued Communist guerrillas yesterday and today in the Mekong River Delta, killing 9 and capturing 27. No Government casualties were announced. The operation was considered by some U.S. military observers as the most effective and efficient use of American helicopters in this war. Instead of the usual H-21 helicopters, the transport and escort helicopters were the newer, faster HU-1B models known as “Hueys.” Observers believed the new aircraft contributed to the unusual effectiveness of the flight. A minimum number of troops covered a maximum amount of terrain. Some of the Viet Cong were flushed out of villages by armed helicopters hovering over the area. Some were flushed out by Vietnamese troops moving steadily along the ground. As the black-clad guerrillas were chased out of the villages, the helicopters would whip down. On several occasions, four unarmed Hueys would unload 10 men each from the 21st Reconnaissance Company. On several occasions, when the troops were already committed, armed Hueys with Vietnamese observers aboard would hover over fleeing Communists until they stopped and surrendered. “It was a roundup,” one American helicopter pilot said, “just like a rodeo.”


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