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South Vietnamese Troops Hit Reds With Assist from U.S. Air Force Helicopter Company

Feb. 4, 1962 - A U.S. Air Force helicopter company carrying Vietnamese troops routed Communist forces today around the village of Hung My, near the southern tip of South Vietnam. However, the maneuver failed to achieve its goal, which was to kill or capture a strong Viet Cong force that had been harassing the area. One U.S. helicopter was shot down and a second was hit. The American crewmen and Vietnamese soldiers aboard the downed craft were picked up by helicopter minutes after the crash. There were no injuries. The downed craft, the first U.S. helicopter to be knocked out of the skies in the fighting in Vietnam, was later repaired and flown out. Three Communist guerrillas were captured, and an estimated total of 130 Viet Cong troops fled as the helicopters roared down on them. Faulty communications, insufficient troops and helicopters, and a lack of air cover were blamed for the failure of the mission to capture or kill all of the Viet Cong force. “Limited as we were in men, machines, and communications, we just could not close that ring tight enough,” said Lieut. Col. Robert B. Olson, of Dallas, Tex.

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