This book is the factual story of the development of armed helicopters in the US Army and their first employment in combat. The story is dramatically told by the courageous men who lived it--flying daily into enemy infested areas facing murderous fire from automatic and anti-aircraft weapons. In late 1961 the US Government deployed five Transportation Helicopter Companies (H-21 lift ships) to South Vietnam to increase the mobility of South Vietnamese ground forces. The Viet Cong quickly recognized that the H-21s were unarmed and began shooting at them endangering the lives of American crewmen. A helicopter company equipped with 25 UH-1 helicopters had been cobbled together on Okinawa by the Commander US Army Pacific. Believing the company was soon to be deployed to Vietnam, the men assigned to the unit armed its helicopters by scrounging weapons systems left over from WW ll and Korea stored in Army/Air Force depots in Okinawa. Machine guns and 2.75 inch rockets were jury rigged onto the UH-1s.
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September 28, 2011
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