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Tiny base at Vinh Long has a deadly sting

November, 1965: Warrant Officer Tom Allen soaks up some sun in a marshy pond near the flight line at the tiny Vinh Long airfield, home of the U.S. Army's 502nd and 114th Aviation Battalions, in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta region. Bob Cutts/Stars and Stripes

By BOB CUTTS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 18, 1965

Tiny Vinh Long airfield in the heart of the Mekong Delta Region is the jumping off place for U.S. and Vietnamese troops who pounce on the Viet Cong in their jungle hideaways.

It's the home of the U.S. Army's 502d Aviation Bn., and the 114th Aviation Bn.

Choppers fan out from Vinh Long daily to take supplies and personnel to U.S. and Vietnamese outposts or fly combat troops into battle with VC guerrillas.

The choppers are shot at often. Patching up bullet holes in the wingless birds is a common sight at Vinh Long.

Some of the helicopters taking off with supplies for outlying Special Forces camps are so heavily loaded they must taxi down the Vinh Long runway to get airborne.
 

Vietnamese troops, held in reserve, wait near helicopters at Vinh Long for a call that would send them into battle.
Bob Cutts/Stars and Stripes


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