Legendary Military Battles: Operation Chopper, Vietnam War

 January 18, 2022

The United States began fighting a major battle in the Vietnam War on Jan. 12, 1962. The operation was aptly named Operation Chopper.

Helicopter Mission

The mission consisted of 82 U.S. Army H-21 helicopters flying into Vietnam one thousand paratroopers. They were being flown into a possible Viet Cong complex with about 50 hostile Viet Cong inside.

After a small battle, the Viet Cong retreated. The quick defeat made the U.S. realize how powerful helicopters are in attacks. So they made twelve helicopter battalions and increased the airborne military presence in Vietnam.

Overall, the operation changed the landscape for both North and South Vietnam. One of the most prevalent birds in the war was the UH-1. It first took to the air in 1956, and over 7,000 were used in the Vietnam War, with 2,500 lost.

Lengthy War

The Vietnam War went on for a long time with a huge cost to human life. Over the course of the war, the U.S. lost 58,220 troops, and 40,934 died. In addition, 304,000 soldiers were wounded.

The massive number of wounded soldiers shed light on the importance of getting the wounded to safety. As a result, many were airlifted and sent to staging facilities. More soldiers would have been lost if it weren't for this step.

Overall, 4.5 percent of the soldiers died mid-transport in WWII. In Vietnam, that number was greatly reduced, with only one percent dying in flight.

One of the improvements that dramatically lowered the number of in-flight deaths was the Army using Huey helicopters with medical crews to evacuate the injured soldiers. However, between 1962 and 1973, 2105 helicopter pilots died, and 76 were missing in action.

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4 comments on “Legendary Military Battles: Operation Chopper, Vietnam War”

  1. Viet Nam was just plain awful. The crowning touch was when Jane Fonda visited Hanoi and the Communists paraded our American men before her to show her that ybey were not abused. They passed her notes secretly and she passed them on to the monsters that were abusing them. Some died.
    She was never charged with a crime by our government.

    1. She may not have been charged with any crime but those of us who served during that time have never forgotten "Hanoi Jane" Some years ago Barbara Walters was involved with the 100 most influential women in America. Hanoi Jane was up for nomination. I wrote to Barbara telling her the story much as you stated it. I don't know if it made a difference but I will continue to tell the truth about that bitch whenever the opportunity arises. I have heard different versions of this story. In one version some of our brave men at the Hanoi Hilton were killed. in another version, nobody died but they all took one hell of a beating which when coupled with their emaciated condition probably put them close to death. On occasion Hanoi Jane has stated that she cannot understand why this is still being brought up since she "apologised". Kind of a window into just how stupid and naive many liberals in show business really are isn't it.

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