Vietnam War in the News is an edited review of Vietnam War related news and articles.

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'No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.'
- Richard M. Nixon

Helicopters and military pilots of Vietnam War

So long warbird Huey: The fading "sound of the Vietnam War"
For many Army and National Guard pilots, the flat, hollow thump of Huey helicopter blades is like a second heartbeat. That sound has meant help was on its way or that someone was about to get dropped into a firefight. "It's the sound of the Vietnam War," said Chief Warrant Officer Jim Brennan, who flew UH-1 Huey troop transport missions in the 1960s. "I meet a lot of Vietnam veterans who tell me that the last time they heard that noise or saw one of these Hueys, it was pulling them out a bad situation." Recently Georgia Army National Guard commanders retired the last of their Hueys, replaced by the Black Hawks.

Marine veterans rebuild Vietnam-era helicopter   (Article no longer available from the original source)
This Sikorsky UH-34 Seahorse helicopter had flown in combat in Vietnam, its floorboards flooded with the blood of dying soldiers. When the war ended, it lay in a boneyard for abandoned aircraft, forgotten after 8 years of service. Now it has been reconstructed in a North Fork potato barn by the hands of men with their own histories of service in Vietnam. As they have redeemed the chopper, veterans say their project has helped them reclaim their own war stories, restored old friendships, and helped some come to terms with the past and drive away emotions that had long plagued them.

Reliving wartime sights and sounds
Brigadier Chris Roberts felt a shiver when he saw a new exhibit at the War Memorial in Canberra. The centrepiece is a simulation of a helicopter landing in Vietnam. It has a Huey helicopter and life-size models of soldiers against a backdrop of footage of the Hueys delivering soldiers to operations, with the sound. Brigadier Roberts was a 23-year-old lieutenant in Vietnam in 1969 and he says the simulation "brings back memories". The display is part of an exhibition "Conflicts: 1945 to Today," which features all the wars and peacekeeping operations Australia has participated in since WW2.

Final flight for Australian Huey helicopters
A brave Aussie warrior that served the country through war and peacekeeping missions in the past 40 years will have its last hurrah in Brisbane. The Australian Defence Force is retiring its UH-1H Iroquois helicopters - Hueys. Hueys supplied ammunition to Australian troops pinned down by North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces at the battle of Long Tan. Veteran Brett Bullians remembered the Hueys well: "They'd come down and make their own landing zones, cutting down trees with the blades. The medivac choppers were great - some of the pilots would just fly in and pick people up no matter what the danger."

Vietnam vet spends 2 years, 40,000 dollars restoring Huey helicopter   (Article no longer available from the original source)
There are no simple reasons why a a Vietnam War veteran would invest 2 years and $40000 of his own money to restore a Vietnam War helicopter - that probably will never fly again. Except for this: It matters. That's the best Mike Carroll can come up with. It matters to him and it matters to many he served with in war, where the tours of duty sometimes leave scars that can never heal. He has channeled a love for history, for tinkering and his war experiences into rebuilding a Vietnam Huey helicopter donated to him two years ago.

Vietnam relic returns to the skies: Reunion between man and machine
In Vietnam War the Huey helicopter was the U.S. military's workhorse. With 7,000 deployed, 2,500 were lost, and over 2,000 Huey pilots were killed. The Huey became the image of the war. The crews developed a bond with their choppers, and thanks to a helicopter enthusiast in England, one Huey crew was able to reunite with the chopper that served their unit in Vietnam - the 129th Helicopter Assault Company. Ron Paye was too emotional to speak when he first heard the sound of his old machine. He recognized that engine, even after 30 years. "You can spot a Vietnam vet ... conversation stops."

CIA contract pilots in Vietnam War have pension hopes
In 1961, Sam Jordan had just finished a 6-year stint flying helicopters in the Marine Corps when he saw a want ad for an airline called Air America. "They said they wanted pilots. They didn't say anything about where the flying would be." Within months, he was flying helicopters in Laos, carrying supplies in remote mountain villages. Later he flew airplanes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, scanning for radio signals and dropping provisions. In 14 years working for Air America, he never was told who was footing the bill for his often-harrowing flights. But he and the other pilots knew.

Vintage helicopter sought for Purple Heart Memorial
The Finis J. Self Chapter 22 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is seeking city council approval to locate a demilitarized Army helicopter at the Purple Heart Memorial. "We`ve talked about bringing in a helicopter and setting it up as a part of the memorial among ourselves for some time," said James Shaffran, a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. "We`ve got our eye on a vintage Huey that was used in the Vietnam War. We think it would fit in well with the memorial and help attract more visitors, especially young people, to both the memorial and the park."

The helicopter pilot who stopped the My Lai massacre in Vietnam   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Hugh Clowers "Buck" Thompson, who died Jan. 6 at 62, is remembered as the helicopter pilot who stopped the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968, by training the guns from his chopper on U.S. troops who were mowing down civilians. Thompson and his crewmen were awarded the Soldier's Medal, the Army's highest decoration for bravery when not confronting an enemy, in 1998. Thompson is the subject of a book "The Forgotten Hero of My Lai" by Trent Angers. On that day, he was flying his H-23 scout helicopter over a part of Quang Ngai province, supporting a 3-company search-and-destroy assault on villages, which faulty intelligence indicated were defended by Vietcong troops.

Helicopter pilot gets highest military honor for action in Vietnam war
Helicopter pilot Bruce Crandall flew through a gauntlet of enemy fire, taking ammunition in and wounded Americans out of one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. Now he will receive the nation's highest military honor: The Medal of Honor. "I'm still here. Most of these awards are posthumous, so I can't complain." His actions in the Nov 1965 Battle at Ia Drang Valley were depicted in the film We Were Soldiers, adapted from the book We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young. At the time, Crandall was a major commanding a company of the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). "We had the first airmobile division..."

Viet Cong ground fire knocked down Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopter   (Article no longer available from the original source)
If the Vietnam War has an iconic image hitched to it, it is the Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" helicopter. Chieu Le flew the turbine-powered birds to within an inch of their lives, and his. Viet Cong ground fire knocked down Le's gunship in 1973, an aerial karate chop that was to recur 3 more times during the war. "I got my first shot-down" that winter. He guided the copter to the soft muck of a rice paddy. He would pull off many more amazing landings in the years to come. ... The last time Le got shot down, flak wiped out the gearbox and the hydraulics and set the helicopter ablaze. The Huey tilted earthward, trailing a deadly scarf of flame.

Veterans in battle over helicopters
Jerry Seago flew Hueys in Vietnam 30 years ago just like the one he's bringing for a Veteran's Day parade. He has painstakingly repaired, painted and exhibited them for more than a decade. Now the U.S. Army, which loaned him the decommissioned chopper, says stewardship is not enough. Unless vets with loaned helicopters agree to keep them in a public space, they'll have to give them back. The pilots don't want to do either. Seago's group, the N.C. Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, believes it is using 5 Vietnam-era helicopters as it promised the U.S. Army: to educate the public and honor the veterans.

A bit like Vietnam, without bullets   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Dave Cox adjusted his aviator sunglasses and stared into the smoke-filled sky crackling with the sound of whirling helicopter blades. He zeroed in on one of his buddies returning to base in his Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter after making a water drop on the massive Day fire. An Army vet who flew helicopters in the Vietnam War, Cox smiled to himself. It could have been 1968 all over again. "There's still a lot of us old farts from Vietnam around, but nobody's shooting at us anymore. I'll tell you one thing: Fighting fires is a lot less stressful than fighting wars. But it's still borderline chaos out there."

Vietnam War re-enactment with UH-1H "Huey" Helicopter
Chip Robinson was thrilled after his ride in a UH-1H "Huey" Helicopter. He rode one of the helicopters that will take part in the Vietnam War re-enactment called "Sky Soldiers." The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation's "Sky Soldiers" re-enactment uses seven Vietnam-era aircraft, pyrotechnics and combat veterans to portray a rocket attack, artillery barrage and an airborne infantry assault.

US vet recalls heroism with the 282nd Assault Helicopters
A bond made in blood on the battlefields of Vietnam in 1968: "I arrived in Vietnam as a pilot, and it was in Hue that I ran into my first Aussies," the former US Army chief warrant officer with the 282nd Assault Helicopters, known as Skull said. Aussie Des Ford was in the compound on the night Skull nearly lost his life. "At 3.30am we came under attack, and 5 of us pilots went down to help Des out. Next thing a hand grenade landed right in front of us one pilot was killed, and the other four of us were injured. They got us out, but Des was left there alone, for 3 days he was the only man defending that corner of the perimeter."