Operation Chopper occurred on January 12, 1962 and was the first time U.S. forces participated in major combat in the Vietnam War.
|Part of The Vietnam War|
an H-21 over South Vietnam
|United States||Viet Cong|
|Commanders and leaders|
Nguyễn Xuân Vinh|
|Casualties and losses|
The helicopters transported over 1,000 Army of the Republic of Vietnam paratroopers for an assault on a suspected Viet Cong (VC) stronghold 10 miles west of Saigon. The VC were surprised and soundly defeated, but they gained valuable combat experience they later used with great effect against American troops. The paratroopers also captured an underground radio transmitter.
This operation heralded a new era of air mobility for the U.S. Army, which had been slowly growing as a concept since the Army formed twelve helicopter battalions in 1952 as a result of the Korean War. These new battalions eventually formed a sort of modern-day cavalry for the Army.