Operation Chopper (Vietnam)
|Part of The Vietnam War|
|United States South Vietnam||National Liberation Front|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Nguyễn Xuân Vinh
|American Helicopters transported over 1,000||50|
|Casualties and losses|
Operation Chopper occurred on January 12, 1962 and was the first time US forces participated in major combat in the Vietnam War.
The helicopters transported over 1,000 South Vietnamese paratroopers for an assault on a suspected NLF stronghold 10 miles west of Saigon. The NLF were surprised and soundly defeated, but they gained valuable combat experience they would later use with great effect against US troops. The paratroopers also captured a sought-after 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.
- Battlefield Viet Nam Episode 5 "The Undeclared War" on YouTube PBS.
- Lieutenant General John J. Tolson, CMH Pub 90-4 AIRMOBILITY 1961-1971 (WASHINGTON, D. C.: Department of the Army, Center of Military History, 1989).