Foreign News: The Airdrop

TIME Correspondent John Mecklin flew with a French air-force unit one night last week as it dropped paratroop reinforcements into besieged Dienbienphu. His report:

In the bare, dimly lit squadron headquarters at Hanoi's Bach Mai Airfield, the lieutenant colonel pulled on his overalls and told us: "The operation tonight is called Polo. The drop planes are Banjo One, Two, Three, and so on. Ours is the command plane, but we will also carry a load of 60 parachute flares to drop if the Viet Minh attacks and our comrades on the ground need light...

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