South Viet Nam: One Mission Too Many

His name was Kelly—Major Charles Kelly, of Sylvania, Ga.—but in the manner of combat soldiers the world over, his men seldom called him by anything but his nicknames. One was "Little Napoleon," because he was only a shade over 5 ft. 6 in. tall, had intense blue eyes and a shock of unruly black hair. They also called him "Madman Kelly," for during his six months in the South Viet Nam war, he flew more helicopter missions than any of the men he led.

As commanding officer of the U.S. Army's 57th Medical Detachment, Kelly insisted on rotating his men on...

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