Laos: Americans at Work

Rain was falling on Laos last week. The nights were cold, the war was bogged down in mud. and only the Americans were doing any work.

Five hundred U.S. Marines unpacked their gear at Udon in northeastern Thailand, just 45 miles southwest of Vientiane across the Mekong River. They were equipped with 16 helicopters, ready to help fly men and supplies to the fighting front when and if they were ordered into action. In the Laotian capital of Vientiane, the only four helicopters on duty were pocked with bullet holes, and their U.S. civilian pilots, flying under contract to the Laotian...

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