South Viet Nam: The Makeshift Killers

Into the Valley of Death last week flew the 800. They were South Vietnamese troops being lifted by a company of U.S. H21 troop-carrying helicopters to clean out a Communist-infested jungle hideout 175 miles northeast of Saigon. The region was a tangled, menacing battleground, whose name, like Tennyson's Balaclava, derives from its bloody history in South Viet Nam's ugly guerrilla war. As each flight dipped into the tiny landing zone, an escort of twelve rocket-carrying UH 1-B ("Huey") choppers sprayed the scrubby underbrush with rockets and machine-gun fire. Not a single...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!