South Viet Nam: Bad Day in the Delta

When American helicopter crewmen in South Viet Nam begin a mission over Communist territory, they never fail to take foot-square chunks of thick steel plate. As seat pads, the pieces of steel are not much comfort. But as protection from Red bullets, they often mean the difference between life and intestine-ripping death. "Pucker up, and pray," is the cry over the intercoms as the brave men who fly the choppers into the Mekong Delta head off toward the land of vertical gunfire.

Last week, neither steel plates nor prayers helped the hapless men...

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