As the battle for the Ho Chi Minh trail hardens into outright warfare, this film shot by a United States crew reflects two aspects of the troop movements, the increasing number of fresh ARVN First Division troops being committed to the Laos operation, and the battle-scarred paratroops being pulled out in medivac helicopter.
LS Helicopters prepare for take-off.
CU Soldier on field telephone.
MS Helicopter along, troops in background.
MCU PAN along troops toward helicopter.
CU equipment loaded.
MS Troops look on.
LS Troops towards helicopter.
MS Helicopter takes off and away.
MS Injured soldier into helicopter (2 shots)
MS Helicopter lands with man clinging to skid and troops leave it.
MCU Wounded troops taken to safety.
Initials VS/0.10 VS/0.43
TELERECORDING original colour on 2658/71 103ft
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As the battle for the Ho Chi Minh trail hardens into outright warfare, this film shot by a United States crew reflects two aspects of the troop movements, the increasing number of fresh ARVN First Division troops being committed to the Laos operation, and the battle-scarred paratroops being pulled out in medivac helicopter.
The film includes dramatic footage of a paratrooper who made the journey back to Khe Sanh clinging to the skid of a helicopter, rather than remain behind in Laos.
SYNOPSIS: As the fighting for the Ho Chi Minh trail in Southern Laos hardens into outright warfare, South Vietnam has been committing increasing numbers of its best troops to the operation. From the Sanh an entire regiment of elite South Vietnamese First Division troops has just been airlifted into Laos in United States helicopters.
The South Vietnamese army now has a least 19-thousand of its best troops committed to the Laos operation. These soldiers appeared fresh, determined and well-equipped. It was to be their first experience of the fighting in Laos.
The battle has been bitter and bloody. This is just one of the hundreds of casualties that have kept the helicopters as busy flying wounded out of Laos as bringing fresh troops in.
The man clinging to the landing-skid of this helicopter is one of the paratroopers who faced the early stages of the fighting. Crowded out of the evacuation helicopter, he preferred to make the journey this way rather than stay any longer in the battle zone. Apart from the wounded, there seem to be many who have simply had enough.