Flying dentists of the U.S. Army's 39th Medical Detachment in South Vietnam now have a?
Flying dentists of the U.S. Army's 39th Medical Detachment in South Vietnam now have a flying clinic to go with them into remote areas. Dubbed the "1st Air Cavity" clinic, the new mobile unit is contained in a salvaged shop van and is completely equipped with generator, water supply, high speed drill and X-ray. Airlifted by the giant Sikorsky CH-54 "Flying Crane" helicopter, the unit can be whisked at light aircraft speeds high over the Vietnam jungle and sat down gently at the tiniest forward outpost. In flight the suspended clinic is stabilized by a drag parachute "Air Anchor" of the type used to slow down a jet fighter's landing roll. In these pictures, the dental clinic is set down at a fire base on hill 1338, near Dak To, scene of one of the fierce firefights in the battle of Dak To, fought in November of last year. The third battalion of the 12th Infantry has been holding this high ground ever since. Efficiency-robbing dental problems must be dealt with so the "1st Air Cavity" team got right to work. Within a half-hour from the time the unit landed a patient was in the dental chair. A one-week stop is planned at each of the 4th Division's isolated camps and fire bases, with return trips planned to handle more complex restorative dental work.