Futility of Big Footprint Heliocentric Ops



Were evident after Lam Son 719, a major assault by ARVN units into Laos in Feb-March 1971. I was not directly involved but encountered groups of SVN Rangers on the trails, many of them wounded, walking back from the disaster in Laos.

US helo crews and fixed wing units from all 4 branches participated and bore the major brunt of airlift and air support for the ARVN units involved, and suffered tremendous losses from devastating triple-A.

One particular assault involved 276 UH-1s and support aircraft lifting 2 Bns of the 1st ARVN Div into Laos

The US lost 7 fixed wing aircraft, (6 USAF, 1 Navy), and 106 helicopters, primarily Army and Marine.
10 OH6s
8 OH58s
53 UH-1s
26 AH-1Gs
3 CH-47s
2 CH-53s
with a grand total of 618 helos damaged.


Cobras over Laos


Mods, if you want to move this to history, that's okay with me. The reason I posted it here is because as far as I know helo-assault doctrine is still being taught and occasionally put into practice, as in Mogadishu.
What a tragic lesson!

Thanks for the info and the pics! It makes it more real somehow to see these pics and hearing from someone who was in the AO at the time!