National Geographic : 1962 Nov
American team: Army adviser (right) and Marine flyer stride between flags of South Viet Nam and the United States in Quan Long, capital of An Xuyen Province. Adviser helps train government troops; helicopter pilot delivers them to battlefields. The bright view through the hatch wash not a color movie, the sound did not come over a TV speaker, the mission to which we were committed would not end in time for the commercial. Ten days before, half of the helicopters on a mission like this one had been hit by rifle fire. The aircraft I rode in still bore the scars of guerrilla bullets. This was the real front of the Free World, where the people of South Viet Nam with United States help were fighting Communists led from North Viet Nam.* In the decade following World War II, na tionalist and Communist forces, united in a common purpose, fought for and won their independence after years of French rule.t Of the four new nations that emerged-Laos, (Continued on page 733) * See "South Viet Nam Fights the Red Tide," by Peter T. White, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, October, 1961. tThese years of violence may be traced in previous GEOGRAPHIC articles: "Strife-Torn Indochina," by W. Robert Moore, October, 1950, and "Indochina Faces the Dragon," by George W. Long, September, 1952. 724 S, .... Pn Thiet South n Sago China n Sea PhurQuo Areas of 1962 Vin QulHung guerrilla action KhaQuan pMyThanh u.s. helicopter bases , Quan Lo h Hung o ,oo 200 STATUTEMILES Red tide threatens to engulf South Viet Nam, a nation about the size of Florida. Veteran Airborne Fighters Grow Tense Before an Assault Riding a helicopter with this squad of Vietnamese regulars, the author shared their fear of the unknown. They face shadowlike enemies-guerrillas of the Viet Cong army-who dress like farmers and fade into a crowd or drift like mist in to the jungle. Dickey Chapelle followed the squad leader (center) on a house-to house search of Ap My Thanh. The troops captured three prisoners.