Casper aviation platoon Casper Platoon Story

Casper Kills Nine

This site was last updated: 2/15/15


Reprinted from: Fire Base 173 Newspaper

December 22, 1969

LZ English - A 173d Airborne Brigade light observation helicopter (LOH) crew killed nine of an estimated enemy platoon hiding in tunnels two miles west of the Landing Zone English recently during a last-light reconnaissance.

The day before the action, two scout ship pilots had observed 15 NVA rucksacks lying near four tunnels on the mountainside at the north edge of the Bong Son Plains. A door gunner had killed two enemy soldiers nearby.

The next day at dusk, two helicopters from the 173d Aviation Platoon flew from LZ English to check the area again. Door gunners killed one enemy soldier and tossed grenades in the holes of a large cave complex.

Later a recon element from the brigade's 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry was lifted into the area. A search of the tunnels yielded seven additional dead NVA soldiers. The recon team also found two AK-47 rifles, six fully loaded AK-47 magazines, a B-40 rocket, 26 Chicom grenades, 230 round of small arms ammo, 40 pound of rice, and miscellaneous military equipment.

The paratroopers extracted all captured items to LZ English. There were no friendly casualties.

The photo above is a Casper "Inferno" Scout LOH like the ones mentioned in this story. LZ English 1969.

Footnote - The "Inferno" Crew Members who were not mentioned in this article were: In the lead ship - Cpt James "JJ" Jones, Pilot and SP5 Bill Nottingham, Crew Chief/Gunner. In the chase ship were - WO1 Arthur McBride, Pilot and SP5 Bill Kane, Crew Chief/Gunner.