The Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord, the last major engagement in the Vietnam War
South Vietnam Date:1970, July 8 Duration:2 min 53 sec Sound:NO SOUND
Elements of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division battle North Vietnamese regular Army forces at Fire Support Base Ripcord in the A Shau Valley, South Vietnam, in the last major confrontation of the Vietnam War. View of Fire Support Base Ripcord from inside an arriving helicopter. An OH-6A Cayuse / AH-6J (Little Bird) approaching to land at the Fire Support Base. The helicopter lands on a heli-pad. Another OH-6A is parked in the background. Scene shifts to a Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) helicopter leaving the Fire Support Base. It has, white stripe on the top, behind greenhouse, and red dot on the tail boom. This identifies it as belonging to A Company, 158th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter) "Ghost Riders." Views of much work going on to fortify the Fire Support Base. An American F-4 Phantom jet fighter flies overhead at hight speed and drops ordnance on a nearby hilltop. View from Ripcord Base of fire and smoke rising from the target. Soldiers setting up Claymore mines along side of the base, for nighttime protection. More views of fire and smoke at the target hill. A soldier sitting atop Support Base structure, speaking on radio telephone. Closeup shows "Screaming Eagle" patch of the 101st Airborne Division on his left shoulder. More views of defensive work going on, including the setting up of several 155mm howitzers by Battery B 2nd 319th Artillery. A UH-1 flies low overhead. A Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter is seen approaching with supplies suspended underneath in a net sling. Soldiers placing parcels in a UH-1 with engine running, about to depart. Glimpse of hooch with sign reading "FSB Ripcord" and displaying a large ace of spades. A CH-47 descending closeby. More views of bombs exploding on the neighboring hilltop.
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