World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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Last Light: Helicopter Operations with the Air Cavalry

1/5/70

To protect the Vinh Long Army Airfield from being attacked by Viet Cong units in the Duc ton base area, in the twilight of the afternoon every day a “last light” operation would take place. Amb. Quinn describes how he and a Vietnamese army officer would board a U.S. command and control helicopter and fly for 60 to 90 minutes as the sun sets searching for enemy units that might be gathering to stage a night attack on the U.S. Army Airfield. As the senior American in Duc ton district, the helicopters could only engage enemy forces when as the senior commander gives the order to do so. By flying several hundred hours of these helicopter combat missions, he becomes the only civilian to earn the Army Air Medal in Vietnam.

© 2020 World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn. All rights reserved.