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Rotary Wing Bomber

1607 50bAugust, 1966 / By Mark Albertson:Those who think out-of-the-box generate fascinating ideas. Fortunately such critical thinkers can be found within the ranks of Army Aviation. In War Zone D, Vietnam, pinned down were two companies of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, enduring heavy Viet Cong fire. Aerial artillery support materialized in the form of a CH-47 armed with mortars. The lethal tubes were mounted on a wooden trough in the doorway. The lumbering Chinook made three passes, showering 83 rounds on the stubborn VC. This first ever “Chinook mortaring” fostered 200 Viet Cong casualties. The platoon leader of the 173rd Aviation Platoon – unit from which the mortar-mounting Chinook was attached – observed that by dropping sixty high-explosive 81 mm rounds, at one time, a land mass 2,500 yards across could be obliterated.