Jan. 12, 1962: U.S. Conducts First Its Combat Operation of the Vietnam War
After supplying covert aid to South Vietnamese forces for years, American armed forces participated in combat in the Vietnam War for the first time in 1962. Operation Chopper was a helicopter raid on a suspected Viet Cong stronghold located west of Saigon.
Chronicle the Vietnam War with a timeline, photos, and more information on the Battlefield Vietnam site.
Two U.S. paratroopers crouching in elephant grass, their heads turned toward sniper fire, in the background several helicopters are leaving the area just north of Saigon, 1965 (Associated Press/Library of Congress).