This Vietnam War U.S. Army news segment (set to a jazzy version of a Beatles song!) shows how remote bases were supplied by the C-7 Caribou aircraft. In this film you will see a remote "special operations" fire base in Tra Bong receiving ammunition and food as well as medical supplies. The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou (designated by the United States military as the CV-2 and later C-7 Caribou) is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. The Caribou was first flown in 1958 and although mainly retired from military operations, is still in use in small numbers as a rugged "bush" aircraft.
In response to a U.S. Army requirement for a tactical airlifter to supply the battlefront with troops and supplies and evacuate casualties on the return journey, de Havilland Canada designed the DHC-4. With assistance from Canada's Department of Defence Production, DHC built a prototype demonstrator that flew for the first time on 30 July 1958.
Impressed with the DHC4's STOL capabilities and potential, the U.S. Army ordered five for evaluation as YAC-1s and went on to become the largest Caribou operator. The AC-1 designation was changed in 1962 to CV-2, and then C-7 when the U.S. Army's CV-2s were transferred to the U.S. Air Force in 1967. U.S. and Australian Caribous saw extensive service during the Vietnam War.
The U.S. Army purchased 159 of the aircraft and they served their purpose well as a tactical transport during the Vietnam War, where larger cargo aircraft such as the Fairchild C-123 Provider and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules could not land on the shorter landing strips. The aircraft could carry 32 troops or two Jeeps or similar light vehicles. The rear loading ramp could also be used for parachute dropping.
Under the Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966, the Army relinquished the fixed wing Caribou to the United States Air Force in exchange for an end to restrictions on Army rotary wing operations. On 1 January 1967, the 17th, 57th, 61st, 92nd, 134th, and 135th Aviation Companies of the U.S. Army were inactivated and their aircraft transferred respectively to the newly activated 537th, 535th, 536th, 459th, 457th, and 458th Troop Carrier Squadrons of the USAF. On 1 August 1967 the "troop carrier" designations were changed to "tactical airlift".
Some U.S. Caribou were captured by North Vietnamese forces and remained in service with that country through to the late 1970s. Following the war in Vietnam, all USAF Caribous were transferred to Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard airlift units pending their replacement by the C-130 Hercules in the 1980s.
All C-7s have now been phased out of U.S. military service, with the last example serving again under U.S. Army control through 1985 in support of the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute demonstration team. Other notable military operators included Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia and Spain.
Trà Bồng is a district of Quảng Ngãi Province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. As of 2003 the district had a population of 28,758. The district covers an area of 419 km². The district capital lies at Trà Xuân.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
January 22, 2021 Subject:
This film was made in late summer early fall 1970. Artillery base was A battery 3/18 arty, two 175 guns, two 8inch howitzers. An outpost attached to the 198th inf bde not in brigade a.o. Infantry support was provided by special forces A team, A-107, and an ARVN RF / PF group. Area was isolated, only air supply. September 8, 1970, very very shortly after this film was made, area was overrun by 406 NVA Sapper Bn w/ possible heavy weapons support. ARVN, airstrip and special forces were overrun. A battery held and was not overrun. A battery took one prisoner in the fight. 100% of everything we used came by the caribou aircraft. The airstrip was our lifeline.