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"Land the Landing Force!" (continued)

Each team leader is checking his team to be sure all are present and ready. We are only able to load five Marines on the bird due to our combat loads of ammo, food and gear.

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Helo-team from BLT 2/26 boards a UH-34 aboard the USS Okinawa. The Battalion Landing Team was designated as a Special Landing Force, able to be inserted wherever a beefed-up battalion was needed. In 1968, that was lots of places. Photo by Alan Green.

Boarding the Choppers

Not very many Marines want to be the first one into a landing zone.


We run for the helicopters and jump on board. The bird is shaking and the engine roaring as the pilot gets ready to lift off the deck hoping that the Marines haven’t overloaded his ship.

On the Princeton, aboard the UH-34, read

Ready to fly. Aboard the USS Princeton, Marines and the door gunner of a UH-34 look out at the deck crew,  who are looking back. They know where we're headed: a landing zone in Vietnam. Photo by Alan Green.

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