Birddog gets V.C

         Phan Thiet, Vietnam - - - - - -An army "Birddog" pilot of the 183rd Reconnaissance Airplane Company directed airstrikes on enemy positions recently that resulted in 22 VC killed and seven bunkers destroyed.

     While flying a normal reconnaissance mission in the Binh Thuan Province 115 miles northwest of Saigon, 1st.Lieutenant Fred C. Hankinson (Leesburg Florida), spotted seven VC foxholes.  The foxholes were well camouflaged with dark vegetation blending in with the terrain, but movement caught
Lt. Hankinson's eye. He immediately called in an air strike.

     1Lt. Hankinson marked the enemy positions with marking rockets as the Air Force fighters came in to make their strike.  Results of the strike were seven VC killed and three enemy bunkers distroyed. His second mission that day placed him flying low ship with an Air Force FAC. as high ship over enemy terrain.

      Flying over a suspected large VC bunker complex, his Birddog took ground fire and one round hit the left wing flap.  Airstrikes were immediatelhy called in and stayed on the scene for the next two hours.  Sky spots were continued through the night to spotlight enemy ground activity.  The next morning a ground force found a total of 15VC dead and 4 large, tin covered enemy bunkers with huge storage cellars completely distroyed.

1Lt. Fred Hankinson

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