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  Page 160 (The Advisory & Combat Assistance Era: 1954-1964)    


Missing Image

Marine helicopters emoute to an objective overfly the coastal flam south of Da Nang. (Official USMC Photo).

squadron to Nha Trang in central II Corps. Later in the day, the unit's entire complement of aircraft departed Da Nang on the 325-mile flight to safety. The task element's C-117D found refuge at Saigon. HMM-162 remained at Nha Trang until the 23d when it returned to I Corps. Typhoon Tilda caused considerably more damage to the Marine base of operations than had her immediate forerunner. Most of the permanent structures in the compound showed signs of water damage and the electrical power was lost for an entire week, except at the waterpoint and the mess hall where a concerted repair effort restored power promptly. Teletype communications circuits were closed for a full week as a result of damage, and the radio link with the 1st MAW was broken for nearly two hours.

While the Marines of the MABS-16 sub unit concerned themselves with cleaning up the debris and repairing their damaged facilities, HMM-162's crews resumed combat support operations. On the afternoon of their return from Nha Trang, a flight of UH-34Ds delivered 19 passengers and 4,000 pounds of cargo to Tien Phuoc, a government-controlled town located seven miles west of Tarn Ky. The next day Major General Paul J. Fontana, who as commanding general of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing was responsible for the administrative and logistical support of the task element, arrived at Da Nang for a one day visit to assess the damage and to confer with Colonel Hay. Flood relief missions and clean up activities combined with normal flight operations to consume the remainder of September.

Two changes were made in the composition of the Marine task element in late September and early October. On 29 September, the security force from the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines rotated back



Page 160 (The Advisory & Combat Assistance Era: 1954-1964)