Medical evacuation of wounded was carried out by helicopter. These were called "Dust Off" operations. While the wounded were being attended to other troops were securing the area and preparing a chopper pad so the helicopter could land or cutting a clearing so a helicopter could lower a stretcher or in very close jungle, a jungle penetrator to winch out the wounded troops.

He lay on the ground covered in blood
Clothing tattered and smeared with blood
The look on his face as he tried to explain
The feeling of shock, agony and pain

The choppers been called, it won't be long
He's lost some blood but his pulse is strong
He's been patched up and given a smoke
The rest of the guys' sure feel for this bloke

They know he'll soon be flown to Vung Tau
Here's the chopper, you can hear it now
The sig yells "throw a smoke grenade"
The chopper hovers in the jungle glade

They watch as he's hauled aboard by winch
This dust-off has been a cinch
For the rest of the men there's a long walk ahead
They'll be home soon but its now they dread

Peter M. Anderson, W3 Coy, 1969-70

Read more about Peter Anderson's Vietnam experience here.

Reference: 

© Peter M. Anderson. Not to be published or reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.

How to cite this page: 'Medevac - Poem', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/medevac, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Sep-2013