WHAT HAPPENED 50 YEARS AGO
- December 11 – The first American military aircraft are based in Vietnam, as the U.S. Army's 8th and 57th Transportation Companies (Light Helicopter), arrive at Saigon, South Vietnam. They are equipped with 32 H-21C Shawnee transport helicopters.
- December 22 – U.S. Army helicopters engage in their first combat operation in Vietnam as the 8th Transportation Company makes several airlfits of South Vietnamese ground troops to landing zones in South Vietnam south of Saigon.
- December 23 – In Operation Chopper, U.S. Army helicopters airlift 1,000 South Vietnamese paratroopers to attack a suspected Viet Cong headquarters in South Vietnam 10 miles (16 km) west of Saigon.