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Artifact Friday: Mission Essentials

Its our first Friday during Agent Orange Awareness Month!

Today we will feature a local veteran and one of the items he brought home from Vietnam.

Max Hall was born in Little Rock, attended college at the University of Arkansas, and went through the Army’s aviation program to learn how to fly helicopters.

During the 1960s, 99% of every graduating class of Army Aviators was sent to Vietnam. Max was no exception being sent with the 57th Transportation Company in 1961.

This was close to the time when U.S. military began experimenting with “Agent Orange”.

While airplane crews that had to perform these missions were exposed, it was worse for helicopter crews because they had to fly through the deadly substance.

In 1963, the 57th Transportation Company replaced their CH-21s with UH-1H Iroquois or “Hueys”.

The “Hueys” were one of the main helicopters used to disperse “Agent Orange” over the jungles because of their size, speed, and maneuverability.

It is very likely that Max Hall was not only exposed to it on combat missions but also by performing “dusting” missions as well. For these missions, pilots

and crews would use plotting or topographical maps. Topographical maps are designed to show the “topographical” layout of the land-mountains, valleys, jungles, etc.

Aircrews used these maps to plot their flight missions. The topography allowed the pilots to be able to prepare for the obstacle they would face while flying as well as mark the areas where the enemy was hiding.

The map is an item that would be carried by the aircrew at all times, just like a compass. This map featured here Max used in Vietnam on CH-21 and UH-1H missions.

He brought it home when he returned from the Vietnam War.

This map is held in our “Short Strips and Tight Grips” exhibit in the front lobby area, so come on down and see it!

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