‘Date With History’ to feature highly decorated Vietnamese combat airman on July 1

Cantigny’s “Virtual Date With History” series continues with “Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One” on Thursday July 1st.

The program will start at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The event is free but registration is required at www.fdmuseum.org.

The Aeroscouts of the 1st Infantry Division had three words engraved on their unit crest: Low Level Hell.

It was then and continues today as the perfect concise definition of what these intrepid aviators experienced as they roamed the Vietnam skies from the Cambodian border to the Iron Triangle.

The Outcasts, as they were called, flew low and slowly, the aerial eyes of the division in search of the enemy. Too often for the sake of longevity, they found the Viet Cong and the fight began. These young pilots (19-22 years old) “invented” the book as they went along.

Hugh L. Mills Jr. is one of the most decorated pilots of the Vietnam War.

Hugh L. Mills Jr. was one of the most decorated pilots of the Vietnam War. During his two tours of Vietnam as an aero scout pilot, Mills flew over 3,300 hours of combat and developed many standard aero scout tactics for the US Army Air Cavalry. He was shot 16 times and injured three times, earning numerous decorations for bravery, including three Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, four Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Bronze Stars, one for bravery in ground combat.

The Vietnamese government awarded him the Cross of Bravery with Silver Star and Palm, the Vietnamese First Class Medal of Honor and the First Class Civic Action Medal of Honor.

Mills, who commanded the 4th Cavalry Aero Scout Platoon, was described by Major General AE Milloy as “the bravest small unit leader of the 1st Infantry Division with the highest death rate in all Big Red One combat units ”.

Mills’ accomplishments include leading air cavalry raids in Laos, Cambodia, and northern Vietnam; Commander of the Army’s First Night Attack Helicopter Unit; and as the Army Counter-Narcotics Representative to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mills has co-authored a book on his experiences in Vietnam, “Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One”. He retired in 1993 after 26 years as a combat aviator. He is a dual qualified Master Army Aviator with over 12,000 flight hours.

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