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2002 Calendar, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) - A 174th AHC Shark

Item Number: 20080208001
Number of Pages
Digital Object Type
Information removed from digital copy?
Physical Location
Box 02, Folder 08
Copyright Statement
This document is copyrighted
Item is Copyrighted - It is not available outside the VNCA building


  • 2002

General Note / OCR

Table of Contents Front Cover Photo – Fred Thompson provided this photo of a 174th AHC UH-1C gunship. As mentioned in the 1994 VHPA Directory, this gun platoon loved to name and paint their UH-1Cs around things relating to the ocean. Dolphin and Seahorse were the favorite radio callsigns for the 174th slicks and Shark for their gunships. Several of their UH-1Cs displayed a very wide and colorful version of shark’s teeth. The back cover of the 1994 VHPA Directory shows the rescue of the crew of ‘Surfer Girl’ from Laos during Lam Son 719. This photo may be showing ‘Surfer Girl’ during a rest break in southern I Corps.

January A Dusty Rearm Point Rick Gillihan was a field rearmer for A Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry from April 1970 until April 1971. This picture was taken about August 1970. A Troop was still based at Camp Holloway near Pleiku at the time. We believe the rearm/refuel point was located on the dirt strip near Plei Do Lim or possibly Plei Me. Most of the time fuel and ammo was prepositioned by Chinooks but on this day you can see the rocket boxes still on the truck. On a normal day, A Troop would position two field rearmers, mostly for their Cobras, at the staging area. The rearmers were also experts in weapons system maintenance, especially the mini-guns. Rick says that this was a slow day; but when the Blues had been inserting or the Cobras were firing a lot – that would be a fast day.

February Rescuing Grumpy These photos originally appeared on the March 1970 issue of the 1st Aviation Brigade HAWK magazine and were republished on the covers of the 1990 VHPA Directory. In January 1970, CW4 Tom Pride and CW3 Walt Malson from the 273rd Aviation Company (Heavy Helicopter) experienced a transmission failure while flying a CH-54A named “Grumpy” about 160 miles south of Long Binh and made a successful forced landing. Field repairs were not possible, so the next day CW4 George Gagnon and CW3 Paul Eilers flew another crane to the rescue. Grumpy’s huge rotor blades were loosened by mechanics, then the assembly was lifted off and deposited on the ground. The blades were dismantled and loaded into a Chinook from the 205th ASHC. George said he was well “overgrossed” when he and Eilers pulled Grumpy from the Delta mud and took it to Can Tho where the engines were removed for the rest of the journey. Grumpy had to be unslung four times so the rescue crane could refuel; but nine hours later it was back on the Sanford Army Airfield maintenance pad. George finished the story by saying that Grumpy’s fuselage picked up a number of bullet holes in it during the return flight.

March Robinhood and Crossbow Maintenance Joel Dummer served in various maintenance positions with the 173rd AHC at Lai Kha, Dong Ha, and Da Nang during 1970 and 1971. This picture was taken while they were still at Dong Ha in June 1971. Robinhood was the favorite radio callsign for the 173rd slicks and Crossbow for their gunships.

April A Rockpile Resupply Dave Althoff provided this photo of an HMM-262 CH-46 on the famous Rockpile in 1967. This photo also appeared on the back cover of the 2000 VHPA Directory. Pop A Smoke is the name of the USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association.

May A Dolphin CA Fred Thompson took this photo of a 174th AHC Combat Assault someplace in southern I Corps during November 1970. This photo also appeared on the front cover of the 2000 VHPA Directory. The infantry are from the Americal Division. Dolphin was one of the favorite radio callsigns for the 174th slicks and Shark for their gunships. Fred was flying cover in a Shark gunship when he took this picture.

June An Apache Troop Scout Charlie Palek provided this photo of his A Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry OH-6A taken in northeastern III Corps during the famous Cambodian Incursion of May and June 1970. This photo was taken with a 110 camera which explains why it is not very sharp. Today Charlie is a commercial photographer and wishes he had used a 35mm camera in Vietnam. A detailed account of Charlie’s second tour in Vietnam with the Blackhawks (7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry) of Vinh Long appeared in three installments in the VHCMA Newsletter starting with issue No. 49 for July 1999. Charlie is the guy in the back with the smile on his face and an M-60 in his lap.

July Charlie Palek’s LOH Collection Charlie Palek provided these photos of various A Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry OH-6As. They were taken during early 1970 with a 110 camera.

August A Ghostrider Ladder Ship Former 195th AHC Crew Chiefs Don Hasse, Gene Neel and Jim Sallee provided several photos of their UH-1Hs wearing a camouflaged paint scheme. The unit’s primary mission was to support MACV-SOG operations in III Corps and over-the-fence in Cambodia. This ladder ship is heading for a SOG team extraction. During the summer of 1968, the 195th sought and was granted approval to repaint its aircraft; thus being the only ‘authorized’ camouflaged Army aviation unit. The U.S. Air Force at Binh Hoa agreed to provide the paint and do the work in a similar manner to their camo helicopters. This paint scheme consisted of a blue-white bottom to the aircraft and four tints of greens and browns on the upper surfaces. All markings indicating the aircraft ownership were eradicated. The 195th flew camo slicks and gunships during the last part of 1968, all of 1969, and the first half of 1970. Since the enemy could easily recognize these Hueys from all the other Army Hueys flying in III Corps, the camo birds found themselves frequent targets especially when operating out of Quan Loi. In mid-1970, the 195th repainted their aircraft to the traditional Army scheme.

September Inserting the Blues Jim Pratt provided these two photos of the same squad of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry infantry being inserted west of Duc Pho in May 1967. Both photos were taken by SSG Howard C. Breedlove. Jim obtained the negatives from the National Archives. The photo on the right is one of the most famous Vietnam Huey photos because it has appeared on several book covers in several more books. Jim reports there is still a friendly rivalry as to who is flying the UH-1D in the ‘famous’ photo. McNally and Mike Covey think it was them while John Flannagan and Jim Pratt think it was them. Everyone believe the crew chief was Earl Hobbs. Jim flew ‘DARLIN JENNY II’ until it was traded in for an H model.

October Wretched Mildred Tom Dooling provided this photo of a D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Cobra taken in 1970 at Dau Thieng. During most of its tour in Vietnam, D Troop supported the 25th Infantry Division based at Cu Chi.

November An OH-58 KIOWA Tom Elliston provided this copy of an official US Army photo taken in April 1970 of this OH-58 Light Observation Helicopter from C Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry.

December Paul Frett’s Sikorsky Collection Paul drew the Navy SH-3 in 1989, the Marine CH-53 in 1987, the Air Force HH-53 in 1986, and the Army CH-54A in 1981. You can see Paul’s complete line of Aviation Art on the Wings Aviation Products website.

Paul Frett’s Army Collection Paul drew the UH-1H in 1980, the lower UH-1H in 1990, the CH-21C in 1988, and the CH-47C in 1981. You can see Paul’s complete line of Aviation Art on the Wings Aviation Products website.

Language of Materials


Pub Credit Line
20080208001, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) Collection, The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University

Added: 27 Apr 2018 [Updated: 27 Apr 2018]