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2009 Calendar, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) - 2009 Calendar

Item Number: 20080215001
Number of Pages
Digital Object Type
Information removed from digital copy?
Physical Location
Box 02, Folder 15
Copyright Statement
This document is copyrighted
Item is Copyrighted - It is not available outside the VNCA building


  • 2009

General Note / OCR

Table of Contents Front-Cover-Photo – An official US Army photo taken on 29 Mar 1970. Members of Company D, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade return sniper fire and call in support while on a search and secure mission northwest of Bong Son. The Huey is from the Casper Aviation Platoon of HHC 173rd Abn Bde.

January God’s Own Lunatics This is another magnificent painting from VHCMA member Joe Klein. Joe attends all our Reunions and provides customized prints. The Casper Aviation Platoon pocket patch and the 173rd Airborne Brigade shoulder patch are presented here as a tribute to the soldiers shown on the cover photo.

February The Case of the Disappearing Chinook These photos were taken by VHPA member Joe Riley in April 1969 of a CH-47 delivering supplies and a water trailer to a fire support base some place in III Corps. Dust was a huge problem for helicopter operations during the war. The insert photo shows the dust storm caused by the Chinook’s rotor wash. VHPA member Ron Magnus provided the small photo of the Chinook lifting an artillery piece. VHPA member Steve Shepherd provided the photo of the Chinook flying overhead.

March Views from Jim’s Office Views from the Flight Engineer’s seat in a 355th Heavy Helicopter Company (HHC) CH-54A in late 1968. These photos belong to VHCMA Member Jim Sheridan. They were taken from #67-18425 that was nicknamed ‘The Hulk.’ The top left photo was taken at the Workhorse Corral at Camp Holloway, Pleiku. Jim arrived in Vietnam in May 1967 with the MOS of 67T30 (CH-54 mechanic) and served with the 478th HHC until March 1968. He extended and served with the 355th HHC as a Flight Engineer until late Jan 1969. The lower left photo shows a 155mm howitzer. The lower right shows a load of Class V (ammunition). The top right photo shows the fuselage of 478th HHC CH-54A #67-18414 that crashed at An Khe on 27 Sep 1968 with a pod carrying passengers. VHPA member Al Fink provided the photo of the Skycrane cockpit.

April Welcome to Chu Lai Dustoff 54 denotes the revetment row for the 54th Med Det Hueys and 68 for the 68th Med Det Hueys. Dick was standing at the X when he took the colored photo of the flight line. M shows the Motor Pool area, S the shower and out house, C the club, H the living area hooches (about 8 in number), R the radio shack (received DUSTOFF calls), B the Bunker, V where the camp Veterinary team lived, HQ the administration building, CO the Commanding Officer’s hooch, and O the joint operations for both Dets. The down arrow points toward the area for the 68th Med Det’s buildings and the mess hall. These photos were taken by VHPA member Dick Lund about July 1970 at Chu Lai while he was with the 54th Medical Detachment. Dick says, “Chu Lai was a good base to work from. The pilots and other personnel in the 54th and the 68th were good to work with.”

May Pop A Smoke VMO-2 UH-1E in April/May 1968 at Da Nang. These photos belong to VHPA and Pop-A-Smoke member Seppo Hume. The large photo was taken from an HMM-361 UH-34D landing on the pad for the CG of the 1st Marine Division. Among its many missions, VMO-2 was tasked to support several VIPs, including the CG of the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force (MAF), the overall commander of all Marine forces in Vietnam. On this particular day VMO-2 apparently did not have enough UH-1E slicks so a gunship was stripped of its machine guns and rockets, although the supporting rails are still there, as well as the Emerson Electric TAT101 nose turret (which did not work half the time). The small photo shows Seppo in late May, after he and six other HMM-361 pilots had transferred to HML-167 when the former had stood down. HML-167 came into existence in April of that year. It shared crews and aircraft with VMO-2.

June Sharks The paint schemes for the UH-1Cs of the gun platoon, The Sharks, of 174th AHC were always special. The late VHPA member Fred Thompson took this photo in late 1970 in southern I Corps. He also provided the small photo of another Shark UH-1C being refueled

July The 228th ASHB Goes To War VHPA member Ron Ehmann took the large picture on 11 September 1965 as aircraft from the 228th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division were leaving the USNS Boxer anchored in Qui Nhon harbor. The insert photo shows the aircraft in their protective shrouds or cocoons en route to Vietnam. This ship departed Mayport, Florida on 15 August, crossed the Atlantic, went through the Suez Canal, around Singapore and arrived off Qui Nhon on 10 September. From Ben Silver’s wonderful book Ride At A Gallop we learn there were 26 CH-47s, 4 CH-54s, 50 UH-1s, plus some OV-1s on the Boxer. Ron flew an H-13 from the Boxer. He served with HHC 1st Bde, 1st Cav until he was wounded on 5 May 1966 and evaced. VHPA member Ellwood Soderlind provides the small photo of a CH-47 in III Corps delivering supplies to an Armored Cavalry unit.

August Almost A Super Gaggle! VHPA member Pete Baxter took these photos about May 1967 of a 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division Combat Assault north of Qui Nhon and south of LZ English. We count 15 Hueys plus Pete’s. Pete says, “we used the term ‘super gaggle’ whenever multiple Huey companies were involved in the same insertion. While this was a pretty good sized operation, we had conducted a larger one about a month prior to this.” In the small photo Pete is looking back while his good friend and now VHPA member, Roger Gallagher, is driving.

September This Is DMZ DUSTOFF VHPA member Phil Marshall helped gather these photos from members of the DMZ Dustoff, 237th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) Association. CW2 Bob Hill (KIA 9/27/1970) took the upper left and the small photo of UH-1H #66-01125 at the 18th Surgical Hospital in Quang Tri. This Huey was an upgraded D Model that no one liked to fly, hence it was named Black Bitch. Sitting in the right seat is WO1 Michael Bradley who was killed with Bob Hill while searching for another downed 237th ship. Bob also took the lower right photo of a hoist mission with the patient being loaded on to the Jungle Penetrator. Bob’s photos were contributed by his brother Bruce Hill. Former medic Geoffrey Morris took the upper right photo in Laos during Lam Son 719 while landing to a hilltop position manned by the ARVN. VHPA member R. Lee Wood took the lower left photo during some training on the use of the Stokes Litter.

October OH-6A LOH VHPA members John Kawa and Steve Shepard provided most of these photos of 7/17th Cav aircraft. In the upper left we see the left side of OH-6A #67-16326 about February 1972 with the minigun system without the cowling that was common in earlier years. The upper right photo shows the flames coming from the minigun and how near it is to the pilot’s left arm. The lower right shows just how close to the vegetation (and hence the enemy weapons) an air cavalry LOH (Light Observation Helicopter) was. The second to the right shows a small collection of homemade bombs that the enlisted gunners and scout observers loved to make! The second to the left shows how various grenades were carried for easy and quick access by the observers. The lower left shows the successful recovery of a downed LOH. However, LOH crews will testify that the US Army left many, many crashed, burned, and otherwise destroyed LOHs all over Vietnam! The small photo shows a Scout crew “training” for their next mission.

November H Troop (Air) 10th Cavalry VHPA Member Frank Beall contributed the color photo of him and these unusual black and white after-mission photos taken by a USAF reconnaissance aircraft on 5 June 1972 near the Phu My-LZ Crystal area about 30 miles NNW of Qui Nhon. 1LT Beall and SP4 Doug Hansen were shot down by an SA-7 “Strella” heat seeking missile in OH-6A #69-16049 while on an air cavalry visual reconnaissance mission. Frank’s right leg was badly injured in the crash. The Command and Control Huey #68-15485, flown by CPT Zane Brown, WO1 Theodore Clymer, SP4 Mark Ely as crew chief and SP4 Denver Richards as gunner, rescued Frank and Doug but was shot down by enemy fire almost immediately after takeoff. Doug and Mark were badly injured when the Huey crashed. Following an impressive fire-power demonstration by the USAF and USN fighter-bombers directed by the USAF Forward Air Control (FAC) radio call sign WOLFMAN and Cobra gunships from H/10th Cav and the 129th AHC, a 129th AHC UH-1H flown by MAJ Alan Jones (the names of the other crew members are not currently known) successfully rescued the six cavalry troopers. That evening the Eagle Battalion Intelligence/Operations staff showed Frank the photos taken by the USAF and gave him prints of these photos. The small photos are enlargements of another USAF ‘close-up’ photo.

December Another Purple Fox Extraction VHPA and Pop-A-Smoke member Walt Wise contributed this photo of three HMM-364 CH-46Ds extracting an infantry unit on a beautifully day in July 1970 about 8 miles southeast of An Hoa in what the Marines called The Arizona Territory, also known as the An Hoa Basin in Quang Nam province in I Corps. The white circle on the aft-pylons hosted their famous patch. If you happen to meet a veteran from the 1966s, ask him about the ‘Give a S---‘ patch. Most Purple Foxes love to tell that story!! VHPA and Pop-A-Smoke member Seppo Hurme took the small photo of an Army 478th HHC CH-54A recovering a Marine HMM-364 CH-46 in July 1968 at Da Nang.

Top Welcome to the 339th Transportation Company VHCMA Members Bob Elzer and Ed Buys provided these photos from their tours with the 339th Transportation (Aircraft Direct Support) Company based at Nha Trang in 1964. The 339th TC had two UH-1Bs (one was armed) plus four CH-37Bs. All the 37s had names like “BUF” and “Igor’s Numba Wun.” The photos on the left show what happened when a CH-37 lost power while taking a hanger-tug to another airfield about June 1964. The tail rotor was damaged during the landing. Luckily the water wasn’t too deep and they were still near Nha Trang. They opened the clam-shell doors, drove the tug out, brought in a metal stand, repaired the tail rotor, made carburetor adjustments and took off.

Bottom Bob Snead Commemorates the Ruthless Riders VHPA Member Bob Snead is a professional cartoonist. His cartoons appeared in the Pacific Stars and Stripes and the Army Times newspapers even while he was flying for the 170th AHC out of Pleiku in 1968. He is the author of ‘Hours and Hours of Boredom’ – a wonderful collection of cartoons about Army flight school, fixed and rotary wing aviation situations. For the 1992 VHPA Directory, Bob was kind enough to draw some cartoons from Mike Law’s ideas from the folklore of the 7/17th Air Cavalry Squadron who used the Ruthless Riders nom de guerre from 1967 until late 1972 in the II Corps area. The LOH has B Troop’s Scout Platoon pocket patch but it was taken from a picture of C Troop OH-6A #67-16096 that crashed on 20 Nov 1968 during a training flight. The Infantry cartoon was adapted from a John (Tim) Stidham photo of A Troop’s Blues taken in 1968 in the mountains near Dak To.

Language of Materials


Pub Credit Line
20080215001, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) Collection, The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive, Texas Tech University

Added: 02 May 2018 [Updated: 02 May 2018]