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2012 Calendar, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) - HE AIN'T HEAVY ... HE'S MY BROTHER!

Item Number: 20080218001
Number of Pages
Digital Object Type
Information removed from digital copy?
Physical Location
Box 02, Folder 18
Copyright Statement
This document is copyrighted
Item is Copyrighted - It is not available outside the VNCA building


  • 2012

General Note / OCR

Table of Contents Front Cover Photo – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother! – VHPA Member Neil Lee provided this photo of CH54-#67-18420 from the 273rd Heavy Helicopter Company recovering CH-47A #66-19082 from A Company, 288th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division on 1 April 1970. CW2 Ferrell Joe Jones was the AC and 1LT RE Hood the pilot of the Chinook that lost an engine on short final carrying a load of two 500-gallon diesel fuel blivets to an 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment position in very tall trees near the Cambodian border north of Quan Loi. The Chinook crashed, burst one of the blivets and also ruptured one of its fuel cells. Miraculously there was no fire! Maintenance Officer, Neil Lee, helped rig the Chinook for recovery the next day and took this picture from another A Company helicopter on the way back home. VHPA databases show that 082 was evacuated to the States, repaired and flew again in May 1971.

January 128th AHC and 173 AHC Lifting 1st Inf Div Grunts Lai Khe mid-1968. VHPA Member David O’Quinn took this photo. He says: “This was a routine mission. My company, the 128th AHC “Tomahawks” are on the left and the 173rd AHC “Robinhoods” on the right. We were moving a battalion from the Big Red 1 at Lai Khe. The water in the ditch tells me it was during the rainy season. Normally we’d insert the four infantry companies into four separate LZs.”

February Scalphunter Lead B Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry, OH-6A, February 1971. VHPA Member John Shafer, Scalphunter 18, provided this photo of his platoon leader, CPT John Black (also a VHPA Member), conducting an evening Visual Reconnaissance (VR) mission around Camp Holloway near Pleiku. John Shafer says: “We really need to credit my observer SGT James “Mac” McConnell for this picture. He took many using my camera while I was flying the helicopter.” B Troop’s Scouts used the nom de guerre Scalphunter from 1968 until they left Vietnam in 1973.

March Going to X-ray UH-1B #63-08617 from B Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Air Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, November 1965. VHPA Member Barrie Turner took this photo en route to the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley made even more famous in the book We Were Soldiers Once … And Young. 617 continued serving with B Troop until it was destroyed 12 May 1967 after logging more than 1,697 hours. The small photo shows another B Troop UH-1B from VHPA Member Walt Gutsche.

April Well Done Jolly 24! 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron HH-53C – Early 1970. VHPA Member Roy Dreibelis took this photo from the ‘high bird’ during an actual rescue mission in Southeast Asia. The US Air Force 37th ARRS’s famous nom de guerre was Jolly Green. Based at Da Nang, they flew missions over North and South Vietnam, Laos, and the Gulf of Tonkin. This photo is dedicated to the crew of Jolly Green 67 that perished on 6 April 1972 in #68-10365 while attempting to rescue LTC Hambleton, Bat 21, near Quang Tri South Vietnam. The small photo shows the fire hose bath the rescued pilot receives when he get back home safety.

May He Ain’t Heavy … He’s My Brother HMH-463 CH-53A recovers 281st AHC UH-1D – March 1967. VHPA Member Brent Gourley provided these pictures of the recovery of is 281st AHC UH-1D #65-09725 by CH-53A Bureau Number 152409 from HMH-463. Brent and VHPA Member Barclay Boyd with Frank Little as Crew Chief were flying 725 when it took several hits including one in the engine that kept running until they landed at Tra Bong. A four-plane detachment from HMH-463 arrived in Vietnam in Dec 1966.

June Routine Medevac CH-46A Bureau Number 151959 also known as Echo Papa 6 or EP 6 from HMM-265 – April, 1968. This photo was taken by Cpl R.J. Del Vecchio of the Photographic Services Station, Services Company, HQ Battalion, 1st Marine Division in the mountains south and inland of Da Nang. “My partner on this trip was Cpl John C. Pennington who was killed in action on 9 June 1968. On this mission, we had joined an Infantry unit sent to check out a bunker complex that had been located by Recon Marines and heavily bombed a couple of days before. One of the Marines was injured, possibly by a booby trap, and required evacuation. The pilot had to bring the helicopter up a long valley from the plateau. This was just amazing because the valley was very steep and narrow and there was very little clearance for their rotor blades. After threading their way between the trees, they arrived over a small cluster of bomb craters where they lowered the hoist, retrieved the man, did a slow 180-degree turn, and went back out. I’d guess this entire effort was completed in less than 20 minutes.”

July Operation Iron Barnacle OH-6A #67-16290 from C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Air Cavalry and HH-2D from HC-5 at Phouc Vinh – July 1970. The small photo shows VHPA Members Bob Clark (former US Navy) and Walter Jones (former US Army) standing in front of a restored HH-2 on the USS Midway during the VHPA 2010 Reunion in San Diego. Operation Iron Barnacle involved two US Navy HH-2s equipped with Airborne Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) systems attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam to locate concentrations of enemy iron in the jungles of III Corps. On 13 July Walter, SP5TL Mitchell, and SP5 RD Wilkes get shot down and suddenly C Troop needs a ship with a hoist. It just so happens the Navy HH-2 Bob Clark is flying with C Troop has a hoist! Navy rescues Army and they have a wonderful 40-year reunion!

August C Company, 227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division II Corps – October 1967. VHPA member Pete Baxter took this photo somewhere in the Bong Son area. By the way, Pete says he wasn’t flying too close to Caulk 1!

September Apache Troop Cobras A Troop, 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry AH-1Gs. VHPA Members Jack Cattilini provided the top right photo, Don ‘Mixer’ Wilimzik the lower left photo plus the business card and patch, and Bob Hesselbein the top left and lower right photos. The Apache on the Cobra’s doghouse is very well done!

October CH-47 from 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company early 1967. VHCMA member Dean Nelson took this photo while serving as a Flight Engineer with the 178th ASHC, the Boxcars, based at Chu Lai of another CH-47 from his company relocating troops from the 196th Light Infantry Brigade of the Americal Division to another firebase southwest of Chu Lai.

November Welcome to Bong Son! A Company, 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division II Corps – November 1967. VHPA member Rick Berry took this photo of UH-1H #66-16779 somewhere in the Bong Son area. 779 served with several units in Vietnam and state side after the war. You can see that the door gunner is firing. There are two red tracers above and slightly below the front of the Huey.

December He Ain’t Heavy … He’s My Brother! CH-54A from the 478th Heavy Helicopter Company recovers CH-53D from HMH-463 – 9 November 1970. VHPA Members Janos ‘John’ Karo and Ed Strazzini from the 478th flew the only known recovery of a CH-53 during the Vietnam War. Red Edwards, the HMH-463 XO, recalls: “I remember this incident very well. I spent several days at the ARVN outpost as we recovered this ship. A typhoon had just gone through the area. HMH-463 was tasked to help resupply and evacuate Vietnamese. While at this outpost southwest of Da Nang the helicopter’s tail rotor hit a bunker and it crashed. After getting it back to Marble, someone opened a compartment and this snake came out! Eventually we got that helicopter flying again.”

Top VHPA Member Paul Fretts provided the VHPA with a copy of many of his drawings several years ago. This one shows a Huey gunship and a transport. Paul’s first tour in Vietnam was with the 162nd AHC in 1967. Below VHPA Member Bill Kelley allowed the VHPA to copy this artwork showing two USMC CH-53s. Bill served three tours in Vietnam as a Marine Corps aviator: 1962-63 with HMM-362 and VMO-2, 1966-68 with VMO-3, and 1971 with MABS-16

Pub Credit Line
20080218001, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University

Added: 28 Aug 2018 [Updated: 28 Aug 2018]