Army Aircraft that supported the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, US Army, Vietnam
[CD version - last update 10 Jun 04]

(1)  UH-1.   According to the records maintained by the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
(VHPA), 7,013 UH-1 helicopters were used in the war.  Of these 3,305 were destroyed, with
1,074 pilots and 1,103 crew members killed in action.
UH-1 (Named the Iroquois, but always called a Huey).  The standard utility helicopter of the war.  The B and C models were used primarily for aerial fire support, medical evacuation, and aerial command posts.  The D and H models were used for tactical transport.  With a cruising speed of 100 knots; capable of carrying 12 combat equipped troops (H Model at sea level) and endurance of 2:15, the Huey was well suited for its airmobility role.
This UH-1H Huey from the 176th Assault Helicopter Company, call sign "Minuteman  XX" shown
at the administrative resupply pad at Chu Lai used by the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry in 1971.  Photos
by Dave Bliss (C/1-6 Inf, 1967-68) and Dennis Linn (B/1-6 1970-71)

(2)  A view of an OH-6A (LOH), at the airfield at Chu Lai.  The hills of the "Rocket Pocket" west
of Chu Lai are visible in the background.  If you recognize this particular aircraft and the pilot (fall
of 1970), please contact
OH-6A, Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) (officially named the "Cayuse" but always called a "loach.")  Crew of 1, 3 passengers, 30' long, 930 lb. payload, 130k max speed, endurance of 2:25 hrs/min.  According to the VHPA, 842 were destroyed in the war.  This aircraft probably is from Troop D, 1st Sqdrn, 1st Cav, 123rd Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division, 1971.  2 photos provided by Dennis Linn, B/1-6 Inf..

[Note: the predecessors to the OH6A were the OH-13H (Sioux) and OH-23 (Raven) -- two place
helicopter designed for observation, reconnaissance, medical evacuation, and general utility missions.
One passenger, may be equipped with patient litters in pods mounted on the skids.  70 knot cruising
speed, 1:45 hrs/min endurance.  This particular OH-23 Raven aircraft was used by
LTC Baxley, 1st Bn 6th Inf in 1968.]
(3)  UH-1C Iroquois gun ship, sometimes known as a "Hog."   44' rotor diameter, 4,500 lb payload, 6 passengers, 100k cruise speed, 40 mm grenade launcher, 2.75 rocket pods, and mini gun capability.  This obviously is a stateside photo.

At left is a stateside photo, while the photo below was taken by Ray Mendez, 3/B/1-6 Inf in May 1971 near LZ Dottie..

(4) AH-1G Cobra gun ship.
 44' rotor diameter; 52' long; 1,1993 lb. payload; crew of 2; 130k cruise speed and 190k max speed; 40 mm grenade launcher, 2.75" rocket pods, and mini gun capable.  B&W photos from Archives II.  Cobra at LZ Dottie by Sid Tracy.

This type of aircraft provided fantastic close support with their mini gun to soldiers in 1st Bn 6th Inf .  At night the solid stream of tracers arching into a target and the loud "burrrrrup" was an awesome and welcomed sight.
Link  here for  Cobras at Chu Lai.

[Note:  In April 1999 the gunship role of the Cobra for the active Army came to an end.  The
remaining aircraft were transferred to National Guard units.]

(5) This CH-47B, aircraft no. 67-18455, from the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company
(ASHC), radio call sign "Boxcars",  was lost to an taxi accident on 19 Jun 68 on the flight line at
Chu Lai.  The flight engineer died in  the accident.   This photo by Dave Bliss (C/1-6 Inf 1967-68).
CH-47 (Chinook) aka "Hook" A twin-engine, tandem rotor, medium transport helicopter, withfixed four-wheel landing gear.  Crew of three, including a crew chief.  A cargo winch has a 3,000 lb. capacity; an air rescue winch which operates through a floor hatch has a 600 - lb. capacity.  A rear loading ramp permits straight-in loading.  The sealed hull gives an emergency water landing capability.  Cruising speed 110 knots, 33 combat soldier capacity, external sling 16,000 lbs, 2:40 hrs/min endurance.  Link to the 178th ASHC web site.

(6)  CH-54 "Tarhe" Sky crane.
Always referred to as a "Flying Crane."  These could be seen on the pad at LZ Dottie or in the
air over Chu Lai moving trucks, 155 mm howitzers, or crashed aircraft. 72' rotor diameter;
88' long; 20,760 lb external payload; 100k speed.
(7)  C-7 Caribou 95'8" wingspan; 74' long; crew 3 w/5,000 lb payload; 32 passengers; 165k cruise speed.  Color photo by Dave Bliss (C/1-6, 1967-68). Used to haul troops to Chu Lai from Da Nang; also used at remote strips as shown.  Used to resupply the Special Forces camp at Tra Bong on the western edge of the 1st Bn 6th Inf tactical area in 1970-71

Link here to the C-7A Caribou Association web site with hundreds of Vietnam-era photos.

[Note:  several of the color photos are included in this web site for identification purposes until better
photos are obtained for aircraft in support of the Americal Division.  Official Army photos from 1973
Center for Military History Publication 90-4, Airmobility 1961-1971.]

Select additional photos from the index at left or link to the 1st Bn 6th Inf  Home Page