If the Seawolves is the Navy UH-1 Helicopter unit that served in the Delta during 1970, then I have something to say to you. Thank you for saving my life and that of my captains. I won't bore you with the details, but Army Aviation wouldn't pick up what was left of our team because we were in a hot LZ, and they couldn't risk the lives of the aircrew for two fellow Army types. A Navy Seawolf helicopter heard the conversation and came in and picked us up. All I remember besides the name Seawolf was that the door gunner that picked me and the captain up was a black petty officer that was about 6 foot 4 and 280 pounds. Once again, thank you to a great unit.
I am not an ex Seawolf but they did fly support for my team in the Delta, they supported our operations on more than one occasion. Your teacher worked with some very brave young men back in those days, they flew into situations some others wouldn't. I worked in a relatively small area called Chau Doc Province, the Seven Sisters Mountian area, mainly out of a place called Chi Lang. He will have heard of these places. Most of my support from he and his men came along a river called the Bassac, and a small canal called the Vinh Te Canal. They also helped to get us out of some situations while placing ground sensors "very" close to the border, sometimes not sure of the "very". Nui Coto, Nui Gi, Nui Ba Din, the names have begun to run together. When you see your teacher next, please say thanks to him, here's one grunt, one of many who quite possibly might be alive today because of your teachers bravery and skill.
Biet Don Quan 69/70
(Black Cat) Vietnamese Rangers
To All Seawolves,
As time passes by I want to say thank you again for the help at Juliet, Co Lau My, the Mang Thiet, and TET at Vinh Long. You were always there for us.
Ed Canby Handlash Delta, Gray Fox 23
1964, 66-69, 70-71
Date: 22 February 1997
From: email@example.com (Brian Thomas)
Just a note from a "heavy boat" sailor, to say "thanks." I was an advisor to R.A.I.D. 72, A.T.F. 211, at Dong Tam. We operated on a French canal that ran from the boat basin to within a few miles of Cu Chi. The Seawolf detachment at Dong Tam came out for us on a regular basis. The most memorable when we had P.B.Rs running up the river about 15 minutes ahead of us and one of them took a B-40 rocket. With a boat on the beach burning, and the advisor on that boat wounded, we rounded the bend in the channel and provided covering fire. I called Seawolves, their call sign was "skirt hoop." Their radio came back saying they would send one bird now and another in a few minutes.
When the first bird came on the scene, I got voice contact with the pilot. He told me he could not come in until his cover ship arrived. Approximately 10 to 15 minutes later, the second bird arrived, and together they started their firing runs providing cover for the medi-vac and the boats in the river. We were able to get the wounded dusted and the damaged boat secured without any further hostile fire. ( Another interesting thing happened. When the PBR crew popped smoke for the Army medi-vac bird, "Charles" popped the same color; green I think. They had to pop a second color, this time there was no match.)
Later, when I returned to the base, I learned the reason the second bird was delayed. The mechanics had a scaffold around the engine compartment, and were preparing to remove the engine when I called. They were able to reconnect the engine and get the ship airborne in about 20 minutes. Not too shabby! You can't train guys to give you that kind of effort. Sadly, I never got the chance to meet the mechanics responsible; and I'm not sure why. When I finally got to their compound to say thanks, they were out-of-country.
So, I'm writing to you in an effort to offer my thanks to the Seawolves of the Dong Tam detachment who saved my bacon on numerous occasions. If you know any of the "Skirt Hoop" gang, please offer them my best.
Terry Thomas, EN2 USN
RVN: 8/70 to 8/71
My Email: c/o firstname.lastname@example.org/
Subj: RIVDIV 532
Date: 16 May 1997
From: NILCO@prodigy.net (NILCO)
I was was in PBR's in 68-69, My Tho, Sa Dec, Tra Cue, and other areas. Just wanted to thank you for the fine job that the Seawolves did. They saved my butt a few times.
CHIEF NILES USN RET.
Subj: Looking for Seawolves
Date:2 February 1997
I was a pilot at Vinh Long, RVN with the 175th AVN Co when the Seawolves arrived there to start there operations. I flew initial in-country fam flights with several of the pilots before they received the hand-me-down UH-1B gunships they started work with.
I would like to rediscover "Dirty Al" Banford , "Rock" Rowell or any of the other guys in that early bunch.. I would especially like to find a young seaman from Nebraska named Bob Crum who flew as my doorgunner for several weeks while we were short of people. I got him Army crew member wings issued and assured he received the Air Medals that he earned, but he never got flight pay since he was working "illegally"for the Army.
Subj: X- Nam Chopper Bumb
Date:3 March 1997
I ran across your stuff on this damn computer I'm still trying to figure out. Anyway though I would drop you a quick note and mention that in the summer of 1969 (by the way Army here) I was going through helicopter gunner school down in Ft. Rucker, Ala. and just by the luck of the draw I was one of only 3 Army guys the rest of our class was 14 Navy Seawolves. Our class leader was a 1st Class Petty Officer. Anyway thought just possible you might know someone who was there at that time. I don't remember any names. I went on later to Nam from early 70 to late 71 15 months+, even flew some missions down in III Corp, over by the parrots beak and the Cambodian fence. I was with an outfit called PipeSmoke at that time, we were a combat recovery unit. Well got to run for now.
Hi, I was 1st Platoon Leader & X.O. of the 335th AHC (COWBOYS) in the Delta in 1970 & 71. We worked with the Seawolves & SEALS on several occasions, usually out of Nam Can/Sea Float. I still have a photo of a Seawolf Huey on the pad there, as well as one of my aircraft taken on the same day. We were weathered in there for the night & slept in some of the SEALS bunks who were out on a mission. I believe one of the Seawolf aircraft was lost that day along with it's crew somewhere in the U Minh.
Nice to see you have a web site now.The 335th has a pretty nice one also.
U.S. Army (Ret)
Former Cowboy 5 & 16
Interesting to run across your web site.
I was a helicopter pilot in the Cobra Platoon of the 114th at Ving Long in 1967-1968. We trained your pilots in gunship tactics.
You were a hard drinking, hell raising bunch....
Subj: Great Site
I was with the 335th AHC, Bearcat, 69-70. Our AO was IV Corp, and whe had a lot of dealings with the SEAWOLVES. When I got assigned to the Nighthawk missions in 70, we made regular stops for ammo at the Binh Thuy Navy Base. I preferred the 50 cal incendiary, only found in Binh Thuy. We would also got chow at the mess hall there because Navy chow was better than Army chow. I can remember times we would get calls to help support PBR's and I can remember times of calling Seawolves to help support us. I have the highest respect for the Seawolves and I salute these brave men. I am proud to have associated with a great group of guys. As luck would have it I am fortunate to have as my boss a former Seawolf. We often think about and talk about the great times we had. If I can be of any further assistance drop me a line, Nomo@swbell.net.
Rick Tabor, Crew Chief, 427 Super Slick, 335th AHC, Bearcat, 69-70.
Branch of Service: Navy
Unit was: Seawolf gunship Plt
Where served: navy gunship platform in S. China Sea 1970
When served: NOV. 1, 1970
Message is: IF anyone knows the ID of Seawolf Lead, on Nov 12. 1970 in the Delta please pass on the info that I'm looking for him to buy him a steak dinner for saving MY B.. that night as well as the rest of the Ranger team and our little people. If he hadn't flown that night, I'd be a place on the wall. We OWE him and his platoon BIG TIME.
Please contact: Ed Briggs
Mailing address: Box 493
City, State, Zip: Fletcher, OK 73541
I am looking for "Seawolf 76" who flew cover for a large group of Mobile Riverine Force boats down close to Rach Gia in Kien Giang province around October or November of 1968 (I think). We did night ops on "Charlie Canal" which runs NNE from the town of Rach Gia. One call sign that I remember you dealing with at that time was "Porterly Topic" (in various numerical values). Your ship flew cover for our operation. You spotted 2 sampans after dark and asked for permission to fire. Permission was delayed. Then they di di'd into the treeline. If you are out there please pop smoke. I may have something that will be a big surprise for you.
Mike Harris (RM2), MRF - RAD 15 - RAS 152 - ATC 152-1 (7/68 - 7/69)
1785 Ocean Blvd #131
Coos Bay, Or 97420
Subject: Two Seawolves Shot Down Inside Cambodian Border in III Corps SSW Tay Ninh 1969
Date: 21 Apr 1998
From: Jdmoffatt, Jdmoffatt@aol.com
I read the list of Seawolf aircraft with some interest, noting that it did not contain any reference to two of your birds (Charlies models, I believe) shot down just across the Cambodian border a ways south-southwest of Tay Ninh in early to mid-1969. I was AC on a UH-1H with A Co., 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, First Air Cav, operating around Tay Ninh when a FAC bird called for help on Guard. We responded and flew to the area. Two of your ships had been shot down and were on the ground; one already destroyed and the other just sitting there with no personnel in sight. We flew into, out of, and around the area for several hours, using the FAC to provide "fire support" with his few smoke rockets and gunships from another Army unit later on during the incident. Ground fire from the treelines and a nearby village was intermittent. One gunship pilot was shot in the chest hovering in the weeds with us looking for signs of the crews. We were finally called off by authorities in Saigon after enemy mortars zeroed in and destroyed the other Seawolf bird.
Frank Angarola, former CW2,
A Co., 229th AHB, First Air Cav
Subject: From another Navy helo "Specops" guy !
Hi, My name is AO1 "Two-Gun", I'm with a squadron that has its origin from the "Sea Wolves" of Vietnam. I work in the QA Shop inspecting all a/c maintenance. We operate the HH-60H Seahawk and conduct combat search and rescue, and also the mission of Special Warfare support. I would appreciate some correspondence from your unit personnel so that I can compare notes.
I also am the squadron firearms instructor, and really enjoy my job. I instruct the use of the M-14, M-16, M-4, M-60, GAU-17, M-240, along with the M-12 9MM, and the M500 shotgun. I am currently trying to develop a syllabus for perimeter of defense while in the field at an advanced fire base, and would greatly appreciate any feedback in this area. Also any pictures of the "Seawolves" would greatly be appreciated. (any i.e...combat). I am also working on what our requirements should be for individual combat equipment.
Robert L. Forbes", email@example.com
Send to Jenned@Juno.com, or Jenned1@Aol.com.
Subject: Seawolves-Nha Be, 240 Assault Helicopter Co. Mad Dog Guns
I flew with the 240 Assault Helicopter Company, 3rd Platoon-Gunships. We flew the UH-1C Hueys and were called the Mad Dogs. I was a doorgunner/crewchief from July 1969 to October 1970. We flew many missions into and out of Nha Be and worked many times in the area known as the Rung Sat. I can remember many times hoping to get back to Nha Be during a mission so we could eat at the Navy's mess hall. Their food was so much better than we had back at our base which was called "Bearcat." On a number of occasions we worked with the flame thrower boats (we called them zippos) and I think we might have worked with PBR's on occasion. We used to work with a marine advisor out of Nha Be (I think that is where he was stationed) with the ARVN's. My unit, the 240th AHC, recently had a reunion in may of 1997, our first one. Since then, guys have sent me pictures, slides and 8mm which I have made into movies. I have a slide of a Navy Seawolf UH-1B sitting in the revetment at Nha Be and I also have some video of a mad dog gunship coming in on final to Nha Be.
I have fond memories of the airfield there and especially the mess hall! I don't know if it was after I left or not, but I believe a Mad Dog gunship and one of our slicks (Greyhounds) touched main rotors at Nha Be and there was quite a bit of damage. I enjoyed your website and will go back and visit it again.
Doorgunner/crewchief, 240th Assault Helicopter Company
Mad Dog Gunships, UH-1C
July 1969 to October of 1970.
Trying to find out what Gunships were near my location in 9/69 to 12/69. Was in River Division 552 on the Vam Co Dong River, near Tra Cu, up river from Ben Luc. Sorry I can't give better time period, but my boat was hit with an RPG and was on the beach taking automatic weapons fire. I was the only one who wasn't wounded. I can't really remember call sign of ship, but I believe it was Wolf 13 or 14 or 15. I never forget the magic words that came so quick, "throw smoke and I will Identify" and "where do you want it". I sit at work, and when we hear a Huey coming somebody always says boy they're noisey. I think to myself, was sure glad to hear them then. But was interested to know what group it was and maybe who it was that was there when I needed them.
I was sent over to Vung Tau in early March of 1967. I was the Communications Yeoman, Joe Dunckel. I remember being sent over before the barracks were built. I had to find my own rack on the air base with the 388th Tranportation Co. I know we went to Cat Lo to get paid the first couple of months. I can't remember the name of the Yeoman who arrived In Country with me.
I got assigned TDY to work for the 44th Signal Battalion, U.S. Army, until the rest of the Squadron made it over. The Officers arrived first. I remember having to beg the Army for supplies to help spruce up the office. After all, these were OFFICERS coming on board.
I recall taking my first Helicopter ride to Saigon to help rip off some air conditioners from the Chase Manhattan Bank. We got caught by some heavy brass pushing it thru the wall. One of the Chiefs talked our way out of a jam and we went home with a few busted up typewriters.
I have fond memories of Commander Spencer, whom I delivered the message board to every morning, and Cdr. Hipp, (whose gun almost blew my head off. And I can still picture Cdr Rocky, and my Communications Officers Lt. Wright.
I ended up my tour with the Coastal Survillance Group. I made E5 and asked Cmd Hipp for a transfer to the Light House. He said yes and I had it made. There were only forty of us at this old French Plantation. I had my own room with a shower and a toilet that flushed every sixth time.
The last time I saw Cdr Hipp was at the USO downtown. He told me to "Get a haircut. You look like one of those Beatles. If I see you looking like this again I'll make you a gunner." I got a hair cut, and I stayed away from the USO.
I also remember all the great nights at the Thuey Bar and Bic and Han and all those nice young bar maids. "I love you, no Sh_t!"
I have been married for 29 years. I have a 28 year old daughter and one Grandaughter. I have been a stand-up comic for the last 20 years and I perform at Comedy clubs accross the country. Maybe some of you old HAL3 guys could come down and see me at your local Comedy Club. I'll buy you a drink.
e-mail @Str8jkit aol.com
HAL 3, Sea Wolf Squadron has some interesting memories for me. I was an Army Avionics Supervisor (35P40) SSG E6 who was detailed to provide avionics support to HAL 3 when you 1st formed. The whole story as usual probably did not get into the books.
When we (the Army) were ordered to give our old, tired B models to the Navy we thought that we would get rid of our choice dogs. We loaded the worst avionics, ARC 55, APX44, ARN3, etc into those birds. It was so bad I swear you could hear those dogs howling.
Unfortunately I was ordered (I think at gun point ha.) to help the Navy AT's with fixing things. The end result of this is that I was extremely impressed with the technical skill of those AT's and the spirit of everyone in HAL 3. I got out of the Army in Jan 1969 and joined the Navy as an AT in June of 1970. When I came into the Navy I wanted and thought that with my experience that I would be placed in a helicopter squadron, hopefully HAL 3. No such luck.
I did not go to boot camp, I went from civilian right to work. Other then 2 weeks at Charleston for uniforms, then to Cecil Field Fla, I spent the next 3 years with the A7-E. The huey is difficult to keep repaired, especially old B models, the A7E was a dream but no fun.
Utimately, I went to NAS Memphis to AVIB school then after 3 years on Adak, Alaska I went to one of the last classes of AVB. I retired from the Navy April 1981.
So you see HAL 3 had a direct bearing on my future. But I can still hear those dogs barking at the moon.
Ho! by the way the flight crews were not crazy but totally insane. You will have to find out which crew was crazy enough to put a 50 cal on the door and fired it. As they told the story they fired about 3 rounds and decided that maybe it was not a good idea.
HAL 3 was crazy, wonderful and spirited. I hope you get the whole story.
Claude Fourroux USN Ret
DATE: 24 Jun 1998
I would like to get in touch with anyone who served with my father during is time with HAL-3. He mentioned being at Ben Thuy (sic). Unfortunately he passed away in November of 1990. I recall seeing his squadron book but I don't have it. He was a Door gunner/ crew chief or maybe just a gunner. Anyway anyone who could shed some light on the man I didnt get to meet but consider a hero along with all other Nam vets. My e-mail address is HAHA131@aol.com. Thank you and Semper Fi (haha)
PO Harold D. Mayhugh USN(RET)
Subject: HAL 3
Date: 15 Jul 1998
From: "L.H.Bergara", Viper7@interconnect.net
My name is Lee H. Bergara and I now reside in Corpus Christi, Texas. I was never a member of HAL3 but in late 1969 or early 1970 I was assigned to the YRBM 16 which at that time was on the Bassac River and home to HAL3 Det 5. There I met a Seawolf member my the last name of O'Brian. I don't recall his first name. Anyway, O'Brian was from Galveston,Texas, which is my home town, though I never knew him before Nam.
Shortly after arriving on the YRBM 16 I had to leave Nam on emergency leave. My next duty station was on the U.S.S. Lexington which was being used as a training carrier out of Pensacola, Florida. Soon O'Brian arrived to also serve on the Lex. We were both assigned to V-2 division with me in arresting gear and he in catapults.
While we were out if the Gulf of Mexico during carrier quals O'Brian was killed during a catapult launch when he was dragged by the aircraft which left the catapult prematurely due to some type of mechanical failure.
Oddly enough, our next scheduled port of call was Galveston,Tx.
Subject: Big Time
Date: 16 Jul 1998
From: Ken Stakas, firstname.lastname@example.org
To Big Time
This is just a message to "Big Time" probably the toughest and luckiest helicopter pilot in the world. We would not be here today if not for you and the guys at HAL -3.
We were under heavy fire, hit hard and you guys came in and pulled us out. I don't know how many hits that chopper took but it was Swiss cheese when we got off. I never knew his name all I knew him as was "big time." I know you made it back because the VC weren't smart enough to take you out!
Your Buddies from eagle platoon USMC
Subject: The Tradition lives on!!!
Date: 17 Jul 1998
From: "John B. Landis III", Landis_John%PAX1B@MR.NAWCAD.NAVY.MIL
Seawolves: For those of you that still care. Your squadron patch lives on in our squadron - HCS 4 Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron Four.
Check out our unofficial web page at home.earthlink.net/~redwolves/ We deployed to Desert Shield/Storm and the Haitian vacation.
On-call 72 hours notice anywhere in the world.
Subject: HELLO AND THANKS!
Date: 29 Jul 1998
From: "BILL KAHN", email@example.com
First, I need to say thanks to all the HAL-3 folks from the various dets who saved my butt on several occasions in 1969-70. Also, I wanted to make you aware that one of your birds is on display at the San Diego Aerospace Museum hangar at Gillespie Field, El Cajon, CA. I don't know if it's one of the actual birds that was there when I needed it, but it's close enough for me.
Commander, River Assault Div. 131 (3/69-3/70), Mekong Delta
Subject: Thanks to Hal 3 Det. 2
Date: 24 Aug 1998
From: "Jimmy R. Bryant", firstname.lastname@example.org
A bit belated but thanks for the assistance several times at Nha Be and Ben Luc in 1968-69. Our PBR's had to call on you guys several times when Charlie was trying to kill us. Again thanks for the timely help.
With much respect,
A member of PBR-FVA
Check out this page about a book just published, link into it if you like.
Subject: SEAWOLF 41
Date: 08 Sep 1998
From: "AL O'CANAS", email@example.com
I was in nam on pbr's from June 67 To June 68 and got some great back up from Sea Wolf 41. The dude was as crazy as we were and got us out of a lot of hot stuff.
Thank's many times.
AL "PANCHO" O'CANAS
Formerly PBR RIV SEC 533 "HOTEL PATROL"
Date: 10 Sep 1998
From: "T. James LeDoux", firstname.lastname@example.org
I was attached to the YRBM-21 near An Long (Long An on some maps)from December 1969 to June 1970. During the months of March and April 1970 (Cambodian Offensive startup), I operated as a door gunner on a Seawolf Huey-tail number 310. I would bounce between the 2 hueys we had on the deck, but I don't remember the tail number of the other bird. I'm checking through my photos to see if I caught the tail number in one of them.
12 December 98
This is a little story that happened 30 years ago, it might be of interest to any of you old Seawolfs, and it might sound familiar, since it might have been one of you involved. I was a GMG3 on PBR 96 with River Division 512 patrolling the Vinh Te canal out of Chau Doc. It was Dec 18 1969. Our cover boat was broken down, so they sent us out by ourselves to what that thought was going to be a quiet area. We set up ambush on the Cambodian side of the canal right across from the seven mountains. The river was low so the boat was out of site. About 3:0clock in the morning I was on top of the boat canopy with the starlight scope. Across the rice field came 44 NVA standing upright with field packs and rifles on their shoulders. They were about 300 yards away. I got own the radio and called TOC and requested Seawolfs. There was four of us and 44 of them. They never saw us, we waited till they were within 50 yards and hit them with every thing we had. It seemed like an hour but I'm sure it was minutes before they got there. They made several strikes and informed us that there were about 250 more in the treeline waiting to cross. About that time Black Pony picked up the frequency and they came in the cover while the Seawolfs rearmed. In a little while a Spooky showed up to get in on the action. We had about 25 to 50 on the other bank that were coming to help them cross. This all lasted till about dawn. We took two prisoners from the right bank and had 16 NVA KIA on the Cambodian side. We loaded down the boat with all the weapons and ammo we captured. They were all waiting for us at the base camp, they had heard it all on the radio. I don't remember the Seawolfs callsign. Ours was rudementary Bravo. The most amazing thing was not one of us was wounded. It was a great night for the US NAVY even though spooky got in on the tail end.
GMG3 C.R. Dyson
RIV DIV 512 PBR 96
Vinh Te Canal
9 January 99
I would like to thank you. 1969-1970 I was with RIVDIV 512 and 532. On many occasion the Seawolfs came to the rescue. I know at your people did above and beyond the call of duty many times. One night on the Vinh Te Canal the US Army had some wounded. The Dust Off (Army) would not come be because it was to hot!! I remember the call very well as Seawolf replied keep your head down, coming in hot. Guns were blazing but you came in anyway. The Army personnel lived to come back, and fight again.
On more that one occasion I flew with you. After my first Div 512 was turned over, I was a radio operator for RIVSQD 55 on the YRBM 20. Your people would come down and get Intel info from me. In return I would go up and fly with you. I even faced the big green foot balls come back from the Seven Sisters Mountains. The name Curlless (not sure of the spelling) and Mangler comes to mind. Again thank you and a job well done.
Robert L. Baxley, CWO3 USN RET
9 January 99
I just stumbled across your web site and it brought back some memories. From Aug 1970 to Jan 1971 I was with the US Army 125th Avn (ATC) stationed at Camau, RVN. We ran the control tower at the airfield and the target acquistion radar atop the compound guard tower. I remember having many a beer with the Seawolves and Seals at the club on the compound. Unfortunately I don't remember any names. The Navy guy I knew best was a big heavyset guy from Idaho who was the armorer on the Seal support craft. He loved country music. I have an article I saved from Stars and Stripes about the battle at VC Lake. The article doesn't provide all the detail of your site's account. I also remember an argument in the club at Camau between a black Seawolf crewman and one of the Seals. I was at the bar writing a letter home when the bartender (a Seal) leaped over the bar landing right next to me and charged someone behind me. I turned around in time to see two more Seals rush in the door and grab a Seal holding a Stoner and physically pick him up and carry him out the door and back to their bunker. Meanwhile the bartender had subdued the Seawolf who was brandishing a .45 automatic. The club had a rule that no weapons were allowed so after the initial argument both the Seal and Seawolf had gone after their weapons and returned to settle the dispute. I don't know what happened to the Seawolf but the Seal disappeared for about two hours and then could be seen in front of the Seal's bunker with bag and baggage pleading to be let back inside. After a few hours they opened the door and drug him back in. I never saw either again. I also remember in December of 1970 when the Navy compound at Camau was hit with every building taking direct hits from B40 rockets including the flag pole. If I recall damage was minimized because the hootches were screen from about waist level up and many of the rockets punched right through the screens without going off. Then there were the Navy riverboat crews. I had the Creedence tape with Proud Mary and this was the name of one of their boats. I played the tape and they bought the beer until about one in the morning when they took me over and gave me a tour of their boat. The scary part was making it back to the compound in the middle of the night all by myself. This was in a province that was reported to be 80% VC. What do they say? God looks after fools, drunks and The United States of America. Well, I was three for three that night.
I hope you don't mind my sharing these memories with you. I always thought the Seawolves were a great bunch of guys.
10 January 1999
I found your site while surfing the web tonight. I was one of the Army nurses at the 29th Evac/3rd Surg Hospital from May 69-May 70, then I extended and went to the 45th Surg in Tay Ninh. Just wanted to send you all a hug and say how good it was to run into a "neighbor" again.
Carol Kirk, MAJ, USA (ret)
12 January 1999
Howdy! Spent a measly ten months in the big muddy. Mostly concerned with keeping the lowest possible profile. Have many fond memory of wolves, and pictures, (slides), to back them up. Still have jungle boots w/zippers.
Second wife is not sure she believes some of my sea stories. Found your web page while surfing for memories. Did a lot of time with radio crew on both barges. Did a few months in ops on 16. Turned her into the wind for a few landings. Seawolf 98 this is Jato 16 you have a green deck. winds at five knots 090 deg. what is your state? Do you require a turn around over?
Welcome home guys. I may have been a minor cog in the wheels of the great machine but even the minor players take great part in having done their menial support jobs well.
Am now electronics engineer with C4I group at Naval research lab Washington, DC. Salt never got out of blood.
Welcome home. Thanks for everything.
Mike L. Gregory RMSN
YRBM16 at Tan Chau, and YRBM 20 at Chau Doc
Dear Major Carol Kirk and other nurses stationed with you in Binh Thuy.
It is I who owes all of you great big hugs and THANKS for helping save my life on the night of 28 April 1970. This was the night that a Seal Team member accidentially shot 3 sailors at the Navy Base Club. I was the one with GSW's to the face and wrist. I want to thank all of the ER staff that night, in particular, the nurse who stayed with me until I was dusted off to Long Binh.
There are not enough words to thank all of you.
Dwight A Kolodgy, PO1, USN(Ret)
HA(L)-3 May 69 - May 70
LPO Admin Section
Date: 23 February 1999
Subject: Rescue in 1967
I was a UH-1C gunship pilot with an Army "cav" unit in the Delta in 1967. I don't remember the timing (approx. 7/67-11/67), but I was flying a "politically sensitive" S. Vietnamese politician in a 0H23-G, (I know, a piston powered "slug", but we had to cross-fly all our aircraft monthly in case we had to evacuate the fleet on short notice.), from Can Tho to Dong Tam, when my aircraft, fresh out of maint. (natch), blew a jug. I auto-rotated into a rice paddy West of Dong Tam and "may-dayed" my heart out. A "Seawolf" gunship was in the Dong Tam pattern & picked me and my passenger up faster than I could strip my "ride" of radios etc. I'd very much like to find these fine folks who saved my life and give them the appreciation they deserve. Any help in finding them you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Rick Roll "Vannguard 6"
9235 Royal Mountain Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37421
Date: 2 March 1999
I flew with the 45th Med Co (AA) as Dustoff 23 from 4/70-4/71. LRRP and SEAL extractions some of my best/worst memories...usually at night or first light...but I could always count on the Seawolves for support. We preferred Bravo and Charlie models to Snakes due mainly to the extra eyes and sweep of the doorgunners. We were a proud group who never turned down a mission and paid for it...11 aircraft in 13 days the same week Melvin Laird reported that "...for all purposes the War was over in III & IV Corps."! Do you guys keep a list of pilots...I am looking for Jim Nellis...I went to American University with him...we were friends and in the same fraternity (ATO)...we bumped into each other over III Corps when I took some fire and called for some gunship support before trying a second approach...Jim responded with his Seawolf crew and recognized my voice over the radio. His father I believe was a LTC in the Navy at that time (1970-71). Any feedback would be appreciated.
3 March 1999
I was an RM2 and leading radioman at Song Ong Doc for a 5 month period that included the day at VC Lake. LTJG William Pedersen (Willie Pete) was my element leader during our week in the field for survival training at the SERE school in Little Creek, Virginia. Willie Pete, 6 or 7 others and I humped on compass marches while being "ambushed" for several days before being "captured' and put in a POW camp. They had this pit that was partly filled with muddy water that they would knock someone into and then force them to do pushups. I'll never forget Willie Pete standing in the center of the pit refusing to do anything. The "Chi-coms" had to get down into the water to rough him up. It was a small victory, but it meant a lot at the time. I ran into him once at Nha Be and then wound up at Song Ong Doc. We talked every time he came into CIC on the barges. It was a sad day for me and many others on September 15, 1970. George Valdaspino (Ref. his letter to Jim Plona) wasn't the only one that cried during the service on the helo pad at Song Ong Doc. I also have the Stars and Stripes newspaper article about VC Lake, but your account of the day on your website is much more complete and is of great interest to me.
3 March 1999
I am currently a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. My dad served in Vietnam, my brother flies SH-60B's, and I want to fly helos more than anything. I am currently completeing a research paper in my Naval Heritage class and got information from your website. It proved to be very valuable. I just wanted to say thank you and I will never forget all the brave men and women involved in the Vietnam Conflict.
Midn D.J. Schlesinger
3 April 1999
Stumbled onto your site quite by accident, but very glad I did. Served with US Army 1st Aviation Brigade, RVN, 71-72, and had the opportunity to observe your operations. Thanks for the memories and Godspeed.
Jim Sprinkle (email@example.com)
27 April 1999
My name is Christopher S. Uiterwyk and am a member of Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron 4, the Redwolves. Just wanted to drop a note to let you know what is going on with the unit these days. We like to think at HCS-4 that we carry on the legends that follows HAL-3. The Helo's are now fitted with HELLFIRE missile racks, FLIR pod and the GAU-17 mini gun.
With all the stuff going on in the world, we think we may being going places soon.
Would love to get a little shrine setup at the hanger for your guys. Let me know
C. Uiterwyk (AT2)
26 May 1999
I found out about the Seawolf Org from a contact in the VHPA. I am a Seawolf plank holder. US Army Capt. Chuck Able and I were the first two officers assigned to T. F. 116.1.6 (I think that is right, Its been a long time and I don' t have my diaries at hand), Chuck was killed in a night take off from the USS Tortuga, the flagship of the Seawolf operation. The name Seawolf and combat patch were selected and designed by myself in the wardroom of the Tortuga and personally OK'd by Admiral Ward the then COMNAVFORV our boss. If I can be of any help let me know. One of my Navy door gunners earned the Silver Star, the first award earned by Navy crewman. The medal was awarded by the Army due to the fact that the Tortuga Capt. CMDR Wolf Heinburg refused to forward my recommendations to the Navy so I submitted them thru Army channels. I have lots of info if you want it.
Joff Filion, USA LTCOL, Ret.
17 June 1999
I was a member of the 197th Armed Helicopter co. (later the 334th Armed Helicopter Co.) in 1966 at Bien Hoa Air Base. Your guys flew with us, lived with us, and sadly were shot down and died with us. One of our key missions in RUNGSAT special zone (seals and coastal rivdiv) known as Nha Be on the Saigon River (sunken freighter and all). I was the light operator on the fire-fly mission near Can Guioc that destroyed 111 sampans on 26-27 Dec, 1966. The Navy claims that we were in the Navy at that time because they have published that the Navy Helos did this damage. Our call sign was "playboy 11,12,13... and raider 21,22,23...".
Let me know if I have a Navy pension to collect also.
You have a nice site. Check my site at www.manana.com.
Subject: Billy L. Coker
Looking for anyone that can give me any information on GMG3 Billy L. Coker or the action that caused his death. He was attached to River Division 515 on the Vinh Te canal 11/24/69. Billy was killed by a Seawolf gunner by mistake. Took three rounds in the chest and died onboard the boat. Any information at all, just so I can put the memory to bed. Was stationed with him prior to Vietnam, we flew over together and I went to River Division 531 at Nha Be.
My hat goes off to all of you guys, and I thank you very much for your help many of nights in the Rung Sat Special Zone, Giant Slingshot I believe, although we were supported by the 25th out of Tay Ninh I think, but for sure you guys saved my ass a couple of times and again I thank you very much. If you have any history on my buddy or the action that caused it, let me know. I heard that he was in an ambush position and for some reason he moved the boat to a different position and some H&I was going in and he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time or so I was told before I left country, but never heard it straight out, always second or third hand.
Subject: Billy L. Coker
I want to take the time to thank everyone who was associated with getting the word out for me and my plight to uncover information on an old shipmate and a good a very good friend of mine. I did not think that you guys would go as far as to put my story in your newsgram to get the word out to all hands, I am still kind of overwhelmed. I received an email from Les Westling the chaplain who performed the memorial service for my buddy and he is going to send me a copy of the original paperwork that was handed out at the service. I received a second email from Chris Thomas, who was the pilot/co-pilot of the cover gunship the evening Billy was killed. Chris went into great detail to tell me what and how it happened. Chris confirmed all the stories I had heard for numerous years, Billy and his boat was in the wrong place, he should never have been where he was. This terrible thing that happened, happens in times of war and there is nothing a person can do to prevent that. We just have to make the best of it. I pray and hope the gunner handled it ok.
This next sentence should go unsaid, but I feel I need to say it to clear up any doubt whatsoever. I hold no one responsible for this terrible accident and I have no ill feelings toward the Seawolves or anyone associated with you guys. In fact, I think you all are better than sliced bread and I would go to bat for you any day. Seawolf 21 or 22 as I recall saved me a couple of times in the Rung Sat, numbers are fuzzy, but believe it was 21 or 22. Personally, I would rather take my chances on the rivers than in the air, it hurts more when you hit the ground rather than dropping to it, however the end result is still the same. Again, thanks for taking the time to help me put my memories to rest.
Lcdr. Jerry P. Davis USN (Ret)
Date: 26 Jul 1999
Subject:Tom Phillips & Scramble the Seawolves
Interesting reading, especially the part about S/W 17 getting shot through the "meaty part of the thigh". I still have that scar and the "fond" memories of that day. It was interesting reading about it from another perspective, one without the sudden shock and pain, and yes, I did check my balls for obvious damage, but now, 3 kids later, I'm proud to report there was no damage to that area.
They were fun times with the greatest group of folks ever. I still fly for a living, but nothing matches those days.
Det 1 69-70
Date: 6 Aug 1999
Searched the net for Seawolves and I found you. I stumbled across Daniel Kelly's book and haven't put it down. I was a CH-46 avionics in the marine corps for 6 years (86-92), and UH-1N from 92-93. Was involved in Desert Storm and I LOVE helo's and military history. Until I read Kelly's book I hadn't heard of Seawolves. I love the book, it hits close to home with me. I hope to see more stuff pop up from other Seawolf Vets in the future. Love the site too.
Date: 31 Jul 1999
From: "Acorn Supply Co.", firstname.lastname@example.org
I was on the YRBM16 from Dec 70 to Nov 71. After reading some of the email sent to you I realize I may know someone from the 16 who emailed you. Would you please forward my email address to RMSN Mike Gregory. I also knew to guys from HAL3 Det 5 I believe who were always coming and going from Binh Thuy and the 16. Does anyone know two gunners named Barney or French.
Subject: PBR Sailor
Date: 18 Aug 1999
From: "Leroy Cobb", Leroy.Cobb@kvnet.org
I was a Patrol Officer with RivDiv 515 from Oct 68 to Oct 69 and called on the Seawolfs numerous times. After leaving Nam I checked in to NAS Jacksonville , Fl and who was the Maint Control Officer, Lt Vasquez (Seawolf 32 I believe). I had met him personally on the Jennings County so we recognized each other. We were getting our first H-1s and he was our only H-1 pilot at the time so he and I made a few firing runs on the St Johns river during acceptance inspections on the aircraft. Lots of fun but every one else thought we were crazy.
All of the Pilots and Crew did an outstanding job in country and if not for you the WALL would be twice as big.
God bless you all and all the returning veterans.
Date: 17 Aug 1999
I am trying to find a very dear friend who was in the Navy in Vietnam about 1966 as a doorgunner. I can only assume he was on a chopper. His name is Clifford L. Cashion, born 8/2/42 in Amarillo TX. I don't have any service information on him, just my memory of what was said at the time.
If you have any information, or can direct me to another site or organization, I would really appreciate it.
My SO is a member of the VHCMA and directed me to this site for help.
Subject: Irish-born Vietnam Vets
Date: 25 Aug 1999
From: "Declan Hughes", email@example.com
Searching for Irish-born Vietnam Veterans
If you served in Vietnam, and were born anywhere on the island of Ireland (including Northern Ireland), please add your name, rank, outfit details, date(s) of service, date/location born in Ireland, and any other details you feel comfortable sharing, to a database which is (very slowly) being compiled. Irish Women Veterans especially sought as there is absolutely no official record you ever existed. Information on Irish-born male veterans is very sketchy, but at least we know without any doubt you existed as, (to date), I have confirmation that 20 were KIA (serving with both the US and Australian Forces). Official US figure for Irish-born KIA is 1 (one).
Who am I? I was instigator, and Irish Tour Co-ordinator, of the recent Tour of Ireland (April/May 99), of the travelling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to recognise and honour the Irish-born killed in Vietnam. This tour brought families together for the first time, as the majority of them believed for 30 years they were the sole Irish family to have lost a son in the war. In May, I flew to the US and took part in Run For The Wall, the ride from LA to DC to highlight POW/MIA issues. Here in Ireland I am in contact with a number of Irish-born Viet Vets from both the US and Australian military, and I will be in DC Veterans Day at wreath-laying at The Wall.
Sometime in the future, if there is enough support, we would like to see a proper Memorial in Ireland to recognize and honor all who served, and all who fell in Vietnam. Any information, which may be e-mailed (firstname.lastname@example.org), nailed (Declan P. Hughes, Top Floor, Capel Chambers, 119 Capel Street, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland), or faxed (Dublin, Ireland 87 22 371) greatly appreciated.
Declan Paul Hughes.
Subject: Frank Pinegar
Date: 13 Feb 2000
From: Barb & John Clauson, email@example.com
Hi from a UN-1 Army Warrant type,
I flew with the 175th AHC in the Delta and we crossed paths with the Seawolves often, mostly along the border. At the time (69-70) they were stationed along the main highway about half way to Saigon. (Can't remember the name of the town). One of the pilots was Frank Pinegar and he lived in the next town from me (Nanuet, NY) I stopped to visit on the way to Saigon once and never heard any more about him. I am trying to research 5 pilots from Nam that are not in the VHPA directory. If you have any work on Frank, I'd appreciate knowing.
I flew several missions for the Navy. One memorable one was flying several photographers to an island, Duong Dong, in the Gulf of Thailand, one of those over the horizon places. I always loved the Army philosophy of single engine. What a peaceful place, with the green water and the wooden fishing boats. We ate on the YRBM that was anchored in the Mekong just below Chao Duc. We sat at the Captain's table with linen, pewter and silver. Probably one of the best meals in RVN. That happened after we figured out what they meant about the deck being red, then green. We thought it looked rather grey. Seems like a hundred years ago now. Enough of Memory Lane.
Thanks, John R. Clauson
CW4 USAR (Managed to get 2 wars under my belt, went to the desert for 6 months with a Reserve Dustoff.)
Subject: Seawolf history
Date: 28 Feb 2000
My name is John Fielder and I am currently a LCDR attending Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB. I am a Navy H-60 pilot and am writing a short research paper for an elective I am taking on Vietnam. Given free reign on what subject, I chose HAL-3 and have greatly enjoyed your web page and the book by Daniel Kelly. The information is more than enough to write my short paper, but I am interested in talking to a pilot who served in HAL-3 at some time. I have met Tom Phillips through my training at the FRS in San Diego and was wondering if you might have his e-mail address. If not, any pilot willing to correspond with me and answer a couple of questions would greatly assist in my effort.
Thank you for your assistance.
V/R, John Fielder
Subject: Your site
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 15:55:05 -0500
From: Rodney Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm a Hillclimber (Chinook) guy from Vung Tau. I was in the 147th ASHC from August 1967 to December 1968. I watched you guys up close and personnel. Besides having greatest admiration for you I must confess that I thought you guys were completely nuts. The way that you handled your operations (I sometimes watched from the air as a chinook flight engineer) showed a tremendous amount of nerve and guts.
The Hillclimbers, for the last six months, have been forming a veterans' association similiar to your group. I was noticing a picture of one of your helicopters (#157187) that was unsuccessfully recovered. It looks like a picture that I have seen before. I also believe the recovery was attempted by the 147th. Could I screen copy these pictures out of your site and use them in our newsletter to see if I have the recovery pilot among our hundred or so members?
I think it would be interesting if it was us to get the story first hand from the recovery team.
Let me know. I would like your permission. I would not feel right just cutting the picture.
Rodney R. Brown
Subject: Delta Door Gunner
Date: 12 Mar 2000
I am going to try once again to locate my buddy Dennis Chester who was a door gunner on a Seawolf. I was a gunner on Strike Assault Boat (Stabs) 001. We were operating on the Grand Canal in 1970 setting waterborne ambushes. After the Seabees built us a small base camp at Phuoc Xyuen my buddies helo and their cover ship sat on site at night to support us. They saved me and my Stab brothers numerous times. Dennis and I were in the same company during Boot Camp and were real lose. Dennis told me that when he heard my boats call sign (Racing Danger 001) in a hot spot for me not to worry for he would be there. I remember on one of many occasions that the helo Dennis flew on would hover right over our boat and tear Charlies ass up. The helo would be so close that hot brass would be falling in our boat. The last time Dennis called me was in 1982 and he was in Wichita Falls, TX. Anyone who served with Dennis I offer my heartfelt thanks and if anyone has been in touch with Dennis please tell him to contact me.
SWCS Dempsey Bumpass
Date: 7 April 2000
Whilst surfing the web, I came across your website and thought I'd give you a short note. Some of your members may remember me. I went through training at Pensacola in 1966-67 with a group of Royal Austrailian Naval trainee aviators, and then bumped into a couple of your guys who trained about the same time whilst I was on secondment to the Royal Austrailian Air Force (No.9 Sqdn) in Vung Tau in 1968.
I well remember some times spent in the Seawolf Mess and runs down town in candy striped jeep!!!
I would dearly love to attend your reunion, but it's a long way from Perth, Western Austrailia. However, if any of your members are down this way email and then contact me!
John ("bomber") Brown
Lieutenant Commander (Ret)
Royal Austrailian Navy Reserve
Date:21 June 2000
I am looking for anyone that served with the Seawolves in 1967,1968,1969. My brother was a Seawolf. His name was Bobby Karol Garrett, I do not have Bobby's info, because his wife sold all of his medals and his bretta that he had. Bobby was killed in a car wreck back in 1974, I'm very proud of my brother, but everything that he had was sold my her. Please, if you knew my brother in Nam please contact me.
Date:21 February 2001
I am friends with a Seawolf vet. His name is Dan Higgins and lives in Redding California. My name is Ernie Saldivar and served with the 5\60th, Ninth Infantry Division at Rach Kein during the entire year of 1969. The Greyhounds flew us on most our missions. But just to say that you did a great job in Nam, and Dan Higgins is a great guy.
Date: 25 July 2001
From: taipanjoe [email@example.com]
Well mate, I was near you blokes in the delta in 70, I was with 135th AHC (www.135ahc.com) Australian Navy and US Army together in a unit. We had UH1C and UH1H gunships. We tried to land on some of your pads but at times we were a bit heavy, not like our carrier back in Australia. Nice to see you guys down there with us.
joe [ taipan ] ralph
there is a 135th AHC reunion in Australia at our Naval Air Base at Nowra in 2002. info on our unit site.
Date: 12 July 2001
From: Art Nickel [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Having been one of the base defense types at Nam Canh (Solid Anchor), I can say you guys were great. I tried to get back after attending AO A school (went from BM2 to AO2) but they made me go to a squadron of A7s Anyway, thanks for the rides and the good times and the rest... I was hoping that someone at your end could tell me where to find a map of that end of the country club so I could put one up on my "I love me wall" to remind myself why its better now than in 70-71...
That's Warhead Tech (used to be GMT)--changed rates a second time... couldn't stand those peacetime airdales...
Date: 06 August 2001
From: roland gerson (email@example.com)
I'm Roland Gerson, SEAL TEAM 1, Seafloat, April-September 1970, Det Golf, Foxtrot Platoon RM. Found this site by accident and went through your mailcall. I noticed a shortage of representation by the TEAMs there, so I figured I'd rectify that. To all of you that covered my ass, pulled it out of the mud or put it in there, I owe you a drink. Thank you gentlemen, for your Balls & your Bravery! FITH! (Fire In The Hole)
Date: 06 August 2001
From: oliver sinay [firstname.lastname@example.org]
My name is Olie Sinay and i am big fan of the U.S.N aircraft only. A five year ago I was a aircraft´s engines and fuselages crew of the Slovak army. Have by I ask you for you consideration at the following matters: - embroidery and other emblems (patches) of your squadron.
Please, if it is possible, indicate whom to I am possibility to turned to discuss of the possibility to acquire that.
Is there any objection to obtain /acquire this objects from you under certain conditions even from you?
Thank you very, very much,
841 04 Bratislava
Date: 1 May 2001
From: James R Burch
I recent read your historical piece on the "Incident at VC lake." I am James R. Burch II, LTC, USA, (retired) and wish to correct some of the information. My call sign was Crusader33, the cobra that went down that day. Your article indicated the downed cobra was Crusader32. Crusader32 was there that day, but did not go down. There is no Crusader29 since all gun call signs begin with 30. (Scouts are 10's and slicks are 20's. This was standard for Cavalry units.) It was probably Midget McJohnston (CR39). The unit was D troop 3/5 Air Cav (LightHorse -- also called the Bastard Cav) stationed at Vinh Long and attached to 7/1st Cav Squadron. The 187th AHC was stationed at Tay Ninh, much further north. Their Crusaders were slicks while their guns were the Rat Pack. I don't think they ever operated in IV Corps to my knowledge. I was in country 19 Jan 70 and left 19 Jan 71. I was a fire team leader that day.
Prior to the action at VC lake, the troop had been on a recce mission operating out of Rach Soi/Rach Gia area west of the Tram. We received a Tac-E (tactical emergency) order to redeploy immediately to Ca Mau to support the recovery of downed Tigers/Vikings (121st AHC). Upon arrival with the entire cav package (4 cobras, 4 scouts, 4 slicks), we witnessed the recover of a Huey (Tiger or Viking I think) with one gunner hanging on a monkey strap below the aircraft. Then a gun ship (Seawolf I think) came in with tail rotor jammed. They made a running landing and slid off into the barbed wire and engineer stakes. Obviously, this one was going to be hot.
Mission commander got an intel and sitrep update. He ordered the scouts to stay behind and sent 4 Crusaders (AH-1Gs) to cover medevac and Dustoff missions. You may be aware of the difference, but Dustoff was protected by Geneva Convention with their red crosses, while a medevac was a standard slick doing the same thing. We used our own medevacs rather than Dustoff for our own operations normally. But I have covered many Dustoff missions throughout IV Corps. We had been told that the Seawolves had already recovered their crews and to focus on extracting the WIA/KIA from the other downed aircraft. Additionally, we were to cover the insertion of more ground troops to secure the area and entrap the enemy elements.
After attacking several machine gun emplacements near the downed Tigers, we began covering individual Dustoff missions in. They told us they were having trouble extracting some bodies from one crash site. They were badly entangled with the wreckage. We were suppressing heavy MG's while Huey guns (Seawolves/Vikings) provided close-in escort to Dustoff aircraft. We were attacking from a higher than normal altitude to get a better angle on the heavy MGs. That kept our speed up throughout the gun run and the climb out. With 4 guns working together, we hoped to keep plenty of fire power going into their enemy positions with a continuous orbit. Three of us were flying light hogs (54 -2.75FFARs, 4000 rds minigun, 400 rds 40mm) and one heavy hog (76 rockets, 800rds - 40mm). We had worked one snake low and 2 high in Cambodia during the invasion, but, with the number of heavy and light MGs, it was decided to keep all four high to cover each other. With the close-in escort, it made more sense to keep the heavy MGs occupied and destroy them. The Huey is much better at such close escort with their door gunners. If we kept the heavy MGs off the Dustoffs and their escorts, we figured they'd get in and out in one piece.
I observed some Black Ponies in an orbit over us. Did not see them attack. Also saw some F-4's in an even higher orbit. This action was getting a lot of attention apparently.
At one point, Dustoff 82(?) called taking heavy hits. I was just breaking right into a climb when I saw him break sharply. I instinctively broke left back to immediately re-engaged positions along the tree line from which he was turning. At that point, my aircraft started yawing badly back and forth and had no tail rotor control. I chopped power and entered an autorotation to a rice paddy. That stabilized the yawing. I called going down and my wing followed me. As I was decelerating to land, I saw and heard a Dustoff 80(?) turning towards me. Landing in the muddy rice paddy was uneventful, but the aircraft sank up to its belly in the soft and watery mud. I quickly shutdown the aircraft while my copilot exited to provide local security, took our survival equipment and the log book to the waiting Dustoff. Our rotors were barely stopped when we pulled out. My copilot and I laid down suppressive fires with our automatic rifles on the way out. Dustoff dropped us at a local RF/PF compound.
Later that night (2200L hrs) one of our slicks came and picked us up for a return flight to Vinh Long. The aircraft was recovered the next day. I was to have been off that day, but my roomy, Bob Allen (CR37) was not up to it. So I took his mission in his aircraft 158. It was now full of bullet holes.
Additionally, I'd like to make a few comments about some topics mentioned in other parts of your outstanding web site. The Army aviation evolved away from extensive use of Birddog O-1 FAC aircraft when we began to use dedicated armed scout helicopters in pairs. Scouts could locate and engage targets that a FAC would never be able to find. Their firepower was not that much less than a Huey gunship and more maneuverable. Consequently, the FAC was used in an economy of force effort to cover more of the AO. The FAC covered areas not being reconned by cavalry troops. These assignments were deconflicted daily by squadron with the 164th Group. Likewise, Army air cav units were advised of generally where the Navy units were operating so as not to duplicate coverage. My troop often responded to FAC located activity. They also provided comms relay when needed to coordinate with squadron HQ especially when we operated in the Tram, U Minh Forest or Cambodia.
The troop operated occasionally off the JATO Boat near Chau Duc. The first time was an interesting experience. After landing on the deck, the ordancemen asked what we needed. When I told him 50 17-lb rockets, 3000 rds of minigun, and 300 rds of 40 mm just for my ship, his eyes got real big. My wing man needed a similar amount. The best part was being provided some sandwiches at the same time. We usually rearmed ourselves, but the ordancemen made quick work getting us back into the air as well as refueling us promptly. As I sat there with my rotors turning, I noticed quite a few folks with cameras waiting for us to take off in the superstructure. I asked the petty officer what was going on. He said an Army cobra had crashed into the river the day before during takeoff and everyone wanted get a photo of it this time. So I told everyone to take it easy on takeoff. We usually are so heavy that we can only hover at less than 6 inches. Official gross weight of a AH-1G was 9500 lbs, but we usually operated around 10500-10600 lbs. But now we were taking off more than 30 feet in the air. Needless to say, it was an exciting takeoff as I barely got her flying just above the water!! Cheated them of their photos that day, but we came back many times after that during the Cambodian operations.
VC Lake was hell of a battle. Sorry so many good aviators and air crewman -- Army and Navy -- did not come home that day. They deserve our respect and a salute!!
D Trp 3/5 Air Cav, RVN '70
From:Ken & Melba Delfino [email@example.com]
I found this site while looking up a Navy Cross recipient! I want to add my THANK YOUs to you guys who covered our tails. I served in RivDiv 533 from Oct. 66-Jul.68...call signs I can remember were Seahorse 64 (QMC Frank Jackson) and Michaelangelo Kilo (RD1 Wilbur Cosson). Another patrol officer I had was LT(jg) Frank Yusi, but I forget his call sign. In the 22 months I served, my patrol were involved in 49 fire-fights and YOU GUYS WERE THERE TO HELP OUT! Our division was with some of you guys on the Jennings and Hunterdon County. Most memorable was the morning of July 7, 1968 when all 10 boats, two Seawolves and the H.C. leveled a village at the mouth of the Co Chien or Ham Luoung. RD1 Cosson was KIA the day before just as we were being relieved from serving as a blocking force for an ARVN operation. I hope to be able to thank you guys personally at the Game-wardens Reunion this Nov. 9-12 in San Diego when we will be dedicating the USN/USCG Memorial at Coronado NAB.
Ken Delfino; PO3; USN(ret)
From: Kirsten Doebel [DoebKir@bvu.edu]
To whom it may concern:
Hi my name is Kirsten Doebel. My father's name was Jerry Bartleson and served with the Seawolves in 68-69. He died in a motorcycle accident in 1983 when I was five years old. I am know a senior at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. I am a history major, and for my senior thesis I have been researching the Seawolves and my dad's involvement in the squadron. Your web page has been exptremely helpful to me, but I was wondering something about the roots. If HC-1 was already established as a Navy helicopter squadron, why was this just not expanded instead of changed altogether into HAL-3? I appreciate all your website has offered, and you as an association.
Date: Fri 10/20/2000 2:37 AM
From: Philippe BOULAY [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Hi, My name is Philippe BOULAY. I am a historian and journalist about rotary wing in the world and, of course, a specialist of french helicopters. I published a lot of articles and recently a guide of french helicopters. I amp seeking some contacts in USA for exchanging information, photographs, etc. about helicopters. My main actual seeking concerns combat helicopters, because I am writing two bnooks : a guide of world combat helicopters, and a history of the helicopter.
If you have an interest, you can join by E-mail, or by post :
Philippe BOULAY 10, rue du 18 juin 1940 F94700 MAISONS-ALFORT FRANCE
I am friends with a Seawolf vet. His name is Dan Higgins and lives in Redding California. My name is Ernie Saldivar and served with the 5\60th, Ninth Infantry Division at Rach Kein during the entire year of 1969. The Greyhounds flew us on most our missions. But just to say that you did a great job in Nam, and Dan Higgins is a great guy.
I just wanted to drop your organization a note of thanks. One of your members suggested that I visit this sight in that I was stationed onboard River Division 533, Thuey Nghon, Van Co Tay River, Rung Sat, Four Corp. from 3/69 - 8/69. While on patrol in support of SEAL Team ONE, Det. Alpha insertion, we took heavy small arms fire, B-40 rockets and heat round recoilless. I was just a seaman then and terrified beyond belief. The last thing I remember was a flash from the beach while returning fire from the aft 50MM. A B-40 hit mid ship and exploded into the engines. As I lay on the floor trying to breathe, I knew I was in serious trouble. I recall that our cover boat returned fire as ours was dead in the water. It seemed like an eternity before we got help and when the Army was called to airevac they refused because it was a hot LZ. However, one of the Seawolfs that apparently flew out of Nha Be and was airborne heard our call and came in to get us out after our boat beached itself.
Later, as I understand from other sources, I was taken to a Army field hospital and then to the Air Force Hospital in Saigon and then on to Yokosuka, finally ending up at the Naval Hospital in Bremerton, Washington. The doctor informed me that I had a AK round in my back which collapsed my lung and sharpnel in my legs and buttocks. If it were not for the Seawolfs I would probably be dead. I have often wanted to thank the people who were on that particular helo but I realize that's impossible. So I will thank all Seawolf pilots generally. You are brave beyond description and I owe you my life.
I would like very much to attend your 2002 reunion in that PBR sailors and Seawolfs had a very special relationship which I would like to think endures to this day. Attending the reunion would help me close a very difficult period in my life.
I finally retired from the Navy in 1985 after serving 20 years. I have a great deal of pride in being a member of the Navy "Brown Water" community.
Thanks for reading this e-mail.
My e-mail address is:
With great respect....
Dr. Charles J. White
From: Frank&Cindy Sparks [sparhawk@QNET.COM]
Hoo-yah! SEAWOLVES, Was cruising the web and figured I'd pop in and see what the crew has been up to. Great site. If you guys get a tank top with the unit on the front and logo for SEAWOLVES on the back, my money is coming at ya. Thanks for always being there when the shit hit the fan.
"Sparky" SEAL Team One.
From: LT Brad"Redman"Arthur,USN
My name is LT. Brad Arthur and I'm a Weapons and Tactics Instructor for the East Coast HH-60H and SH-60F aircraft. Long before Sept. 11th and the USS Cole, we have been trying to convince the decision-makers that forward firing weapons are needed against small boats. Currently we employ M-240 (7.62), GAU-16 (.50cal), and Hellfire Missile against the said target. We believe that a high rate of fire crew serve weapon and a forward firing weapon is needed as well. My problem is that I have no historical data. The Naval Historical Center has no data on your unit, so they say. I need some input from the pilots and aircrew that have done this type warfare. Can anyone help me. v/r
Home # 904 381-8628
Weapons and Tactics Instructor
(904) 542-5863 DSN 942-5863
Date: 6 December 2001
From: Ron Rogers
I was in Nha Be with SEAL TEAM 2 in 1968-69, 1969-70 and in Cam Mau 1970-71. I can say with out a doubt that I would not be alive today if it were not for you. I thank you, my wife thanks you, my kids thank you and my grand kids thank you! I know of specific times when you put your life on the line to save mine.
CWO4 Ron Rogers, USN Retired
From: Jim Wallace [email@example.com]
Gentlemen, I do not believe that the vc that hit the seawolf crewman missed his balls. All of us SEAL's know that seawolfs have balls of brass and bigger than basketballs. Obviously the round just bounced off and that is why only his leg was hurt!!!
And that's the facts, Jack!!!
James O. Wallace Jr.
ETCM(SEAL) USN Retired
SEAL Team 2 Binh Thuy '69
Date: 02 February 2002
From: F Foster [Rivron5@aol.com]
Just found your website. Would like to say Thank You to all who were with HAL 3 1966 - 1967. I was with the PBR,s in the Delta. Went into the Rung Sat daily.At times went to Na Bhe . Worked the Long Tau river. I was based at Cat Lo. You guys helped us out a number of times. When I think back at those times I can still see and hear those helos as they approached our position. It was always nice to know we had another ace to play. Thanks for a job well done.
Until later, bye for now.
F. Foster BM3 U.S.N.
E mail - Rivron5@aol.com
Date: 3 May 2002
From: Kent Graham [firstname.lastname@example.org]
On Mar 23, 69, I was flying as copilot on an Army UH-1D from the 175th Assault Helicopter Company in Vinh Long, RVN. Our mission that day was to fly as a "swing ship" for Kien Giang Province, and provide basic resupply, courier and transport services for U.S. and ARVN troops in the province. Late that afternoon, we heard a mayday call from a Seawolf helicopter in the vicinity of Ha Tien - approximately 50 miles north of our then current position. We felt we should respond since that area of IV Corps was very sparsely populated with friendly troops. Upon arrival into the area, and at the exact border between Cambodia and Vietnam, we made contact with the wingman of the downed Seawolf, who had been making "dry" gun passes at the enemy positions - the Seawolf wingman was out of ammunition, was making the passes at the enemy positions in order to keep their "heads down." He agreed to cover us as we made an attempt to perform an extraction of the survivors. Upon short final into the area we were hit by very intensive enemy fire. The pilot of our helo was shot in the leg and face, and we took a number of "hits" to the aircraft. We aborted the approach, and after conferring with the pilot and crew we attempted the pickup again. With the "cover" from the Seawolf wingman, we picked up the survivors and transported them to the field hospital at Binh Thuy. The most striking part of this story is the way the Seawolf wingman stayed with his comrades. What we did as the Army guys was just SOP - anybody would have done the same thing. The Seawolf wingman, to the contrary, was the real hero - I have no doubt he would have continued making simulated gun passes at the enemy until his fuel was exhausted. To me, this was one of the most important lessons of my life - no matter what happens - NEVER let your comrades down.
Kent Graham - 175th AHC (69)
Date: 1 December 2002
From: D Johnson
Slick gunner with flying circus. Got fragged off to underground op bunker at Dong Tam behind plantation lots of times. Sat and watched USO show just before PBR patrol w/ Seawolves scouts. Mortars incoming and people running everywhere, but gunner with Seawolf sat still. I asked him why he didn't run, he said he was afraid he'd lose his seat and it was a good one. Enjoyed the memory. One I didn't was the helmet worn by "kid". Had friend in white knight outfit did same only bullet went around and came out front. He had to quit flying because he couldn't put a helmet back on afterwards. He thought he was sleepwalking (when he was awake) and if he put the helmet on he'd die. Your guys at Dong Tam were the most professional and dependable bunch of people I worked with. I always worried less and did my job better in their company I'm sure.
PO Box 7, Stockdale, Oh 45683
In country Oct 70-oct 71, still am lots of the time. God bless us through our only Lord and Savior-Jesus Christ !!!!!!!!!!!!!