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  • usa 116th Assault Helicopter Company

    US Army Aviation

    116th AHC : Hornets

    1965 to 1971    

    Cu Chi Vietnam 25th Division base camp area was home of 116th AHC
    Nov66, stayed one night at Phu Loi. Second day, I was taken to Cu Chi where I (Gary P, Brown) spent 2 years as a chopper mechanic (SP5) and then became the Supply Sergeant (SSG). 1630 every day was the famous downpour. Anything not nailed down floated askew. CW2 Carl was my mentor in supply, SSG Knake was the line boss in maintenance. SP6 Spiedel was the tech inspector.
    1967, My Dad Terry Thomas, SP4, Aircraft Armament Repair, was in Cu Chi. He passed away in July, 2020. I have lots of pictures of his from his tour and am trying to connect them with the families. Names include: Sgt. Ardnt, Tony Mele, Al Leavitt, Mulso, 'Gammy' Gelendez, John Flores, Sandoval, and Douglas Brown. Any help is appreciated! jwilliamson1605 @ gmail.com -
    1967-1968, Roy Butler prop and roter
    May68-Jan69, my Uncle Dean Bolhouse was a copter pilot with the 116th AHC in Cu Chi
    1970, I was in 1st platoon Yellow Jackets. We did in Cambodian Invasion. I read Ed Dennys book. Opened up pandoras box didn't bury deep enough.
    I was in 1st platoon the Yellow Jackets. I remember the move to Chu Lai not even amess hall. I was a crewcheif on a slick. Just read book by Ed Denny. A lot of stuff I thought I forgot. John from Waterloo, IL
    1970-1971, I was armament for the 116th Sp 5 and flew as a gunner Capt Georgia was my OIC and Chief warrant Pozy was supply Lam Son 719 was part of my tour
    1970-1971 Crew Chief/Doorgunner-Stingers. Interesting platoon. Similar to special ops outfits. Members were usually selected based on acceptance by the group after being sized up and passing the hazing. High motivation to kill the enemy was required. Drugs and alcohol abuse were rampant at that time, but not in the Stingers. We were patriotic and focused on our mission. Virtually, every day we flew, we received enemy fire. We had just finished a rescue mission for a downed ship. No survivors. Our wing ship was a Cobra which had flown ahead of us. It was early evening with light rain as we flew back to base in Chu Lai. I was concerned about the 20 minute fuel light which had illuminated. I called our Aircraft Commander (AC) to look at the Torque meter. Ole' 523 was pulling 40 pounds which was unusual for the old war horse. That was her last breath. Bullets began to fill the cabin. The co-pilot fell over to the left. I though he was hit. The other gunner and I immediately returned fire with our M-60s. As I leaned out standing on the rocket pod to lay fire behind us, I saw the flames pouring out of the bottom of the fuel cell. Very bad situation. With low fuel, the cell is filled with JP4 vapor with the high probability of explosion mid-air. I screamed at the AC to land before we exploded. Flames pouring out of the fuel cell wrapped around the ship, engulfing the engine and whipped by the main rotor while both gunners were standing on the rocket pods returning enemy fire with the rockets being launched under our feet. It must have been quite a sight in the early evening sky. A helicopter engulfed in flames, but still flying, two M-60s pouring out a steady stream of tracers from both sides, with rockets rapidly launching from both pods and exploding in the jungle below. I thought it was over, we were dead. The flames began to enter the cabin area. I was unable to lean out to target the enemy. I felt a sense of resignation, as I sat back in my jump seat and calming kept spraying the area with M-60 fire, to suppress enemy fire. I waited for the explosion or the crash. Fortunately, the AC got us away from the enemy about a half mile before we crash landed in a rice paddy. The Cobra showed up and provided cover for us. The rescue slick that was on the same mission came down and picked us up. As we flew away, I watched 523 explode. I was the only crew member injured. She was a good ship that got us back alive many times. Just a few days later, I got a call at the Stinger hootch to take another crew chief’s position on an active mission. The crew chief had been hit by a 30 caliber that came through his jump seat into his leg and traveled up through his chest. He died about a week later. We went back to the area where he was hit and stumbled onto a company size formation of NVA. The Stars and Stripes reported the grunts and gunships killed over 20 NVA. It was just another day at the office for the Stingers.
    Nov70-Jun71, I (Joe F Broadaway) was an Sergeant E5 crew chief with the Stingers. I was shot down on 26 April with Donald Chapman on aircraft 65-15156. Kenneth Caswell was the door gunner that day. Retired CW3 living in Clarksville, TN
    To Joe Broadway: Hey Joe, I remember you. We served in the Stingers for a few months at the same time. I also flew with CW Chapman. Good to hear you are still kicking. SP5 Fred Allen CE - A/C 523 and 470. -
    1972-1973, the 116 the AHC was at Fort Lewis, all so I was a Huey crew chief there before I went to Korea in 1973
    1974-1977, Fort Lewis Washington 98433
    Stationed on Fort Lewis Washington as part of the 10th Aviation Battalion and the 9th Infantry Division

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    1971VN Marble Mountain Airfield
    1970/71VN Chu Lai AirfieldVVCA
    1966/70VN Cu Chi base camp
    1965/66VN Phu Loi
    1965Simmons AAFKFBG


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    116th AHC List of helicopters

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    C/NVersionBuiltIn this OrgIn other Org
    70-4407 uh-60m 14-20688 : Us Army 116th Cav Bgde Combat Team
    11444 uh-1h 69-15156 : US Army; to Vietnam; fate unk, see 116th AHC
    11991 uh-1h 69-15703 : Sep78-Jul79, I was the crew chief for this aircraft asg 116th Assault Heli+
    Northwest Helicopters N382EF : NWH / Turbines Llc at Olympia, WA May09-Oct19; Northwest Helicopters Oct19+
    Bell Helicopter N382EF : Bell from Apr20