U.S. Army Aviation I was a member of the 57th Transportation Company (Lt.Cargo H-21C) I joined the company at Ft. Riley , Kansas. Dec.24,1957. The company was in the process of forming to become operational. The company had three sections of seven H-21c Shanwee Vertol for a total of 21 Helicopters. The flight crew consisted of two pilots and a crew cheif.The flight staff consisted of approx. 10 to 15 commissed officer and approx. 40 warrant officers.The top officer was a major. Each crew cheif was assigned a mechanics helper and was not part of the normal flight crew. A seperate company the 98th Maintenance Company was responseable for repair and replacement of major components.Primarly rotor blades, transmissions, engines, sheet metal repair,ect.During February 1958 the company along with all units were transfered to Ft. Lewis assinged to the Sixth Army and assigned to the 4th Infantry Divison. I left the unit in June of 1960.Its my understanding the 57th was transfered to South Veitnam late 1960 or 1961. The serial number of the H-21s begin 58048 through 58069. Their were three companies organized during this period the 33rd stationed at Ft. Ord. I dont remember the other. During my service the H-21c proved it worth in the transport of combat troops, rescue, resupply,and movement of artillery,and light vehicals and com. equipment to remote location. The 57th had the distintion of operating from a navy helicoper carrier lifting combat marines from the carrier to a peacetime exersize to a similataed beach assult off the coast of California. As a crew cheif the flight time in the H-21 was a great experience, properly maintained and in the hands of a experienced pilots more than proved it worth to the military.
The 57th officially landed in Vietnam Dec 11, 1961 with the 8th Trans. The 8th was later renamed the 117th AHC. I was in the 117th from Aug 1971 to March 1972. The 57th was later renamed the 120th Deans. At least by 1971 both units were at Planation Airfield, III Corps. The 117th was still doing regular AHC duties. The 120th had been converted to a VIP unit. In addition to transporting VIP's they got the lion share of the Donut Dolly missions. The Donut Dollies were ladies who went into the field to socialize with the troops, usually serving food and talking. So, when we would go to the officers club at Plantation, the 120th had all the Donut Dollies at their tables. The 8th and the 57th flew the first Combat Assault missions in Vietnam. Called Operation Chopper, the first combat assault in Vietnam, on 23 December 1961, was conducted in pineapple fields about 10 miles east of Saigon and just south of the village of Duc Hoa with 30 aircraft from both the 8th and 57th Transportation Companies participating.
I was with the 57th from the early 60s to Jan 62. I was Crew Chief on 62019 for the 13 Mo I was in VN the, first time. I do have some interesting back ground covering the first year of the 57th in the NAM. I will go through my photos and crap, and maybe be able to add some interesting 57th info to this. We lost 7 friends the first year!
I was in the 98th Trans Det with the 57th at Ft Lewis. I went to Viet Nam on the ship with the 21s in 1961 and returned home Nov 1962.
I was in the 409th at Ft Lewis. We went to Viet Nam aboard The Core with 21s.
1963-1964, I worked in the 98th helicopter maintenance. We arrived in July of 63 and supported the 120 aviation who were flying ch21, early in 64 we transitioned all the ch21's out and brought in all new hueys. Was in Saigon in November 63 when the military over through VM government spent the night across from the Palace in a USO. Later that month President Kennedy was killed. Pretty confusing for a 20 year old who had only been in Army 10 months.
News of 57th Transportation Company
57th Transportation Company officially marks its inactivation, 02-Sep-10 : by Sgt. Jared Crain, 10th Sustainment Brigade Journalist - Friends, Families and fellow Soldiers gathered outside on 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion’s parade field to watch as 57th Transportation Company cased its colors during an inactivation ceremony Friday.