The History of A/101 AVN - Thunderbirds

 A/101 Aviation "Thunderbird" Nose Art


When A/101 was sent over, initial deployment in March 1965, they took men from HQ Co. (where I was at Campbell), A and B Cos. I think they pretty much gutted the battalion to make the beefed up A Co. that went over. They processed us, gave us leave to take care of personal business, flew us to San Diego where we boarded the USS Iwo Jima. The trip from San Diego to Hawaii was about 7 days as I remember and rough as all get out. I was assigned as a server in the officers mess and it was real common for our officers to come in' sit down, order their food, and then about the time the tray would be set in front of them they would turn a shade green and run for the head. Lots of uneaten food on that trip. Of course people were sick all over the ship, not picking on the officers. After we left Hawaii the rest of the trip was beautiful with mild seas, flying fish and really nice. When we were in the South China Sea the Navy brought one of their choppers up and flew off to Subic Bay I think, and the next morning as we lay at anchor off Vung Tau they fed us a breakfast of steak and eggs and fresh milk. We couldn't help but wonder if this was supposed to be the last meal of condemned men or not. We went down nets into landing craft for the trip ashore. I don't think they told us that Vung Tau was really secure and we had our personal gear and M-14 rifles with no ammunition.

Ed Schmelzer - A/101 AVN, 03/1965-11/1965

Loaded UH-1B T-Bird Gunship taking off. This one was taken some time in Sep or Oct 1966 at either Bac Lieu or Vi Thanh. Likely the former, but not sure. Both places had some PSP parking areas. Bac Lieu was location of the 21st ARVN Div Hq - Vi Thanh was the field used when going to CA into the U Minh Forest. Usually when the word came down that we were going to stage out of Vi Thanh, some people would go back to their hooches to write their "last letter home". We got in deep do do several times in/near the U Minh forest. Provided by John D. Kennedy

The Original Thunderbird Sign and it story is here.

A/101 Aviation Hat Pin

Thunderbird Hat Pin. Circa 1966

Provided by John D. Kennedy

Provided By George Nonestied  Read the story behind this AC


A collection of T-Bird memorabilia from Jerry Turner


A newspaper article on Stanley "Pappy" Rosinski


The 336th Assault Helicopter Company was assigned to the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, headquartered at Can Tho before the redesignation and remained part of that higher HQ after redesignation. The 13th originated as the Delta Battalion (Provisional), later got the dignity of becoming a numbered battalion as a 1st Aviation Brigade asset.


More Pictures of this and other eras of A/101 Avn

Historical Documents from this era


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