Pictures From A/101 AVN Circa 1965-66

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Photograph by Roger Nale

Sometime between February and June, 1966 Ann Margaret brought her USO show to Soc Trang. This is a picture of her on the runway near the

parking area for the T-Birds. She wanted a ride in a helicopter, so the pilots in the picture took her and her Escort Lt. Dave Hutchison (the guy in civies) out for a ride to what we called "Range Alpha". This was our gunnery practice area west of Soc Trang. They mounted two jump seats for Ann and her escort. My crew and I flew the Hog (48 rockets and an M-5 grenade launcher) and another crew flew a regular B model gunship as escorts. We did a lot of low level stuff and she ended up getting sick all over the back of the ship she was in! The pilot on the right is WO Jim Flippen (whose father got us the miniguns and the 32 rocket pods. Thanks Jim!).

Photograph by Roger Nale

After she recovered from her flight to Range Alpha, Ann Margaret put on her show. She invited different soldiers to come up and dance with her and this is a picture of one of the A/101 pilots dancing with her.Unfortunately, I don't remember his name!

Photograph by Roger Nale

WO Ashley holding a bird that went through his chin bubble when we flew over a tree line. He traded the bird to a kid for some bananas and warm cokes.

Photograph by Roger Nale

The Brothers Four putting on a USO show for a small Special Forces detachment at Father Hoa's (a Chinese Catholic missionary) in the town of Ca Mau in the U Min forrest.

Photograph by Roger Nale

Picture of the DECCA navigation system used in some of the Warrior aircraft. It used triangulation from ground transmitters located around the Delta and had a scrolling map so you would know at any time where you were. It didn't work much of the time and due to the amount of weight the radio equipment for the system took, it was ultimately removed from all the ships.

Photograph by Dion Miller

WO1 Dion Miller, Warrior 26, (left pointing up). The gentleman with his back to the lens is WO1 Bill Hitch, looking over his left shoulder WO Barry Billman. Over Bill's right shoulder you can see a partial of Skip Baker's face, with sunglasses, Roger Nale is second from the right, on the right is Lt. Verlon Meyer.A/101, Soc Trang 1965

Photograph by Roger Nale

A typical French built fort usually used as an artillery outpost. There was an American advisor at most of these forts andduring Martha Rae's USO tour, she went out to many of them and put on a short show.

Provided by Dave Lorimer

First Lt, Weston O Van Loon

Provided by Dave Lorimer

David Lorimer

Provided by Dave Lorimer

Gunner Eulalio Bustamonte & Crewchief Robert Cogdal

Provided by Dave Lorimer

David Lorimer

Photo by Mike Wells, TBird 3

To the best of my knowledge, these were the first helicopter mounted mini guns in the delta (Soc Trang). We borrowed two from the Air Force (Puff the Magic Dragon) and mounted on the hog. I was test firing both guns in this picture taken in 1966. The guns proved to be a problem because of jamming and no place to land to clear the problem. They were removed and the hog restored with rockets.

Photo by Ed Schmelzer

Flight Ops. Bldg at Soc Trang

Photo by Ed Schmelzer

Co. H.Q. at Soc Trang

Photo by Ed Schmelzer

A/101st Warrior Nose Art

Photo by Ed Schmelzer

Soc Trang International Airport

Photo by Ed Schmelzer

Ed Schmelzer, circa '65

Photo by Ed Schmelzer

Company Street at Soc Trang

Photo by Chuck Slezak

The Officers club in Soc Trang, called the Tigers Den , the other is almost an identical picture as 16C of a company street in Soc Trang.

Photograph by Roger Nale

This is a picture of the UH-1B I was flying one day in March or April, 1966. The nose art is that of the "Thunderbirds" and I was T-Bird 2 from February to June, 1966.

Photograph by Roger Nale

The "Hog" turning up. Because the M-5 grenade launcher was on the nose, the T-Bird logo is on the side of the rocket pod.

Photograph by Roger Nale

The T-Bird lounge with (I think) Lt. Verlon Meyer without the shirt. The table usually had a poker or hearts game going but occasionally got used for real work like aircraft scheduling or mission briefing.

Provided by Norman Vandal

A photo of myself standing in the Company streetat Soc Trang

Provided by Norman Vandal

A photo of the unit on the airstrip

Provided by Norman Vandal

A picture of some of us playing cards

Photograph by Roger Nale

The first one is of "Warrior 22", a UH-1D in Soc Trang. The placard reads:

Congratulations.

"Warrior" 22

1st UH-1D

1,000 Combat Flying Hours

9 1/2 Months in Viet Nam

A Co. 101st AVN

13th Delta AVN BN

Pictured, left to right are WO Roger Nale (Acft. Cmdr. - me), Cpt. Grignon (Plt. Ldr.), Pvt. Patterson (Maint.), SSG ? (Plt. Maint. Sgt.), 1Lt. Harper (Section Ldr.), WO Ashley (Pilot), kneeling are PFC R. Byrd (door gunner on 3 mo. TDY from 25th Inf. Div. in Hawaii), and PFC Reynolds (Crew Chief - and the best I ever had!) The picture was taken in either late December, 1965 or early January, 1966.

Photograph by Jim Kennedy.

Some of you have asked for a picture of "the old days". A friend of mine dropped by (all the way from Florida) and took a picture of a picture taken on 30 Dec 1966 just as I was about to get on a chopper to rotate to via Saigon to the mainland. In the picture (attached) from left to right is our first sergeant, Capt Teddy Allen (T Bird Chief), Major Tracy (Maint O), LTC Jim Kennedy, CO, Maj Louis Jacquay, (Ops O--in civilian clothes), Duke Vasey is the Aircraft Commander in the cockpit, and Maj Neece Davis, (XO).

Provided by Jerry Wofford

the night we went down along the road by Edward's Air Force base with a one star general aboard? He got so scared he left all of us and his aide and hiked to the highway and caught a ride back to Mojave. Who ever was flying was a darn good pilot, we left Mojave with a 35 mile tailwind on our way to Barstol, Edwards was a restricted fly zone( 500 feet max) we were flying at approx 450 feet at night and lost the engine. The pilot went in auto rotation and tried to do a 180 to get into the wind hoping to help RPMs at about 160 we were on the ground, pulled pitch and fell through, but as you can see on the attached pictures the pilot did what he is suppose to do. We slid for about a good 25 feet. (And there wasn't any wind)

Jerry Wofford

Vietnam Veteran Against Kerry

Warrior 11

Crew Chief

65-66

BVW & BCr

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Ann Margaret during a USO show, another is of the swimming pool, it was full of snakes, poisonous type, and the other Two are of Gene Cabigas, one of my door gunners on Thunderbird #1.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Bill Markley from Stubenville, Ohio and Red Williams from somewhere in Texas. Bill and I were bunk mates for the first few weeks when I got to Soc Trang and I was still in the service platoon. Red was Bills best friend and was the Crew Chief on Warrior 15. Bill always helped Red pull his maintenance. Red persuaded me to go into crewing a slick. I originally wanted a Gunship and eventually got a Gunship in about April of '66.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Chuck Slezak receiving his first of 24 Air Medals

Photo by Chuck Slezak

This one is of myself, ( Chuck Slezak) I'm third from the left, W1 Thomas Doane, he and I met for a few beers a few years ago in Florida, is the first one from the left. The second from the left is my door gunner Gary Johnson. Don't know what happened to him. He was from California and was an orphan. I see there was a Gary Johnson who was KIA'd later on in about 69 or 70 with the 101st but I don't think that was him. That Johnson would have been too young for this picture. The last one in this photo, a First Louie is a mystery to me and Tom Doane. He couldn't put a name to that face either.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

George Nonestied (Warrior 21).

Photo by Chuck Slezak

The is Warrior Crew Chief Lynn Wood.

Photo provided by Jerry Turner, 114th AML 1965 A Co., 101st Avn. Bn.

Warrior 25 1965-66 Soc Trang RVN.

In 1963, the Marines swapped locations with an Army Aviation Co., which morphed into the Famous Soc Trang Tigers and Vikings, the 121st Avn. Co. (AML)

The abandoned Soc Trang Airfield , located 80 miles SSW of Saigon with a 3000 ft concrete runway built in WWII by the Japanese was the first USMC Helicopter duty station ashore in Vietnam, April 1962, "OPERATION "SHUFLY" HMM-362 with twenty four UH-34Ds, three OV-1Bs from VMO-2 and USMC one C-117.

Provided by Jerry Wofford

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Copyright 1998-2004 A/101 AVN. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/18/06.