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118th AHC

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H1

   118th
Assault Helicopter Company
" Thunderbirds "
Dates of Service in Vietnam
Memorial Page
Pilots
Crew members & Enlisted
Leaders
Photo Album
Page 1 ( 62-63)   Page 2 (64-65)   Page 3 (66-67)   Page 4 (68-69)   Page 5 (70-71)
Aircraft Histories and Incidents
I remember when......
  Page 1   Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5      Page 6    Page 7   Page 8 Page 9  Page 10   Page 11  Page 12
BATTLES

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Unit Awards and Citations
Campaigns
Unit Day
Thunderbird Aircraft Today
Civic Action
Reunions

H3

  1st Platoon (Scorpions)
  2nd Platoon (Choppers)
  3rd Platoon (Bandits)
  "Shot Gun" Platoon
  573rd Trans Det. (Bird Watcher)
  198th Signal Detachment
93rd Medical Detachment
Origin and Brief History of the Thunderbirds
How the Thunderbirds Got their Name!
 
Thunderbird News & Updates
Looking for Vietnam helicopter related web sites?

H4

33rd Transportation Company ............17 Sep 62 -- 25 June 63
118th Aviation Company(AML) ............25 June 63 -- 1 Dec 65
Units of the 118th AHC
  1st Platoon (Scorpions)   2nd Platoon (Choppers)   3rd Platoon (Bandits)   "Shot Gun" Platoon   573rd Trans Det. (Bird Watcher)   198th Signal Detachment 93rd Medical Detachment
On 7 June 1963 the 118th Aviation Company(AML) was constituted in the Regular Army by AGAO-O (23 Jul 63). Then, on 25 June 1963, General Order 236, HQ, US Army, Pacific, activated the 118th Aviation Company (AML) as one of the two helicopter units comprising the 145th Aviation Battalion(the other being the UTT).
Rising like a phoenix from the deactivated 33rd Transportation Company(Light Helicopter) which had arrived in Vietnam during the autumn of 1962 aboard the USNS Croatan from Ft. Ord, CA, the 118th "Thunderbirds" immediately began to typify their motto...."IT SHALL BE DONE".
Fully operational as an assault helicopter company in July 1963, the Thunderbirds chalked up an impressive record of combat assaults during their first month of operation, without the benefit of an armed helicopter platoon. Flying dual rotor CH-21's, the pilots and crews had to resort to the use of personal sidearms when assaulting a hostile LZ. One of the Thunderbirds' first confirmed Viet Cong kills was reported to have been when a door gunner shot from the aircraft's landing gear with his pistol.
With the replacement of the CH-21 with the UH-1B helicopter in Sep 1963, the armed 3rd Platoon "Bandits" was created. During Nov 1963, the Bandits were credited with more than 150 enemy kills, a record not surpassed until the large build-up of American troops in 1965.
Organized for heliborne operations over the myriad terrain features of the III Corps area, the 118th was the model for the assault helicopter unit concept that would follow in another two years. The Thunderbirds were so highly regarded by the commanders of other helicopter units that they were constantly training crew members of the new units that began pouring into Vietnam.
Known as the"First of the Assault Helicopter Companies", the 118th actively participated in every major battle and operation in III Corps, distinguishing itself in the early years in the Battle of Dong Xoai, Operations Attleboro, Cedar Falls, and Junction City.
The measure of a helicopter unit, like the measure of any fighting group, is in the measure of its fighting men. Among the greatest claims of the Thunderbirds and their reputation as a fighting unit was they were the first to arrive and the last to leave because....."IT SHALL BE DONE!"
Finally, after serving in the Republic of Vietnam beginning 17 Sept 1962 the 118th Assault Helicopter Company was inactivated on 31 Aug 1971 by USARPAC General Order 458, dtd 25 Aug 71. The Thunderbirds had served in combat with great honor and distinction for almost 9 years! (The 118th was re-activated again on 21 Dec 1972 in Hawaii)
(Copied primarily from " First in Vietnam--A Pictorial History of the 145th Combat Aviation Battalion " published by the Battalion Information Office, 1966-67, Dai Nippon Printing Co., LTD, Tokyo, Japan)
A listing of pilots, crew members and enlisted men who died serving the United States of America while in the 33rd Transportation Company and the 118th AHC throughout the almost 9 year period of time in Vietnam.
A listing of Officers and Warrant Officer Pilots who flew in the 33rd Transportation Company or the 118th AHC during the almost 9 years in Vietnam
A listing of Enlisted men who flew as Crewmen or were support personnel assigned to the 33rd Transportation Company or the 118th AHC during its 9 years in Vietnam
A grid listing the names of those who served in leadership positions of CO, XO, Operations, 1SGT, CO of 573rd Maint. Det, and CO of 93rd Med. Det. during the nearly 9 years.
 
Records indicate that at least 95 aircraft of the 118th AHC were involved in at least 210 incidents.
 
Interesting stories provided by former members of the 33rd Transportation Co. or 118th AHC.
Details from various official and non-official publications about significant battles and operations. Plus, personal remembrances of 118th pilots and crew members.
Old Thunderbirds and friends come together after decades to relive and reminisce about good and bad times in the 33rd Transportation Company and the 118th Thunderbirds.
 
 
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© Copyright April 1, 2000--2010  Thomas Payne, Web master

H5

Visit
Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association--VHPA
or
Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association--VHCMA
or
VHPA Museum Site
or
1st Aviation Brigade
or
145th Combat Aviation Battalion
 

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crew photo dong naval units civic fighting aug xoai personal months guestbook june assault helicopter kills center uh-1b vfw credited target began of the awards army 145th china combat serving armed lake restored weapons display record uh-1d served told measure united dec enlisted iii corps 118th was transportation company companies assigned member web operations thunderbird news interesting aviation company 93rd city falls junction american action detachment 573rd story 2nd cedar 3rd shot bandits

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kills center uh-1b vfw credited target began of the awards army 145th china combat serving armed lake restored weapons display record uh-1d served told measure united dec enlisted iii corps 118th was transportation company companies assigned member web operations thunderbird news interesting aviation company 93rd city falls junction american action detachment 573rd story 2nd cedar 3rd shot bandits unhappily 62-2084 condition park wings flyable 69-15022 serial 65-09506 uh-1c testing hull gutted auction e-bay missile veterans flown pictures 70-71 68-69 66-67 by former showing incidents records histories life in aspects 64-65 62-63 names grid vietnam leaders a personnel those who leadership album nearly 9 1sgt positions 95 aircraft involved blue fairs parades pennsylvania 66-16236 north plaines belle 68-15369 carolina reconfigured gunship left 118th thunderbirds today more incidents appeared around the mini the 118th originally town reseach into one finest mold helping instrumental vietnam for civic action the life integral action was never fully battles operations and eagle double attleboro gold binh gia 1968 these ninh loc campaign 33rd and reunions old helicopter related master looking payne 2000--2010 thomas sites visit vietnam helicopter brigade or 145th combat site or 1st aviation association--vhcma or vhpa museum association--vhpa or vietnam helicopter april copyright relive decades come together friends reminisce good theguestbook read my updates and bad suoi and crew 68-15543 wash airport dulles 68th tigers michigan univ support spent facility space ultimately returned murrieta museum practice california national 69-70 uh1-d 65-10126 germany medivac stories provided remember webmaster notify battles details various official remembrances battles and publications non-official resurrected aircraft that 63-08739 milford legion 421st sitting dunnellon bnr dedicated colors painted rotors of unit assaults an impressive chalked july month of benefit ch-21 rotor dual flying operational motto arrived deactivated from the phoenix autumn aboard the typify croatan usns crews resort to created sep the ch-21 replacement bandits were enemy organized troops build-up surpassed until pistol landing gear confirmed hostile assaulting sidearms viet cong gunner door reported to rising the other 25 june 63 118th 17 sep vietnam 33rd 65 118th 1 dec lounge book expanded 71 updated and service updates dates 65-66 thornton tommy courtesy details click go to facebook reunions facebook bob brandt units agao-o regular constituted thunderbirds on 23 jul general comprising activated pacific order history of origin trans choppers scorpions 1st bird watcher medical signal 198th heliborne operations over citations complete citations this awards and company received offers addition campaigns in explanations links to thunderbirds got japan published history pictorial vietnam--a office 1966-67 tokyo nippon printing dai complete list campaigns officers pilots a period year warrant officer flew flew as enlisted a vietnam crew or the america states of account graphic unit day how with participating day that selected died page a memorial first in copied participated in actively into vietnam pouring major distinguishing itself measure of group helicopter unit operations attleboro constantly training commanders area features terrain myriad model concept regarded by highly would follow greatest claims combat with dtd general order usarpac great honor hawaii re-activated distinction inactivated sept arrive first to reputation thunderbirds and leave be done republic in the finally crewmen

Highlighted Content Analysis

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shot fighting bandits 573rd 3rd assault 118th ahc enlisted unit aircraft june aml 93rd iii web transportation company dec army serving operations personal assault helicopter record combat armed operation began kills of the corps served 145th 1962 vietnam helicopter aug aviation company trans bird measure choppers 2nd incidents 1st scorpions 198th watcher 118th was battle signal medical

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iii web transportation company dec army serving operations personal assault helicopter record combat armed operation began kills of the corps served 145th 1962 vietnam helicopter aug aviation company trans bird measure choppers 2nd incidents 1st scorpions 198th watcher 118th was battle signal medical city hawaii 1972 pictorial history vietnam--a copied helicopter unit first in group 1966-67 dai nippon printing tokyo operations attleboro cedar falls office junction re-activated published greatest republic sept inactivated reputation japan in the arrive leave be done finally 1971 usarpac measure of combat with great honor first to claims general order 458 thunderbirds and dtd distinction support and crew remembrances friends come together association--vhpa association--vhcma battles and publications details stories provided various official vhpa museum non-official decades relive 2000--2010 april thomas payne visit master copyright © good reminisce and bad site= sm3redsmoke interesting 210 flew warrant officer or the flew as personnel crewmen officers period united died states of america year brigade assigned nearly 9 1sgt records 95 aircraft involved 1st aviation positions names grid those who leadership xoai 145th combat surpassed until order general 236 pacific comprising activated 23 jul agao-o 17 sep sites 25 june constituted regular the other rising typify croatan motto operational july usns aboard the from the phoenix deactivated arrived autumn helicopter related updates 66-67 64-65 68-69 70-71 histories 62-63 album service dates memorial leaders photo remember battles origin reunions history of thunderbirds got thunderbird news civic action today citations awards and campaigns unit day thunderbird chalked an impressive myriad operations over terrain features area heliborne organized build-up enemy american troops 1965 model concept actively companies participated in major distinguishing itself into vietnam pouring highly would follow regarded by commanders constantly training 150 credited resort to crews sidearms assaulting hostile ch-21 rotor month of assaults benefit flying dual confirmed viet uh-1b the ch-21 sep created bandits were replacement pistol reported to cong door gunner landing gear dong