Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

161st Aviation Co. or 123rd Aviation Battalion

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 161st Aviation Co. or 123rd Aviation Battalion

    I am looking for information on the 161st Aviation Company and/or the 123rd Aviation Battalion in the Vietnam War. I have been searching for information on the Internet and have come up with the following:

    The 123rd was part of the 23rd Infantry Division Americal. It was formed from the 161st Aviation Company that was deactivated in January 1968. The 161st had three platoons, two of which flew UH-1D transports and used the call sign Pelican and the third had UH-1B gunships and used the call sign Scorpion.

    What I need to know is what markings were used on the UH-1B gunships in April 1968. Since transitions to new units can be slow, were the copters repainted or did they still retain their 161st markings? I have seen photos of 123rd Hueys with the 23rd ID patch painted on the nose and AMERICAL on the pilot and co-pilot doors.

    Any help, information or a point to references would be appreciated.

    Garry

  • #2
    Hey Garry,

    You might want to get in touch with John Brennan (aka copternameking), he is the authority over here regarding helicopter markings.

    Alternatively, you might give this site a go: http://vietnam-hueys.tripod.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      W a r l o r d s

      History of B Company 123rd Avn Bn






      Resume of the 123d Aviation Battalion
      The 123rd Aviation Battalion was organized and activated on 8 Dec 67 by USARPAC GO 300, dated 2 Dec 67.

      The 161st Aviation Company became the nucleus for the organization, providing initial assets for the Battalion Headquarters, A Company and B Company. The 406th TC Detachment and the 449th Signal Detachment which had supported the 161st Aviation Company, were reassigned and attached to the 123d Aviation Battalion by AMCL OD 168, 25 Jan 68.

      During January and February of 1968, the activity of the 123d Aviation Battalion organization intensified. Key officers and enlisted personnel were assigned to the Battalion. Staff sections were formed and equipment and facilities were requisitioned and expanded. The Motor Pool, Supply, Flight Operations, Commo, Maintenance, and Mess were consolidated to facilitate operations.

      It was at this time that the Commanding General, Americal Division expanded the mission of the fledgling Aviation Battalion, which, due to the exceptionally large area of operation of the Americal Division, required an additional air cavalry type unit. B Company was organized from the Armed Helicopter Platoon of the former 161st Avn Co and later given a provisional mission as Aero Scouts. Additional aviation and infantry personnel and equipment for this unit were made available from within the Americal Division's assets by AMCL OD 603, 10 Feb 68, which directed the organization of the Aero Scout Company (Provisional).

      "Two combat aviation battalions help the Americal Division carry the war to all parts of its large area of operations. The 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, attached to Task Force Oregon since April of 1967, contains four assault helicopter companies and one assault support helicopter company. Known as the "Fighting Fourteenth," the battalion furnishes aircraft facilities for combat operations.

      The 123rd Aviation Battalion was activated as the division's aviation battalion when the 161st Aviation Company was deactivated last December. In a typical week, the "slick" troop ships of the Company A "Pelicans" and the Company B "Scorpions" (note© later renamed to Warlords). (NOTE: this is the 1st reference I've seen to any name other than Warlord!) will spend some 280 hours in the air carrying about 2,800 soldiers to the enemy's doorstep. The Pelicans fly about 49 tons of cargo a week. The unique Company B comes equipped with its own airmobile infantry section as well as light observation helicopters and gunships and is equally adept at providing reconnaissance support for infantry elements and at meeting the enemy on its own. It is the only aero scout company in Vietnam."
      (Source: "The Americal", May 1968)

      During 1968, the 123d Avn Bn compiled an impressive record, A company supported the Americal's ground units by hauling 1,482 tons of cargo on over 3,736 sorties, and in the process killed over twenty VC/NVA and med-evaced over 94 persons. B Company learned their tactical lessons well, killing over seven hundred VC/NVA and destroyed over 575 structures in 27,510 sorties.

      On 15 Dec 68 , the 123d Avn Bn, comprised of A Co, B Co, 406th TC Det, and the 449th Sig Det and was attached to the 16th Combat Aviation Group. In Jan 69, two CH-47 units, the 132d and 178th Assault Support Helicopter Companies were attached to the Battalion. With the addition of the 178th and the 132d, extensive changes were necessary in the Battalion's staff structure.

      The functions of the S2 section, previously handled as an additional duty of the S3 were separated and the S2 section was fully staffed and became a functional staff section. The most significant changes occurred in the S3, which previously handled all flight records and operations duties of A and B Companies. Facilities were expanded to accomodate the more complex mission requirements of the CH-47 and to provide continuous information on aircraft and mission status to Division Army Aviation Element.

      A short period after this reorganization, the 406th TC Detachment and the 449th Sig Detachment were deactivated. E Company, 723d Maintenance Battalion which was formed from the assets of the 406th TC Det, and the 449th Sig Det were attached to the 123d Aviation Battalion. The current organization of the 123d Aviation Battalion is Headquarters and Headquarters Comany, A Company, B Company, E Company, 178th and 132d Assault Support Helicopter Companies.

      (Source - Year Book, 123d Avn Bn, 1969, courtesy of Junius "Jay" Tanner)


      The unit stood down and was deactivated in November 1971. The Battalion was reactivated as the 123rd Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on 16 December 1985. On 15 March 1989, Forces Command directed a Command Aviation Battalion (CAB) be formed at Fort Campbell to expand the aviation capability of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The unit was redesignated as 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment in July 1989. In December 1989, the unit was fully integrated into the Division when it was redesignated and received the colors of the 6th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment.

      The Battalion is organized into an HHC, AVUM company (D), three general support companies (A, B, and C), and a Pathfinder Company. 6-101st consists of 6 different companies consisting of HHC "Iron Eagles", A Co "Avengers", B Co "Warlords", C Co "Rude Dogs", D Co "Witchdoctors (Voodoo Maintenance)", and the Pathfinders "Torch/First In Last Out". The unit has the largest division approved METL consisting of 9 base tasks.

      Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...y/6-101avn.htm
      No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

      Comment


      • #4
        The previous post is essentially true. The 161st (Pelicans/Scorpions)along with my company, the 174th (Dolphins/Sharks) were at Lane AAF at the end of 1966 and into 1967. These two companies along with the 282cnd AHC (Black Cats/Alley Cats) made up the 14th Combat Aviation BN. We were the only three Army helicopter companies between Qui Nhon and the DMZ.

        When Americal was formed, the 161st was converted to the 123rd Combat Aviation Bn. 1st Platoon of slicks became A/123rd. They became a slick company with one platoon as a VIP platoon, these are the slicks with the Americal patch on the nose. If you notice, they also have a step on the side. B/123rd was also a slick platoon but became an air cav troop at the specific request of the CG, Americal. They got OH-23 scouts and the gunships from the 3rd platoon and were redesignated Warlords. C/123 never really came into existence while I was there until Aug 68. The gunships in B Co may have kept the Scorpion designation. I remember that when they were the 161st the gunships had a scorpion as nose art, I think some of the slicks had a pelican on the nose.

        Rotorwash
        "Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?" -Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you all for your replies and information. The site with the color profiles will definitley come in handy and the unit history was very informative. I didn't find either of these in my Internet search. I'm also glad to find out that the 23rd ID patch nose art was only used in the VIP platoon.

          In regards to the B Co. gunships, do you think it is safe to assume that after the 161st deactivation and transfer to 123rd, that by April 1968 they had repainted their ships to 123rd specs? If they kept their scorpion nose art from the 161st, by that time had they painted out 161 and had Americal added to the doors? We're going to get a Huey on exhibit in the Patton Museum (don't know if it is a slick or gunship yet) and it is very important we get the markings correct.

          Thanks,
          Garry

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't remember what the Warlord's markings were. I seem to remember some type of nose art, I'll see what I can find.

            RW
            "Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?" -Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rotorwash View Post
              The previous post is essentially true. The 161st (Pelicans/Scorpions)along with my company, the 174th (Dolphins/Sharks) were at Lane AAF at the end of 1966 and into 1967. These two companies along with the 282cnd AHC (Black Cats/Alley Cats) made up the 14th Combat Aviation BN. We were the only three Army helicopter companies between Qui Nhon and the DMZ.

              When Americal was formed, the 161st was converted to the 123rd Combat Aviation Bn. 1st Platoon of slicks became A/123rd. They became a slick company with one platoon as a VIP platoon, these are the slicks with the Americal patch on the nose. If you notice, they also have a step on the side. B/123rd was also a slick platoon but became an air cav troop at the specific request of the CG, Americal. They got OH-23 scouts and the gunships from the 3rd platoon and were redesignated Warlords. C/123 never really came into existence while I was there until Aug 68. The gunships in B Co may have kept the Scorpion designation. I remember that when they were the 161st the gunships had a scorpion as nose art, I think some of the slicks had a pelican on the nose.

              Rotorwash
              What about the Dolphins at Duc Pho which also had the Sharks. IIRC the Warlords was the traveling circus that toured through out Americal OA. The 11th also had Primo, the LOH unit located towards the fuel farm at Duc Pho.
              "Ask not what your country can do for you"

              Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

              you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Rattlers and Firebirds

                The Americal was also supported by the 71st Assault Helicopter Company. The slicks in the company went by the call sign "Rattler" and had a coiled snake as nose art. The gunships were called "Firebirds." Pilot Chuck Carlock published "Firebirds" a first-hand account of the war from his cockpit.
                No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Warlords, B/123, was an air cav troop with a scout platoon (OH-23's) a gunship platoon and an air cav platoon with 4 infantry squads and 4 slicks. The 174th came up with the 3 Bde of the 25th (later 3rd Bde of 4th). The 71st came up with the 196th when Task Force Oregon was formed. The 176th (call signs Minutemen and Muskets) came up with the 101st and stayed with Americal. The other cav troop in Americal was F Troop, 8th Cav, the Blue Ghosts. Two Chinook Companies, the 178th and the 132cnd were added in 1967 and 1968 respectively.

                  In 1970 the 116th AHC was added making the Americal the most aviation heavy of the regular infantry divisions with around 200 aircraft.

                  The 282cnd, the 3rd original Huey company of the 14th Bn remained at Danang through 1968.
                  "Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?" -Count Oxenstierna (ca 1620) to the young King Gustavus Adolphus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rotorwash View Post
                    The Warlords, B/123, was an air cav troop with a scout platoon (OH-23's) a gunship platoon and an air cav platoon with 4 infantry squads and 4 slicks. The 174th came up with the 3 Bde of the 25th (later 3rd Bde of 4th). The 71st came up with the 196th when Task Force Oregon was formed. The 176th (call signs Minutemen and Muskets) came up with the 101st and stayed with Americal. The other cav troop in Americal was F Troop, 8th Cav, the Blue Ghosts. Two Chinook Companies, the 178th and the 132cnd were added in 1967 and 1968 respectively.

                    In 1970 the 116th AHC was added making the Americal the most aviation heavy of the regular infantry divisions with around 200 aircraft.

                    The 282cnd, the 3rd original Huey company of the 14th Bn remained at Danang through 1968.
                    That explains why we always dealt with the "Rattler" call sign. 1/46th was opcon to the 196th, in 1968, then fully integrated into the 196th in July 1969.
                    No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      161st AVC

                      Originally posted by Garry Redmon View Post
                      I am looking for information on the 161st Aviation Company and/or the 123rd Aviation Battalion in the Vietnam War. I have been searching for information on the Internet and have come up with the following:

                      The 123rd was part of the 23rd Infantry Division Americal. It was formed from the 161st Aviation Company that was deactivated in January 1968. The 161st had three platoons, two of which flew UH-1D transports and used the call sign Pelican and the third had UH-1B gunships and used the call sign Scorpion.

                      What I need to know is what markings were used on the UH-1B gunships in April 1968. Since transitions to new units can be slow, were the copters repainted or did they still retain their 161st markings? I have seen photos of 123rd Hueys with the 23rd ID patch painted on the nose and AMERICAL on the pilot and co-pilot doors.

                      Any help, information or a point to references would be appreciated.

                      Garry
                      Garry,
                      I have information about the 161st AVC, I was a door gunner in 1967. please contact me at pelican161 at live com.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was the ATC Tower Chief at DP mid 69- mid 70. In that time I can only remember Dolphin, Shark and Primo used as call signs for units stationed out of DP.
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          does anyone here recall my father, at the time LTC. Raymond V. Brown?

                          Comment

                          Latest Topics

                          Collapse

                          Working...
                          X