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Last updated on 3/16/17

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D Troop, 17th Cavalry Regiment

Click here to visit D Troop, 17th Cavalry

Click here to read a Unit History - Sent in by Rich Neely


D troop, Scout Platoon patch.   D Trp was my first assignment after flight school, Jul 72 through Jan 73.  Transferred to Four Party Joint Military Commission Jan 28 through 28 Mar 73.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely


We wore our Scout platoon Scroll over the 1st Aviation Brigade patch on the left shoulder
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

D troop pocket patch with call sign "22" added

The nose of our Night Hawk UH-1H, D Trp, 17th Cav, Da Nang, '72. Wish it was in color.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

D troop Pilot's Nomex shirt with troop patch on right pocket (embroidered with call sign "22") and "Nighthawk patch on left pocket.

January 28, 1973.  With the cease fire in effect, D Trp 17th Cav did a fly by over Da Nang Air Force Base with smoke to celebrate.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Party on the ramp after the fly by.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Still partying on the ramp.  Even had a new crew on hand.  Never saw the footage form them
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Another photo of Jan 28.  I believe the reporter is Ed Bradley, currently on CBS's 60 Minutes.  I am trying to confirm that.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Slick Platoon, D Trp, 17th Cav late 1972 - L-R  CPT Foster, Opns; CPT Thomas, XO; CW2 Hines; CW2 Bew; WO1 Adamson; MAJ Sorenson, CDR; WO1 Neely; CPT Baker, Plt Ldr; 1LT McClendon; WO1 Edy; 1LT Weaver
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Night Hawk Crew - Searchlight and minigun mounted. L-R  CW2 Bew, Can't identify, SP5 Villegas, SP5 Allmond, SP4 Richardson, 1LT Weaver
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Night Hawk Crew with M60 and .50 Cal L-R Can't Identify and SP4 Richardson
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Myself and SP4 Tom Fink, Door Gunner, across the river from the Hue Citadel. Late '72.

Click here to read a short bio of Rich Neely

Images courtesy of Rich Neely


How about this for a view?  Right outside the front door of our quarters at Marble Mountain Army Air Field is the South China Sea.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

This is a shot of our quarters at Marble Mountain Army Air Field.  All the comforts of home: a sun deck and the shower right outside the door.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

This is Marble Mountain, just a great big rock sitting by itself near the coast, southeast of Danang.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

This photo was taken after some of our own planes dropped their bombs (by mistake?) on our fuel dump at Danang Air Force Base.  Caused some damage to our hanger and a couple of our aircraft in the hangar.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

This is a night shot of the fire from our fuel dump.  It happened in October of '72.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

One of our Cobras at LZ Sally for refueling.  LZ Sally was our forward base for operations in the far north until we turned that mission over to F Troop, 4th Cav.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

This is a photo of LZ Sally around July or August 72.  This was our forward refueling base and where we were briefed on the mission for the day.
Images courtesy of Rich Neely

Photos (L to R):

1) Aircraft of various units in the pick-up zone (Charlie models orbiting above)

2) Same "PZ"

3) From Chalk 3, me, returning to Marble Mountain. We are low level over the Citadel in Hue. Will stay low until we climb over the Hai Van Pass, just north of Da Nang.

4) Moments later, with one of our Cobras just to the right of the lead slick.

"Beginning The Return to Quang Tri"

As I recall the “Great Insertion” of the Easter Offensive of ‘72, the full lift was 50 slicks from various units, including VNAF, and we were inserting the ARVN Airborne Division. I’m sure at the time, I must have known what all the units involved were, but I don’t recall who the Assault Helicopter Company was. The lead 20 slicks were U.S. a/c from the assault helicopter company (the first lift of 10) and a second lift of 10 made up of slicks from cav troops in the AO. My recollection is that at least 4 of the slicks came from my troop, D/17:ex D/1/1, slicks from F/8 and another troop, which must have been F/4. The other 30 were VNAF. In addition to the “Charlie” model gunships of the Assault Helicopter Company, my memory is that the cav troops each brought 2 or 3 Cobras, which made for a lot of guns escorting the first lift of 20. I think we each had some loaches as well, however, I also believe F/4 loaches had primary flight crew recovery. The whole crowd, at least the US part of the operation, parked in the grass well south of the LZ and west of Route 1. The LZ was prepped by an “ARC LIGHT” 30 minutes prior to the insertion. Although I don’t remember hearing it, I do remember seeing the reddish haze plowed up by the bombs as we approached the LZ.. This whole gaggle got air borne and headed toward the LZ, with some 2-3 minutes separating the U.S. and VNAF groups. A loach from F/4 did a visual recon of the LZ and determined it was IFR, so we did a 180 and went back south! There we are, 20 slicks, loaches and guns all headed back toward the VNAF mob coming our way, and all at low level. YAHOOOOOO! In the end, everything worked out and the insertion was made into an alternate LZ. I recall seeing a long line of what appeared to be mostly wheeled vehicles, heading south, stopped along Route 1,to our right (east) and a UH-1, seemingly shut down, with it’s rotor tied down off to the left (west). My first thought was that it must have been a back-up or a C&C ship that stayed on the ground. When we made the big turn, it brought us closer to the UH-1, and it was full of holes! Don’t know how long it had been there. I much later learned the vehicles were part of the ARVN retreat south some weeks earlier and got trapped at a blown bridge. Apparently some number of wounded were abandoned and their remains were found still with the vehicles.
Images and story courtesy of Dave Ayers


My cobra "027" Danang Airbase
Images courtesy of Roger Grasman

Our hanger after a rocket hit, Danang airfield
Images courtesy of Roger Grasman


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