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Last updated on 4/7/24

Site established on 3/22/01

B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment

B troop 3/17

B Troop 3/17 HHT Operations

 "This is a fully restored AH-1G Cobra pilot panel that came from aircraft #67-15571. It was assigned brand new in 1968 to B Troop, 3/17 Cav at Di An. Is there a crewchief or pilot out there that remembers this aircraft?"
Image courtesy of Chris Miller

Lift Platoon pocket patch

I entered the US Army as a volunteer in Sept 6, 1967. Basic Training at Ft. Lewis, WA. Went on to AIT in Ft. Rucker, Ala. 67N20 Helo. mechanic and crew chief school, door gunner training. After graduation I was still 17 years old so I and my friend (buddy plan) were assigned to a state-side Post- Ft. Benning, Ga. 197th Aviation Co. Quite a few Nam vets were in the Co. awaiting their departure from the Army. They influenced me to a certain degree I suppose. Anyway, the day I turned 18, I volunteered for Vietnam. I entered Vietnam in July of 1968 and was assigned to B Trp 3/17 Air Cav, 1st Aviation Brigade. At that time we were in Di An. Later we moved to Dong Tam. After 10 months there, we moved back to Di An into our old hootches. I extended for a second tour. After 14 1/2 months, I got to take a leave state-side. My second tour ended in August of 1970. During my tours in Nam I served as a flightline mechanic awaiting my own Huey to crew. There never came an opening. went to work for awhile in the rearm point where me and another guy built/prepared rockets for the helos every day. I confronted the Major one day and told him to transfer me to another Assault Co. or let me start flying as a gunner. I didn't come to Nam to sit on the ground and watch the others fly out and in every day. Well, he heard me and the next day I took my flight physical and started flying as a Huey gunner. End of story. When I got short (30 days) I started doing guard duty on the burm and thinking of home. It seemed so far away. My mind was so different from when I first arrived in country. My adjustment to life at home was very hard and confusing. I suppose it was the same for all of us.
Image courtesy of Robert Pierce, B troop Gunner

B Troop Scouts with some of their toys about June 1969 in Dong Tam. I'm in the lower right (kneeling). I captured the VC flag; the guy on top of the bunker in Mark Furman. He captured the top flag.
Image courtesy of Bill Smith

Cw2 Mark Furman, Scout Platoon.
Image courtesy of Bill Smith

The "Frito Bandito" (Bill Smith)....taken outside our hootch at Di An in about August of '69. B Troop had moved up to Di An from Dong Tam; but I was serving as Troop LNO in the 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Divison, at Tan An. So I got up there in late August as I was replaced and preparing to DEROS.
Image courtesy of Bill Smith

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