|1967 Year Book 14th Aviation Battalion Unit History - Includes history through the move to Chu Lai following Operation Cook which ended on 9 September 1967. This text came from the 14th CAB 1967 year book which is full of grammatical, spelling and typo errors. I corrected all of them that I recognized. According to information received from Jim McDaniel who was with the 174th AHC in 1967, this year book was printed in Japan. This history states that the 176th Aviation Company was activated in 1965.|
|1969 Year Book 176 Aviation Company - Chu Lai Vietnam - Includes history through August 1969. This history states that the 176th Aviation Company was activated in 1966. The year book with this text was provided by Tom Herrington, Musket 35.|
|1970 Year Book 14th Aviation Battalion Unit History - Includes history through May 10, 1970. This history states that the 176th Aviation Company was activated in 1966. This text was provided by Leslie Hines through the Americal Veterans Association (ADVA)|
|The Beginning Days of the 176th Aviation Company. Information provided by Frank Valdez, NCOIC gas and ammo points.|
|The Final Days of the 176th AHC - Information provided by Jim Flanagan, the last Minuteman 16.|
|How the 176th got the name Minutemen. Information provided by William "Bill" Carter, CO of the 411th TC 1967.|
1967 Year Book Text
A BRIEF HISTORY
THE 176TH AVIATION COMPANY
The 176th Aviation Company (air-mobile light) was activated on 1 October 1965, at Fort Benning, Georgia by Third Army General Order 308. The same order formulated The 411th Transportation Detachment and The 454th Signal Detachment. During the period of mobilization. The company and its detachments were under The Command or The 44th Aviation Battalion (provisional) 10th Aviation Group, Fort Benning, Georgia.
The mission of the 176th Aviation Company is to provide aviation support to units of the Free World Military Forces and the Republic of Vietnam Forces in the----Corps Tactical Zone.
The advance party arrived in country at Bien Hoa on 8 February 1967. After a brief stay at the 90th Replacement Company, the party reported to the 12th Aviation Group and in turn to the Buffalo Bn. at Bear Cat. Orders were received to report to the 17th Aviation Group in Nha Trang. On 14 February 1967 The party signed into the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion at Lane Army Heliport and began building their base camp at Phu Hiep. This was to become known as Minuteman Manor, where the main body and all the company equipment began arriving on the 16th and the final aircraft arriving on the 20th. Construction of the base camp permanent facilities began immediately utilizing the self-help program with assistance from the 577th Engineer Company, while the task of unloading and accounting for materials and equipment was undertaken.
At the same time, the unit's pilots and enlisted crews were assigned to the other aviation companies of the 14th Bn. for in-country orientations and standardization training. This training included Flight Section and Flight Platoon instruction, execution and planning of air-mobile assaults, aerial gunnery tactics and techniques on crew chief training and door gunner firing.
On 8 March 1967, Minuteman aircraft and crews led by Lt. Col. Harry T. McDaniel participated in their first combat assault along with the 174th Assault Helicopter Company. On 25 March 1967, the company was officially declared Operationally Ready after having flown some 2200 sorties in 615 hours while participating in five combat assaults.
On the same day the unit deployed its aviation elements to Ninh Hoa to assume the support mission for the 9th Infantry Division of the Republic of Korea. This duty was replaced by the assignment to support the Capitol ROK Infantry Division out or Lane Army Heliport on 12 April 1967, While working with these two units, the Minutemen participated in Operation Ojackyo and Operation Beak-Ma II, as well as other lesser operations with Free World Military Forces and Republic of Vietnam military forces. The Company also trained five Korean aviators and familiarized them with airmobile assault techniques. In Operation Beak-Ma II the unit encountered its first experience with troop repelling due to the hazard of landing zones located on sharp peaks and razor-back ridge lines
On 6 May 1967, the 129th Assault Helicopter Company relieved the 176th Aviation Company of its support responsibility at Lane Army Heliport. Thus the unit returned to its base camp at Phu Hiep and began a period of maintenance and preparation for its move north to Duc Pho.
An advance party consisting of representatives from maintenance's supply, with the commander proceeded to Duc Pho on 9 May to coordinate with the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. During their visit, final plans were made on movement of the unit. A movement team had been designated and movement and loading got under way at Tuy Hoa. The equipment to be transported by sea was moved by convoy to Vung Ro Bay and off-loaded there to be put aboard LST's.
During this time the unit did not have any major operation scheduled, although support in form of a light fire team from the armed helicopter platoon and a flare ship were provided at Duc Pho to be utilized primarily for base camp security at night.
The entire move from Phu Hiep was completed in four days, and living quarters were established to provide for the main body which arrived on 10 and 11 May 1967. Lt. Col. McDaniel was called home unexpectedly on emergency leave on 31 May and Maj. Donald W. Phillips assumed command of the company on 12 June 1967.
The Minutemen remained in Duc Pho in direct support of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division on Operation Malheur II until 1 August 1967, at which time the Airborne moved in the area west of Quang Ngai on Operation Hood River from 2 August through 13 August 1967.
At the completion of Hood River, the 176th followed the 101st further north to Chu Lai to begin Operation Benton, with the paratroopers working in the mountains west of Tam Ky.
At this time the Minutemen began working besides the other units comprising the Americal Division then known as task force Oregon. This operation lasted until the 20th of August when the 101st again moved to Duc Pho. The Minutemen followed, and on 1 September participating in Operation raid, an all-day attempt, utilizing quick-strike capabilities to release Vietnamese prisoners from a Viet Cong prison compound Southwest of Quang Ngai. Upon the successful completion of this operation the paratroopers were heli-lifted into the mountains northwest of Quang Ngai on operation cook. This operation lasted until 9 september at which Time The 101st Again moved. The move this time brought then even further north to a place called Chu Lai. The Minutemen used Ky Ha as their Base Camp. This place had been formerly operated by the Marine Corps aviation personnel. Presently under the Command of Major Paul B. Jackson, the 176th is in direct support of the 198th Light infantry brigade, along with general support of the whole I Corps Area.
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176th Assault Helicopter Company Unit History
1969 Year Book Text
The 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) became activated 1 October 1966 at Ft. Benning, Georgia by Third Army General Order 308. The same General Order brought about the formation of the 411th Transportation Detachment and the 454th Signal Detachment, the two subordinate units assigned to provide direct support to the company. (The two support units have since been taken into the 176th and made an integral part of the company). The 176th and its detachments were under the command of the l4th Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Group.
Shortly after being formed the company moved to the field for a series of tactical training exercises. It was during this time that the company experienced a great drawback in losing the majority of its pilots to other units already being deployed to Vietnam. Within a short time the company was again up to strength and prepared to undertake its mission, to provide aviation support to free world military forces in the Republic of Vietnam.
When orders finally arrived, the twenty-eight UH-1 series helicopters were flown to the west coast for shipment overseas while the remainder of the company boarded C141 transports at Lawson Army Airfield and some 12,000 miles later arrived at Tuy-Hoa Air Force Base, Republic of Vietnam.
Here the men of the 176th were faced with a dual role: that of conducting aviation in-country training and constructing a base of operations. The advance party arrived on 8 February 1967. After being assigned to the 17th Aviation Group, 14th Aviation Battalion at Lane Army Heliport, the party began to establish a base camp at Phu-Hiep, five miles south of Tuy-Hoa. On 16 February 1967 the main body began arriving to include aircraft and TOE equipment. Under the command of LTC Harry T. McDaniel the task of unloading and accounting for all equipment and material was accomplished along with the construction of twelve living quarters, a mess hall large enough to feed 300 men, and buildings for an orderly room, operations, and a maintenance area.
Meanwhile, training programs were established for air crews to fly with other companies of the 14th Aviation Battalion. This provided for instruction and planning of airmobile assaults, aerial gunnery tactics, as well as orientation for crew chiefs and door gunners. On 8 March 1967 LTC McDaniel led Minutemen aircraft and crews on their first combat assault in conjunction with the l74th Assault Helicopter Company.
On 25 March 1967, after having flown some 2200 sorties in over 600 combat hours, the 176th Aviation Company was declared Operationally Ready thus proving that 176th men had met the challenge of a near impossible task and were ready to undertake the company s mission.
The first operation in which the 176th was involved was with the 9th ROK (White Horse) Infantry Division. During the short time the Minutemen supported the White Horse Division, the 176th provided command and control and utility aircraft throughout the Korean area of operations adjacent to Ninh-Hoa. While participating in operation Beak Ma II and operation Ojackyo the unit encountered its first experiences with troop repelling due to the hazard of landing zones located on sharp ridges and razorback ridge lines. Both operations proved to be successful and were performed without any major difficulties.
The Minutemen continued with Operation Ojackyo with the Capitol Division from 14 April 1967 to 6 May 1967. At the same time the company moved its base of operations to Lane Army Heliport. Here the Minutemen trained five Korean aviators and familiarized them with the complexities of airmobile assault techniques. The company also participated in lesser operations with both Free World Military Forces and Republic of Vietnam military forces. At the termination of support for the Capitol Division the unit returned to the base camp at Phu- Hiep for a period of maintenance and preparation for the next move.
The beginning of May 1967 brought orders for the 176th to provide aviation support to the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. On 9 May an advance party consisting of the commanding officer with representatives from supply and maintenance proceeded to Duc Pho to coordinate with the Screaming Eagles. At this time final plans were made for movement of the company and loading got under way at Tuy-Hoa. The equipment to be moved was convoyed to Vung Ro Bay, put aboard LST's and landed on the beach at Duc Pho. The entire move from Phu- Hiep was completed in four days and living quarters were established at Eagles Nest when the main body arrived on 11 May 1967.
LTC McDaniel was called home unexpectedly on emergency leave on 31 May 1967, and Maj. Donald W.Phillips assumed command of the company on 12 June 1967.
The 101st Airborne Division moved into the mountains west of Duc Pho on Operation Malheur II with the Minutemen providing aircraft for command and control, utility missions, combat assau1t; the Muskets, the armed helicopter platoon, provided close air support, along with reconnaissance capabilities on a 24 hour basis. Upon the successful completion of Operation Malheur II on 1 August 1967, the Minutemen with the assistance of the 14th Aviation Battalion, heli-lifted the 101st to the mountains and river valleys west of Quang Ngai on Operation Hood River. At this time until the termination of the operation on 13 August 1967, the 176th maintained a flare ship with a light fire team of gunships at Quang Ngai airstrip as a quick reaction force to assist the paratroopers at night.
Following completion of Hood River, the Minutemen and Muskets began operation Benton by lifting the Screaming Eagles in an all-day operation to Chu Lai where the individual battalions air-assaulted an operational area west of Tam-Ky previously held by the Viet Cong. At the same the 176th rear base camp was moved to Chu Lai, the Headquarters of Task Force Oregon, now the Americal Division. The company supported the paratroopers on various search and destroy missions until 29 August 1967, when the 101st again moved to Duc Pho.
On 1 September 1967, working out of the Special Forces Camp at Ha-Thanh, the Minutemen with the assistance of the 14th Aviation Battalion participated in lifting one battalion of Screaming Eagles on Operation Raid. This was an all day attempt, utilizing quick-strike capabilities to release South Vietnamese prisoners from a Viet Cong prison compound in the mountains southwest of Quang Ngai. The operation was successfully completed without the loss of a single aircraft or any major incidents.
Operation Cook brought the Minutemen and the airborne together in the mountains northwest of Quang-Ngai between 4 September and 9 September. This short search and destroy mission was followed by a massive airlift of the brigade back to Chu Lai for Operation Wheeler on 11 September 1967. This operation was conducted through small unit tactics, blocking forces, and quick-reaction airmobile. assaults in the mountains northwest of Tam-Ky up to the Que-Son Valley.
At this time the 176th with its supporting elements returned to Chu Lai to establish a base at the Ky Ha Heliport. The move completed on 15 September 1967, utilizing organic air combined with a road march of unit vehicles. The Minutemen provided continuous aviation support throughout the period in spite of the maintenance and operational difficulties created by such a move.
Between 20 and 27 November 1967, the 176th began withdrawing the 1st Brigade, 101st Airbone Division from the field for their move to Phan- Rang. Their area of operations was taken over by the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. The 198th Light Infantry Brigade, which had recently arrived in-country, was assigned mission of conducting operations in the Chu Lai TAOR. The 176th Aviation Company s missions with this unit have been mainly, to include airmobile operations for the security elements of the Chu Lai Defense Command, close air support for convoys from Tam-Ky to Quang-Ngai, as well as the ever present command and control and combat argo carrier aircraft.
On 3 November MAJ Donald W. Phllips took command of the 198th Aviation section as well as S-3 air section and MAJ Paul E. Jackson assumes command of he 176th Aviation Company, coming to the unit from the 14th Aviation Battalion Staff.
During the months of December and January the Minutemen supported the 198th in Operation Muscatine along with other forces of the Americal Division in the Chu Lai area from Quang-Ngai to Tam-Ky.
On 4 December 1967 the 176th Aviation Company began providing two UH- lD's and their crews for the support of the 5th Special Forces Group. These ships worked out of Da Nang and rotated crews after a period of one week TDY. Their work was of a classified nature and their missions has recently been assumed by the Armed Helicopter Platoon, who provide a light fire team for the Green Berets.
Other Minutemen ships began supporting the III Marine Amphibious Force on Operation Prairie Fire as well as working for the 196th Light Infantry Brigade.
With the beginning of 1968, the 176th under the command of Major Paul E. Jackson, continued its support of the Americal Division with operation Muscaine, (20 Dec 67-10 Jun 68).
In April 1968, the command of the 176th was turned over to Major Jerry N. Tuttle. Under his command the unit participated in operations Burlington Trail Quang-Tin), and Pocahontas Forest, both ending 31 July 1968.
Beginning with the 12th of May 1968, the Minutemen were involved with one of the most important rescue missions they have taken part in; the evacuation of troops from Kham Duc. North Vietnamese regulars had moved in and all but taken over the Kham Duc Airfield within a period of three days. The 176th along with several other helicopter companies played a major part in the rescue of hundreds of American troops and Vietnamese civilians.
Major Richard G. Adamski took command of the Minutemen in September 1968 and participated in operation for units of the Americal Division:
Wheeler Wallow, Task force Cooksie, Campagne Grorie, Golden Valley and Golden Fleece, all ending 31 October 1968.
The change of command of the 176th went, in February 1969, to Major Ronald C. Metcalf. Under his direction the unit began operation Fayette Canyon for units of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade and operation Russell Beach for the 198th Light Infantry Brigade, which the latter has just been completed in August 1969.
In the month of August 1969, Major O. R. Hite assumed command of the 176th Minutemen and at present continues to lead them, as in the past, with that extra ability found only in Minutemen Commanders. As to be expected, the 176th Assault Helicopter Company continues to excel in its high degree of mission readiness and accomplishment.
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1970 Year Book Text
176th AHC - 14th AVN. BN.
The 176th Aviation Company became activated on 1 October 1966 at Fort Benning, Ga. The 176th and its detachments (the 411th Transportation Detachment and the 454th Signal Detachment which are now organic to the 176th) were under the command of the 44th Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Group.
Shortly after being formed, the company moved to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for a series of FTX's. When orders finally arrived, the twenty-eight UH-1 helicopters were flown to the west coast for shipment overseas. The remainder of the company arrived later at Tuy-Hoa Air Force Base, Republic of Vietnam.
Upon arrival they were assigned to the 17th Aviation Group located in Nha Trang. On 14th February 1967, the 176th was assigned to the 14th aviation battalion at Lane Army heliport and began building their base camp at Phu Hiep. This was to become known as Minuteman Manor.
On 8 March 1967, Minuteman slicks and Musket gunship, led by LTC Harry T. McDaniel participated in their first combat assault along with the 174th Assault Helicopter Company. On 25 March 1967, the 176th was officially declared Operational Ready after having flown some 2200 sorties and 615 hours while participating in five combat assaults.
During May, the 129th Assault Helicopter Company replaced the 176th at Lane Army Heliport. The 176th received orders to provide aviation support to the First Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Thus the 176th returned to its base camp at Thu Hiep and began preparation for its move north to Duc Pho.
The Minutemen remained in Duc Pho in direct support of the 101st Airborne Division on 0peration Malheur II until 1 August 1967, at which time the 101st moved into the area west of Quang Ngai on Operation Hood River. At the completion of Hood River the 176th followed the 101st further north to Chu Lai.
During this time the Minutemen began working beside the other units comprising the Americal Division (then known as Task Force Oregon). This operation lasted until the 20th of August when the 101st again moved to Duc Pho. The 176th followed and on September 1967, they participated in Operational Raid southwest of Quang Ngai. Upon successful completion of this operation the paratroopers were lifted into the mountains northwest of Quang Ngai on Operation Cook. The operation lasted until 9 September 1967, at which time the 101st moved further north to Chu Lai. Here, the 176th set up their base camp at Ky Ha. During November 1967, the 176th began withdrawing the 101st from the field for their move to Phan Rang.
The 176th moved their base camp to the new Minuteman Manor which located on the southeastern perimeter of Chu Lai. The 176th Assault Helicopter Company's missions with the 198th Light Infantry Brigade were airmobile operations for the security elements of the Chu Lai Defense Command and support for the convoys from Tam Ky to Quang Ngai.
Beginning with the l2th of May, 1968, the 176th Assault helicopter Company was involved in one of the most important rescue missions ever conducted in the Americal Division's Area of Operations. North Vietnamese regulars had moved in and all but taken over the Kham Duc Airfield within a period of three days. The 176th along with several other helicopter companies played a major part in the rescue of hundreds of American troops and Vietnamese civilians.
On 19 March 1969, Brigadier General Wallace L. Clement presented the 176th with twenty-one medals for valor. This was the largest single group of awards that has ever been presented by the Americal Division to a unit for a single action under hostile fire. The awards were two Silver Stars, eleven Distinguished Flying Crosses and eight Air Medals for Valor. These awards were made to six crews of the 176th for their actions in a daring rescue mission near Thien Phuoc.
On May 10, 1970, the Musket gunships of the 176th were credited with stopping a rocket attack on Chu Lai. Later ground sweeps by the infantry found 43 rockets still in place. Also is the highest ever recorded by the Minutemen.
The Beginning Days of the 176th Aviation Company
I deployed with the 176 Aviation from Fort Benning Georgia in 67 as part of the 10th Aviation group, In this group were the 173, 281/st, and 181/st Aviation companies, and was there when we took our first KIA, a WO Harvey who died of wounds.
Our ships were flown cross country from Fort Benning to Alameda Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay Area some time in March 67 and loaded on board ship bound to Vietnam, at that time we were part of the newly activated 10/th Aviation Group. The 176 under the Command Lt. Col. McDaniel arrived in Country with Robert E. King as First Sergeant. Upon arrival our first home was in Tuy Hoa and were assigned to the 173 Aviation for pre-Combat training.
In 1967 while in Chu Lai our unit was attached to MAG-12 (Marine Air Group 12), who mutually supported each other. While at Chu-Lai the 176 crews provided familization classes with the Miniguns systems since the Marine units had the quad 60's mounted on the pads.
The Final Days of the 176th AHC
Last CO was Charles Piker (CPT). He was a Musket before that and I assume he was Musket 36. The final Musket 36 was Tom Jackson (CPT). I was MM16 and followed Dave Prentice. MM26 was John Sutch.
After the typhoon hit Chu Lai, I hand carried the final report of survey to Saigon for approval. It was quite large and could not be approved in I Corps. When I returned everyone had left the old area and were at the airfield. I turned in the signed report of survey to Piker as we were all getting on planes to leave. Probably the last official document of the 176th.
In the spring of 72 I refueled at Chu Lai airfield. Small POL point was still operating and I was flying a resupply mission out of Da Nang to Tra Bong and other Quang Ngai outposts. Chu Lai was still in pieces from the storm.
Last official flight of the 176th was a night flare mission of the perimeter. Crashed into the ocean. Jamie Barton was the AC and Mr. Pate was the pilot. Pate survived but the three others didn't. Lousy weather (monsoon) dark and over the ocean leg of the perimeter. Pate said they thought they had a bird strike just prior to the crash. Probably skimmed a wave or the ocean itself and went in. Kind of the final chapter in Viet Nam.
How the 176th Got the Name Minutemen
While we were forming up at Ft Benning, the unit received an award for savings bonds allotments and was awarded a Minutemen plaque/flag, or something along that line. Since the unit designation was 176 we decided that we could just assume it said 1776 and that was it! In fact, one of our officers, Bob Cyr, USMA, 55 or 56, wrote to West Point to get names of some of the heroes of the Revolutionary War to name our choppers. The gun platoon took the name, "Muskets." I was the CO of the 411th KD team, being TC and all, and combined the aircraft mechanics of the 176th with the mechs in the 411th and operated as such. This worked well and several other units followed suit. I left in unit in May 67, shortly after coming out on the promotion list to O-5 and went to the 34th Gen Support Group at TSN. Was caught by the '68 TET Offensive and left on 9 Feb 68. I retired in 1970 and did not have another tour in RVN, much to my satisfaction.
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