SOG Aviation Support

 

While SOG did not have its own air wing, several helicopter companies flew in direct support of SOG missions.  This page is dedicated to these unsung heroes who often flew when and where others would not.

SOG TO THEIR SPECIAL BENEFACTORS, THE AIR ASSETS AND CREW, WE STAND AND SALUTE EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR COURAGE AND VALOR!

The following is extracted from an email written by Fred "Lightening" Wunderlich of CCN to the brother of Walter E. Demsey who was killed along with five other aircrew members in the attempted rescue/extraction of two of our own. 

First, I want to express my earnest thanks to the likes of your brother and his comrades. The selfless and extraordinarily brave men of the air assets who supported special operations. Every single SOG hand has a special place in their tearful heart for the sacrifice made by such hero?s who, as a group, lost so many in the rescue of so few. Even with the SOG image of rough and tough warriors, we know we were still standing on the shoulders of real men. 

I am not getting maudlin Dave, these words should be said, and I gladly take my part of the obligation to pay homage to the largely unsung groups who quite literally saved the likes of me and so many others. The few of us from SOG remaining today would certainly be a much smaller number without them. Perhaps such sentiments can give some closure where the actual physical world may cloak its mysteries in time as events and evidence are as dust to dust.

Click award above to enlarge

SOG AIR ASSETS

If you were a pilot or crew with one of these units and you have a link you would like added, please email Robert Noe at SOG1RLNOE@AOL.COM.

Additional U.S. helicopter units that served in Southeast Asia can be found here.

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MARINE AIR ASSETS THAT SUPPORTED CCN: VMO-3; HML 367; &
HML 167 (Scarface 68-69)

1st Special Operations Squadron (See 314th Troop Carrier Wing)

15th Air Commando Squadron, (See 314th Troop Carrier Wing)

15th Special Operations Squadron, (See 314th Troop Carrier Wing)

57th AHC Gladiators and Cougar out of Kontum. Provided UH1-H aviation support for CCC from

late 1968 until March of 1970 when the company rotated toAn Khe and the daily mission of a minimum of 4 slicks passed

to the 170th AHC.

90th Special Operations Squadron, (See 314th Troop Carrier Wing)

US Marine and 101st Airborne Division Helicopter Support

119th Assault Helicopter Company Gators and Crocs

 You and others in SOG were supported, when you staged out of FOB 2, by the 119th (Crocodiles) and 170th (Buccaneers) Assault Helicopter Company gun ships.  We were out of Pleiku and flew to Kontum, then to Dak To to support the operations out of that location.  I used to be the gun platoon leader of the 119th. 
Kevin O'Sullivan (Croc 6)

155th Assault Helicopter Company Falcons & Stagecoach

161st Assault Helicopter Company the Gunship platoon's call sign was Scorpion

I flew with the 161st out of Khe Sahn and Lang Vei in Nov 67-Jan68 in support of FOB 3. CCN in Jul-Sept.68. Langdon Carpenter

170th AHC Bucks & Bikinis

Interesting for an 8mm home movies camera..Larry. Click-->  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRmTPJ1EQhw&feature=related

173 Robinhoods out of marble mountain

From: boleswayne@hotmail.com

i served in Vietnam in 71 and 72 and flew with the 173 robin hoods out of marble mountain. i worked with Sgt bill queen and several others that i cant remember there names at this time. we flew a lot of missions with CCN but i have never read anything about us. i found a sight the other day that said Sgt queen passed away and i was very sad. i never knew how to get in touch with him because of the secret missions we were on. we were told to never talk about them. I have never worked with a better bunch of people. they were the true professionals. never once did we have a discussion about weather we would go in and get them, we put them in we will be there to get them out. not only were we soldiers we were friends. one afternoon sgt queen came to my hooch and kidnapped me. I was willing] he left a CCN card on my bunk for my c.o. to find, which he did and he came to get me a few days later. that was one hell of a wild party! my thanks and admiration goes out to all of the members of macv-sog. thank you   Wayne Boles

Good morning Wayne Boles.  I would like to thank you for the men of Recon Company CCN, as well as CCN itself.  I will thank you through Robert Noe's site this 15 April 2009.
     Many of the men of CCN / CCS / CCC have died of advanced age of late, including Bill Queen.  We are getting old, and that is life as it goes.  If it had not been for you fine men, whom I surely cannot recall all the names of; our CCN Recon Missions would not have been successful at all.  Your wonderful teams of pilots and crew  transported the lads to the area for recon/ combat; then you came after us / the teams - when all hell broke loose.   Just remember, Wayne, you, and your fellow pilots, door-gunners, and all associated with you; were the very reason the CCN / CCS / CCC men of SOG Operations, were able to have any life at all, after the War of Vietnam, because you rescued these men, on call, with many of your own men and birds being KIA in the effort.  All of us thank you Wayne Boles; even though many Recon Company, and members of The Hatchet Forces, etc. of SOG Operations of the Vietnam era are gone now; because of your team efforts.
    "WE THANK YOUR - Sir!!!"
    I take this opportunity to speak for all -  Please pass this information to your unit buddies still alive. 
 
    Sincerely,  Billy Waugh           FOB-1 / Khe Sanh Launch Site 1966-1968
                                                      SGM of SOG CCN / CCS Recon Company 1970 - 1971

187th ACH Crusaders

189th AHC both as a GhostRider (slicks) and an Avenger (guns)

240th AHC Mad Dog guns, Greyhound Slickssogs

 

314th Troop Carrier Wing (PACAF), Detachment 1-"BLACKBIRDS" Subsequence name changes: 15th Air Commando Squadron, 15th Special Operations Squadron, 90th Special Operations Squadron, and finally the 1st Special Operations Squadron . (Straygoose ) See Letter Blackbirds

334th Armed Helicopter Company Sabres

229th Assault Helicopter Company

Nguyen Cal Ky's CH-34 Kingbee, 219th Air Force Squadron 

281st Assault Helicopter Company Rat Pack, Bandits, and Wolf Pack
Please  list 145th Avn Plt on your list.  We started the helicopter support
mainly as a test. In 1964 we were assign to 5th Special Forces as there
direct support in Nha Trang. Mission to work with SF Teams on Special
operation. In 1965 we assigned to Det B-52 Project Delta. In Jan 30  66 we
were so successful enough plt was added and we became the 1st Plt and
2nd Plt 171 Avn Co. after the action at Bon Son and Ash How the Army decided
the project worked. We were disbanded and the 281st AHC took over our job.
So we started it all. You may check with web site of 281st and also call
SOG. We are part of the reunion and Jack Green was one of our pilots .
Alfred W Smith SFC ReT  alwjan@aol.com   we call ourselves the forgotten
Bastards.

361st Aviation Company (Escort) and 361st Aerial Weapons Company (AWC)

USAF 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron (TASS) - Out of DaNang with a forward element called Covey Alpha at Pleiku

 USAF 21st TASS Mike FAC flying out of Ban Me Thout

The USAF units that supported SOG Operations out of NKP were:

23d TASS - Nail FACs, Cessna O2's, and OV-10 Broncos FAC out of Nakhon Phanom, Thailand

56th Special Operations Wing.

1st Special Operations Sqdn - A-1 Skyraiders. Main A-1 Skyraider Association 

20 & 21st Special Operations Sqdn - H3 & HH53 helos. Jim Henthorn's Vietnam Vet Page 

20th SOS news article 

Robert,
The section on the 20th Special Ops Sqdn, USAF, says that they, the Green Hornets, flew the Bell Huey UH-1F. That is incorrect. The 1F is a rare version that was single engined and probably never saw military service.
The 20th SOS flew UH-1Ns that had twin Bell engines (Twin Huey). I remember these very well.
I was the Logistics Officer with First Flight. Our C-123Ks flew up north to drop runners and other stuff. The 20th went in later to pick the runners back up.
Thanks,
Sam Hamilton
Stillwater, Okla
1st Flt Jun 71 to May 72

 

Photo of a 20th SOS Crew, that flew me into Duc Co, 7 Dec 68: Rone Guvy(Gery?) Pilot; Dave Miller, Co Pilot; Robert Becka, gunner; Patrick J Dolan, gunner; and yours truly, SFC Bob Willman, CCS, 2d Company Hatchet Force.       

22nd Special Operations Sqdn - A-1 Skyraiders

602nd Special Operations Sqdn - A-1 Skyraiders

 

195th Assault Helicopter Company
The 195th supported MACV-SOG CCS out of Quan Loi. Their full time mission was supporting CCS Recon Teams.

 I flew in the 195th AHC, 12-68 - 11-69 during the entire period we supported the SOG - CCS mission w/1 lift Plt & our gun Plt.  The 195th was unique in that we were dedicated to the SOG mission, & all other Av assists were rotated in & out of mission & not permanent.  For all of that period to the best of my memory, we were part of the 222nd Av Bn at Bear Cat.  Our sister CO located at Plantation AAF (Long Bien) was the 117th AHC they were also part of the 222nd and I think prior to out unit arriving in VN did some B-52 or B56 support.  I did not know of the 240th also a member of the 222nd & at Bear Cat doing SOG support, but must have at some point.  In the 68-69 time frame we were in another Bn & then xfered to the 222nd. Larry Little. Sky Chief 26. SOA # 1610

note: see 240th AHC BELOW

 

 

20th Special Operations Squadron

The 20th Special Operation Squadron (SOS), United States Air Force (the only USAF combat unit flying Hueys in Southeast Asia) based at Cam Ranh Bay, supported CCS at Ban Me Thuot, flying F-Model Hueys and referred to as the "Green Hornets." The nickname was derived from the only marking on the aircraft, a green hornet stenciled on the tail. Crews rotated every ten days to the SOG CCS base, where the crews became personal friends of the men they had to insert and extract. The Green Hornet's pilot took the SOG teams to heart, if a pilot put a team in, it was "his team" and if "he put them in, he'd take them out!" With this attitude, many CCS teams owed their all to the pilots and crew of the 20th SOS.

I

24OTH AHC

I flew as a member of the 240th AHC.  I was crew chief of 66-16704 a Charlie Model Huey Gun Ship 1967-1968.  Larry Little, Sky Chief 26 SOA # 1610 wrote on your page "SOG Aviation Support" that He was unaware of the 240th AHC flying in support of MACVSOG units.
Assets of the 240th AHC were assigned 4 guns and 8 slicks in Oct 67 to sometime in1970.  Exact end of mission date unknown.
    I would like it to be known by all that read "SOG Aviation Support" that the 240th AHC MadDogs "Guns" and Grayhounds "slicks" did indeed support B-56, Loc Ninh, III Corps Tactical Zone RVN.  In fact on May 2nd at 13:30 hrs. Sgt. Roy Benavidez boarded a Grayhound slick armed only with a Bowie knife flying 15 mile inside Cambodia where the ordeal of extracting the 12 man SF team consisting of 3 SF Troopers and 9 Yards, surrounded by an NVA Battalion began.  Sgt. Benavidez MOH citation can and should be required reading in the US Army and in every Elementary and High School in the U.S.  Reading the citation will give the readers the caliber of the man and soldier Roy Benavidez.  When He attended the 240th reunion  He stated and I quote "The men of the 240th AHC told me they never leave a man behind, and they didn't."  The members of the Benavidez mission were invited guests to several ceremonies including West Point to attend the ceremonies that honored Roy and the members of the 240th AHC when his life size Bust was unveiled.  I should mention the Roy is the only enlisted man so honored at West Point.  Sadly SGT Roy Benavidez passed away on 28 November 1998 He was 63 years old,  this humble man from humble beginnings will always be remembered, Loved and joined at the Heart and Hip with those who were on that mission to rescue the men of Special Forces on that fateful day in May 1968 along with every other crewman who flew SOG missions with B-56 and other SOF missions RVN. 
    I would ask you to also remember those men of the 240th AHC that gave their lives that day  the WIA's and other crew members of the 240th AHC who were there. 
Killed in Action on that mission were these Brave men: WO Larry McKibben, SP4 Michael Craig, SP4 Nelson Fournier. 
 WIA's, CWO Bill Armstrong, SP5 Gary Land, SP5 Robert Wessel,
Pilots and Crew members of Slicks and Guns, CWO Roger Wagge, CWO Gerry Ewing, CWO Bill Darling, CWO Louis Wilson, CWO Will Curry, CWO Jim Fessell, WO William Furnan, CWO Tom Smith,  SP5 Paul LaChance,  SP4 Pete Gailis, SP5 Ray Tagliaferri, SP4 Danny Clark.  You may also read about "the mission" and Sgt. Benavidez time spent with the 240th, @ 240th AHC "LZ of the 240 AHC."  There are 3 240th websites that can be accessed to read about the company and it's history in Vietnam.  I would add that the 240th AHC also distinguished itself working with Navy Seals out of the DongTam area and Nha Be, the Mobile Riverine Force, 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta at places like Tan An, Tan Tru, Rach Kein and especially in the Rung Sat Special zone, there is a testimonial written By Lt. Bill Cowen "Plastic Handle 6" on the one of the 240th AHC web sights discribing the performance of the 240th AHC and U.S. Marines in the Rung Sat Special Zone.
Thank you so very much.  It should also be noted the SGT. Benavidez was the last soldier awarded the MOH for action during the Vietnam War.
SSG Charles "Frank" Bay  US Army 1964 to 1971 Vietnam 1965-1966 Phouc Vinh, 1967-1968 Bear Cat/Long Thanh RVN.
I was not on the Benavidz Mission as I was Medevac'd Jan 1968.  My very good friend "Frenchy" MadDog Paul LaChance could also give additional info should you need more.   Thanks again. Feel free to contact me if you wish further contact or other information at blackjack59@sbcglobal.net or fe427performance@sbcglobal.net.  Again thank you so much!  Speaking for the 240th AHC may seem arrogant but I will say this.  Army Aviation's motto is, "Above the Best"  and on many days the 240th AHC as well as many other Aviation assets in country did indeed do everyday, flying above the best ARMY this Nation has ever put on the field of Battle.