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In-Country Army copter nose art & nicknames 1961-73 Vietnam

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  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
In-Country Army copter nose art & nicknames 1961-73 Vietnam
Posted by namhelo on Friday, February 06, 2009 12:59 PM

May I offer you rotorhead gentlemen a short quiz culled from several years of research of cataloging Army copter "names" (personal markings) and collecting nose art photos for a future book. Here goes:

1) What were the top ten copter "nicknames"  painted on Army helos during the VN War?

2) What three Army aviation units in Nam replicated beer can art onto their gunship rocket pods?

3) What brand of beer were they?

4) The UH-1 Huey featured in the movie "Tropic Thunder" had what "nickname' painted on its nose?

5) What American State's name is incorporated into more in-country Army copter "nicknames" than any other?

6) What in-country Army aviation unit commissioned the Disney studios to design a platoon insignia for their gunships?

7) What three Door's song titles, other than Light My Fire, were found most often painted on in-country Army helos?

8) From 1968-71 the nose art featured on this unit's maintenance platoon copter carried the only authorized female nude painting in the history of the 1st Aviation Brigade.

9) All helo unit members in Nam shared several "traditional" verbal nicknames for copters that had particular personalities. What were some of these?

10) What in-country Army helo units were the most prolific copter nicknamers, 1961-73?

  • Member since
    July, 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Saturday, February 07, 2009 5:59 PM

Welcome to the forum namhelo!

 

I'll start by asking a question: You wouldn't happen to be Mr. John Brennan of the 114th AHC?

 

Here are my answers to some of the questions:

 

2) What three Army aviation units in Nam replicated beer can art onto their gunship rocket pods?

 

92nd AHC, 335th AHC and 189th AHC.

 

3) What brand of beer were they?

 

Coors, Budweiser, Pabst and Shlitz.

 

6) What in-country Army aviation unit commissioned the Disney studios to design a platoon insignia for their gunships?

 

Not sure about this one, but I think Company D, 229th AHB (Smiling tigers).

 

8) From 1968-71 the nose art featured on this unit's maintenance platoon copter carried the only authorized female nude painting in the history of the 1st Aviation Brigade.

 

68th AHC had an authorized nude nose art on their Tiger tail Huey.

 

 

10) What in-country Army helo units were the most prolific copter nicknamers, 1961-73?

 

175th AHC, 114th AHC, 335th AHC, 176th AHC.

 

Come on guys, start answering and make us proud :)

 

Marko

 

PS: when do You expect this book to be published?

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, February 07, 2009 6:25 PM

Marko,

  Wondered when you'd come in.  I answered the beer question  (with pics) over at scale-rotors.com.  Figured I'd see who else had the answer here.  I have a pic of Black Label Beer for the 189th as well.

    Ray
 

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Saturday, February 07, 2009 7:20 PM

You've done your homework Marko, and you've also unmasked my true identity. Yes, I am he. If all goes as planned the book will be out for the summer of 2010. Bob Chenoweth is collaborating with me and will share authorship. Now, what was it that gave me away, and its your turn to reveal yourself.

#2 yes, all correct: 92nd, 189th & 335th. There might be others but so far that's them.

#3 Coors, Schlitz  & Budweiser are correct but the Pabst Blue Ribbon label I believe made it on the nose of the 240th, not the rocket pods. Black Label was the other one.

#6 D/229 is absolutely right!  You must have hacked into my computer for that one.

#8 The 68th's TOP TIGER TAIL fits the bill as you say. Those WWII boys had it nice without restriction. With Nam being a TV war we had to tow the line and keep everything (mostly) PC when it came to painted names and nose art.

#10 To date, I have documented the following per your unit selections: the 114th is #1 with over a hundred "names", the 175th is #2 with over eighty names, the 335th is #10 with nearly forty names, and the 176th is #11 with over thirty names. What unit were you in Marko?

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Saturday, February 07, 2009 8:22 PM

I should probably point out that we have a Vietnam Nose art thread here on FSM.  I'd love to see it revived and new photos added.  here's the link:

/forums/806817/ShowPost.aspx

Ray

  • Member since
    July, 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Sunday, February 08, 2009 4:11 AM

John,

 

My name is Marko Bajc and believe it or not, didn't serve at all. I wasn't even been born by the time the war ended and I was born and live in Slovenia, Europe. Surprise :) Truth being, I've been researching Vietnam-era helicopters for about a decade and did learn a thing or two ;)

 

As for that Pabst Blue ribbon rocket pod-here's a photo of one carried by a Falcon UH-1B of the 335th AHC:

 

 

As an addition to my answer on #10 question I would also include the 121st AHC and 336th AHC to the "top nicknamers".

 

I can't wait to get my hands on Your/Bob's book!

 

Best wishes,

 

Marko

  • Member since
    July, 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Sunday, February 08, 2009 4:40 AM

Well, while I am at it, I'll try my luck with a couple more:

 

7) What three Door's song titles, other than Light My Fire, were found most often painted on in-country Army helos?

 

Crystal ship, Ship of fools and LA woman come to mind.

 

9) All helo unit members in Nam shared several "traditional" verbal nicknames for copters that had particular personalities. What were some of these?

 

Hangar queen, Hog, Magnet as*, patches.

 

Take care,

 

Marko

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:47 AM

John,

  The boy's just scary good. Imagine if he lived over here and had access to some archival material other than the net!  Marko is a research machine.  You should check his entries in the unusual hueys thread.  Go get em Marko! 

      Ray 

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:20 PM

The third Doors song that was popular on in-country copters was WILD CHILD. You did good Marko with CRYSTAL SHIP and SHIP OF FOOLS. You must have been a Jim Morrison fan.

Yes, HANGAR QUEEN, PATCHES and MAGNET *** were affectionate terms Army aviation personnel verbally attached to aircraft that deserved this tag. Often, these terms of endearment would also be painted on aircraft.

You broke into the top ten Marko in selecting the 121st which sits at #4 among all in-country Army copter units with fifty names documented.  However, the 336th slipped to #13 with less of a prolific number of recorded copter names with thirty.

Marko, because of the rapid rate you and your cohorts cracked this quiz I've been forced to re-think the whole process of selecting the next set of questions. I was planning on a few days of R&R after posting Quiz#1 but my timetable has unfortunately been speeded up. Now that I know what to expect from you whiz kids of the helo forum the gloves are coming off for Quiz#2. JB

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:31 PM
The last piece of the puzzle has been located. Thanks Marko. Thank god these painted rocket pods were photographed. Many, many other colorfully painted copters will never have their images documented for posterity because the photos have been lost, undisclosed to date, or the artists or other in-country troops failed to take a photo of the artwork. JB
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, February 08, 2009 12:45 PM

John,

  I got a question for you.  What was the first recorded named helo of the Vietnam War?  No, I don't claim to know the answer, I'm just curious.

    Ray

  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: I am at play in the fields of the Lord. (Texas)
Posted by m60a3 on Sunday, February 08, 2009 1:00 PM

 

 Don't forget the loach "Queer John"!

 

                                   60

"I lay like a small idea in a vacant mind" - Wm. Least Heat Moon "I am at the center of the earth." - Black Elk My FSM friends are the best.
  • Member since
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  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Sunday, February 08, 2009 1:17 PM

Ray, that's hard to say. It would have to be on a UH-1A or a CH-21 I would think. I'd put my money on it being on a Flying Banana. They were in Nam in late 1961. Now, the trick is to see which of the forty-one names I have in my database for in-country CH-21's --- it was.

The other problem in gathering VN War info is that the early particpants are either dead, non-responsive or don't recall. However, the big over-riding issue that any Nam war researcher has to contend with is the cultural issue of VN being a lost cause, and the huge percentage of that war's participants not wanting to open old wounds. Also, the Army kept lousy records in regards to copter history. Example: they have no records for the copters that were in-country from 1961-thru-late 1966. Alternate means must be taken to acquire any info for that dead period of time. Now you know why it has taken close to 40 years to gather any sort of detailed, constructive data on the subject of Army copter history in Nam. Sad state of affairs and truelly frustrating. Compare this with the WWII aviation archives. Lot's of info and many more willing vets to share info. JB

  • Member since
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  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Sunday, February 08, 2009 1:22 PM
This Loach supposedly had nine lives and was finally downed by a SA-7 missle I believe. I have yet to locate a photo of this bird. 60, what info do you have on QUEER JOHN? JB
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, February 08, 2009 3:01 PM

John,

   I hear ya. Jon and I have been doing the same thing with weapons configurations. Since my dad was a doorgunner, I am particularly interested in the evolution of the doorgun and all the different setups used on both slicks and gunships.  Talk about a confusing nightmare.  Almost every unit had it's own SOP and of course setups changed throughout the war within particular units.  You have about 37 years on me research-wise so I better get crackin'!

    Ray

  • Member since
    April, 2005
  • From: I am at play in the fields of the Lord. (Texas)
Posted by m60a3 on Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:41 PM

 namhelo wrote:
This Loach supposedly had nine lives and was finally downed by a SA-7 missle I believe. I have yet to locate a photo of this bird. 60, what info do you have on QUEER JOHN? JB

 I only have the fading memories of what I read awhile back. I don't remember the book name or author, but from what I recall, the helo was either NEVER downed, downed and recovered/repaired, had guys injured in it but never killed, and ultimately survived the war and was on display(?) somewhere? Maybe Ft. Rucker?
 I know someone here can tell you more. I don't think it was Hugh Mills, BTW, though surely he would know something more.

                                                             60

"I lay like a small idea in a vacant mind" - Wm. Least Heat Moon "I am at the center of the earth." - Black Elk My FSM friends are the best.
  • Member since
    March, 2009
Posted by TOPTIGERTAIL on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:37 PM
does this thing work?
  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 11:40 PM
Are you a former 68 AHC member? JB
  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by OH6Driver on Saturday, March 04, 2017 12:58 AM

I have a few pics of "*** John". It's tail number was 68-17275.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: S.F. Bay Area, California
Posted by namhelo on Monday, March 06, 2017 10:21 AM

Thanks OH6Driver for the serial #. That data has been the elusive info I've been looking for since forever. I would like very much to view your *** JOHN pics. Please send scans to johnmailman@yahoo.com. Much obliged 

  • Member since
    April, 2016
Posted by GlennH on Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:46 PM

Can't give ya many answers but I do remember Schlitz on a Huey.

 

 Schlitz beer at 2000 feet by Glenn Hanson, on Flickr

A number RVN scans from hundreds yet to be done:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestdreams/albums/72157621855914355

Have had the great fortune to be on every side of the howitzers.

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