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Unusual Vietnam Hueys

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  • Member since
    May 2014
Posted by Kenneth on Thursday, June 19, 2014 4:57 PM

sorry i meant XM15 dispenser, not mine dispenser

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, June 19, 2014 5:10 PM

Kenneth,

 I have not personally seen a Huey with the XM15 dispenser on it, but I would assume it was designed ot go on a Huey.  I'll leave the second part to Joe as he probably has more info than me.  Here are a couple of diagrams of the XM15 system from the USAAM archives though.

    Ray

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:13 PM

From Joe:

Sounds like we might be getting into a little designation confusion again, which isn't surprising. I think of all Army helicopter weaponry, I have the least information readily available on these dispensers and the munitions loaded into them. I think we're talking about two different systems, the XM15 canister cluster and the XM15 flare dispenser.

The XM15 canister cluster is a cluster bomb filled with 264 smaller XM16 canisters full of CS (better known as tear gas). This weapon was armed by removing a cotter pin like you would in a hand grenade and then thrown or kicked manually from the aircraft. The XM165 canister cluster is two XM15 canister clusters bolted together using a strong-back that allows it to be hung from a traditional bomb rack and released that way.

XM165 canister cluster: 

The XM15 flare dispenser on the other hand is two XM18 dispensers fitted together and loaded with 48 XM170 flares (4 per tube). Again, a strong-back was fitted so the setup could be carried on a traditional bomb rack (though in this case the XM18 could already be fitted to the bomb rack directly).

XM15 flare dispenser: 

The Army also tested at least two other configurations of the single XM18 dispenser, one with the XM144 bomblets (said to be a modified version of the Air Force's BLU-3/B) and one with XM54 CS grenades (a modified version of the M7 CS hand grenade). The former combination was designated as the XM25 dispenser and bomb, while the later was designated as the XM27 dispenser and grenade.

I'm not sure how widely used these systems were or if they were used at all. I imagine a lot of these systems were only trialed briefly if at all. I've seen a lot of line art of them mounted on UH-1s, but very little in the way of photographic evidence. Units in Vietnam definitely used the Army's Chemical Warfare Service's manual cluster design called the E158, which was very similar to the XM15 canister cluster. I imagine that these other systems also saw some very limited use.

- Joe

  • Member since
    May 2014
Posted by Kenneth on Friday, June 20, 2014 5:30 PM

Thanks Ray Thanks Joe

Now things are getting clearer. some observations i would like to share:

= during combat especially if things are a bit down, it is marvelous how many ideas are tested; probably for the type of so called air cavalry warfare, flares would not be of much use, and i would think that the firefly and nighthawk tactics were more suitable;

= the walls of the XM165 are transparent - could plastic have been used?

=the army also tested the XM19 flare dispenser, and if i am not mistaken one Huey suffered a fire when one of the flares ignited inside the cabin and the gunner kicked it out of the aircraft, burning himself in the meantime.

can any ex-Huey crew confirm whether the XM15 where used on the Huey?

-Kenneth

  • Member since
    May 2014
Posted by Kenneth on Friday, June 27, 2014 4:44 PM

So far no ex-crew has turned out...

Joe can you share some drawings of the UH-1 carrying any of these dispensers just discussed

now i am coming with another two: the AGM-22A and B missiles (French SS.11) and the XM29 weapon mount for the M60.

what i would like is to see pictures or illustrations of the XM11 (AGM-22A) and of the XM29 mount.

if you look closely at the weapons mount, it is not the XM156, and hence the XM22 system. therefore could this be the XM11? how do you tell an A from a B sub variant of this missile?

and what about the XM29? was it door mounted? was it made just for the M60?

regards

Kenneth

  • Member since
    May 2014
Posted by Kenneth on Monday, June 30, 2014 2:59 PM

grandadjohn

on looking closely at the weapon mount it is not the XM156, so this must be the XM11 system not the XM22. also see the (and my) last post in this thread.

can any reader confirm this?

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: The Boonies
Posted by Snake36Bravo on Thursday, May 28, 2015 11:16 PM

.50 Cal equipped VIP. "Gert the Love Machine" that flew with 18th Corps Aviation Company Green Delta CAC (Combat Aviation Company ). Interesting ammo stowage and just plain cool.

 

There was another .50 Cal equipped UH-1H in the unit called Fat Albert. Dewey Leach standing by Fat Albert. Dewey was Guardian 6's jeep driver - image by Steve Hill

 

Si vis pacem, Para Bellum!

  • Member since
    May 2018
Posted by armybrat on Monday, May 28, 2018 3:15 PM

Just looking around on Memorial Day 2018 and saw my dad, Roger "Bart" Bartholomew here. Glad to know people remember him! Thank you.

  • Member since
    July 2018
Posted by Valentino on Thursday, July 26, 2018 11:06 PM

I actually know the man who flew on this Huey and he actually was the "Artist"

His name is Russ Stibbe. Him and my father flew together.

Hope that helps in some way.  

 

Best,

Valentino

  • Member since
    May 2014
Posted by Kenneth on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 3:31 AM

Hi snake36bravo - your photos are not showing; please do something about it as we are missing a deal!!

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: The Boonies
Posted by Snake36Bravo on Thursday, September 27, 2018 8:54 PM

Kenneth

Hi snake36bravo - your photos are not showing; please do something about it as we are missing a deal!!

Copy that. Adjusted fire.

General Richard G. Stilwell in his specially installed armored pilots seat.

 

Si vis pacem, Para Bellum!

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: The Boonies
Posted by Snake36Bravo on Friday, September 28, 2018 8:39 AM

Late reply but yes the XM15 canister cluster was used on and dispensed from Hueys during Vietnam. I'm hunting my own files for an example of these actually mounted on the universal mount of a gunship in Vietnam. I know I have it just have to find the image.

Here are just a few images of the E158 CS cluster munition in the meantime. This was essentially the M165 canister cluster without the pylon mounts and longitudinal rack. The method of deployment shown was SOP versus dropping them from a gunship.

1969 This helicopter from the 25th Infantry Division is loaded with CS Riot Gas Canisters. Photo by SP5 D.R. Goff

 

Dropping CS Riot Gas canisters July 1969. Photos by Dave Ondrey A Co 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion

 

Given the dangers of the mission profile pilots flew with gas masks on if they had them. Also, it's a bit of oxymoron to say flying CS gas cannister and having them thrown out of the helicopter wasnt anymore dangerous than any normal day of flying in Vietnam  considering it was a war zone. Just added another layer to the onion.

 

Si vis pacem, Para Bellum!

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: The Boonies
Posted by Snake36Bravo on Friday, September 28, 2018 12:45 PM

rotorwash

It's about time to rejuvenate this thread with a new pic or two.  Here is one you don't see every day:

[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

 

Andy posted a pic a while back of a napalm canister mounted on a Huey.  Well, I'll see your naplam and raise ya a 100 lb HE bomb!  This pic is from Bob Chenoweth's Army Gunships in Vietnam.  Photo is from 1963. 

 

The full details of Ron’s adventure appeared in the July/August 2003 VHPA Newsletter:

Ron says: ‘To the best of my knowledge, this was the only B Model gunship to drop napalm during the war. While in Qui Nhon one day I met an USAF Master Sergeant who was in charge of the ammo dump. He gave me a tour of the facility and I became interested in the napalm bombs. I asked him to tell me exactly how they operated. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became. I ended up trading him a bottle of Scotch straight across for 4 napalm canisters, 4 igniters and an appropriate amount of powder to turn JP4 (standard helicopter jet fuel) into flaming jelly.

My platoon leader, Captain Bob Wright, decided that he would fly the aircraft and I was to be in the left seat as the “bombardier.”’ Ron goes on to detail the events to the next two days when they dropped all four bombs. Interesting reading for sure!! He concludes with, ‘As it turns out, napalm dropped from a UH-1B at 80 knots really doesn’t do as well as if dropped from an F4 at 250 knots. It only spreads out about 50 feet or so. So we went back to our 2.75” rockets, 40mm grenades, and 7.62mm machine guns and let the AF have the firewater mission.’

A UH-1B from the Crocodile Platoon, 119th AHC - Early 1966. This photo was taken of VHPA member Ron Richtsmeier at Lane Army Heliport just west of Qui Nhon.

Si vis pacem, Para Bellum!

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: The Boonies
Posted by Snake36Bravo on Saturday, September 29, 2018 12:52 PM

skypirate1

Heres an unusual UH-1D setup, "vihnlong Bugship" from 114th AHC 1968, Armed with two miniguns and a 50 cal, the strange looking thing on the outside is a flare canister dispenser.

Andy

 

Andy, hope you are doing well since you first posted this 11 years ago.  My how time flies!

I have some more detail on the 114th Assault Helicopter Company 'Bug Ship'/"Vihn Long Bugship'.

Bug ship was just a generic term for this particular unusual Huey. Those who crewed it called themselves 'Hunter Killers' and this is what was painted on the avionics nose panel which survived and was brought back from Vietnam.  While researching FLIR in Vietnam I talked with one of the gunners who flew on this ship, Spc4 Evan Pinther seen here in his office, who also worked the FLIR program run by ACTIV (Army Concept Team in Vietnam).


Not only was this ship used on perimeter flare missions at night it was also the unit smoke ship utilizing the XM52 Smoke Generating Subsystem.

The crew consisted of and alternated between: Capt. Wruble - Capt. Gutz Willer - Capt. Papapietro - WO1 Young - W01Bollech - Spc4 Musselwhite - Spc4 Brisbin - Spc5 Wallbridge - Spc4 Pinther - Spc4 McGinnis

Here is a picture courtesy of Evan Pinther showing the unique sheet metal flare container built by the skinners that attached to the M21 gun mount. As you noted the Bug Ship was also armed with M134 miniguns and a .50 Cal for some superior firepower. Note the spray nozzle at the exhaust which was part of the smoke generator system. The M134 was Sagami pintle mounted off one side of the M21 rather than the floor mount common on Nighthawks. Ma Deuce got the standard pig iron brace mounted to the floor rings.

 

Si vis pacem, Para Bellum!

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