174th Assault
Helicopter Company

First Cobra at Duc Pho

This is one of the first AH-1G "Huey Cobras" fielded in Vietnam, and was the first one any of the Dolphin or Shark pilots or crewmen had ever seen. The time was November 1967, and this Cobra was being ferried north to the Da Nang area and was being assigned to the 1st Air Cavalry. The Cobra stopped in Duc Pho for fuel (and to show off a bit, no doubt). One common comment heard this day was, "...it won't last long without door gunners to cover it in the breaks." The three recognizable people on the left of this photo are WO1 Bob Hall (foreground), WO1 Jim Messinger (looking in the front pilot's cockpit, and WO1 Joe Moys (standing on the landing skid cross-tube). All are 174th pilots. The name of the SP5 on the right with the M-16 rifle is not known. Note the paint already coming off the lower front turret that houses a 7.62mm minigun. Both photos taken by Jim McDaniel, Nov 67.

The only two known people in this photo are WO1 Jim Messinger (with finger to his face) and WO1 Milford Main on the far side showing his left profile. Both are Dolphin pilots. The person to the left is a SP4 crewman from the 174th, name not known. And yes, we were all speculating how it would look with Shark's teeth.