174th Assault
Helicopter Company


Photos Page of

SP4 Dennis Pelliccia

UH-1 Helicopter Repairman and Crewchief
July 1967 - July 1968

(All photos property of Dennis Pelliccia)

NOTE: All photos below are "thumbnails." Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement of the photo. Then click on the "Back" button to return to this page. Spanning both years almost equally, this photos page can be accessed from both the 1967 and the 1968 pages. The photos are from both years and there is no particular order to how they're presented.

This is me, "FNG" in July 1967. My first job filling sand bags for the 409th TC Detachment bunker.

August 1967. This is my suite. I was the interior decorator.

This was the first ship I crewed in December 1967 (Dolphin 621). My first flight was to fly a Chaplain around to visit the troops for Christmas Services.

This is Dolphin 621, 1967. SP4 Wheeler told me the story of this damage. They were shut down at an LZ in between missions. Just after walking a distance from the chopper, a mortar round landed directly in front of the nose. He was very shook up and "very short," like three days till DEROS.

Year 1967. Shark & Dolphins in the 409th TC Detachment maintenance area (where the impossible was performed). During the day, few choppers were seen. Most were out flying. One of our commanding officers, then Major Glen Gibson, in a letter to me recently, (year 2000) said that our crew chiefs and maintenance men were dedicated… You as well Sir, Thank you.

Duc Pho Hospital Area, Southside of Company grounds. Date October 1967.

Year 1968. Shark Gunship hit by mortar shrapnel during one of those "occasional" incoming rounds that the VC would fire into the compound at night. SP4 Jones (our sheet metal man) was very busy that day.

This USAF C-123 "Provider" crashed on takeoff from Duc Pho, immediately adjacent to Shark Park. The runway is down the enbankment to the left. The tarmac on the right is Shark Park where all our gunships were parked. Had the embankment not contained the C-123 as it careened off the right side of the runway, it would have taken out most or all of our Sharks. Had the C-123 continued a few more degrees to the right, it would have entered the 174th company area. Notice this model of the C-123 had the jet-engine mods to help with short-field takeoffs. The barbed wire in the second photo is at the top of the embankment between the runway and Shark Park. The 174th REALLY dodged a bullet this day. Mar or Apr 68.

Webmaster Note: In September 2003 I got an e-mail note from one of the soldiers who was inside this aircraft when it crashed. This crash (corrected above) was originally reported as happening on landing. This is part of the message received from Bill Groenendaal, E Troop, 1st Cav., 11th Infantry Brigade. "We arrived in country in December 1967 and were duly impressed with your unit and the cover it always gave us. I need to correct the caption accompanying the pictures of the crashed USAF C-123 'Provider.' The plane actually crashed on take-off, not on landing at the end of March or early April 1968. The reason I know is because I was on board the plane. My ETS date was April 6th 1968 and I was heading to Ft. Lewis, Washington via Cameron Bay. I will never forget that day. I had said good-bye to all my buddies I'd been with for over a year in Hawaii and Nam and my friend George Lineman took me to the air strip to catch the flight. It was a particularly windy day that day which may have attributed to the crash. I can still see in my mind the flight engineer standing at the top of the ladder by the cockpit, scrambling down the steps when he knew we were in trouble. Everything is kind of a blur after that. There weren't too many of us on the plane, but we scrambled toward the nearest exit as soon as the plane had stopped, and we got away from it as fast as we could because we didn't know if it was going to blow up or not. I got a severely sprained ankle during the crash, which was surprisingly violent considering we were on a takeoff roll. Wearing only a lap belt, and riding sideways on the webbed troop seats, my right shoulder took a hard impact on the metal seat bracing next to me. I didn't go see a doctor because I didn't want to prolong my stay at LZ Bronco since I was being discharged from the Army. I just wanted to get the heck out of there and go home! My friend George saw the crash and came back to get me and took me back to our barracks. Everyone thought I had reenlisted because I came back, but fat chance of that. My right shoulder continued to bother me after that crash, and after I got out of the Army. I've now had three surgeries on that shoulder and I still have a hard time sleeping at night because of the pain..."

1968 photo. I suspect this "pack" (passenger), holding an M-60, knew that one day many would see this photo on this web page and he wanted to look good. (But maybe this was his first helicopter ride. Or maybe we were taking him OUT of the bush instead of putting him IN it. Or maybe he was just "short." Or maybe...)

Year 1968, Tet Offensive, rice confiscation. The second soldier is carrying a bag marked "US Rice" ? The area is North of Duc Pho.

Hot CA (Combat Assault). "Hell Mountain" -- Shark gunships blasted the mountain top, then we dropped off the Americal Division Troops. The enemy decided to camp out some place else. 1968.

"Packs" from my ship flown into this valley area in 1968, north of Duc Pho.

Captured NVA nurse.

1968. Confiscated VC and NVA weapons, made in China and Russia. Photo taken inside the chopper cabin. One of those rifles is a M-16.

Mission -- Gunslinger Charlie/Charlie (Command & Control). 1968. We were Col. Franklin's command ship this day. His troops would advance into an enemy movement and we would fly "observer." In this photo, we picked up a soldier after he stepped on a mine. Colonel Franklin (assisting in foreground with flight helmet on in photo) was very protective of his men. They would have marched to Hanoi for him if he had asked them.

Captured VC prisoners? God knows how many I saw of them, including women and children who were forced to fight or their family members were tortured. 1968.

Mortar attack this night, 5/31/68. Carl McCoy, while asleep in his bunk in his hootch, gave his life for his country. He was an all American country boy. My Friend.

In that night of 5/31/68, in which many mortar rounds exploded in our Company area, this one hit a few feet from my bunk. I woke up to the smell of smoke and and heard those famillar words INCOMING !!! Thank God for those barrels of sand, as you can see the shrapnel holes in it's side.

5/31/68 mortar round on the tarmac.

5/31/68, PSP Dolphin/Shark maintenance ramp. The 409th TC Detachment took a lot of hits this day. (PSP = Perforated Steel Planking)

My last ship, Dolphin 282. May 1968. My door gunner Tony Yates and I carried plenty of ammo. 1000 rounds plus our M16's. Notice the "Chicken Plate" bottom left hand corner… just underneath our seat cushions.

Probably early 1968. Entertainment in the mess hall. Rock'n roll band from Australia and our very own crewchief/doorgunner Sam Sours in the first photo with the microphone and the Australian babe firmly in hand… They're both babes, aren't they? The accompaniment often was, and appears to be on this evening, Oriental (very often Korean). Second photo is of Sam at the 174th AHC Reunion in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, in 1999.

(Webmaster Update: In July 2003 I got an e-mail note from an Aussie that corrects the original label to this photo. Here is the e-mail, "Dear Jim, Many years have passed now and have just dropped into your web site. Just want you to know that the photo showing Sam Sours with the band is wrong, as the band is a Filipino band and not Australian. Now you might ask how the hell do I know? Well I worked that hot hall with the Aussie band called the "Fun and Dames Show" in 68 or 69, I think in November and I was the bass player for them and also with great pride I still have my original "Sharks" patch that was given to me. Just had to point that out, as our girls were far better looking. Now I have your site will go through it and see if I can remember more, as now I'm approaching 60 and the memory fades a little. The very best to all. John Manley, Redcliffe, 4020 Queensland Australia.)

Dolphin 282. May 1968. My bird. Dolphin 1st Platoon.

SP5 David (Doc) Livingston, crewchief in 1968. My friend …classic pose for a war in progress.

Doc Livingston just back from R&R. In front of 1st Platoon hootch, 1968. (Urban Guerilla?)

Me and my Mama, Christmas 1998. Her name is Concetta…maiden name is Danzi. She was 88 in July 2000. My father (Santo) passed away in 1980. He was a trumpet player, bandleader, and "Jack of All Trades."

Me at the 174th AHC Reunion in Ft. Walton Beach, FL in 1999.