174th Assault
Helicopter Company


Photos Page of: WO1-CW2 David M. Spahr

PRIMO/Dolphin/Shark 2
October 1968-1969

Click HERE to read David's bio.

(All photos property of David Spahr)

Somebody took this picture of me at LZ Cork while I was at Primo. I was sound asleep standing up! The aircraft was the Brigade Command and Control ship. This is the "shelf" landing area at Cork. You can't see it, but the tail boom is hanging out over a steep drop.

This is a take-off from Primo Park of our "armed recon." It got somewhat better when we got OH-6s. We actually did surprise a lot of VC patrols. (Hell, you'd be surprised too if you were being shot at by a flying golf ball with guys legs dangling out!).

A shot of the Primo Brigade C&C showing the multi-radio console (There is a whip antennae mounted on the toe of one of the skids). Also notice that I am smoking within 50 feet of the aircraft! At least I wasn't drinking within 50 ft.! (Gunner Bob Hagan, Me and CE Jim Carr)

Preparing for a Primo Recon. WO Harry Reed and me (Actually, I was a Dolphin at the time and came over for a "spin" on my day off). Notice the mini-gun kit! Harry and his team turned out to be the "bait" for a shoot-up by the Sharks at OD Lake.

"Smokey" in action.

Dolphin LT McHue (AKA Magoo) and SP5 Steiniger. McHue flew with me as Peter Pilot. A great guy -- always kidding around. I read Buchanan's story. I hope Magoo survived?!

Dolphin 419 (UH-1H #67-17419)- I don't remember exactly what happened but I flew a team out to the site and took this picture. Note: Per e-mail with C/E Sam Sours in 2002, it seems Sam was on this ship with Gunner Larry Whalen (in April 1969) when it was lost to an "operational accident" (dynamic rollover/rotor strike. The ship rolled over. Larry Whalen says, "We rolled over into a slope on my side. The left side. I saw the main rotor blade strike the ground next to me. I thought I was done for."

This picture was taken the morning after LZ Cork was overrun. It's hard to see, but there is a dark spot on the CO's "cab" between the 2nd and 3rd window where an RPG had hit it.

Unknown Shark Gunner who flew with C/E Cain (AKA "Toothless").

Shark 3, LT Jerry Crispin. He was usually my Lead. I will never forget these words, "3...this is 2...we're up."

Shark CW2 Russ "Pappy" Doersam. This was his 2nd tour. He was our teacher.

Lt Crispin and ? at Shark Park, Duc Pho.

Unknown Shark. (Anybody ID him?)

Shark WO Brault and ?. Of note, I discovered that WO Dennis Brault was shot down and killed while flying with the "Blue Max" ARA. He must have extended his tour, transitioned to AH-1Gs (Cobras) and had been reassigned."

Shark UH-1C #66-15137 - This aircraft was assigned to me. I am absolutely ashamed that I can't remember the name of my crew chief. I even saw him after we both got back! Anyway, 137 needed an engine change! It had no power. We had a 40MM on the nose and only 14 rockets. You can tell why we affectionately referred to it as "The Flying Pig!" When my C/E was painting the pig, he got carried away - notice that the cyclics are painted like candy canes! Also notice the red skid tubes! He also manufactured a rig to mount two M60s on his side. Our CO flew with us one day, and when he walked up to the aircraft he just shook his head. Later he told me to get rid of the red skids. [Note: #137 was a favorite aircraft among many Sharks... Quite a "work horse" for many years. This gunship had 1778 hours on it when it left the unit in March 1970. It had more hours in the 174th than any other Shark.]

Bell's Shark. This was CE Harrison Bell's aircraft. Notice the Texas Flag! To my knowledge, this was one of the first aircraft (remember it was 1969) that had anything painted on the rear quarter panels. I've seen the photos from the later years and it seems to have become quite a fad later.

Another of Shark 137 - Little Teeth (this must have inspired the makers of the movie "Alien").

Shark "door art" - I don't know whose.

SP4 Anderson, Armament Specialist. Did his best to keep the weapons working.

WO Dennis Brault (shirtless) and two "unidentifieds" at Shark Park at Duc Pho.

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