174th Assault
Helicopter Company


Photos Page of

SP/4 Keith Watters

Dolphin Helicopter Crewchief
1970 - 1971

This page is dedicated to the memory of Captain Terry Hays
who was my pilot and my friend. God bless you Captain!

*Assistant Webmaster note: Today (26 July 2006), we have learned that Keith Watters has "passed away" from a long battle with cancer. You'll be sorely missed Keith! May God Bless and our thoughts and prayers out to Keith and his family

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.

This is me (Keith Watters) taken in Quang Tri outside the officers quarters. I transfered to the 174th from the 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry (4/3) out of Duc Pho at the beginning of the Lam Son 719 mission. Bad timing on my part, but what a great bunch of guys I found myself around in the 174th. None better!

Me (left) and and Terry Hays (my aircraft commander) at Quang Tri. This is the day the 174th moved from Quang Tri back south (to Chu Lai). We expected to go back to our home at Duc Pho, but after Lam Son 719 the unit didn't return to Duc Pho. Instead, Chu Lai (the base camp for the Americal Division) became our new home. In this photo we are waiting on the flight line for the order to fire up the birds and migrate south. Like anywhere else, moving was a hassle, but we were all glad to get out of Quang Tri.

Joel Goforth, good friend. Joel transferred from the 4/3 Infantry like me, but for different reasons. While Joel was in the bush, they had set up a night perimeter. At some point in the middle of the night Joel had to take a walk behind a bush. On perimeter guard duty at the time was an FNG (a newbee). He'd just arrived. Apparently hearing joel in the bushes, he overreacted and let go with a frag grenade in Joel's direction. He peppered Joel's back side with shrapnal! That was enough for Joel, and after spending some time recoverning in the rear (no pun intended), he transferred to the 174th with me. If anyone knows where Joel is now, I sure would like to locate him. Just e-mail me at the above address. Thanks.

Fighting the war from Quang Ngai. Left to right: Becker (crewchief of Dolphin 425); Church (gunner); Mitch (Dolphin aircraft commander); White (aircraft commander -- behind the M-60); Flemmer (aircraft commander).

This is me waxing my ship at Chu Lai. "WAX ON, WAX OFF!" As I often said, "it was better than guard duty." (Webmaster note: Keith's Dolphin appears to have received recent battle damage. The "green house" window above the pilot's seat has recently been replaced -- the white framing has not yet been repainted green to match the aircraft color. Also, the tail boom may have been recently replaced as well, as the stripes around the tail boom have only been recently painted. Note the large white stripe is there but not the blue stripe in the middle. The white was usually allowed to dry several days before applying the blue paint. The pilot's door has also been removed. Some crews flew without doors, although that was not the normal flight configuration for 174th aircraft.)

Keith (with the Budweiser can) and the 174th's First Sergeant Doyle Foster in Quang Tri. "Top" was having personal problems, and that coupled with the loss of his men during Lam Son 719 was more than he could bear. The First Sergeant REALLY cared for all the men in his command, and early one morning, at the end of Lam Son 719, he tragically took his own life. Click HERE to see his writeup on the "Losses" page.

Terry Hays at Quang Tri during Lam Son 719

MAN OF STEEL! (aka Duke Varner)

Keith Watters' and Terry Hays' new bird. It had less than 300 hours on it, and yep, it got hit by a TRUCK! We had just landed on some fire base (don't remember the name) but, unknown to us, some grunt was changing a tire on a 2 1/2 ton truck up hill from the pad. When we set down, possibly our rotor wash "helped" the truck fall off its jack! With no wheel chocks in place, down it came -- rolling STRAIGHT at me -- and it stopped INSIDE the helicopter with me. It came to a stop in my crew chief seat!! The next morning some one wrote on the duty board, under Terry's name, "ALL TRUCK UP."

In this photo, the truck is being removed from inside the Dolphin. To the left is the front of the truck (note the headlight below the hood "hold-down" latch and the front wench). Above Keith's ammo can, that the truck hit, you can see the right pilot's seat and the instrument panel. It appears a large wench, probably from a wrecker, is being used to separate the truck from the helicopter.