Following is the text from an article in THE ARMY REPORTER
that was published 30 July 1966. The article was accompanied by a
photograph (which unfortunately we do not have) that was captioned,
"ALERT AND READY -- door gunner has his machinegun ready during a
174th Aviation Company re-supply mission to an isolated ROK outpost.
(Photo by SFC James Stuhler, USARV-IO)"
ROKs - Army Aviators Combine to Smash Charlie
30 July 1966
PHU TAI, (USARV-IO) - The evening's conversation centered on the day's combat assault missions. The men talking wore Army aviation crewmember's wings.
"You've got to hand it to those guys," one young machinegunner quipped. "They've got guts."
"You see how fast they head for that treeline? They don't waste time going after Charlie," a crew chief said.
"They know how to use helicopters," another war-seasoned crew chief added. "It's easy work with them."
The men they were talking about were the infantrymen they had helilifted into battle--Korean Tiger soldiers.
Atop a mountain pinnacle some 1500 feet high, a Huey helicopter on a resupply mission cautiously felt its way through the thin and dangerous air to a small landing pad. The pad was steep enough to prevent the helicopter from touching down so the pilot hovered, his rotor blades whipping through the air a few feet from the high side of the pad.
Crouching low, a half dozen koreans ran to the chopper and began unloading ammunition, food and water. With the cargo on the ground, the Koreans waved their thanks as the pilot skillfully backed the helicopter off and swooped down the valley.
The combat assault and resupply mission took place on the same day by the same helicopter and crew. These missions are flown every day in the mountains here about 25 miles west of Qui Nhon. The area is thick with Viet Cong.
At Phu Tai, carved out of the side of a hill, sits a model heliport. From here the pilots and crews of the 174th Aviation Company go about their business of supporting the men of the Republic of Korea's Tiger Division.
To handle his company's mission, Maj. Robert M. Stuart has 25 Huey helicopters. Eight of these are gunships and the rest are "slicks" that carry eight men to the fight. There are other aviation units supporting the ROKs and they are all typical of the 174th.
Each week 174th helicopters average some 13,000 sorties. Besides the combat assault and resupply flights, they fly reconnaissance and liaison missions.
Most crew members agree that their toughest missions are the resupply flights in the mountains. More so, they claim, than the combat assaults.