174th Assault
Helicopter Company

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Shark Hootch

The Shark hootch as it continues its evolution. In this photo, a large drawing of a Shark has joined the tail rotor and small blue sign that was placed above the entrance door when the hootch was first built in late 1967. Also note the significant increase in sandbags. It's interesting to note the left side of the hootch. The sandbags have been piled up high enough to cover the screen window that's still exposed on the right side, and on the left side just a small square window "hole" has been left. On the far left side of the hootch the sandbags are stacked all the way up to the eves. This would make the left side of the hootch more resistent to shrapnal penetration during mortar and rocket attacks. However, it would also make it considerably hotter because of reduced ventilation. By this time a shower has been added to the front of the hootch and a recovered wing tank from a USAF jet fighter had been "appropriated" for a shower reservoir. It is being filled by the water truck driver. The water was usually gotten by the driver from a local river and was not treated. It was NOT for drinking! Taken in May or June 1969. An enlargement of the new sign on the front of the hootch is reproduced below. (Photo by Dave Lovett, Duc Pho, 1969)

Sign on the Shark Pilots' Hootch

This is the sign placed on the Shark pilot's hootch. The father of one of the pilots (Jim Towle thinks it was Tom Dana's dad) made the sign. Can someone confirm this and provide more details? (Photo by Jim Towle, Duc Pho, 1969)