Photos page of:
SP5 Thomas Miller
Crewchief Shark #423
Army Heliport 1966, Qui Nhon RVN
These are in our new living quarters in the EM hootch, 1966.
We had the only refrigerator in the whole place, so it was
a good hang-out! I remember the faces, but most of the names
have left me after all these years. Left to right:
Unidentified Shark crewchief; Tom Miller (with towel);
standing on the left, another Shark crewchief who was with
another unit, extended, and transferred to us; sitting in
front of him was another crewchief who's name I don't recall
either; standing to the right is Bill Gardnour (our "fuel man");
and seated right is Edward "Jeff" Jefferis. If any of you
can help with the names, please let us know at the website
and we'll fill in the blanks.
Below, a pre-Shark's-teeth paint scheme, at Lane.
Note this Shark has the white "shark's fin" painted
on the vertical stabilizer, but not the teeth on the
nose. This was the initial paint scheme for the Sharks.
Note also this aircraft did not have the attachment
hard-point for the armament system installed, and it has
the zig-zag High Frequency (HF) radio antenna on the tail
boom. That, and the vertical fin antenna on the bottom of
the tail boom, were not normal antenna configurations of the
Sharks. This may have been a replacement Shark. And, to answer an ongoing internal discussion among
the 174th crews about the initial fleet of 174th Shark aircraft,
this aircraft is clearly a UH-C and not a "UH-1B with 540" rotor
system. Among other identifiers, such as the UH-1C vertical fin
having a different shape, the "airframe proof" is in the fuel
filler cap position, which on UH-1B airframes were on the right
side of the aircraft just to the rear of the sliding cargo door
when it was closed. The UH-1C airframe has the fuel filler cap
at the same location but on the left side of the aircraft. On
most of the early photos thus far, the cargo doors have been open,
making it difficult to determine the location of the fuel filler
cap. This one has the cargo door closed and finally puts the
disagreement to bed. There is clearly NO fuel filler cap on
the right side of this aircraft, meaning the cap has to be on
the left side, so this Shark has to be a UH-1C. The entire initial fleet of Sharks were
UH-1Cs. This should resolve some disagreement within the unit about
whether the initial fleet were UH-1Cs or UH-1Bs with 540 rotor systems.
Both of the below photos show Tom Miller, Shark 423's crewchief, in his office. Notice the 19-shot
rocket pod. We named this gunship "Hop-A-Long." You can see that painted on the quarter door post.
Shark 423 was considered quite under-powered, thus the name. Note Tom's wooden ammo box at his feet.
This held about 1,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammo for his bungee-held door gun, a modified M-60 machinegun.
Below, 174th Aviation Company Sharks about to go on a gun support mission. Notice again
the white "shark fin" tails, but no teeth on the nose. The closest helicopter is a UH-1D
Dolphin "slick." The closest Shark aircraft (in the background) has a 40mm grenade launcher
mounted on a turret on the nose, and you can see a 7-shot rocket pod on the left side of the
aircraft. Maybe someone can put a name on the place.
Below is a photo of the early 174th Aviation Company "F-Troop Headquarters." The sign reads:
"We have done so much with so little for so long that we can do anything with nothing."
The "F-Troop" was not a flight platoon, and there were no official "troops" in an Aviation
Company. We think this is a take-off on a popular TV program of the 1960s, but the history
of which part of the 174th went by "F-Troop" is lost. Anyone reading this who can complete
this bit of trivia, please write us at the web site.