The Watch Site banner

361 - 380 of 580 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,824 Posts
Mabuhay My Brother 850

Well yes you are right on all this.
They come in and do a strike and then go back to re-fuel and load up once again. They continue on until the support has be done then try to get rest but still be on alert.
These afloat barges were converted so they can actually be a landing platform
for these choppers. The barges could hold a lot of supplies that were necessary for use.
The necessity to be very fast to land and take off and get re-supplied
was a vital point of the conversions of these Flat Tops. The barges would be able to move on the river and be close to reinforce the chopper if necessary.
A note to see about these Flat Top Conversions is this.
When they were on alert they were always supported by a ..... HAL Sea wolf.
If it was needing to refuel then another was brought in to support.

Here some pictures that show what went on:
http://www.tf116.org/vgallery2.html
Then Click bottom of page.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,824 Posts
Thanks 850champion. Small River Heli Carriers - Amazing. I thought that the Huey in Longbike's photo might be a downed Helicopter and it was being transported as part of a Salvage operation.
Aloha Kyle,

Kyle they were actually a support for those choppers and had supplies to
equip them.
Most of the supports were ..... YBRM Barges and the ones with most of the work done for them were ... LST's.
Those smaller supports could go in river to support them because the LST's were to big so they just anchored in open river or at the rivers entrance's.
These were supported by Army Converted LCM's converted into what
was called Monitors.
________________________________________________

1- On Patrol In-River
2- Army Alpha Monitor Boats , and what was called ...ATC's.
3- LST Main Support Ship
4- Converted Barge called Zippo's with Flame Thrower on board.
________________________________________________

This is what was used on The River in Vietnam:
To many pictures to post so use these for references.

( Vietnam River Support @ below site. )
https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=Awr9IlFVp0xcT2IASDNXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0dDc4aXZlBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0a
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,111 Posts
That's a beautiful online resource Louis. Maraming salamat !!

I am touched by the pictures of these tough river rats playing with kids at orphanages. Showed that war was also about winning hearts and minds.

How many of those kids survived the war and got out of Vietnam ? I can only wonder.
Mabuhay My Brother 850

Well yes you are right on all this.
They come in and do a strike and then go back to re-fuel and load up once again. They continue on until the support has be done then try to get rest but still be on alert.
These afloat barges were converted so they can actually be a landing platform
for these choppers. The barges could hold a lot of supplies that were necessary for use.
The necessity to be very fast to land and take off and get re-supplied
was a vital point of the conversions of these Flat Tops. The barges would be able to move on the river and be close to reinforce the chopper if necessary.
A note to see about these Flat Top Conversions is this.
When they were on alert they were always supported by a ..... HAL Sea wolf.
If it was needing to refuel then another was brought in to support.

Here some pictures that show what went on:
http://www.tf116.org/vgallery2.html
Then Click bottom of page.
Sent from my B15Q using Tapatalk
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
I believe the "river carriers" were born out of necessity of having close in air superiority. I read that the seawolves only had max of 90 minutes fighting time before it had to return to mostly Thailand land bases . The precious few minutes lost in transit could translate to lives lost as well
The barges could hold a lot of supplies that were necessary for use.

The necessity to be very fast to land and take off and get re-supplied
was a vital point of the conversions of these Flat Tops. The barges would be able to move on the river and be close to reinforce the chopper if necessary.
Thanks! I now understand the purpose and need for the River Barge Heli Carriers. The River Carriers could be quickly moved closer to an Area of Operation so Helicopters could land and resupply quicker. Amazing!

Anytime Anywhere
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
US Air Force 20th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) “Green Hornets”




The US Air Force 20th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) Green Hornets began combat operations in December 1965 and by March 1966 the squadron was flying an average of nearly 1000 sorties per month. The Green Hornets were the mainstay for MACV SOG with bases in Tan Son Nhut, Da Nang, and Nha Trang.

Green Hornets Hueys refueling at Dak To, Central Highlands, Vietnam. Both a UH-1 F and P model are on the ground.



The Green Hornets operated both the UH-1 F and P model Helicopters. UH-1 Model F was used as a troop carrier and simply went by the nickname "Slick". "Slicks" were usually armed with M-60 machine guns. UH-1 Model P gunships were UH-1Fs that had been modified to accept a pair of GAU-2B/A miniguns, one in each cargo door, and two LAU-59/A 2.75-inch rocket pods mounted to hard points. The miniguns could either be locked to forward fire position and fired by the pilot or aimed and fired by gunners in the cabin. The P-model Hueys were used as Gunships flying escort missions for Slicks who carried the MACV SOG Recon Teams.

The crew of a US Air Force UH-1 F from the 20th Special Operations Squadron Green Hornets armed and ready for a MACV SOG mission. Due to the classified nature of their missions 20th SOS pilot and crew had no insignia on their flight suits. Also notice the flexible ladder that could be extended to pick up Recon Teams when the helicopter could not land.



MACV SOG Recon Team Adder at the CCN Compound Da Nang, Vietnam

 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
The 20th Special Operations Squadron SOS Green Hornets "Jolly Green Giants"

The Green Hornets also flew the Sikorsky CH3 and the HH3 Helicopters nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant" and "Super Jolly Green Giant"

20th SOS Green Hornets CH3 Jolly Green Giant




The Green Hornets operated the Jolly Green Giants from bases in Da Nang, Vietnam and Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand where they were used to Rescue Downed Pilots and to support MACV SOG counterinsurgency insertion and extraction flights into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. The 20th SOS flew the helicopters from Thailand to various friendly airstrips in Laos where they would refuel and await to launch their missions. Due to the classified nature of their missions the 20th SOS Green Hornet Helicopters did not display any U.S. markings or insignia. The Jolly Green Giants were equipped with slotted hangers to insert the USAF insignia when flying "in country".

Green Hornets Jolly Green Giant extracting a MACV SOG Recon Team 1968





20th SOS HH3 Super Jolly Green Giant flying "in country"



The HH3 Super Jolly Green Giants were specificially designed for Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) which required long operational ranges and long hovering times. Due to their "combat" search and rescue classification the Super Jolly Green Giants were purposely developed with armor, defensive armament, self-sealing fuel tanks, a rear ramp for vehicles and other cargo, a rescue hoist, and in-flight refueling capability.

20th SOS Jolly Green Giant Refueling in Vietnam



The first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight by a helicopter was made by two Jolly Green Giants on June 1 1967 flying from New York City to the Paris air show. During the 4,270-mile (6,832-kilometer) flight, which took 30 hours and 46 minutes, each helicopter was aerially refueled nine times.
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
The Black Mariah or Night Wind

Operated by the US Air Force 20th Special Operations Squardron (SOS) Green Hornets the CH3 "Black Mariah" conducted rescue missions of downed pilots and highly classified night insertions for US Special Forces and MACV SOG. According to SOS Squadron History the Black paint scheme was supposed to make the Helicopter harder to see at night. It was the only Black CH3 to serve in South East Asia during the Vietnam War.

The Black Mariah made the 2nd Jolly Green Giant Rescue pickup of a downed Pilot when in 1965 Maj. Dean Pogreba (F105 pilot) was picked up by the Black Mariah helicopter crew. Radio Hanoi often mentioned the Black Mariah on-air and regularly broadcast a $50,000 bounty the NVA had placed for the downing of the Helicopter.

The Black Mariah on the Ground at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base




In addition to Pilot Rescues and Clandestine Night Insertion Missions, The Black Mariah also conducted one nighttime extraction with the assistance of two “Moonlight” flare ships. Lighted missions are considered particularly dangerous. Operations conducted under flares can be observed by the enemy several kilometers away eliminating the element of surprise and subjecting the operation to ground fire.

US Air Force crewmembers concluded after the missions that night missions were so hazardous that unless a dire emergency existed, operations of this nature were not worth the potential loss of men and machines. The night time operations were deemed too hazardous and stopped.

The Black Mariah along with a Camouflage CH3 Returning to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base





Over the years the Black Mariah was repainted many times but in 1991 it was restored and returned back to its original black color. The Black Mariah is now on display at the USAF Air and Space Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

The Black Mariah at USAF Air and Space Museum

 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
Over 12,000 helicopters were used in the Vietnam War which is why it is often referred to as "The Helicopter War". Almost half of the helicopters - 5,086, were lost. Helicopter pilots and crews accounted for nearly 10 percent of all the US casualties suffered in Vietnam, with nearly 5,000 killed and an untold number of wounded.


An HH3 Jolly Green Giant hovers over the burning wreck of another HH3 shot down in Laos on 5 October 1968 while trying to rescue MACV SOG Recon Team Alabama. RT Alabama’s eight men were inserted into the Northern A Shau Valley amid 10,000 NVA troops. The operation cost the lives of 2 Helicopter Crews and the RT Alabama Team Leader and 3 Team Members. After the operation a communication from the NVA General in charge of the Regiment in the A Shau Valley was intercepted with the General saying: "We suffered 90% casualties".

 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
US Air Force 20th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) Green Hornets Aircraft and Crew Losses


31 March 1967, MAJ Robert L Baldwin, piloting UH-1F Tail No 65-07932 was shot and killed in Laos.


27 November 1968, UH-1F Tail No 65-07942 operating from Ban Me Thuot East Airfield was shot down near Phu Nhai Village, Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, 16 km west of Duc Lo, South Vietnam while trying to insert a MACV SOG Recon team. The Crew Chief, SSgt Gene P. Stuifbergen and 4 of the Special Forces team were trapped in the burning wreckage and were all listed as Killed in Action- Bodies Not Recovered.


3 January 1969, UH-1F Tail No 63-13164 operating from Ban Me Thuot was making its second attempt to extract a MACV SOG Recon Team in Cambodia. As they came to a hover above the trees, enemy fire struck the fuel cells setting the aircraft on fire. They were able to accelerate the aircraft and attempted a landing in a small jungle clearing, but the engine failed just short of the clearing and the helicopter crashed into the trees. The crew chief, Sgt Ronald Zenga, was pinned under the aircraft and died in the ensuing fire.


17 January 1969 CH-3C Tail No 62-12582 operating from Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base crashed while on a TACAN service mission to Lima Site 36 in Laos. 3 of the crew were killed.


26 March 1969, UH-1F Tail No 63-13158 operating from Ban Me Thuot crashed and burned near Dục Mỹ, north of Nha Trang, South Vietnam. The aircraft experienced severe vibration and auto-rotation was initiated, but during the descent the main rotor severed the tail boom. All 5 crewmen were killed.


13 April 1969, Capt James O. Lynch, piloting UH-1F, AF Ser. No. 65-07937, operating from Ban Me Thuot was shot and killed while extracting a MACV SOG Recon Team near Pleiku, South Vietnam.


14 March 1970, UH-1P, AF Ser. No. 64-15491, operating from Ban Me Thuot was shot down while supporting a LRRP mission near Duc Lap, South Vietnam. The pilot, Capt Dana A. Dilley, was killed in the crash.


19 March 1970, UH-1P, AF Ser. No. 65-07944, operating from Ban Me Thuot was shot down near Darlac, South Vietnam. The pilot, copilot and a gunner were killed in the crash.


25 September 1970, UH-1P, AF Ser. No. 64-15484, operating from Ban Me Thuot hit trees while turning to avoid a mid-air collision with a VNAF CH-34 near Quang Duc, South Vietnam. The aircraft subsequently caught fire and the pilot and a gunner were killed in the crash.


4 December 1971, a UH-1N operating from Ban Me Thuot came under fire near Saigon. The gunner, Sgt Thomas E. Fike, was killed.
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts


Helicopter Pilots inserted and extracted MACV SOG Recon Teams out of the jungles on a regular basis during the Vietnam War often under deadly enemy fire. On Nov. 26, 1968 Green Hornets Air Force 1st Lieutenant James P. Fleming’s exceptional flying skills and courage under fire while rescuing a Recon Team from an almost certain death earned him the Medal of Honor.

On Nov. 26, 1968 Fleming was piloting a UH-1F and flew to the aid of MACV SOG Recon Team Chisel. The six man Recon Team were taking heavy fire from six heavy machine guns and an undetermined number of enemy troops. The Recon Team found themselves penned up next to a river with enemy forces on the three remaining sides. The team leader's call for immediate evacuation was received by an Air Force forward air controller (FAC) as well as Fleming's nearby flight of five UH-1s. All five helicopters, despite being low on fuel, headed toward the coordinates while the FAC briefed them on the situation.

As soon as the helicopters sighted the team's smoke, the gunships opened fire, knocking out two machine gun positions. One gunship was hit and crash-landed across the river, its crew picked up by another of the transports. A second transport, low on fuel, had to pull out of formation and return to base. There were only two helicopters left, Fleming's and one other that was almost out of ammunition.

Hovering just above the jungle treetops, Fleming inspected the only clearing near enough for the Team to reach and found it impossible to land there. He instead flew over the river and hovered just above the water, with his landing skids against the bank, hoping that the Special Forces Team would be able to run the few yards to his helicopter safely. In addition to exposing his aircraft to ground fire, this maneuver was a balancing act that required great piloting skill. After waiting for several minutes, the Recon Team radioed that they couldn't survive a dash to the helicopter. Fleming lifted his UH-1 out of range of the hostile fire.

The Forward Air Controller circling overhead directed the Recon Team to detonate their mines as Fleming made a last attempt to rescue them. As the mines exploded, he again lowered his helicopter to the river bank, balancing against it, giving the Team an open cargo door through which to leap to safety. The enemy soldiers concentrated their fire on the UH-1. The Recon Team ran for the chopper, firing as they ran and killing three Viet Cong barely 10 feet (3.0 m) from the aircraft. As they leaped through the cargo door, Fleming once more backed the helicopter away from the bank and flew down the river to safety.


1st Lieutenant James P. Fleming U.S. Air Force 20th Special Operation Squadron(SOS) 26 November 1968. This photograph was taken immediately after landing from the Medal of Honor mission.



In a ceremony at the White House on May 14, 1970, President Richard Nixon presented the Medal of Honor to Fleming for his actions during the rescue.



For service as set forth in the following:

CITATION:


“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Captain [then First Lieutenant] James Phillip Fleming, United States Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 20th Special Operations Squadron, 14th Special Operations Wing, in action near Duc Co, Republic of Vietnam, on 26 November 1968. Captain Fleming distinguished himself as the Aircraft Commander of a UH-1F transport helicopter. Captain Fleming went to the aid of a six-man special forces long range reconnaissance patrol that was in danger of being overrun by a large, heavily armed hostile force. Despite the knowledge that one helicopter had been downed by intense hostile fire, Captain Fleming descended, and balanced his helicopter on a river bank with the tail boom hanging over open water. The patrol could not penetrate to the landing site and he was forced to withdraw. Dangerously low on fuel, Captain Fleming repeated his original landing maneuver. Disregarding his own safety, he remained in this exposed position. Hostile fire crashed through his windscreen as the patrol boarded his helicopter. Captain Fleming made a successful takeoff through a barrage of hostile fire and recovered safely at a forward base. Captain Fleming’s profound concern for his fellowmen, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.”

Colonel James P. Fleming U.S. Air Force (Retired) and Mrs. Fleming.



 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
2,326 Posts
Frank G. Greco served with MACV SOG Command and Control Central (CCC) Recon Team Colorado. Vietnam 1970

In 2004 Frank Greco authored the book: Running Recon - A Photo History Along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This is the book that first alerted Military Watch Collectors that a Seiko Watch had been issued to MACV SOG.

Frank Greco firing a Russian Made RPD Light Machine gun. Captured RPD's were highly prized by Special Forces due to their firepower and lighter weight (compared to an M60). MACV SOG teams modified RPD's by cutting down the barrel and butt stock further reducing the weight.

Frank Greco with Chopped Down RPD and wearing a Seiko SOG Watch.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,111 Posts
That was the SAW of its era, I guess. Lots of suppressing fire in a compact package.

Aside from practical considerations, I would have thought SOG would have armed itself with NVA/VC ordnance to minimize detection -the telltale sound of the m16/car15 and the m60
Frank G. Greco served with MACV SOG Command and Control Central (CCC) Recon Team Colorado. Vietnam 1970

In 2004 Frank Greco authored the book; Running Recon: A Photo History Along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Frank Greco MACV SOG firing a Russian Made RPD Light Machine gun. RPD's were used by SOG teams due to their firepower and lighter weight (compared to an M60).

Frank Greco with RPD and wearing a Seiko SOG Watch.

Sent from my B15Q using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Whilst not a watch collector, I am a Special Forces military collector and so Im fascinated by these watches. Classic good looks. I've had this for a few years now. Runs well. I'd love to find one actually issued to an actual SOG member someday.
This thread has been a pleasure to read. I've learned quite a bit more about these and look forward to reading additional posts here.

~Mark
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,111 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,111 Posts
Well Kyle I see thats another rpd on the point man. Did the m60 really suck ?
I recall reading wehrmacht accounts of der rattenkrieg -stalingrad. Field evaluation of captured PPShs revealed the Germans found it more robust and more adapted to urban warfare than the MPs with their impossibly long magazines . But that's something for another thread :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,111 Posts
Thanks Guy, I only have the one.....for now, but Im on the hunt for more.

Something about these has drawn me in and won't let go.
Similarly hooked here!

I have elderly friends who were in the Philippine contingent to Vietnam (PhilCAG) and their stories spurred my interest in Nam
 
361 - 380 of 580 Posts
Top