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118th Assault Helicopter Company Logo found on noses and rear corner of cargo doors of early aircraft


Scorpions logo - 1st platoon logo displayed on frame post behind pilots' doors



 Choppers logo - large 1st version logo of 2nd platoon painted on pilots' doors





2nd Version of nose logo, with aircraft number painted in center. First platoon applied red numbers. Second platoon applied blue numbers.



3rd version of nose logo. Lightning bolt added, seen in photos dated 1970-71


118th Assault Helicopter Company  


"The Thunderbirds" Served in III Corps 1963-1971

  The 118th went to Saigon, South Vietnam in September 1962 as the 33rd Transportation Co. In June 1963 they were activated as the 118th Assault Helicopter Company at Bien Hoa, near Saigon. They remained at Bien Hoa throughout their entire wartime service in Vietnam.  The 118th was deactivated in August, 1971.     Click here to see Map    

1st Flight Platoon "Scorpions"


2nd Flight Platoon "Choppers"

    click on helicopter illustrations to see larger images, then click "back arrow" to return to this page  
  1963 - 1st  Platoon UH-1B "Red 3"  In September 1963 the Scorpions received new UH-1B Hueys and flew these models until 1965. This B model wears early "High Visibility" insignia with the addition of the 118th "Thunderbird" logo on the nose and just forward of the tail boom. The distinctive Scorpion red tail stripe and large yellow aircraft number was also applied on these early models. The flight platoons of the 118th numbered their aircraft "1, 2, 3..." irrespective of the aircraft's serial number.  
  1965 - 1st platoon UH-1D "Red 5"  In 1965 the Scorpions received new UH-1Ds. The Scorpions logo was added to the frame post behind the pilots' doors. Photos show a white stripe applied across the roof (I can't tell  if another stripe was also present). Subdued insignia was applied in place of the earlier high visibility color insignia. The 118th Thunderbird logo was applied to the nose and the lower rear corner of the cargo doors. According to photo evidence, when the 118th changed to subdued insignia, five-digit serial numbers were applied above the colored platoon tail stripes in black, block numbers.  
  1965 - 2nd platoon UH-1D "Blue 8"  In 1965 the 2nd FLight Platoon, "the Choppers", also received  UH-1D models. The 118th's white Thunderbird logo appeared on the nose and rear corner of the cargo doors. Red and White stripes were applied on the roof just behind the roof or "eyebrow" windows.  At this time I do not know the serial number of  Blue 8. Later in the war the 118th used a large white and red diamond on the tail boom as a unit tactical symbol, but these diamonds do not appear on photos from 1965-66.  The 2nd platoon Choppers logo was originally applied to the pilot's doors. The crews were ordered to remove them however, and the logos were then applied to the door frame behind the pilot's doors. Photos show that "Blue 8" had a nickname painted in small, white on the pilots' doors, but at this time I don't know the name.  
  1969 - 2nd platoon UH-1H "Blue 7"  In 1969 "Blue 7" was an H model Huey UH-1. The cargo doors had been ordered removed on all Hueys after an accident to an aircraft where a cargo door retaining pin had failed. This allowed the door to fly off during flight and into the rotor - causing the aircraft to crash. The white and red diamond tactical insignia for this unit (used from 1967 on) appears on the tail boom just forward of the horizontal tailplanes. The roof stripes are now orange and green, although these were not diligently applied to all aircraft. The last five digits of this aircraft's serial number - "16521" appears in black, block numbers above the Blue stripe on the tail. The Choppers logo no longer appears on the aircraft. Notice also that by 1969 the stripes on the tail rotor blades have changed to a single yellow stripe on each blade tip.  
  1970 - 1st platoon UH-1H "Red 4"  The 1st Flight platoon also added the diamond tactical insignia to tail booms on later aircraft (1967-71). Photo evidence from the 1969-71 period shows that many late-war aircraft removed ALL doors, including the pilots doors! It appears that flight units were ordered to do this with the expectation that pilots would have better overall visibility without the doors. However, pilot veterans say that removing the doors actually made visibility worse. Dirt, dust and other material flew around the cockpit when taking off and landing. Rain coming into the cockpit also made flying more difficult. Another example of some high-ranking rear echelon type thinking they knew better than the front line troops!  
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