4th Aviation Battalion
"Gambler Guns" (B Company gunships & scouts)
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1966-1967 B Company UH-1C "516"
B Company flew UH-1C Hueys during most of the war. In 1966-67 the aircraft
were armed with XM-157 seven-tube rocket pods, twin flexible M60 machine
guns, and bungee-slung defensive M60s. One B Company veteran from this
period says that the unit tested the Army-supplied tubular hard mounts for
the machine guns. This system was supposed to prevent fire from the M60s
from accidentally swinging into the ship during a hard or sudden turn.
However, during a flight test of the hard mount system, one of the machine
guns did turn and fire into the fuselage. The company quickly dropped the
hard mount system and the crews retained their bungee-hung M60s.
During B Company's first months in Vietnam, the flight crews came up with the spade design for their company logo. At first a spade was cut out of cardboard, then placed over the upper black nose. OD paint was then sprayed around the cardboard stencil. This left a black spade logo on a completely OD nose. A smaller version of the spade design was also painted on the tail above the a/c number.
|1968-70 UH-1C gunship B Company gunships gradually replaced their round XM-157 rocket pods with XM-158 exposed, replaceable tubes (they were easier to replace). B Company also modified their nose art. The entire avionics cover was painted black. The spade logo was outlined with white paint. Ship names were sometimes painted above the nose logo. A smaller black spade continued to be placed on the tail. The upper surfaces and outer edge of the horizontal tail planes or stabilizers began to be painted orange in 1969.|
|1969-1970 B Company AH-1G Cobra gunship New Cobra gunships were assigned to the 4th Aviation Battalion in the last year of its Vietnam service. The "Gambler Guns" spade logo was painted on the forward fuselage between the canopy and gun turret. The spade continued to be black with a white outline. As on the earlier C model gunships, a smaller version of the spade logo was also applied on the tails of the Cobras.|