4th Aviation Battalion
"The Black Jacks" (A Company slicks)
"Gambler Guns" (B Company gunships & scouts)
The 4th Infantry Division left Ft Lewis, Washington and arrived in Vietnam in September, 1966. The division was assigned to II Corps. At various times division headquarters was located at Pleiku, Dak To, and An Khe. After supporting the invasion of Cambodia in June, 1970, the 4th Division was slated to return to the U.S. The division left Vietnam in December, 1970.
The 4th Aviation Battalion was the organic aviation element assigned to the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. The battalion provided a variety of air support missions to the division and brigade commands. A Company flew missions such as C&C, VIP, troop transport, and supply with UH-1D and H model slicks. B Company flew scout and armed support missions with UH-1C gunships, AH-1G Cobras, and OH-6 and OH-13 scout ships. The 4th Aviation Battalion set up camp at Dragon Mountain Base Camp (later renamed Camp Enari) when it arrived in 1966. The camp was located about 18 miles south of Pleiku. The battalion moved to An Khe in 1970 and spent the last months of its Vietnam service located there.
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|1969-1970 A Company, 1st Platoon "Lizard 7" A Company was divided into three flight platoons. The 1st platoon was named "The Lizards". They flew C&C and VIP missions for the division. Their aircraft were identified by red stinger covers or tail ends. Some aircraft also had skid tips (both front and rear) painted red. 1st platoon ships had extra FM antennas mounted on the skids at the front cross brace. They also had steps mounted between the skids and cargo deck. Lizard aircraft had OD noses, and displayed a cartoon lizard wearing white flying goggles. 1st platoon ships were named "Lizard 1", Lizard 2, etc. The ship number was incorporated into the nose art. On the right side of the aircraft a black spade was painted on the front cargo door. The ship number was also painted in white inside this black spade (at this time I don't know if this spade logo was also applied to the left side of the ship).
|1969-1970 A Company, 2nd Platoon 2nd Platoon flew troop transport and supply missions with D and H model Hueys. The platoon nickname was "Rustlers". Their ships were identified by blue stinger covers (some aircraft also displayed blue skid tips). 2nd (and 3rd) platoon aircraft had a distinctive company insignia on the nose. It consisted of an Ace of Spades card over a Jack of Diamonds. Some aircraft also had ship names painted in white over the nose logo.
|1969-1970 A Company, 3rd Platoon 3rd Platoon also flew troop transport and supply missions. The platoon nickname was "Renegades". Their ships were identified by green stinger covers and skid tips. 3rd platoon also had the Ace of Spades/Jack of Diamonds nose art.
|3rd Platoon Huey UH-1H "458" This is another 3rd Platoon aircraft. However, it was modified to fly C&C missions for the division and brigade commanders of the 4th Division. Extra FM antennas were mounted on the skids at the front cross brace. An antenna was also mounted on the tail boom. A large, black radio console was mounted in the cargo bay behind the pilots' seats. This console held 8 extra radios so that contact could be maintained simultaneously with various units involved in a particular mission or engagement.
Link to 4th Aviation Battalion unit web site