Battery E, 82nd Artillery Battalion
Served in II Corps from August 1965 to January 1968, in I Corps from January 1968 to October 1968, and in III Corps from November 1968 to March 1971
Battery E (Aviation), 82nd Artillery Battalion, sailed to Vietnam with the first elements of the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in August, 1965. They set up base at An Khe, in II Corps. Unlike other 82nd Battalion batteries that used traditional forward observers on the ground, E Battery was unique in flying helicopters to spot and direct fire for the divisional tube artillery. E Battery remained with the 1st Cavalry throughout the entire Vietnam War. They supported the division from Camp Evans in I Corps in 1968, and from Phuoc Vinh in III Corps from the end of 1968 to 1971. E Battery left Vietnam with the last 1st Cav units in March 1971.
|click on helicopter illustrations to see larger images, then click "back arrow" to return to this page
|1965 - "Mustang 938" "Mustang 938" was a Huey UH-1B, a/c number 62-01938. E Battery ships had a unique, red-trimmed variation of the 1st Cavalry Division insignia on the nose (see illustration at left) . The front edges of the landing skids were painted red. A normal 1st Cav Division insignia was located on the tail below the tail number. E Battery ships had tail boom-mounted antennas in 1965 and early 1966, as illustrated here. The large vertical VHF antenna mounted on the roof of the cabin was painted white and carried the manufacturer's logo in black. The battery also made use of bungee-tethered M60 machine guns for defensive armament. Photos show bungee-slung M60's being used well into mid or late 1966. The crew chief on "Mustang 938" in 1965-66 was Frank Welch.
1965-66 - "Mustang 051" "Mustang 051" (UH-1B, a/c number 64-14051) as it
appeared in mid-1966. Similar to "Mustang 938" above, the noticeable
differences are the absence of the yellow "danger" arrow near the rear end
of the tail boom, and the removal of the tail boom antenna. The roof-mounted
VHF antenna has also been painted OD green. There are three small hearts
painted red on the frame area just behind the upper right corner of the
pilot's door. These represented three Purple Hearts for the aircraft
051 for hits received in action. The crew chief of "Mustang 051" from
1965-66 was Ed Lemp. He told me that he couldn't find any purple paint to
paint the Purple Heart graphics, so he used what was available - red paint.
"Mustang 051" also had a name painted on the nose above the unit insignia. The name was "The D B III", and it was painted in small, red letters. Ed Lemp told me that in "polite company" the name stood for "The Dumb Bunny III", because this was Ed's third aircraft in Vietnam.
|"Joan 1" Another E Battery UH-1B named "Joan I". This ship displayed another unique variation of the 1st Cavalry Division logo on the nose. A yellow rocket was added to the diagonal stripe, and a stylized cannon was painted in black in the lower left corner of the insignia. The crew chief of this aircraft was Robert Stone. He was KIA in 1968 while flying with the 227th Aviation Battalion.
|My thanks to Ed Lemp for sharing information on Battery E, 82nd Aviation Battalion. Ed has a fascinating website that includes many photos. his website spans the deactivation of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) at Ft. Benning and the establishment of the 1st Cavalry Division. He also covers the move of the 1st Cav to Vietnam in the summer of 1965, the groundbreaking and beginning of the 1st Cav base at An Khe, and early operations in II Corps. Click the link below for Ed's Battery E, 82nd Artillery web site: