Casper aviation platoon Casper Platoon Story

2nd Battalion Gets One

This site was last updated: 2/15/15


Reprinted from: Fire Base 173 Newspaper, 1970

By: Sgt. Joe Neal

LZ English - While flying a sensing device in the An Loa Valley, Nighthawk was able to pull in the slack by killing a North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldier that has escaped the gun patterns of two other ships.

The helicopters were flying in the standard "Snoopy" (sensing) formation. Nighthawk, from Casper Aviation Platoon, 173d Airborne Brigade, was flying "low bird" with the personnel detection equipment. There was also a "high bird" following the route on the map. Two gunships were following along behind... just in case anything was spotted.

Four NVA were seen in a streambed. Word was radioed back and the "gunnies" were on them before they had a chance to make it out of the stream. Firing 2.75-inch aerial rockets, the gunships made their pass. Their mini-guns were splattering machine gun bullets off the rocky streambed at a staggering tempo.

Night Hawk fitted with a Mini-Gun that Casper Pilot CW2 Dale Morrison and Crew Chief SP5 Jerry Brown were able to secure. LZ English, Bong Son 1970.