Casper aviation platoon Casper Platoon Story

Casper Tries Harder

This site was last updated: 2/15/15


Reprinted from: Fire Base 173

August 2, 1971

LZ ENGLISH - “As long as there is a chance, we’ll go in and get ‘em” – we can put our ships just about anywhere,” said Captain Frederick L. Kuhn, Casper Aviation Platoon Commanding Officer.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” and Casper and Casper helicopter pilots usually have the will to find the way when it comes to rescuing the “Herd” out of tight spots.

During the heavy monsoon rains of last October, Casper pilots were rescuing the Sky Soldiers from rooftops, rafts, tops of vehicles, mountain peaks and even trees. Despite lack of visibility and poor communication, the Casper crews never hesitated to pull members of the “Herd” out of trouble.

“Hot LZ’s” are no novelty to Casper pilots either. “If we can get some gun cover,” said Kuhn, “we won’t hesitate to go down and get someone. All we need is enough room to land the craft and maneuver.”

Primarily, missions carried out by Casper in support of the 173d include CAs (Combat Assaults), log missions (re-supply), troop movements (Insertions and extractions), Charley-Charleys (Command and Control) and visual reconnaissance.

The only separate aviation platoon in the Army, Casper was organized with the Brigade on Okinawa in 1963 and arrived in Vietnam in May 1965. Since that time, it has flown almost every type heliborne mission – including resupply, dust-off and “snoopy.”