By the 1st of May 1968 things had just about gotten back to normal
Vietnam. The 145th C.A.B. had the units of HHC, 68th, 118th, 135th, 190th,
and the 334th assigned to it at the time.
On 1 July 1968 LTC Robert M. Deets turned over command of the 145th
CAB to LTC Gerald L Waldron. Under LTC Waldron's command the Meritorious
Unit Commendation was awarded to the 190th AHC for the period 9 August
1967 to 27 July 1968.
On the 24th of December 1968, LTC Carl H McNair, Jr assumed command
of the 145th CAB, taking over for LTC Gerald L Waldron.
This is from the first edition of the 145th Combat Aviation
Battalion Monthly News (dated 10 February 1969). The purpose of the
"News" is to establish a battalion informed on "What's Happening" at the
FROM THE TIGER'S DEN
The 68th "Top Tigers" recently initiated a new program within their
company. The program is designed to honor members of the unit who
perform their normal duties in an outstanding manner. The program will
consist of having a Crewchief, Gunner, Mechanic, Driver and Soldier of
the Month. Individuals in the grade of E5 and below will be selected
from each duty section. The platoon leaders and platoon sergeants will
determine those individuals who performed their duties in an outstanding
manner and who displayed outstanding military appearance and bearing
during the month. The individuals who are selected will receive three
days off from their duties and will be presented a plaque with their
name and award engraved on it. Also the names of the individuals will be
placed on the new "Top Tiger of the Month" sign that has recently been
constructed in front of the company orderly room.
The "Top Tigers of the Month" for this month have already been
selected and they are: Soldier- Sp4 Oliver W Watson, Crewchief- Sp4 John
E Green, Gunner- Sp4 Patrick H Corder, Mechanic- Sp4 Robert D Marrs,
Driver- Sp4 Merle A Larson
FROM THE EAGLE'S NEST
The "Thunderbirds" of the 118th would like to take this opportunity
to introduce Major John A Britton, the new Thunderbird 6. Major Britton
completed his civilian education at Iowa State University in 1956 with a
B.S. in Industrial Administration, but his schooling did not stop there.
Since then he has been to a dozen Army schools and training programs,
the most unusual being the Deep Sea Survival School. It was at this
school that he was required to spend hours in a one man life raft, and
was thrown out and dragged by parachute harness from a speed boat. When
Major Britton was asked about the training, he said, "There was no final
exam and everyone was continually tested for a week - if you didn't
drown you passed the course"
Another interesting assignment Major Britton had was with the Army
International Olympic Rifle Team. In 1959, while participating with the
team, he won the National Championship in the International Smallbore
Free Rifle Shooting match at Camp Perry, Ohio.
Major Britton served one previous tour in RVN between 29 June 1963
and 29 April 1964. Upon his return from RVN, he held the positions of
Battalion Executive Officer for the 53rd Aviation Battalion and Company
Commander of the 1st Aviation Company. Thunderbird "6" then attended a
Counterinsurgency course for a year before his return to RVN, and he
worked as Assistant G-1 at the 1st Aviation Brigade prior to arriving at
The new Company Commander has many ratings and awards to his
credit. They include Ranger, Parachutist, and Army Aviator badges, plus
two Army Commendation Medals, a Distinguished Flying Cross, and the
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Thunderbird "6" is also
qualified in seven types of aircraft, is both Fixed and Rotor Wing
rated, and has a standard Instrument ticket.
All the officers and men of the Thunderbirds welcome our new "6"
and hope his tour with us will be as successful as his past assignments.
FROM THE COLISEUM
The Gladiators of the 190th Assault Helicopter Company, 145th
Combat Aviation Battalion, have been selected to train two highly
skilled Vietnamese Aviators in the employment of the
armed helicopter. The Gladiators will be the first unit in Vietnam to
introduce the Vietnamese Air Force to the UH-1C gunship. This Gun
Platoon has garnered an unrivaled record of safety and achievement
during their tactical assault operations. The Gladiators appreciate this
opportunity to forward their gunnery techniques.
The two history making Vietnamese Air Force Aviators are CPT Buu
Ngo of the 217th Squadron, and 1Lt Vo Van Minh of the 211th Squadron,
both from the 74th Wing at Can Tho Air Base. Cpt Ngo has flown the
UH-1A, B, D, H, and a majority in the CH-34 for a collective total of
2000 hours. 1LT Minh has flown the UH-1D and H models for 100 hours
while collecting an amazing 2450 hours in a CH-34. A very adept, aviator
with 2550 total flying hours, he is also an Instructor Pilot in the
CH-34. Their training was initiated on 14 January and will continue for
30 days through 13 February 1969.
The Skipper of the Gladiators, 1LT Robert Goivannoni, reported that
his Aircraft Commanders will qualify both pilots in M-3, the M-5, and
the M-21 gunnery systems. Upon completion of their tour with the
Gladiators, they will return to their units to possess others with the
FROM THE SNAKE PIT:
Charlie Cong is suffering from Excedrin Headache No. 334. In the
last ten days the Communists have lost over 94 men and 66 sampans to the
blazing guns of the Saber Company Cobras.
Eighteen miles southwest of Saigon and barely two miles from the
vital Ben Iuc bridge, the Raider Platoon made heavy contact with a VC
force in a staging area. When the smoke cleared, the VC had withdrawn
leaving 41 of their comrades behind.
A similar action took place Friday night just six miles northwest
of Bien Hoa on the Dong Nai River. Sixty communists were caught in the
Firefly spotlight and brought under intense fire. The enemy attempted to
rally and return the gunship fire, but lost 21 killed in the effort.
These incidents have seriously hampered the Communists attempt mass
men and material for assaults on key villages in ther attempt to cut the
link between the capital and the rice-rich Mekong Delta.
1LT Bryant, Johnny L., 334th Aerial Wpns Co- While flying over as
enemy position, 1LT Bryant's aircraft recieved ground fire with the
hydraulic and electrical systems being shot out. 1LT Bryant successfully
landed the aitcraft with no further damage.
1LT FRIGA, George W., 118th Aslt Hel Co- While picking up to hover,
the 90 degree drive shaft to the tail rotor gear box failed. 1LT Friga
executed emergency procedures, landing the aircraft with light damage to
A well deserved salute is extended to the following individuals
with-in the Battalion who were decorated during the month of January for
their valorous actions and meritorious service.
BURNS, David A.-WO1-190TH-DFC, WEBSTER, Geoffrey-CPT-68TH-DFC, DAVIDTER,
John A.-SP4-68TH-DFC, WALKER, Wayne T.-WO1-118TH-BS, DAY, James
A.-SP4-190TH-AM "V", BROWN, Frank E.-SP4-190TH-AM "V", DENT, Rudolf
L.-SP4-190TH-AM "V", HALL, Charles E.-SP4-68TH-AM "V", MURPHY, Micheal
T.-WO1-68TH-AM "V", DAWKIMS, Glenn R.-SP4-68TH-AM "V", PRESTON, Thurman
R.-SP4-68TH-AM "V" OLC, WIESCHOWSKI, Ronald L.-SP4-190TH-AM "V", AIGLER,
Kenneth T. Jr-SP4-190TH-AM "V", CALIENDO, Stephen N-SP4-190TH-AM "V",
CHRISTY, Larry D-SP5-190TH-AM "V", KENNEDY, Terry B-PFC-68TH-AM "V",
YOUSEY, James L.-SP4-68TH-AM "V", DUNN, James D.-SP4-68TH-AM "V",
NEGLIA, Salvatore C.-1LT-190TH-AM "V", SMITH, Andrew H.-SP4-68TH-AM "V",
BIRELY, Richard E-CW2-118TH-AM "V", ALEXANDER, Nicholas B-WO1-118TH-AM
"V", ALLEN, Ronald T.-WO1-190TH-AM "V", FAIRFIELD, Kenneth
R-SP4-118TH-AM "V", STICKLEY, Dennis W-WO1-68TH-AM "V", JAMES, John
W.-SP5-118TH-ACM "V", KARVONEN, Robert E.-SSG-118TH-ACM "V", MYERS,
David O.-SP4-68TH-ACM "V", TAYLOR, Gerald E.-SP4-68TH-ACM "V", GURNSEY,
Earl F.-SP4-118TH-ACM "V", CUNNINGHAM, Robert J.-WO1-68TH-ACM, ZAIGER,
Russell W.-SP4-190TH-ACM, WILLOUGHBY, Raymond-SP5-190TH-ACM, WILMS
Robert H. Jr.-CW2-68TH-ACM
LTC John J Top assumed command of the 145th CAB on the 31st of May
1969, continuing the traditions passed on to him by LTC Carl H McNair and
all the other former Commanders of the 145th CAB.