Returning Fire: In the Beginning

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9781456745240: Returning Fire: In the Beginning
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This book is the factual story of the development of armed helicopters in the US Army and their first employment in combat. The story is dramatically told by the courageous men who lived it--flying daily into enemy infested areas facing murderous fire from automatic and anti-aircraft weapons. In late 1961 the US Government deployed five Transportation Helicopter Companies (H-21 lift ships) to South Vietnam to increase the mobility of South Vietnamese ground forces. The Viet Cong quickly recognized that the H-21s were unarmed and began shooting at them endangering the lives of American crewmen. A helicopter company equipped with 25 UH-1 helicopters had been cobbled together on Okinawa by the Commander US Army Pacific. Believing the company was soon to be deployed to Vietnam, the men assigned to the unit armed its helicopters by scrounging weapons systems left over from WW ll and Korea stored in Army/Air Force depots in Okinawa. Machine guns and 2.75 inch rockets were jury rigged onto the UH-1s. .Officially designated the Utility Tactical Helicopter Company, but widely known as the "UTT", the company deployed to Saigon in September 1962. After some jurisdictional squabbles with the Air Force over roles and missions, UTT began combat operations in October. It quickly became widely known for professionalism and the courage of its crew members. Such was its fame that for years South Vietnamese military personnel called all armed helicopters "UTT." Unfortunately over its years in RVN the Company endured frequent designation changes--UTT/68th/197th/334th Armed Helicopter Company. Why remains a mystery even today. The Company's legacy is strong and endures today. Armed helicopters are a major component of US Army combat forces. The current Army Apache program (over 600) is a direct descendent. Additionally, the Marines and Navy have strong armed helicopter programs, as does every major military power in the world. Ironically it all began with a small group of courageous men mounting scavenged weapons [mostly outmoded] on helicopters originally designed for medical evacuation. This is their story.

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Col (Ret) James W. "Pete" Booth is one of a handful of officers whose vision and energy prod a cautious Army to initiate and over time embrace the concepts of Armed Helicopters and Air Cavalry. As a Captain assigned as an aviation instructor at the US Army Armor School (USAARMS) in 1958 he developed doctrine for and introduced Armed Helicopters and Air Cavalry into School instruction. To support the instruction program, he bonded with a group of Warrant officers to arm four H-34helicopters assigned to a Fort Knox unit with .50 caliber machine guns and 4.5 inch rockets scrounged from surplus USAF/Navy stocks. School officials approved the use of armed helicopters in instruction and major fire power demonstrations. In 1959, with others he persuaded USAARMS officials to bring the experimental 8305th Aerial Combat Recon Company (armed) from Fort Rucker to participate in a major Armor School demonstration attended by the CJCS, General Nathan Twinning and CSA General Maxwell Taylor. Gen Taylor approved Air Cavalry as an Armor Force program that day. Following academic and staff development with Armed Helicopter and Air Cavalry, in 1965 he entered the real world of combat as Commander of the legendary UTT-197th-334th Armed Helicopter Company. On his second tour in Vietnam he commanded the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. He flew over 650 hrs combat time. Retired in April 1981 his awards include the Silver Star w/OLC, LOM w/3OLC, DFC, PH w OLC, BS, AMw22 OLC, MSM, JSCM, ARCOM w OLC, PUC, VUC, MUC, VN Cross of Gallantry w Palm (2) and w SS, BS. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and earned a MS from George Washington University. His military schools include the Company and Advanced officer course at USAARMS, flight and helicopter School, C&GSC, AFSC, and National War College. Pete and his wife Sue reside in Tennille Ga. They have three children, Cheryl, Michael and Cynthia

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Book Description AUTHORHOUSE, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This book is the factual story of the development of armed helicopters in the US Army and their first employment in combat. The story is dramatically told by the courageous men who lived it--flying daily into enemy infested areas facing murderous fire from automatic and anti-aircraft weapons. In late 1961 the US Government deployed five Transportation Helicopter Companies (H-21 lift ships) to South Vietnam to increase the mobility of South Vietnamese ground forces. The Viet Cong quickly recognized that the H-21s were unarmed and began shooting at them endangering the lives of American crewmen. A helicopter company equipped with 25 UH-1 helicopters had been cobbled together on Okinawa by the Commander US Army Pacific. Believing the company was soon to be deployed to Vietnam, the men assigned to the unit armed its helicopters by scrounging weapons systems left over from WW ll and Korea stored in Army/Air Force depots in Okinawa. Machine guns and 2.75 inch rockets were jury rigged onto the UH-1s. .Officially designated the Utility Tactical Helicopter Company, but widely known as the UTT, the company deployed to Saigon in September 1962. After some jurisdictional squabbles with the Air Force over roles and missions, UTT began combat operations in October. It quickly became widely known for professionalism and the courage of its crew members. Such was its fame that for years South Vietnamese military personnel called all armed helicopters UTT. Unfortunately over its years in RVN the Company endured frequent designation changes--UTT/68th/197th/334th Armed Helicopter Company. Why remains a mystery even today. The Company s legacy is strong and endures today. Armed helicopters are a major component of US Army combat forces. The current Army Apache program (over 600) is a direct descendent. Additionally, the Marines and Navy have strong armed helicopter programs, as does every major military power in the world. Ironically it all began with a small group of courageous men mounting scavenged weapons [mostly outmoded] on helicopters originally designed for medical evacuation. This is their story. Seller Inventory # APC9781456745240

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Book Description AUTHORHOUSE, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This book is the factual story of the development of armed helicopters in the US Army and their first employment in combat. The story is dramatically told by the courageous men who lived it--flying daily into enemy infested areas facing murderous fire from automatic and anti-aircraft weapons. In late 1961 the US Government deployed five Transportation Helicopter Companies (H-21 lift ships) to South Vietnam to increase the mobility of South Vietnamese ground forces. The Viet Cong quickly recognized that the H-21s were unarmed and began shooting at them endangering the lives of American crewmen. A helicopter company equipped with 25 UH-1 helicopters had been cobbled together on Okinawa by the Commander US Army Pacific. Believing the company was soon to be deployed to Vietnam, the men assigned to the unit armed its helicopters by scrounging weapons systems left over from WW ll and Korea stored in Army/Air Force depots in Okinawa. Machine guns and 2.75 inch rockets were jury rigged onto the UH-1s. .Officially designated the Utility Tactical Helicopter Company, but widely known as the UTT, the company deployed to Saigon in September 1962. After some jurisdictional squabbles with the Air Force over roles and missions, UTT began combat operations in October. It quickly became widely known for professionalism and the courage of its crew members. Such was its fame that for years South Vietnamese military personnel called all armed helicopters UTT. Unfortunately over its years in RVN the Company endured frequent designation changes--UTT/68th/197th/334th Armed Helicopter Company. Why remains a mystery even today. The Company s legacy is strong and endures today. Armed helicopters are a major component of US Army combat forces. The current Army Apache program (over 600) is a direct descendent. Additionally, the Marines and Navy have strong armed helicopter programs, as does every major military power in the world. Ironically it all began with a small group of courageous men mounting scavenged weapons [mostly outmoded] on helicopters originally designed for medical evacuation. This is their story. Seller Inventory # APC9781456745240

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