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The Black Hawks: their job was to go eye ball to eye ball with the enemy, begging to be shot

Ian Harvey

The Black Hawks were a self-sufficient air cavalry; formed from troops A, B, C, D and HHT in Vietnam.

From the arrival up until early in the year of 1969, the Hawks were appointed to the 9th infantry Division. When the 9th had pulled out, they went on with the 1st Aviation Brigade to support the ARVN troops that were located in the Delta region. They stayed appointed to the brigade up until their departure.

The Hughes OH-6A Photo Credit
The Hughes OH-6A Photo Credit

The 7/1st operated for the most part in the 44th Special Tactical Zone, close to the Cambodian border where they had to intercept supplies and troops.

On the date of January 1971, they helped the ARVN 9th division with rescuing a Special Forces team that was under attack. This was at the Ta Bec Mountain, and was the final action by US ground forces in IV Corps.

After April of 1972, they served with the 194th Armored Brigade. In the year of 1976, they were deactivated and used as air cavalry troops in the new 24th, 7th, and 5th Infantry Divisions.

Troops C, B, and A were an Air Cavalry team. They were equipped to perform interdiction, insertion, scout and attack missions and the troops would support the ARVN 21st Division.

Also, other units throughout the Delta IV area after the 9th Division went back stateside.

 Phil Lange
Phil Lange

The missions included the scout and cobra hunter killer operations, as well as The Huey “slick” insertions, with assistance from Cobra gunships. The raids were on particular marks and included general surveillance.

Troops A, B and C were each armored with the OH64 (LOH) choppers for scouting. The UH-1H Hueys were  for carrying their troops. The AH-1G Cobras were for providing aerial gun assistance. The OH-6 Loh were manned by an officer pilot and an enlisted observer, who with the addition to his 7.62mm minigun usually carried a Car 15 rifle or M16.

The Huey slicks were able to carry two pilots along with an enlisted gunner and crew chief.

Here is another Vietnam War story from us: ‘fragging’ is the deliberate killing of a senior ranking military officer, usually with a frag grenade. Over 700 cases during the Vietnam war

The Cobra’s were loaded with 2/75 inch rockets, and miniguns with a two-pilot crew.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News