During November 1966 Marine Aircraft were in very short supply. The many enemy engagements took it's toll on all types of rotary aircraft in Northern Quang Tri Province.The Marine CH 46's were also having mechanical problems and were grounded. The Marine version of the Huey gunship that was designated UH-1E were being stripped of their guns to enable them to be used for transport due to the extreme shortage of aircraft. The Army Gunships were called upon and they answered the call to assist Recon Units. The Razorbacks supported many recon teams and assisted in other air assignments as well. This response is from one of the Army Razorback Crews in regarding the Breaker Patrols that took place 20-21 November 1966.
My name is Russ Golden. I was a Razorback gunner 65-67. I was TDY to the Marines in Nov 66, due to the fact that the Marine E model gunship could not flex their guns and we could. Our mission was to fly close cover gun support for the insertion and extraction of Marine Recons. We were based at Dong Ha, DMZ.
Some of the missions we flew that I remember were Cam Lo, Ka Sanh, Ky Ha, Quang Nhi, Quang Tri. The Platoon you mention rings a bell, but I flew so many gun missions (354). One of the teams that I remember was Seahorse or Seanight. I also remember putting in one Team and they drew fire right away. We had a hell of a time trying to get them out. I lost most of my pictures from VN, but I do have one of a Razorback gunship at the DMZ.
Another mission I recall, it was Thanksgiving Day 66. We pulled a team back from a mission, and when we got back to base there was very little turkey left to put in our mess kits. If you are interested in what I looked like then, there is a picture of me and my ship on the Razorback site, under crewmembers, Russ Golden. I am not really sure if that was one of my business cards or not, most of us had them, and gave them out freely.
I don't recall getting any recognition from the military for those missions. However after an extraction the recons would talk to us and thank us for the firepower. One of the missions I flew up there took us across the DMZ into the north to try and rescue a downed F-4 pilot, we were on low fuel but went anyhow, it was too late as they had captured him, but we killed many. When we got back to base, we were met by some Commanders who said they weren't sure if we should be put in for the Navy Cross or a Court Martial for crossing the DMZ. On that mission my crew chief got wounded, and the ship had many holes.
The 120th Aviation Company has a very nice homepage at http://www.angelfire.com/az3/razorback947
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