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Last updated on 11/24/14

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68th Assault Helicopter Company - "Top Tigers, Mustangs"

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68th AHC unit patch
Image courtesy of Dave Green, 68th AHC

I was a crew chief in the 68th AHC from July 1967 until July 1968 The 145th moto was "1st in Vietnam". In Jan 1968 I was ask to be the co-crew chief of the 68th Assault Helicopter Company's maintenance helicopter. The job of the maintenance helo was to fly above and behind the main units helo flight and help repair or do maintenance on any downed or troubled helo when on combat assault missions. The helo usually flew with two crew chiefs instead of one crew chief and one gunner. The crew chiefs were hand picked as some of the best helo mechanics in the unit, and usually had at least 4 to 6 months experience on the UH-1.
Image courtesy of SP-5 David Green, 68th AHC, Retired USN

The 68th AHC was stationed at Bien Hoa from 1966 until it departed Vietnam in 1972. I was a maintenance leader and crew chief in the 68th AHC Top Tigers from July 1967 to July 1968. All of the slicks in the 68th at that time had the same tiger on the nose of the a/c and pilot doors could have a ship name. My pilot WO Paul J. Hill asked if he could name the ship after his wife. Mr. Hill was KIA on May 12, 1968. This is a photo of my ship showing the nose and the name on the doors date approximately May 1968.
Image courtesy of SP-5 David Green, 68th AHC, Retired USN

From the 68th AHC Yearbook
Image courtesy of SP-5 David Green, 68th AHC, Retired USN

Here is a photo of me and my belt buckle that was arc-ed by a UH-1 nickel cadmium battery. The photo shows the pocket patch of the 68th AHC's maintenance detachment which was the 391st. The other patch was a patch used by the Allied command and called the "Free World Patch" used when visiting the Allied Compound in Saigon.
Image courtesy of SP-5 David Green, 68th AHC, Retired USN

Nose of the 391st Maintenance Detachment - part of the 68th AHC ship called Top Tiger Tail with the nude nose art. I was privileged to be co-crew chief for about 30 days. I was so bored from flying at 2000 all the time I volunteered to fly slicks after 4 weeks.

The unusual nose art as the story goes was the only nude nose art approved by Hawk 6. Hawk 6 at the time was Major General Robert Williams. The 68th in 1967 had an air crewman who was also an artist and he later went to the 1st Aviation Brigade HQ where he worked with Williams. He was asked by the command to start an art project about what he had seen in Vietnam. He was sent to Hawaii for 6 months to work on his drawings and upon return ask to make a special nose art piece for "Top Tiger Tail". The submission was a beautiful lady, but at the time nudes were not authorized. The artist got a special permission in written form from MG Williams to paint the only authorized nude nose art on a helo in Vietnam. Dave Green 68th AHC Crew Chief
Image courtesy of SP-5 David Green, 68th AHC, Retired USN


1964-65 Edition of the "Saber" - the official unit history of the 68th Armed Helicopter Company. The edition is dedicated to the 10 men lost in action with the unit as of the time of printing
Image courtesy of Bill Miller

Bob Tyma's flight suit from the 68th AHC out of Bien Hoa from late 1970


Me flying with the 68th out of Bien Hoa in the later part of 1970. I flew as a relief gunner. Does any person remember me flying??? - Robert (Bob) Tyma
Image courtesy of Robert (Bob) Tyma


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