A web site that shares the emotional and spiritual experiences of the Vietnam War through poetry, stories, and photos by combat veterans.

Hosted by Vietnam Veteran Bill McDonald

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Any former members of the 173rd AHC or those trying to find them can leave messages or comments to be posted on this page. Send your email with your message to the webmaster. 

INFORMATION on Unit History

From: Mark Brown mailto:WB5YTO@msn.com
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003
Subject: Link: RH #986 (Howe & Combs)


Webmaster: You might consider adding this link to the 173rd Unit History for first quarter of 1967.  The info provides some interesting detail to an event mentioned by Unit Historian Bunton as it happened in March of 1967.

 Regards to all,  Mark Brown RH-28 67-68 

Webmaster: The above will provide some detailed info on AC 65-09420 which was involved in a 1967 mishap.  As luck would have it, Visel was riding along on this one also.
Does anyone know how to get raw data of this type from Army Aviation Safety Center records???
Regards, Mark Brown RH 28 67-68

Looking for Robin Hoods
From: Dick Wright mailto:dick.wright@rotor.com 
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Subject: 173rd AHC

 Just heard about your website for the 173rd AHC. As a Marine CH-46 pilot, I served as Air Liaison Officer for a battalion of ROK Marines down in Hoi An from September 1971 to March 1972 (I was "Knoxville 14"). When my battalion was in the rear (in Hoi An; our operating area was the Que Son Mountains), I periodically (once or twice a month) went up to Marble Mountain to fly with the 173rd. Having been an Army trained pilot (Grey hat, graduated Ft. Rucker on Dec 15, 1970), the 173rd was more than happy, as it meant one of your guys didn't have to fly that day. After flying a bunch of "routine" logistics flights, I wanted to see a bit more action, so I asked to fly some CCN missions. On one, January 21, 1972, I was flying with WO Bob Hopper as lead of three slicks and three Cobras into Laos to extract a number of Special Forces guys trapped by NVA. Before we got to Laos, we took fire from Charlie Ridge, if I remember correctly, and ended up at the bottom of the Hoi An River. After we were rescued by the other slicks, while the Cobras laid suppressing fire, we returned to Marble, where I was presented with a Robin Hood patch on a white silk scarf, as an "honorary" pilot of the 173rd. It still hangs in my study at home. At any rate, I was wondering if anyone knows of three of the pilots whose names I still remember from that mission: 1/Lt Young (don't remember the first name); WO Bob Hopper and Frank Kostyra (don't remember the rank.) The CO at that time was Major Huntington, I think. (Left the Marines in '77 and flew search and rescue HH-3Fs with the Coast Guard until I retired in '94.) Certainly enjoyed my brief association with the 173rd AHC.
Semper Fi, Dick Wright

 Richard M. Wright, Jr.
Director of Safety and Flight Operations
Helicopter Association International (HAI)
(703) 683-4646
(703) 683-4745 FAX

Replies back:

-----Original Message-----
From: Tucker, Ronnie mailto:TUCKERR@pac.disa.mil 
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003
To: Tucker, Ronnie; Bill McDonald; 'Dick Wright'; Doug & Leilah Ward; Robin Hood 21; Crossbow 33; Crossbow 34; Robin Hood 26; Robin Hood 20

Aloha Dick,

I am Randy Tucker, RH 22. You gave Jim Hanson, RH20, and Cliff Hyatt RH 21 a
case of steaks and M-14 sniper rifle with an automatic selector switch in a
carrying case. You also gave me a very old CHICOM 53 carbine. I remember
flying with you and the day you were shot down by an enemy 37 MM on the CCN
mission. I believe the CCN team leader ,1LT Joe Slifka, was killed. He hit
his head on impact and later drown after waiving off the chase medic bird to
pick up his team first. I believe Hanson, Hyatt, and I gave you the scarf. I
still have mine too. Major Bud Forester was the CO and he went on to make
LTG. I live in Hawaii, Jim lives in Alabama, Cliff in Texas. Dave Kelln our
2nd Platoon Leader lives in Wisconsin. John Murphy (Murph the Surf) took
over from Dave and lives in Virginia. I also still have the Marine one piece
Nomex you gave me with the seat torn out from a later CCN mission where I
went down. I have thought of you often. I was on the MACV-SOG website and
the they had Joe Slifka listed a dying in a traffic accident in DaNang. I
wrote them to correct, with the account of your shoot down and subsequent
rescue. It 's great to hear from you and look forward to seeing you at future
VHPA reunions. Jim, Dave, Cliff, and I were in Orlando this year. If
you are in Hawaii, look me up. I have attached some pictures of Jim, Mac,
and me (Cliff's picture is at home) and door to remind you. Very
Respectfully, Randy, Robinhood 22

I also cc'd Jim, Cliff, John Ranson Crossbow 34 , and
Bill McMurray Crossbow 33 . Don't believe they were on this email.
Great to hear from you!!!!  

I took the pictures off. VR, Randy -              
                                                                    Click on door for photos _______________________________________________________________ 

Ben Powell eaglelead@hotmail.com,

I just got around to looking at the Robin Hoods' site and noticed that my
name was not on the roster. Please add it when you get the chance. I
served at Herb Sink's XO (Robin Hood 5) from September through November of
1967. I was on my second RVN tour at the time, came from the 128th to the
173rd, and in December of 1967 was moved to the 2nd Field Force

Enjoy browsing through the memories.
Ben Powell


From: Van Nicholas vannick57@hotmail.com
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2001 

Thanks for sharing - would you mind me sharing with other Robin Hoods on
their discussion and comment page (on the Robin Hood web site)?

I just came back from a job interview...would you pray with me for
God's will to work in this...I'm currently flying for Rocky Mtn. Hels. on a
medi-vac job in Arizona at not wonderful wages and have only been home once
since March. The new job would allow me to commute and be home at least

If possible, does anyone know the whereabouts of Jim Putek or Neil
Hayes? They were ac's in 2nd platoon and the two I flew with most. Jim
taught me some things about flying which have helped me considerably over
the years. Thanks.

I am approaching all this very cautiously and with some trepidation.
I've avoided everything 'Vietnam' completely for 30 years. I was an
emotional mess when I went into the Army/Vietnam, and those 3 1/2 years or
so turned me into ...a 'real' mess...my folks helped a lot just by standing
by. It took 5 more years after my ETS for me even to begin becoming
something approaching a human being. The 23d psalm says that "He restoreth
my soul..." and I have and still am experiencing that. He IS faithful, if it
weren't for my Lord, I would be locked up or dead. Mimi (my beloved wife)
has stood the test of 22 years of me AND the flying business! Regards to you
and yours,  Van.

Additional Messages  from Van

Bill, Thanks for your response. I would like you to share this with any/all.
Do you know, you're the third person in 30 years who has said Welcome
Home...a friend who was Riverine Patrol-Boat ( PBR) crew in the delta...and my
wife, who isn't even an American citizen.

Mimi and I are Christians (I don't shy from the word Christian...it
seems to me that is who this is about...) God has taken care of us through
22 years, and me for much longer. He is faithful and worthy of our
praise. Regards,Van.

My wife Mimi has been in contact with you recently. I have avoided all
things having to do with Vietnam, Army,etc ever since 1970, when I got out.
It seems to me that God is working gently to open me up finally. It takes
more effort every year to bottle, re-bottle, etc it all and I would like to
be at peace with that time, finally. I was in the 'circus tent' for some time when
I got to Lai Khe although I flew mostly with Jim Putek and Neil Hayes in 2nd platoon.
I then moved into their hooch permanently. (Next hooch toward the club from the circus
tent as I recall.) Jim taught me things which kept me alive in two tours and
a number of times since. (I've been flying the whole time since 1970). My
memories of Lai Khe are the best I have of Vietnam, after that it got bad and
stayed there.

Several of my classmates went to the Tomahawks & Hornets. (Blue Hats
67-7).We did quite a few CA's with you guys and the Hornets especially.
That's enough for one day. God has been good to my wife and I and has
helped us a great deal through 22 years. I was a real mess when we met in
'75 in Spain. Take care. Regards, Van Nicholas.

ROBIN HOOD 16 - 1967

From: Vic Johnson VJohnLTC@aol.com
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2001 
Vic Johnson, RH 16, April 67- July 67. The late LTC Richard Scheafer (DAT)
was CO of Robinhoods at that time. He had been a Q course student of mine at
FT Rucker. Medal of Honor winner Wenzel started his door gunning days with
the 1st Plt and was assigned to A/C #655 with crewchief Jarvis. After they
spent a weekend in Vung Tau they were inseparable and soon became a topnotch

See son's posting below


Hats off to the individuals that have put this web sight together. GREAT JOB!

My name is Bruce Johnson I happen to be the youngest son of RET. LTC VICTOR A. JOHNSON. Who still lives in Ames, Iowa with my mom Barbara. The reason for my e-mail was re-guarding the roll call of the individuals with the 173rd Robin Hoods. See for the last thirty years , longer for my older sisters and brother, we've had the chance to listen to stories of my dads experiences is
Vietnam. Two tours for dad, 62-63 , than again in April 67 to March 68. Many
of the stories puts you right in the action and then again its the stories that we haven't heard. 

However, its the stories of the Robin Hoods and the Crossbows that my dad seems to talk about the most including the one I just had with him on the phone telling him about the web page. My dad I guess you could consider was a short timer with the Robin Hoods, 1plt: Robin Hood 16, April 1967 to July 1967, before being re-signed with the Ausses, thus returning home March of 1968. In telling dad about the web sight one of the first things he mention was the last name of a guy name Drew, Well Drew happens to be one of the Merry Men. Just so has it I grew up listening to these guys on a reel to reel recording of them playing. Songs with words like "FLY MY CHOPPER ABOVE THE REST" and "Siagon Girls" and my favorite growing up was "HE STOOD FOUR FOOT THREE, WEIGHTED 385, KIND OF BROAD AT SHOULDERS AND WIDE AT HIPS, OLD SKY WAS A LOW FLYING SON-OF-#%*@, 

Dad was head of flight instruction in Fort Rucker and many of the young pilots at the time went through that school. He noted that on his first mission as a Robin Hood he flew in the ten spot or as he put it "Tail End Charlie" the number one spot was a student of dads by name of Shaefer, Chief Mt Sgt. I think, Dad said one minute he looked down and the next minute everyone in front was gone, he looked through the peddle glass and saw everyone dropping like a rock, he remembers saying, Oh sh#@! Shaefer I thought I taught you better than that. The next thing he knew He was pulling the collective bringing the chopper to a 45degree and trying not to slam it into the ground, by the time
his nose came down Shaefer and the other nine where in the air. As a Robin
Hood or Cross Bow might say, " If you can't hang out with the big dogs get
the f#%* off the porch!" 

Dad noted that the early Robin Hoods were made up of Majors and Senior Capt. many of which started out in fixed wings like the L19s, and flying choppers wasn't what they had in mind. It was the Robin Hoods that other AHCs admired in the way they flew in tight and close formation. He had mentioned that the Robin Hoods Philosophy was: High steep angle, accelerate, then hall ass! I'm not sure if that's correct but I'd hall ass too.

I gave my dad the web address and he's looking foreword to seeing a couple of
familiar names. If you'd like to contact him he's at VJOHNLTC@aol.com . Dad
missed the last reunion however with a little kick I think he'll make it to the show in Las Vegas. I hope the story I shared today is just a small portion of the stories to come from the dads and there children.
Sincerely, Bruce A. Johnson,  BJOHN77976@AOL.COM  Phx, AZ


From Dave Harriott email:

My name is Dave Harriott and I am a firefighter in Stamford, CT. I have a friend on the job who is a captain and he happened to see me reading a book on helicopters in Vietnam. He also mentioned briefly that he was there and to the best of my memory he said that he was in the 173rd Assault Helicopter Battallion. His name is Richie Wolk. I am wondering if you could check the roles to see if I have the right unit or point me in the right direction.
Thanks, I would really like to surprise him with this.


P.S. Just so you guys know. There are quite a few of us that were born during or after the war that truly appreciate what you did over there. Myself especially, being on a job with a lot of vets.
I was Crossbow 34 from August of 68 through March 69. I was also Robin Hood 1something from Feb 68 through Aug 68. Sorry but I cannot remember the full Robin Hood Call sign but it was most likely 13.

Bob Roffey WO1 Class 67-21/67-501.

Retired from the USAR in 96 as an LTC. Worked for the USAR as a helicopter pilot through the same year.

The site looks great.

Bob Roffey
14848 Cowley Rd
Columbia Station, OH 44028

Email rroffey@aol.com

( Note: Any Robin Hoods who have a good photo of nose art - please contact Harrell)
Could you possibly send me a picture of The Robin Hood nose art? We have a chopper at our veterans memorial that had a very distinguished tour with the 173rd. The guys have agreed to put the 173rd patch on it. It is a slick "H" model.

Harrell Guidry
191st AHC
Bearcat 67-68
6210 Dave, Groves Tx. 77619

E-mail Address(es): Harrell.GUIDRY@atofina.com

Every day I get a little closer to finishing, manly working on downsizing
photos to finish 173rd page and tribute page, than I will add reunion
pictures to photo album page. Every page has graphics and music that now
work and I am tickled to death...all of my links on the Veterans' link page
work...so if you get a chance please take a look at my labor of love and
work in progress. Thanks, Lee Ward
Web Master Note: This is a great site to visit for any Robin Hoods - Lee is wife of Robin Hood veteran Doug Ward. 

re: CPT Robert C. Donlick, MD - 11 Sep 67 to 30 Nov 68 - Flight Surgeon
(listing appears in the Robin hood Honor Roll)

I was looking over an old file which I requisitioned from the orderly
room when I rotated back to the states. I have an Individual Flight Record
folder, DA form 759-1. In it there is a preflight helmet fitting form with
this gentleman original signature (in blue ink) in it. If he would like it
I would send it to him.

John C. Jackson
Formerly Spec 5, US Army, now MSgt, USAF
Mountain Home, Idaho
(208) 587-9557
(208) 422-5507 <work no.>

Crossbow 19
Posted May 2001
A while back I was in contact with a member of Crossbow 19, I wont mention
his name in the interest of respecting his privacy. We corresponded for a
while and exchanged information. Each time he wrote, he would sign off by
saying "Crossbow 19 is gone". I never really knew what he meant by that,
and never, until now thought of asking. Well, just thought you would be
interested. In fact, I also have photos that he had sent to me showing the
inverted diamond insignia on the tail boom (terminology?). Perhaps he
wouldn't mind my sharing the pictures with you in the interest of history.

FAX: 301-631-0841
email: gabrauer@bechtel.com

From: JimmyCGraham@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 5:49 PM
Subject: Crossbow 39

I am writing to inform the world that I am still alive and kicking! My name is Jim Graham and I was in Lai Khe from Dec 69 until Aug 70 when I was shot down with Lt. Smith, Sp Rodriquez, and Sp Barritt near Bu Dop 8 Aug 70. My wingman was Will Gaillard (Crossbow 30) from Eutaville SC. Will and I were in college together before flight school and stayed together during our Nam
experience. I was the unit IP from June 70 until I was wounded and sent to Japan. The company was sent up north for another mission and I had to learn to hover a hosital bed with no armament!

I am trying to find CWO Bill Reed from the Northeast. He was an artist and drew the logos of the Bows etc on our helmets. Please let him know that I am trying to locate him.
Jim Graham
127 Williamstown Way
Columbia,SC 29212

E-mail address


The last time I saw Bill Reed's address was in one of the early VHPA membership directories where he was working as a commercial artist somewhere in Ct? Unfortunately all my early directories were lost when I last moved. You might try contacting the VHPA for help.

Tom Paul, MWO(Ret)
RH10, 70-71
107 SE 37th St.
Oak Island, NC 28465

I have changed my e-mail address: WB5YTO@msn.com . Can you make the change on the RH web page? Thanks a lot for maintaining the page. Can I help with a few bucks? Let me know where I can send a check. Thanks  Mark Brown RH28 67-68

 From: Whistler4@aol.com
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2001
Subject: Re: Robin Hoods
Don't have any photos. You guys out there, I would like to find Bill Brock, he lives in Temple Texas.He should have lots of photos, and Bill Willis has some too.

From: William S. Mobus
Saturday, September 22, 2001 
Offer of help for 173rd Web Site

Dear Bill, I was a door gunner in the 2nd platoon for two six-month tours in late ‘68 and ‘69. I flew at least one mission in a 1st platoon ship with Kurt Adams when we picked up the downed Air Force pilot, but that was just before I left the country for the last time. Before that, I was with the 168th Combat Engineers just next door to Sherwood Forest at Lai Khe. That was my regular tour 365. That’s where I spent TET of ‘68 and how I became interested in becoming a door gunner. I currently do Web Site design as a sideline to my day job. I would be honored and proud to help you in keeping the 173rd AHC Web Site. Not that you aren’t doing an outstanding job of it…don’t get me wrong. I just know what it takes in time and etc. to keep current! Anyway, I’m available to help if you need any…just give me my marching orders.

I live in St. Louis, Missouri and have a personal Web Site at http://home.swbell.net/wsmobus/mobus.html. My latest project is for our church school at http://www.hopelutheranstl.org.

At your service, Bill Mobus

Please change this in your address books.
Doug and Leilah Ward

173rdAHC Robinhoods
CE-Gunner 66/67-Lai Khe

Bill, My name is Merrill Mudd and I sent you and E mail yesterday. Today, found some of my old papers and see some names that aren't on your list. I will share them with you and can supply the documents if you would like.

General order number 58 21 decmner 1967 (from the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion)

Good Conduct Medal

"Goodman, Mark, PFC E3 173rd Aslt Hel Co ;"Haase, Herbert J Sp4 E4 173rd Aslt Hel Co
"Holbrook, Larry Sp4 E4 173rd Aslt Hel Co ; Mudd, Merrill J SGT E5 173rd Aslt Hel Co APO

There are allot of other names , from various units in the Battalion.

General Order Number 5339 "NGUY HIEM 3 November 1967 (1st Aviation Brigade)

Air Medal

"Brodeur, Donald A Warrant Officer W1 USA 173rd Aslt Hel Co"

"Bays, Danny T PFC E 3 USA 173rd Aslt Hel Co"

"Depew, William F. PFC E3 USA 173rd Aslt Hel Co"

"Mudd, Merrill J SGT E5 USA 173rd Aslt Hel Co"

General Orders Number 332 EXEMPL PROPONERE 21 December 1967

(11th Combat A viation Battalion)

AirCraft Crewman Badge (permanent)

This document contains 83 names, all 173rd, all EM, there is no Officers or Warrants listed?

Just thought this might be of interest, I would be glad to send them along.

Merrill Mudd --- mmudd631@earthlink.net

I believe you know my father, Raymond A. Dussault from Cartersiville, Ga.? I know he was with the Robin Hoods at one time.

I didn't know him well during Vietnam years, I was of course pretty young, eight, or nine years old. I just wondered if you knew him and might consider telling me something about him and what he was like back then.

My Dad and I stay in touch but he lives in Georgia and I live in California,. so it's not easy, and there are gaps in our past. I am just finishing the book "We were soldiers once, and young" by Col. Hal Moore, and it has me wondering a lot about my dad and that time and the war.

Anyway, if it's not too much trouble I would love to hear from you.

Raymond Dussault
Son of a Sergeant


From: "Tucker, Ronnie" TUCKERR@pac.disa.mil
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 12:56 PM

Subject: Photos

 Aloha Bill, I am Randy Tucker, Robin hood 22 (1971-72). I found my Robin hood
 yearbook and my Merry men Tapes (recorded during a mortar attack at Lai Khe).
 I've noticed, based on my book and my remembrance, that many of the photos
at you web site are mislabeled. Would be glad to share info with you. Very
 Respectfully, Randy

From: J C Porter jcporter1@mail.ev1.net
Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2002 
 A Happy New Year to all. May the New Year bring to you the very best of health and prosperity.
 If you guys have links to the older Robin hood home page that I've been looking after, The new url 
to the site is 

 My daughter presented to me as a Christmas gift a domain name. A very thoughtful gift.
The site has been updated with several new pictures and a couple of good stories. My attempts to fix the problem with the guest book have been less than successful, as soon as my son-in-law has time he has 
promised to help with this problem. I also need to check and update all of the links to ensure that they are 
current and working. Best Regards

From: Frank  Prevost" pprevost@juno.com 
February 02, 2002 

Subject: Re: Welcome Home !
Thanks for the response. I live in Antioch, not far from you. I have
 photos, somewhere, will have to dig them out of storage and will send
 some on for the website. Found the website in the process of looking for
 illnesses related to the agent orange we were all probably exposed to.
 Enjoyed looking through the names and photos of others who shared the
 same experiences. I arrived at the base just before TET of 1968 and was
 there until Feb. of 1969. Had been crew chief of the Friar Tuck
 maintenance ship for the last 6 months of that time. Again, thanks for
 the response.

I am Frank Prevost. I served the years of 68/69. Started on the
maintenance crew, then the night maintenance crew, and then to crew chief
of the Friar Tuck maintenance ship. Spec5 when I left country. I reside
in California, email address: PPrevost@Juno.com


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