Utility Tactical Transportation
 
 

68th Armed Helicopter Company
 
 

197th Armed Helicopter Company
 
 

334th Armed Helicopter Company
 
 

334th Aerial Weapons Company

The UTT, 68th Armed Helicopter Company, 197th Armed Helicopter Company, 334th Armed Helicopter, and the 334 Aerial Weapons Company are all the same unit. The best way for me to explain it is to quote 1/Lt. Luther D Young, Playboy 17, in the beginning of the tape we sell, Songs of the UTT, Luthur says: " Songs of the UTT, 68th and 197th Aviation Companies, they are really the same. For no matter what name you give a company, the sprit of the officers and men are what gives it entity. This sprit never changed.". The Company changed names 5 times in Vietnam but still remained the same.
 
 


Reprinted from the 145th Combat Aviation Battalion Pictorial History, Volume II

June 1967 - May 1968
"WE LEAD THE WAY"

We have continued the traditions of the past. Our motto: "We Lead The Way" has been upheld. Pioneering the way in new uses for the helicopter gunship, our unit developed the "Firefly" system of nightly harassment and interdiction, and because of its successful employment, "Charlie" finds it much more difficult to move at night. New techniques in the way firepower is used. We were the first armed helicopter company in Vietnam to employ the devastating AH-1G Cobra in daily operations. "Charlie" has become mortally familiar with this new, sleek, high-speed helicopter.

Collectively, we are the Sabres; individually others know us as the Gangbusters, Dragons, Playboys, and Raiders.

Our Raiders and Gangbusters fly the UH-1D. They know their weapons systems well, and they employ them even better. On the 25th of June, 1967, one of our Gangbusters, Warrant Officer Bruce Leach, made an amazing rescue of a trapped Special Forces Reconnaissance Team that had wandered into a Viet Cong base camp. On two separate occasions he hovered his aircraft above the trees while the trapped men were picked-up on slings. During this time the aircraft was the victim of deadly ground fire that ruptured the fuel cells. Nevertheless, Warrant Officer Leach rescued the Special Forces Reconnaissance Team, while our Raiders celebrated the fourth Of July (1967) by killing fifteen Viet Cong and destroying 65 sampans and 25 structures.

Working almost exclusively at night our Dragons and Raiders employ the highly effective "Firefly" system, which consists of three aircraft working as a team, and at different altitudes. The high ship has a .50 caliber machine gun and is the control ship. The middle ship contains the spotlight which is used to search for the Viet Cong. The low ship contains miniguns to destroy the enemy. The "Firefly" has proven itself to be most effective. In addition to hampering the enemy's movement at night, this system finds him in his hiding places and forces him into contact. The "Firefly" has achieved outstanding success in perimeter defense, as well as night river patrolling. Its inherent ability to apply visual reconnaissance and overwhelming firepower simultaneously has resulted in deadly effectiveness.

Our Playboys fly the new AH1G "Cobra" helicopter. On 22 October 1967, the Cobra flew its first combat mission. On that day two Cobras from our Playboy Platoon were flown by Major Donald Becker and Warrant Officer Welch from Bien Hoa to Nui Dat in support of the Australian Task Force. Since that time the entire platoon has been conducting an extensive training program to develop the new combat tactics to be used with the swift Cobra. Before long we were employing the Cobra with its intended effectiveness. On 15 November 1967, Captain Rubin led his flight of Cobra gunships in support of a battalion operation east of Can Giouc. Three Viet Cong were killed in the LZ pre-strike by our Playboys. On 18 November 1967, Warrant Officer John Ulsh led a Playboy fire team which killed four enemy in support of US Navy Operations in the Rung Sat Special Zone.

Our heritage is deep in the history of the Vietnam conflict. Our traditions have been firmly established for the Sabres of the future to uphold as we have done. The missions we have performed in the past have now become standards of excellence. The initiation of the "Firefly" and the Cobra aircraft into the Army Aviation Tactical Structure is only the beginning, for in the missions to come we shall always "LEAD THE WAY"