An extremely important part of the operation of a helicopter in combat is communications. The ability to communicate between crew members within the helicopter is absolutely required. Equally required is the ability to talk outside the helicopter to other helicopters, ground combat forces and air traffic control. These absolute requirements make the Signal Detachment an essential part of the overall team within the assault helicopter company. Very important too is navigation equipment that must be functional and, of course, encryption equipment which arrived in Vietnam during the 1964-65 time period.

The T O & E of the 33rd Transportation Company, the 118th Aviation Company (AML) and finally the 118th Assault Helicopter Company all included the 198th Signal Detachment. While the size of the 198th Signal Detachment was small, it was as important as any other Detachment.

Not only did the 198th Signal Detachment have to support the 118th "Thunderbirds", they were tasked to support a new Assault Helicopter Company, the 190th "Spartans", when they arrived in late 1967. This they did for approximately one year. With the addition of the 243rd Signal Detachment, and the adoption of MTOE's, the responsibilities for support and maintenance of avionics and navigation equipment for the 190th was handed over in August 1968. This diminished work load provided faster and more reliable service to the avionics equipment of the 118th. (from 145th CAB History from 1 Aug 68 thru 21 Oct 69)



Avionics Officer





 1LT James J. Herrick
(27 Apr 65-23 Apr 66)

 1LT James J. Herrick
2LT Frank A.

 1LT Albert R. Croteau
 SSG Walter N. McQuarrie



 CPT John Cavanaugh
 SGT Norman E. Bixler



198th Signal Detachment
New "Birdcage" at Bien Hoa
Second from right in back (standing) is Larry W. Williams
Standing on far right with sunglasses and hand on hip is 198th
detachment commander LT. Al Croteau.
(Need help identifying all men in the photo)
(Photo from "145th CAB, A Pictorial History, Vol II.")