A great photo of UH-1B "Bandit 3" taken someplace away from Bien Hoa. This aircraft could be called a "Heavy HOG"! Some times it was called a "Frog". Here we see 48 rockets and a 40 MM grenade launcher.
The old B-model could carry a heavier load than the the later UH-1C gun ships.
Many a B-model gun ship pilot can remember the often accompanying vertical vibration, also.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


Life as a Bandit


CWO John Clark with "B" model
Bandit 8? ready to go. (65)
(Photo courtesy Jim Ellis)


Mission brief? on multi-unit lift.
(L to R)Black Hat?, CWO Howard Bennett,
CWO Warren D. George, CWO John Clark,
WO Bean, ? , 1LT Miller. (65)
(Photo courtesy Jim Ellis)


Seems a little strange to make such
a big deal over an outhouse, but such
comforts of home were welcomed.
The bright yellow color is in
keeping with Bandit motif !
Maybe this was what the VC used
as a "registration point"(Jan 65)
(Photo courtesy Ralph Orlando)


WO Mel Koon and CPT Lynn Knisley
at dedication ceremony of the
"New" Bandit out-house in the Bandit
area of the flight line.(Jan 65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


The Bandit crews unpack rockets and ammo.
Note yellow trailer behind 3/4T trailer used to
carry rockets to parked aircraft for re-arming.
Kinda neat. Trailer was not used in late 1966.
Rockets were then stored at each revetment.(65)
(Photo courtesy Ralph Orlando


Another view of the Rocket Trailer beside the
Bandit ammo bunker where 7.62mm and
rockets were stored.(65)
(Photo courtesy Harold "Chip" Austin)


Building rockets and linking ammo in
the Bandit area of Bird Cage.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


Bandit 1, 63-8566.
Crew Chief SP5 David Vandenburg.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


Bandit 3 and Crew Chief SP4 Swisher.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


Bandit 1 and Crew Chief SP5
David Vandenburg.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


More "Shade Dogs" taking a nap following
a hard day at the office. Near Vung Tau.(1965)
(Photo courtesy Ralph Orlando)


"Shade Dogs"

During the dry season, hot dry weather made
shade at a premium. Here we see the whole
Bandit crew taking it easy on stand by at.....
who knows where!(1965)
(Photo courtesy Ralph Orlando)


Joe Newsome of the Bandits in Feb 65
(Photo courtesy Ralph Orlando)


(Photo courtesy Ralph Orlando)


Platoon SGT ? Andenako in the Bandit area.(65)
(Photo courtesy Harold "Chip" Austin)


Bandits taking a break in the shade.
Aircraft looks like a Hog or Frog(65)
L to R in foreground
are Warren George and Ron Madsen.
(Photo courtesy Jim Ellis)


Ready for a "day at the office" is
SP5 Tregler a Bandit gunner.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


"An important meeting"
L to R: CPT "Doc" Bahnsen, 1SGT Spruel
and SSG Pinkston. Man with back to
camera is unidentified.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


One of the first B-models unbuttoned
for Daily Inspection. (65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


A heavy fire-team of Bandits above the
clouds where the air is cool.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


Bandit Hooch in early 65.
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


Bandit wind sock in the Bandit area.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


Crew Chief Don Roof doing daily on Bandit.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)

Joe Lomonaco test firing his M-60 into a
firing pit in the Bandit area.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


Newly installed M-5, 40MM grenade
launcher on Bandit 3.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


"Rambo Roof" hamming it up for the camera
in the Bandit area of the Bird Cage.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


A good view of the folded(stowed)
infinity rocket sight on the Bandit
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


"Rambo" Don Roof test firing his M-60 at the
firing pit in the Bandit area.(65)
(Photo courtesy Don Roof)


What was apparently a "Going Home" party for WO Fuller (in Jungle fatigues)
provided by Bandits all in their black pajamas on Sept 19, 1965.
Seated L to R: CWO Howard Bennett, & WO John Fuller.
Back & Standing L to R: WO Larry Mobley, WO "Huck" Haynes,
CPT Glen Weber,WO Jerry McKelvey, WO "Rex" McAffee & WO Henry Teich.
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


Some days the stand-by mission was filled
with endless boredom.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe Newsome)


The opposing team of Bandits playing
horseshoes in the Bandit area.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe Newsome)


SGT Octavio Cruz and SP4 Roberto Flores
keeping a watch when Bandits were
parked in the boonies.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe Newsome)


Bandit Platoon Leader CPT Jim Thompson
with crew members SP4 Roberto Flores
and SGT Fred Dodge.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe Newsome)


CPT Joe Newsome points out the
entrance hole of a 50 cal. slug of
Bandit aircraft he was flying.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe Newsome)


Waiting for a ride from the Cong Ly Villa
to the Bird Cage.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe Newsome)


Photo of Joe Newsome (Bandit 30) awaiting start of
CA at Ap Bo La. Note the little aluminum patch
on the Bandit insignia on the door and the
speckled paint from some shrapnel.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


Great photo of SP5 Jerry B. Holland, Bandit
Crew Chief on #949(Hog) laying down
suppressive door gun fire on a break.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


Where Bandit gunners spent many a long
hour cleaning and preparing the armament
for the next day's mission.(65)
(Photo courtesy Harold "Chip" Austin)


Making preparations for a Valentine's Day
party at Cong Ly Villa. (Feb 65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


1LT Michael Citrano, doing what Signal Corps
officers do....listening to radio! Note new
sliding armor on this Bandit B model.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


Larry Mobley looking through the M-5,
40MM grenade launcher sight.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


What looks like a "wild" Huey on a rope is
actually a Crew member pulling on a rope
attached to a belt of 40MM grenades.
The linked belt of grenades is
being pulled through the chute
to the launcher.(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


The ominous "Skull of Warning" over the door
of the Bandit flight line hooch!(65)
(Photo courtesy Joe D. Newsome)


Bandits on final approach to some airfield.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


Interesting photo of 5 Bandits on approach
to some airfield.(65)
(Photo courtesy David Vandenburg)


Bandit Crew Training Technique


Interesting article that appeared in the MACV Newspaper, "Daily News Briefs",
published daily, except Sunday, by the Command Information Branch, Office of
Information, MACV. The article tells of a technique used to improve helicopter crew
coordination. The article was written by CPT Joe Newsome.(64)
(Article courtesy Joe Newsome)



Bandit 4, "Executioner", ready to rumble
at the Bird Cage on Bien Hoa AFB.
Crew Chief is SP5 Richard Little. (66)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


Bandit 1, "Frog" with 36 rockets
and 40MM grenade launcher.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Bandit 2, "Frog" with 36 rockets and 40MM
grenade launcher and barely able to hover.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Bandit 8 on freshly sprayed surface of
runway at Tay Ninh West.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Three of the best Armorers in the U.S. Army.
L to R: SP4 Ronald Booth, SP4 Boehm and PFC Barr.
All are wearing Air Medals received in an awards
ceremony at Tay Ninh for action
in "Operation Attleboro."(Nov66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Note the hole in the barrel!! This was the only
evidence in 1966 of a 2.75" rocket that was
accidentally launched into the town of
Bien Hoa several years earlier.
Who and When?? CWO Marvin
Schmidt remembers (see below)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


Bandit 2 Crew: SP4 Ittner, CE and
PFC Boehm, Gunner.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)

CWO Marvin Schmidt and trusty "Mule"
acquired from the 173rd Abn Bde! The "Mule"
stayed in the Bandit area to haul ammo,
rockets, machine guns and sand bags.(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


"Bandit 36", CPT Gerald Cubine pointing to
where .30cal. round exited the avionics
compartment on Bandit 2. CPT Cubine also
had minor wound in foot. Incident near
Cu Chi, early 1966
(Photo courtesy Jim Ellis)


Tommy Thornton beside Bandit 2 "Frog"
at Vinh Long(66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)

Personal rememberance of CWO Marvin Schmidt
 CWO Marvin Schmidt remembers the accidental rocket launching....."As I recall, it was a Saturday morning in Sept 1966, just a few days before there was supposed to be some kind of national Vietnamese election. I was in the middle of shaving when I heard a couple of loud "reports". I thought to my self....'Charlie Cong is getting the show started early.' Of course, soon after I went to the flight line at the Bird Cage to find that one of the armorers had been doing some maintenance on one of the gunships without taking precautions (grounding) and well, guess what, one pair of rockets shot off and landed in the rice paddy at the end of Cony Ly Street. Needless to say, all hands got involved in a massive sandbagging operation at the flight line. That is also where the picture of me on the "Mule" came from.

3rd Platoon "Bandits" 1966
Squatting (L to R): SP4 Baccigalopi(G), SP4 Gunther(CE), SP4 Boehm(G), SP5 Booth(Armorer), SP5 Weekley(A), SP4 Little(CE), SP4 Childress(G), SP4 McCarthy(G), SP5 Miner(CE), SP4 McDowell(CE), SP4 Doody(G), SP5 Morton(CE)
Standing (L to R): SP5 Karvonen(CE), WO Rodney Hill, WO Carl Garrett, WO Dan Hart, WO Charlie Prather, WO Warren Spencer, WO Mike Erwin, WO Bob Bell, 1LT Tom Payne, CPT Jeff Thomason(PLT LDR), WO Jack Armstrong, CPT Ron Cowden, PSGT Jimmie Pirtle
3rd Platoon Officers in front of UH-1C
Old "Birdcage" at Bien Hoa
(Photo from "145th CAB, A Pictorial History, Vol I.")

More Life as a Bandit


CWO Rick Donaldson shows a less
than "friendly" glare.(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Typical XM-16 system using M-60
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)

WO1 Carl Garrett with "chicken plate" strapped on and flack vest on knee.
Aircraft is Bandit 2, a "HOG",
with 48 rocket tubes with apparently
only 36 rockets.(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Bandit Gunner SP4 McDowell relaxing
in cool air at altitude.(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


CPT Williams flying Bandit aircraft.(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Pair of rockets on their way to the target.(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


CW3 Enrique A. Bustamente, Bandit
AC flying from left seat. Note typical collective "grip"(66)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)

SP4 Floyd Beebe manning his M-60.
Floyd flew as a Gunner on Bandit 8
from Dec 65-Dec 66.(66)
(Photo courtesy Floyd Beebe)


Louis C. Turchi standing beside Bandit 1 in late 1966. Louis Turchi was killed on Oct 14, 1966, while flying in
a 71st AHC aircraft, apparently on loan for the day. It is unclear why he was flying with the Firebirds while
still assigned to the 118th AHC. In 2004, the building at Ft. Rucker housing the Directorate of Training
and Doctrine was dedicated to the memory of SP4 Louis C. Turchi(66)
(Photo courtesy Michael Greenwood, SFC (RET), an Army Civilian working for the
Directorate of Training and Doctrine, Ft. Rucker, Al)