Photo Album

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Getting ready to depart the 118th Villa on
Cong Ly Street are
L to R: Lt Chien, CPT Weber
and CPT Cooper.(Jan 66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


Going Home at DROS are L to R:
MAJ Rudolph "Rudy" DeFrance and
CPT Jack Horton. (Oct 11, 1966)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


Getting ready for a PsyWar mission with speaker system
attached to UH-1D are L to R:
CWO Reggie Mason and CPT Tommy Thornton.
(6 Feb 66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


CWO James McCune inspects tail rotor failure
experienced by CWO Al Phillips and
CPT Tommy Thornton on take-off.(13 Feb 66)
(Photo corurtesy Tommy Thornton)


Mission brief with LT. Gudermuth, CWO Marv Schmidt,
CPT Jerry Cubine(back to camera), ? , CPT Ted Jambon
and MAJ Rudy DeFrance.(66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


CPT Raydean Patterson ipointing to his 1st VC hit.
(22 May 1966)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


CWO Reggie Mason.(66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


Giving a check ride? CPT Tommy Thornton, SIP,
with CWO Warren George.(21 Dec 65)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


Checking out "Thunderbird" mascot at the Bird Cage
are L to R: Gunner Simmons, Kitten II Crew
Chief, SP5 Tromatter, CWO Adsit and
Platoon SGT Stewart.(13 Jan 66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


Taking it easy on a rice paddy dike at Bao Trai are
L to R: CPT Jack Waters, CPT Ted Jambon
and CPT Al Phillips.(6 Jan 66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


Enjoying a little "social hour" are L to R:
SSG Shelby McAdams, 334th Armed Helicopter
Company; SSG John Kelley, 2nd Platoon, 118th
and SSG Jimmy Pirtle, Bandit Platoon.
Note the beer is Carling Black Label!!(66)
(photo courtesy John Kelley)


Martha Ray and USO troop entertaining
the troops in 1966
(Photo courtesy Johnny Billingsley)


WO1 Johnny Billingsley and his "girl friend!! (66)
(Photo courtesy Johnny Billingsley)


CPT Robert Ulzheimer checking inside
aircraft with crew and others standing-by(.66)
(Photo courtesy Johnny Billingsley)


Sand bag detail seen at Bao-Trai.(66)
(Photo courtesy Johnny Billingsley)


1LT Tom Payne "cooling it" in 2nd Platoon
hootch with Stars and Stripes.(66)
(Photo courtesy Johnny Billingsley)



2nd PSG, John Kelley. He went on to
OCS, served 2nd tour in 1 Cav and
retired as Armor Officer. Also, was Bandit
Plt Sgt. before PSG Pirtle. (Early 66)
(Photo courtesy John Kelley)


Miss Luan the Vietnamese lady who
worked in Thunderbird Operations.
She typed flight records for probably
very pilot who flew in the 118th for the
entire time the unit existed in RVN.
Fella on phone to right is Ed Knighten(66)
(Photo courtesy Ron Madsen)


118th villa on Cong Ly street Bien Hoa
with 145th HQ , 334th AWC, 68th AHC
"Top Tigers", 71st AHC"Rattlers" and
IIFFV BOQ. Not bad accommodations.
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


CW3 Wally Sherwood of 573rd Trans. Det.
with"Stars and Stripes" Season's Greetings,
1966. somewhere in III Corps. Guy in
background is WO1 "Dusty" Rhodes.
(Photo courtesy of Donald Wray,
then CO, 573rd)


Willis Long reading hometown
newspaper under a watchful eye. (66)
(Photo courtesy Willis Long)


Willis Long in fresh rice-paddy starched
fatigues that always smelled terrible! (67)
(Photo courtesy Willis Long)


The Catholic Chapel on the Bien Hoa Air base
with decorations for the Christmas Season.(66)
(Photo courtesy Willis Long)

Santa Claus on his way to Bien Hoa with a
truck full of toys for the children.(66)
(Photo courtesy Willis Long)


After arriving in the town of Bien Hoa,
Santa Claus leads a crowd of children to
where the gifts will be distributed.
If anyone knows who Santa is and where
the costume came from, please let the
Webmaster know.(66)
(Photo courtesy Willis Long)


Another photo of Santa Claus with throng
of happy children following him.(66)
(Photo courtesy Willis Long)


Thunderbird CO, MAJ Howard Hostler with
CPT George Fasching at Thunderbird
Bar at Cong Ly Villa. Fella behind
bar is "Duc/Duke"(Aug 67)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


CWO Jack Armstrong flying low-level 90Kts
at Baria. We loved to work for the Aussies at
Baria (67)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


CWO Charlie Bennett, 1LT Vern Watts and
others in the Thunderbird Bar, Cong Ly
Villa(Aug 67)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


118th AHC Opns Old "Bird Cage"
Bien Hoa AFB (66-67)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)




The Bandit F_ _ _-Up Helmet. If you messed
up on a mission, ie. wrong radio freq, missed
target, etc. you wore helmet to BOQ on
Cong Ly Street(67)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


CWO Marv Schmidt, Bandit rocket "Ace"
thinking, "I am too short for this s_ _ _ !!"
as he checks damaged blade from rocket debris.
1LT Harold F. Miller, with cigar thinking, "If I
punch a hole in the other one the balance.....!!"
CWO Tom Baca not worried while having snack. Happened at Ap Trai Bi, near Tay Ninh. (1966)


Nov 10, 1966, a day that will forever be
memorable to these four young pilots......the
day they left the Bird Cage to board the
"Big Smoker" and return to the land of the
"Big PX" and MUCH more!
L to R: Niles Clark, Tommy Thornton,
Harold F. Miller and Wyburn Burroughs.
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


CPT Tommy Thornton(L) & 1LT Homer
Hudson at An Loc gathering latex rubber!
Homer Hudson was assigned to the 118th,
but moved to 145th CAB to command the
Pathfinder Detachment.(66)
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


No telling what caused 1LT John L. Bearrie(L)
and CPT James Williams(R) to be so attired.
Best guess would be that it was a practice
alert on Cong Ly Street or DROS "short-timers"
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


MAJ Chuck Haney(L) Opns Officer and
MAJ Robert B. Davis(R), new to the 118th
and passing through to another
(Photo courtesy Tommy Thornton)


3 Nov 1966, DROS for CPT ? Novicki(L) and
CPT Ted Jambon (R) from the Bird Cage.
Novicki was 145th Bn Personnel Officer. (66)
(Photo courtesy Ted Jambon)


3 Nov 1966, the crew flying the DROS Bird to
Saigon and Camp Alpha. (L) Tommy Thornton.
Note white map between seats.....DECCA
navigation system ! (66)
(Photo courtesy Ted Jambon)


Jack "Muddy" Waters sitting in the "War Story Seat" This old "B-Model" seat was in the Thunderbird bar on Cong Ly street. Jack remembers the occasion; "I was flying with LT. Mills and he had landed on a dike. The aircraft began to fall backward. I quickly reached for the controls and righted the aircraft. No damage, thank goodness, however there was a large plume when the tail rotor hit the rice paddy water!" Reportedly, the both sat in the chair and gave "their versions."(66)
(Photo courtesy Ted Jambon)


"Good Ole' Summertime"CWO Charlie Prather
(L) and CWO Bob D'Agostino getting ready
for DEROS or R & R. at Villa on Cong Ly
Street. (1967)
(Photo courtesy Marvin Marchman,MD)


SGT James B. Lytes 118th Supply Clerk in 67. Later, he became Supply SGT. Reportedly, stayed in Vietnam more than 5 years!
(Photo courtesy Robert Johnson)


Tay Ninh(West) Base Camp refuel area for
"Hot" refueling. JP4 was in 200-500 gal
"bladders or blivits." Aircraft hovered in
to nozzle and continued to run at
(Photo courtesy Marvin Marchman,


SGT Robin Roberts a Cook
in the 118th Mess Hall(67).
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)

Bunker on N. side of 118th section of
Bailey Compound. L to R: Almy, ?. (66)
(Photo courtesy Bill Langan)

Crew Chief SP5 Richard Little wearing
"Tiger Fatigues" and refueling.(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)

"Mail Call"--Richard Elsinger deep
in a letter from home.(66)
(Photo courtesy Bill Langan)


Chicken or Beef? L to R: Birdwell and Almy
having a BBQ in Bailey Compound.(66)
(Photo courtesy Bill Langan)

L to R: Almy and Prescott having a beer
inside Bailey Compound.(66)
(Photo courtesy Bill Langan)


MAJ Bill Benton, apparently following a
week-end "ground attack" (67)
(Photo courtesy Marvin Marchman)


Results of mortar attach on Bien Hoa Air base
in early 1968. PSP was probably laid in very
early years, possibly 1950's. Pickup was one
driven by the "Bandits" to and from Cong Ly
(Photo courtesy Marvin Marchman, MD)


1st Plt Gunner Fuggitt using a screwdriver
and wrench to extract the milk from a
coconut at Tay Ninh(66)
(Photo courtesy Tom Payne)


Thunderbirds in formation going somewhere.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)
118th Company Mess Hall on Bailey Compound
at Bien Hoa Air Base.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


118th Company HQ on Bailey Compound
at Bien Hoa Air Base.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Commo Console aboard the 118th
Commander's aircraft.(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


An interesting village NW of Xuan Loc called
Dinh Quan. It was commonly called
"Rock City"(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Crossing the Song Dong Nai River on final
approach to the "Bird Cage" at
Bien Hoa Air Base.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


The one, the only, Long Binh Ammo Dump
from 500 feet.(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


The famous Saigon Race Track as seen
from the infield.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Vietnamese War Memorial Cemetery near H-3
and in Saigon.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Typical monsoon "rainy season" thundershowers
that marched across III Corps from SW to NE.(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


The unmistakable "tracks" of B-52 strikes
in the Duc Hoa area. (66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


L to R: Robert Baker, Richard Little and Barr.(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


CWO Rick Donaldson.(67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Memorial Service for SP4 Michael J. Billero, Jr.
held at the Bird Cage. 20 Aug 1966.
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Unidentified Gunner (67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Unidentified Crew members.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


Great photo of Bandit EM.
Please help identify them.(67)
L to R bottom row: ? , SP4 Allen Doody Jr. ,
SP4 Richard Little& Snowball, ? , ? , SP4 Boehm.
L to R back two: ? , ?
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)



Bien Hoa Airbase entrace from the town
of Bien Hoa. Note the famous water
tower under construction.(66)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)



Bandit pilot with typical 90K collective
at rest! (67)
(Photo courtesy Richard Little)


SSG Ronald Martin in
Thunderbird Compound. (Nov 67)
(Courtesy Dennis Grabowski)


SP4 Dennis Grabowski apparently
going or returning from R & R. (67)
(Courtesy Dennis Grabowski)



Cong Ly mess hall prepared for "Hail and
Farewell" for those leaving and going back
to the world! A large group left on DROS in
Mar 1967.
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Hail and Farewell cake for the
Mar 67 large group.
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


The "New Bird Cage" also called
Spartan Heliport.(67)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Cong Ly Villa mess hall with small crowd
awaiting an apparent movie re-run!(67)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


VC suspect is blind-folded, yet un restrained
in the field near Tay Ninh.(67)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Carl Garrett beside typical Termite mound
in the Chon Thon area of War Zone C. (67)
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


Santa(Charlie Bennett) and Charlie Jackson
at the Cong Ly Villa. Christmas 1966.
(Photo courtesy Carl Garrett)


1LT Vern Watts at the ready with CAR-15
in front of D Model, Blue 8(67).
(Photo courtesy Vern Watts)


1LT Vern Watts looking in cockpit. Note the "stitching" on the plexi-glass window just
to left of his Thunderbird patch. This
was a oft seen "fix" for a broken
window when replacements
were not available.(67)
(Photo courtesy Vern Watts)

Unidentified Thunderbird with his friend outside the
1st Platoon "Scorpions" Crewchiefs hooch.(67)
(Photo courtesy James Morgan)


9th Division miniature golf course and
baseball batting cages at Bear Cat. (67)
(Photo courtesy Charles Milan)


9th Division swimming pool at Bear Cat.(67)
(Photo courtesy Charles Milan)


Cock-pit photo showing Decca scroll on the dash.(67)
(Photo courtesy Charles Milan)


The general hospital at infamous Dong Xoai
Special Forces camp that was over-run in June 1965.(67)
(Photo courtesy Charles Milan)


Air America (C.I.A.) sitting on III Corps pad.(67)
(Photo courtesy Charles Milan)


Air America (C.I.A.) Beech D-18 sitting on PSP
at Tan An.(67)
(Photo courtesy Charles Milan)