The 176th Assault Helicopter Company Minutemen
In early 1969 I was a SP4 67N20 helicopter repairman stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. Things were so boring there that I actually volunteered to go to Vietnam -- our company clerk was aghast and thought that I was insane.
I arrived in country on April 27, 1969 and was assigned to the 176th Assault Helicopter Company which was located in Chu Lai in I Corp. I started out working on the FNC (NC stands for "night crew"), was promoted to SP5 and became a maintenance team leader, and then was made a TI (Technical Inspector). I was having so much fun that in November of 1969 I extended my tour for an additional six months. Of course, the fact that the extension would allow me to leave the Army at DEROS might have had some influence on my decision!
While I was in the Service Platoon I did not get to fly much -- just maintenance test flights, and the occasional day trip to Qui Nhon. I wanted to fly more -- plus I somehow wore out my welcome in the Service Platoon -- so in March of 1970 I was "promoted" to Sergeant E-5 as a "Temporary Acting NCO" and was made the Assistant Platoon Sergeant of the 2nd Flight Platoon, one of the two slick platoons. My job was to schedule the EM flight crews (crew chiefs and door gunners) for each day's missions and also to fill in where an additional crew chief or door gunner was needed.
When I first showed up in 2nd Flight the guys asked me if I was just going to be a paper pusher or whether I was willing to go out and fly with them. They wanted to know if I was brave enough and tough enough to be a good crew chief/door gunner. I replied that I was so tough that my civilian friends had nicknamed me "Mad Dog" Littlefield. This was clearly ridiculous, but everyone thought that it was funny, so that became my nickname. I even painted my flight helmet black and drew the words "Mad Dog" on it in the shape of teeth dripping blood. This work of art appears in one of the pictures on the accompanying pages.
Although my tour with the 176th was no picnic, I lived and worked with a lot of great people and I actually remember my time there fondly. I was also proud of the job that we did and of how we conducted ourselves. We had some screwups, sure, but overall we were competent, dedicated and courageous. Contrary to the conventional wisdom I believe that the vast majority of Americans who served in RVN were this way. Those of us who were there did not lose the war on the ground -- the war was lost by our weak and inept military and political "leaders" in the U.S. See my article for details on my analysis of this issue.
I had an Instamatic camera with me all during my 18 months in country and brought back over 200 I have just started scanning them in -- it is a time consuming process, as each picture has to be adjusted for color and brightness to make them as sharp as possible. As I get more of them scanned in I will add them to these pages.
I was not as diligent and I should have been about recording details such as exact date, tail number, etc. on these pictures, including the names of some of the guys in them. So if you can identify anyone in these pictures, or if you have any additional information that you would like me to include with the photos please with the info. If you have any pictures or stories that you would like me to post on these pages send them along too. In fact, if you just want to say hello contact me -- I would enjoy hearing from anyone who was there while I was.
Also, be sure to visit on which he has posted not only many pictures but also a lot of historical material about the 176th AHC. If you were ever a Minuteman you will want to visit this page!
Please remember that all material on this page and all linked pages is Copyright © 1999-2012 Robert W. Littlefield and and may not be copied, republished or used for any commercial purpose without permission. Please read my for details.