68th Assault Helicopter Company

Top Tigers & Mustangs
 
 

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

(June 67 - May 68)

In the past year the "Top Tiger" of the 68th Assault Helicopter Company have contributed significantly to the counter-insurgency effort in the III Corps area. The 68th has proven itself capable of combating the enemy in the demanding and ever-changing terrain of Vietnam. Working as a professional team, the "Tigers" and "Mustangs" have augmented the striking capability of all free world forces engaged in combat operation.

The achievement of the "Mustangs" and "Tigers" during the past year is indicative of operational success that can be obtained through coordination and close support. In the month of October 1967, the "Mustangs" were credited with 117 kills. Over 15 of this total were accounted for on a three day operation known as "Coronado". Along with the 9th Infantry Division, they succeeded in knocking the Communist forces for a bitter defeat. Inspite of adverse weather and the hostile enemy situation, the company lost no men. However, many of their ships did take several hits while performing their perilous mission and assisting by MEDEVAC.

In January 1968, Operation "Queen" at Song Be was the scene of more heavy enemy contact. Once again the enemy took heavy losses while the "Top Tigers" lost no men. Other operations such as: "Royal Flush", "Yellowstone", and "Bordertown" were all successful as "Charlie" was continuously beaten to the ground. In late January 1968 the 68th AHC distinguished itself in the Tet Offensive. The "Mustangs" were quick to answer the call for assistance, when they quickly responded to the VC attack on the Bien Hoa Air base perimeter. The gunships performed with true professionalism, placing heavy firepower against the firmly emplaced enemy forces who were within 50 meters of allied-troops. Throughout the Viet Cong uprising the 68th AHC gave superior support to the III Corps forces.

With some of the great leaders on the "Tiger Team", the company has performed as never before. In June the "Top Tigers" were commanded by Major Larry D. Dotson along with Major John V Ohnstad as the XO. In September Major Dotson was promoted to LTC and moved up to take the position of battalion S-3. Major Ohnstad then assumed command and Major Alich moved from command of the transportation detachment to fill the job of XO. Major Alich later moved to another unit and was replaced by Major Hagee.

Embodying all of the elements of tactical teamwork the "Top Tigers" have exemplified the attitude of mission first. Through the proper utilization of mutual support the "Tigers" and "Mustangs" have repeatedly transcended the required by giving the ground commander more than he has needed to carry on aggressive operations against the enemy. The year, June 1967 - May 1968, has indeed been rewarding for the men of the 68th Assault Helicopter, who eagerly awaited the missions of tomorrow.