This is the dramatic history of the HAL-3 Seawolves, the U.S. Navy's first and only helicopter gunship squadron of the Vietnam War. The squadron was established qin countryq to support the fast, pugnacious river patrol boats of the brown water navy. Flying combat-worn Hueys borrowed from the Army, the mission of the Seawolves quickly expanded to include rapid response air support to any friendly force in the Delta needing immediate, no-holds-barred assistance. Operating in two-plane detachments from specifically configured LSTs, hastily constructed bases, and primitive campsites, the navy gunships and their crews responded to calls within minutes. Flying in all kinds of weather, day and night, they arrived at tree-top level with forward-firing rockets and flex-guns blazing. Door gunners hung outside the violently maneuvering helicopters delivering a hail of fire with their hand-held M-60 machine guns. The Seawolves inserted SEALs deep into enemy territory, and extracted them, often despite savage enemy opposition. They rescued friendly combatants from almost certain capture or death, and evacuated the wounded when Medevac helicopters were not available. Gleaned from historical documents and the colorful recollections of more than sixty Seawolf warriors, this is the first complete history of the most decorated Navy squadron of the Vietnam War. Naval aviator Richard Knott recounts the story of the Seawolves from the dawning of the concept to the moment the last squadron commander turned out the lights.aI had been mulling over for a long time how to get navy helicopters to replace what we had. The navy had told me they ... During a few minutes of social conversation, Ward had solved two vexing problems in which formal procedures had so far failed to make a dent. ... Even if a top priority were assigned, it would be some time before such a squadron could be formed, manned, and established in country.
|Title||:||Fire from the Sky|
|Publisher||:||Naval Institute Press - 2013-05-11|