This historical supplement was obtained from Army archives by John-Al Skimbo
HISTORY OF THE
48th ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY
10th Combat Aviation Battalion
1st Aviation Brigade
1 January 1968 - 31 December 1968
W01 Harvey W. Prather Jr.
Unit Historical Officer
VICTOR E MICOL JR
Ninh Hoa, Republic of Vietnam
APO San Francisco 96240
The Officers and men of the 48th Assault Helicopter Company have experienced a year of extreme toil and hardships due to the lack of personnel. Morals and self esteem have overcome stumbling block and have caused the personnel of this unit to accomplish their many missions with true professionalism. We of the 48th Assault Helicopter Company take pride in the fact that our past history is unblemished. We know also the war was not won yesterday but the end will be quickened only through the ever increasing work of tomorrow.
The attitudes of a few men, newly separated from the comforts and security of their homes, were negative upon entry into this country. While working with and for the people of Vietnam, the attitudes have changed sharply. It is with extreme anticipation that we look into the future to the tasks that will help end the war and return peace within Vietnam.
VICTOR E MICOL JR
(A hand drawn Blue Star with company motto was in this space)
Major John C. Fordham Jr.
1 January - 10 February 1968
Major Jerry L. Fleming
11 February - 12 August 1968
Major Robert E. Harris
13 August - 26 December 1968
Major Victor E. Micol Jr.
27 December - 31 December 1968
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
48th Assault Helicopter Company
APO San Francisco 96240
UNIT OPERATIONS - 1 January 1968 - 31 December 1968
In January 1968, the 48th Assault Helicopter Company and attached supporting units consisting of the 390th Maintenance Detachment, 286th Medical Detachment, and the 279th Signal Detachment, within the 10th Combat Aviation Battalion performed the mission of general support of the 9th Republic of Korean Infantry Division (White Horse).
General support of the 9th ROK Infantry Division include daily resupply, combat assaults, final extraction, Administrative troop movements, transporting VIPs, convoy cover, overhead troop cover, reconnaissance missions and tactical emergency missions. In addition, this unit has provided support as required to the surrounding American and Vietnamese units. Support provided these units include medical evacuations, emergency repair parts movements, expediting personnel movements in emergency calls from vehicles under attack, reconnaissance missions, and friendly assistance to small outposts.
During the months from January through March, the 48th Assault Helicopter Co suffered from a serious shortage of personnel within the attached units. The following vacancies existed.
|*9th ROK Division Liaison||68F20-Sr Electrical Rprm|
|*761A-Unit Tech Supply||70A10-General Clerk|
|*6716-Aircraft Repair Technician||(4)68G20-Airplane Rprm|
|92B20-Medical Lab Spec||67N20-Helicopter Mech|
|91B30-Sr Med Aid Man||68D20-Power Train Rprm|
|35W20-Avn Equip Mech||68E20-Rotar Rprm|
|44E20-Machinist||(4)68B20-Aircraft Engine Rprm|
|(2)68B20-Sr Airplane Rprm||(3)68A10-Tool Room Keeper|
Warrant Officers, 062B, were utilized in vacant TO&E supervisory positions The personnel shortage problem, however, was compounded by the loss of three operational pilots being utilized to fill these slots. (slots filled with Warrant Officers).
The inherent language barrier had, on occasion resulted in less than acceptable reaction time, particularly within the armed helicopter realm of operations. This problem was alleviated somewhat by placing an English speaking Korean Officer on board the aircraft to coordinate between the ground commander and the aircraft.
During the period 1 January 1968 to 31 January 1968, the units conducted combat assaults resulting in 12 KIA's.
The operational results for January are as follows: 2,1451 hours flown 7,921 sorties, 810 tons of cargo and 13,2l6 troops carried.
1 Feb 68 to Apr 68, the 48th Assault Helicopter Company conducted 129 coordinated combat assaults and extractions. Also, during this period, the unit carried 1,776 tons of cargo, 37,873 troops for a total of l3,l06 tasks and 40,010 sorties.
The shortage of personnel in the A/C field maintenance continued to be detrimental to the combat effectiveness of this unit.
A med cap program was initiated in February starting with three (3) Montanard and three (3) Vietnamese villages. Visits were made to these villages on alternate Sundays. This program involved this unit plus personnel from the MIL-FAB Team and the MACV Team, both locations nearby. This program consisted of providing first aid treatment of minor ailments and recommendations for evacuation to a medical installation if the care necessitates it.
On 5 May until 17 May 1968 the unit was engaged in a division size combat operation, BAEK MA 6. The second phase started on 26 May 1968 and ended on 7 June 1968. During the second phase, this unit carried 1,402 troops into combats extracted them, carried 1,254 troops into a combat area and extracted them upon completion of the operation. The results were: 305 VC Killed and 4 VC captured. Seized material were: 128 small arms, 1,0775 rounds of small arms ammunition, 109 hand grenades, 82 Artillery shells, 362 documents, 155 pounds of TNT, and 4,614 pounds of food. The friendly forces during this time reported light causalities.
On 21 May 1968, two armed Helicopter light fire teams (Jokers) of this unit performed escort duty for General William C. Westmoreland, Commanding General, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, on a visit to the Commanding General of the 9th ROK Division.
During the period of 25-27 June 1968, the 48th Assault Helicopter Company provided a flight of four Helicopters to Quin Nhon in support of the Capital ROK Infantry Division and on the third day assisted the 155th Assault Helicopter Company at Ban Me Thuot.
During the month of June, the unit in support of the 9th ROK Division element conducted 16 combat assaults and 11 troops extractions carrying a total of 59322 troops. For the month the unit flew 29,159 hours with 10,221 sorties, carried 16,697 passengers and hauled 733 tons of cargo.
On 6 July 1968, this unit planned and executed at the same time two (2) regimental size combat assaults 80 miles apart. The 28th Regiment, 9th ROK Division located in Tuy Hoa area conducted an assault in the mountains of Vung Ro Bay, with 541 troops employed, resulting in 10 KIA's, captured 6 small arms, 17 hand grenades along with food and personnel belongings. The 30th Regiment, located in the Phan Rang area, conducted a mountain assault also, with 526 troops employed, resulting in 44 KIA's, and capturing one (1) radio, 11 weapons, 5 mines, 80 pounds of TNT, documents, food, plus small arms ammunition, grenades and mortar rounds.
The 48th Assault Helicopter Company was called upon to provided transportation and escort for General Creighton W. Abrams., Commanding General, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam on 10 July 1968, during a routine visit.
On 7 July 1968, the unit participated in the planning and execution of a combat operation with the 29th Regiment, 9th ROK Division. The two phase operation was completed on 19 July 1968. Results were as follows: 129 KIAs, 2 prisoners, 35 small arms seized and 54 grenades.
During the month of July the Blue Star and the Jokers flew 2,299 hours, 11,112 sorties performed 2,702 tasks, lifted 18,038 troops and hauled 855 tons of cargo.
The 48th Assault Helicopter Co participated in 11 combat assaults during the month of August 1968, five of which were battalion size. On 3 August the unit lifted l,0l7 troops into the mountains of Van Ninh. This operation netted 13 KIA. On 8 August troops of the 30th ROK Regiment were lifted into the mountains west of Dong Ba Thin. This heliborne operation netted 36 KIA and 1 POW. On 10 August, troops of the 29th ROK Regiment were lifted into the mountains west of Phu Heip which netted, 16 KIAs and 2 POWs. On 28 August a combat assault southwest of Ninh Hoa netted 7 KIA.
On 13 August 1968, the 48th Assault Helicopter Company said farewell to Major Jerry L. Fleming and welcomed Major Robert E. Harris in an offical change of command ceremony conducted at Ninh Hoa.
During the month of August 1968 the 48th Assault Helicopter Company flew 21,509 hours., ll,294 sorties, 2,536 tasks, Lifted 18,284 troops and hauled 947 tons of cargo.
During the month of September 1968 the unit conducted 16 combat assaults and 10 extractions 3 of which were battalion size and 1 regimental plus it's normal daily resupply. On 6 September a combat assault near Phan Rang netted 49 KIA and 12 POW'S. On 9 September the unit supporting the 29th Regiment netted 12 KIA and 9 VC returned under the "Open Arms" program. On 19 September the unit performed a combat assault with the 28th Regiment which resulted in 25 KIA.
Statistics for the month of September are as follows: 2,401 hours flown, 10,323 sorties, 2,486 tasks, 15,049 troops and 852 tons of cargo.
During the month of October, the four (4) ROK Army pilots, having successfully completed their training, were returned to their parent organizations. These initial four pilots attached were taken from an experience level of 25 UH-1 hours to a 300 plus hour level and given an opportunity to experience every aspect of flying the UH-1 that normally is handled by any member of this unit.
On 11 October 1968, a division size combat assault began in connection with "BAEK MA 9", on 13 October "BAEK MA 9" started in the mountains south of Nha Trang. The results of 'BAEK. MA 9 were: 380 KIA, 9 POW's, 92 small arms captured, three (3) 82mm mortars, six (6) 60mm mortars captured 4 AR's 22,321 rounds of small arms ammunition, 84 rounds of other ammo, 160 grenades, 4 radios, 22 rifle grenades and 19 protective mask seized.
The new contonement area was completed sufficiently to allow all personnel to move into their new quarters during the month of October. The next phase will the final finishing of the area to include such things as leveling, ditching, planting sod, painting buildings and improving drainage.
The operational results for the month were: 2,402 hours flown, 10,851 sorties, 2,764 tasks, 17,716 troops carried and 806 tons of cargo.
On 19 November 1968, 680 men and equipment of the 1st Battalion, 28th Regiment were moved into the mountains southwest of Phu hiep for a 10 day period. The operation resulted in 5 enemy KIA.
On 20 November, 1,010 troops of the 29th Regiment were moved into the mountains northwest of Ninh Hoa for a 6 day period resulting in 16 enemy KIA and 1 POW.
On 22 November a combat assault in the 29th Regiment area resulted in 40 KIA.
The aircraft maintenance personnel of the 48th Assault Helicopter Company and the 390th Maintenance Detachment have once again proven their experience and sense of mission accomplishment in keeping aircraft in a flyable status. On 14 November, they reported 100% of the aircraft flyable, quite feat for this environment. On the next day, however, they again distinguished themselves by providing 100% flyable mission ready aircraft.
On 6 December, 509 troops from the lst Battalion, 30th Regiment and the 48th Assault helicopter Company participated in an operation which netted 11 enemy KIA.
On 6 December the 3rd Battalion, 29th Regiment and the 48th Assault Helicopter Company initiated a combat assault which continued through the 21st of December. During the operation five (5) enemy KIA's were claimed.
On an eight day airmobile operation, conducted by 812 troops of the 2nd Battalion, 30th Regiment, and the 48th Assault Helicopter Company, the greatest number of enemy KIA's claimed during any single operation for the month netted 28 enemy KIA and 1 POW.
Blue Star aircraft participated in a six (6) day airlift operation (19-25 December) resulting in 14 KIAs, and 18 sticks of TNT, in the Ninh Hoa area.
On 25 December 1968, we lost our company commander, Major Robert Harris, due to a broken leg suffered during a softball game after Christmas dinner. We welcomed our new commanding officer, Major Victor E. Micol Jr., a familiar face around the 48th Assault Helicopter Company and better known as "Kimchi 33", who had been the ROK liaison officer for the past seven months.
The operational results during December are as follows: 2,361 hours flown, 9,524 sorties, 716 tons of cargo and 13,840 troops carried.
During the period 1 January through 31 December 1968 members of the 48th Assault Helicopter Company were awarded: 128 Basic Air Medals, 13 Air Medals with "V" devises, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 25 Army Commendation Medals, 11 Purple Hearts, 10 Bronze Stars and 3 Soldiers Medals.
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