The History of 227th for the year of 1967.

The following document was retrieved from the National Archives in Washington D. C. on December 3, 1998.
It covers from January 1,1967 through to December 31,1967.

History of the 227th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter)

1 January 1967 - 31 December 1967

Prepared by

Major Darwin A. Peterson

and

Captain Alex Woods Jr.

Approved by

Lt. Colonel W.F. Dixon

Battalion Commander

1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

APO San Francisco 96490

NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY SEVEN

1967


BASE CAMP

The base camp of the 227th Aviation Battalion remained at Camp Redcliff, An Khe, Republic of Vietnam, throughout the year. Improvements of living areas, maintenance of facilities, and aircraft parking areas progressed slowly during the first months due to the battalion's heavy operational commitments in the field. During the second quarter, new emphasis was placed on completing 65% of the buildings planned for each unit. At the end of June, permanent type buildings in the battalion area were nearing the 65% completion mark and the An Khe base was beginning to take a new look. Supplies were more plentiful as were cement mixers and other type construction vehicles. The new emphasis at base camp on building construction did hinder the operational readiness in the forward area since all construction was limited to the self help program.am..

Another major project was the Golf Course revetment program with a completion goal set for 33 revetments to be completed by the end of July. The battalion had extreme difficulty meeting this deadline, but as in the past, all requirements were fulfilled and another mission accomplished. Officers and enlisted men worked as laborers on these projects. Any individual that had previous building experience was accepted as the Project Director, and the rest of the personnel pitched in with a tremendous spirit to make the base camp a better place to live.

The 227th Aviation Battalion continued to support brigade elements of the First Calvary Division. The normal mission was to support brigade elements of the specific brigade for a particular operation. On initial assaults of the brigade elements into an AO (area of operation), as many as sixty (60) lift helicopters (UH-1D's) might be employed. The 229TH Aviation Battalion, our sister unit, would provide support to the 227th Aviation Battalion, on these initial moves, with aircraft and crews as required.d.d..

JANUARY

During January, the 227th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter) participated in Operation Thayer II. The 227th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter) was placed in direct support of the 2nd Brigade throughout this operation. Company A, was committed on the base defense mission at An Khe until 27 January, and assigned a new mission at Phan Thiet. Company A, 227th Aviation Battalion was displaced to Phan Thiet to provide sixteen (16) UH-1D's. Four UH-1B's with crews from Company D, 227th Aviation Battalion, was attached to Company A to provide gunship support. The 2nd Brigade conducted intensive search and destroy operations throughout the Pershing AO..

On 2 January, The First Battalion, 5th Cavalry, conducted combat assaults into the hill mass approximately 35 Kilometers north west of LZ Uplift. This operation (Hot Snap) was supported by 24 UH-1D's from the 227th. The assault was delayed until 1000 hours due to marginal weather conditions..

On 8 January, the 227th supported an ARVN Task Force on air assaults into two LZ's along the Song Kim River 18 Kilometers north east of LZ uplift. The 229TH provided 6 UH-1D's and 2 UH-1B's.

On 11 January, Companies B and C, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, were supported with 20 UH-1D's and 4 UH-1B's on air assaults into two LZ's, (BR625632 and BR687822). The 227th had mission responsibility and provided 8 UH-1D's and 4 UH-1B's. The 229th provided 4 UH-1D's and the 119th Aviation Company provided 8 UH-1D's. The mission was delayed due to poor weather conditions.

On 16 January, The 227th supported the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, with 24 UH-1D's and 4 UH-1B's into four LZ's, 22 kilometers west of LZ English. (LZ's Nina, Alma, Irma, and Sandra).

On 18 January, 227th assaulted the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, and CIDG elements into eight LZ's, 8 kilometers NNE of English. The LZ's were not named. The operation was supported with 18 UH-1D's and 6 UH-1B's. The initial assaults consisted of three simultaneous landings of 6 UH-1D's and 2 UH-1B's. Several aircraft were hit by hostile ground fire although there were no casualties or serious aircraft damage. The 229TH provided 8 UH-1D's and 2 UH-1B's for this operation. The same ground elements were extracted and air assaulted into 6 LZ's, 8 kilometers NE of English two days later. The 227th provided 12 UH-1D's and 2 UH-1B's for this move.

On 21 January, a tactical emergency was declared by the 2nd Brigade. ALL available UH-1D's and UH-1B's were scrambled to LZ Uplift including those aircraft on logistical missions and maintenance stand down. Elements of the 2nd Battalion, 12TH Cavalry and 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry were extracted from LZ's throughout the AO and transported to LZ English. These Elements in addition to CIDG forces were air assaulted into the mountain range NW of LZ English. The 2nd Brigade again declared a Tactical emergency on 27 January 1967. 24 UH-1D's and 4 UH-1B's were scrambled from LZ Dog. Reinforcing troops (US and ARVN) were air lifted into an LZ in the vicinity of LZ Trout. On the initial lift, 3 UH-1D's were hit by automatic weapons fire in the LZ. Five crew members were wounded although not seriously. Two UH-1D's were flown back to LZ Dog, and one landed on the beach. All three aircraft required minor repairs. Due to the intelligence report, the 227th supported the 2nd Brigade on two Battalion moves into the mountain range and foot hills east of LZ Uplift. No contact was encountered and Thayer II was about to end. Thayer II officially terminated on 12 February 1967...

FEBRUARY

The 227th continued to support the 2nd Brigade. The battalion forward CP remained at LZ Dog with B, C, and D Companies. Enemy contact would vary from heavy to light in the Bong Son Plain and surrounding mountains. Many assaults to the east of LZ English were fought under heavy fire and seldom did the lift ships go into an LZ without being fired on. Weather proved to be a tough factor but the battalion was "FAT" on experience and no serious problems materialized. Tactics were modified somewhat due to the contact on the plain and low ground.

Assaults were made to the high ground to support a ground tactical plan of sweeping down to the valleys. Very little hostile ground fire was encountered with the helicopter assaults to the hill top but a slight increase in accidents occurred due to the pinnacle landings which required a great amount of pilot skill to overcome turbulence and density altitude problems. The 227th Battalion continued supporting "Operation Pershing" with various missions ranging from the RRF to the Division Spray..

Grasshopper, (A word dreaded by pilots but a relief to the ground unit perimeter) became a nightly affair, varying from LZ Crystal to Pony, but when both places were mortared by the VC, the ships were Grasshoppered to Qui Nhon and An Khe. (Grasshopper of course, is the moving of ships at night to a secure area) Many nights were spent by the pilots and crew under a mosquito net tied to the tail boom of the UH1-D. February ended with Operation Pershing still in effect.

MARCH

March started off with a battalion size combat assault of three companies, using 11 UH1-D's from the 227th and 11 UH1-D's from the 229TH. The 2/5th was combat assaulted into "VC Valley", 3 K's SE of LZ Dog. Only sporadic contact was made and all LZ's were green. D Company was credited with 1 KIA while supporting the ARVNS. A PSY OPS Program was increased in the Bong Son Plain. Normal CA's, extractions and general support missions continued throughout the month. The Flying Hour Program was continually being overflown due to the movement and requirements in the Bong Son AO.

APRIL-MAY

PHY OPS notices and leaflets telling all civilians to get out of the An Loa Valley was in progress. The An Loa Valley, the real stronghold of the NVA in the Bong Son AO was about to become a free fire area. The 227th provided support to the 229TH in their support to the last and 3rd Brigades. The An Loa proved to be a formidable stronghold to the helicopters as well as the infantry. Numerous night emergency resupplies were made, as well as many flare missions to support our infantry in taking the night away from "Charlie". The Battalion became split in three locations, Company "A" was at Phan Thiet, Company "B" was at LZ Dog, and Company "C" was moved to LZ Hammonds. The Gun Company (D) remained at Dog, but provided one platoon of four Acorns to Phan Thiet..

"C" Company was to set up at LZ Hammonds with elements of the 5th Transportation Battalion to become eventually a secure maintenance area. Plans changed and after a short month "C" Company moved back to LZ Dog. "Beach Parties" became more of a reality, almost twice a week. In other words, the bulk of the mission ready aircraft would fly to the beaches along the coast near the Crescent Area and Lagger, the infantry would fly with us to provide perimeter defense. At daybreak the aircraft would crank and return to the mission of the day. The weather was beginning to get hotter and the density attitude higher, much emphasis was placed on reduced loads and more critical attention of the aircraft commanders and pilots. The 3rd Brigade of the 5th Infantry remained at LZ Uplift, and at times the 1st Cav Air mobility was called upon to assist the "Tropical Lightning" Brigade.

The 227th received an order to move further north to Duc Pho to provide logistical support and RRF to the 3/25th for 2.5 weeks. A jump CP was set up with the Brigade and the Hueys would fly from the Bong Son Plains to the Little Mountains of Duc Pho. The Marines were moving out of the area, and the Army was taking over an AO further to the north. After 2.5 weeks, the 161st AVN CO assumed the support of the 3/25th and the 227th aircraft returned to support the 1st CAV. Night Hunter Missions were increased in the Pershing AO in an attempt to stop the movement of supplies and equipment at night. Throughout the month of May, numerous company size moves were conducted in support of the 2nd Brigade, utilizing from 6 to 10 UH1-D aircraft. May ended with 11 UH1-D and 3 UH1-B in Phan Thiet. The remainder of mission ready ships were committed to the 1st Cav in support of Operation Pershing.

JUNE

LTC George C. Horton took command of the Battalion during June replacing LTC James F. Hamlet.

20 UH1-D's from the 227th and 40 UH1-D's from the 229TH moved 60 sorties of B, C, and D companies, 2/2/12th to the mountain area northwest of the An Loa Valley. The assault was completed without incident, with three batteries firing on the LZ, Go Go and ARA, as well as organic gunships and door gunners suppressing. The assault was characterized by light enemy contact and heavy aircraft commitments for logistics and resupply.

On 6 June, a night assault was planned in the Crescent area west of highway #1. The lift was accomplished utilizing 18 UH1-D's from the Battalion. During the conduct of the lift, the English Pol and Ammo Dump exploded. The 15th Medical Facility was completely destroyed which resulted in the 227th treating and evacuating 37 casualties. Numerous aircraft parked on the ground at LZ Dog suffered both shrapnel and concussion damage. Numerous assaults were conducted throughout the month of June, utilizing 6-12 UH1-D's.

On 24 June, the 227th AHB (-) was selected to move one company (B) to Kontum and the other company (C) to An Khe. B Company with a platoon of Guns were in support of the 3rd Brigade operating in a new area known as the Greely AO. The Battalion and C Company moved to An Khe to assume the base defense mission.

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