Seawolves on track of enemy

By JIM FALK | Stars and Stripes | Published: September 21, 1969

CHAU DOC, Vietnam — Seawolves are nipping at Charley's heels.

This unit, officially dubbed Light Helicopter Attack Sq. 3, has been lending aerial fire support to U.S. and Vietnamese naval forces in the Mekong Delta area and the Rung Sat Special Zone since April, 1967.

That was when the Seawolves were commissioned to become the U.S. Navy's only attack helicopter squadron.

Now with a force of 30 UH1B Huey gunships operating in eight detachments, the squadron backs up the river assault craft, river patrol boats and Swift boats of Operation Sea Lords assigned to stop Charley's infiltration and catch him where they can in the network of rivers and canals which slice the southern section of Vietnam.

These gunships are the type the U.S. Army replaced with the UH1C in 1965. In fact, they are on loan to the Navy and the pilots and crewmen go through four weeks of additional training at the Army helicopter school at Ft. Rucker, Ala., before being assigned to the squadron in Vietnam.

Typical of the detachments which form the squadron are the two choppers, eight pilots and nine crewmen which make up Det. 5.

Their home field is the YRBM 16 (yard repair, berthing and messing craft), anchored on the Hau Giang River 110 miles west of Saigon and only 10 miles from the Cambodian border.

Their work shop is the system of rivers and canals and the paddies which run along the border from Chau Doc to the Gulf of Thailand.

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