Saturday, February 23, 2008
Huey: workhorse of the Viet conflict
In Vietnam, 2,202 Huey pilots were killed and approximately 2,500 aircraft were lost, roughly half to combat and the rest to operational accidents.
The UH-1 has long become a symbol of US involvement in Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular, and as a result of that conflict, has become one of the world's most recognized helicopters.
In Vietnam primary missions included general support, air assault, cargo transport, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, electronic warfare, and later, ground attack.
UH-1s tasked with a ground attack or armed escort role were outfitted with rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns. These gunship UH-1s were commonly referred to as Hogs if they carried rockets, and Cobras if they had guns. While UH-1s tasked for troop transport were often called Slicks due to an absence of weapons pods. Slicks did have door gunners, but for the most part they were strictly troop carriers and medevacs. In the US Navy and USMC the difference between gunships were referred to as Sharks, troop transport aircraft, Dolphins.