Vietnam Helos – Angels and Demons from the Sky

During the Vietnam War the helicopter totally changed infantry combat. Helicopters could be used to insert and extract troops, including medical evacuations. Helicopter gunships could also be used to attack the enemy at close quarters to friendly troops and provide fire support. They were the angels of the sky to their own soldiers and demons to the enemy. At the Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012 in Washington state I saw two of the classic helicopters from that period fly together; a Bell UH-1K Iriquois (the “Huey” first introduced in 1959 were used in multiple roles: transport, medevac and gunship) and a Bell AH-1S Cobra gunship (the first AH-1 was introduced in 1967). Both helicopters are from The Olympic Flight Museum collection in Olympia, Washington.

Bell UH-1K Iriquois
Bell UH-1K Iriquois
Bell AH-1S Cobra
Bell AH-1S Cobra “Hell’s Angel”
Bell UH-1 AH-1 Olympic Flight Museum
Huey and the Cobra
Huey Cobra Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012
Joint operations
Bell UH-1 Iriquois AH-1 Cobra JBLM 2012 USA
This would have been a welcome sight to US troops on the ground
UH-1 AH-1 Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo Washington 2012
Heading for the LZ
Iriquois Cobra
Side by side

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