Album Index for: Go-Go's go to War

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Jim Ketcham scan - "On April 19, 1966, the unit was 
redesignated the 53d Aviation Detachment, Field
Evaluation (Provisional). Shortly there after the unit
was deployed to Viet Nam to commence 180 days of
combat testing under the Army Concept Team In
Vietnam (ACTIV).
On May 13, 1966 the unit
arrived at Vung Tau, Republic of Viet Nam."
'Doc' Holloway photo - 53rd Avn Det. Armorers, mid 1966. 
Left to Right: Babbit, SP4 RODRIGUES, Robinson, McPeak
'Doc' Holloway photo - One of the first eight pilots of "Guns A Go-Go",
Mr. Ralph 'Doc' Holloway, in a very clean looking ACH-47A
Dan Rivera photo PFC Dick O'Connor in front of the GO-GO 
Orderly Room, Vung Tau.
Doc Holloway strapping in "Easy Money". About 30 minutes after 
this photo was taken, Doc got hit in
the foot when "Easy" was shot down along Hwy 13.
Here's what "Easy Money" looked like after the battle on Hwy 13! 
Hwy 13 damage on "Go-Go Niner" 
Doc Holloway and a fishing buddy display their catch.
Photo courtesy of the Aviation Museum, Ft. Rucker, Al 
Crew member carries an FFAR Pod 
Keeping the 40mm in good working order, became a daily task early on. 
'Doc' Holloway photo - Mr. Joe Fields, head bandaged from a bullet wound
while serving on "Easy Money". After Joe recovered, he resumed
his Gunner position.
Sp/4 John Snyder standing by a .51cal NVA Anti-Aircraft Gun 
at An Khe. John was an original Armorer.
The early 20mm Cannon 
The later model 20mm
Crew member checks the Armor Plating under the left-side cockpit 
A very young Dan Rivera, part of the original crew, 
checking the 20mm before a mission.
Crew members re-arming "Easy Money" 
"Easy Money" 
Photo by: David C. Adams - Loading .50cal ammo at An Khe with 
the 53rd Avn Det
Sp/4 Sifuentas, official Ammo Humper!  
Dick O'Connor photo, sent by Dan Rivera "Birth Control" and her keepers.
John Ely(L) and Dick O'Conner(R)
Photo by David C. Adams via Dan Rivera Armorer/Gunner David C. Adams
by "Birth Control" at An Khe, 53rd.
Phot by Dan Rivera L-R: Frank Williams, Joseph McBride, and John Snyder;
Armorers for the 53rd in front of "Guns" Conex.
The Dragon show's her Teeth 
Left side 20mm and FFAR Pod 
40mm Grenade Launcher 
Ramp Area 
"Birth Control", #154, runs up on the PSP. Photo via Dan Rivera.
One of the Gunships, between missions. 
The USS Corpus Christi, which served as a re-supply platform for 
the unit while at Vung Tau.
In the field.
Clarence Hall and Gary Downs beside the Go-Go Jeep at Vung Tau.  
Ed Coberly manning the #2 position during a mission.
Crew members relax beside "Easy Money" between missions.
Another crew member naps in the shade of the big Gunship.
F.D. photo - Ramp Area 
Jim Whitner and Sp4 Arroyro beside "Birth Control"
F.D. photo 
Jim Whitner photo - #151 straddled a large tree stump after being 
shot down; afterwards, she was affectionately given
the name "Stump Jumper".
(In less than 30 days she would meet her fate.)
Jim Whitner photo - #151 "Stump Jumper", after she accidently 
taxied into one of the rotors of a parked Chinook on the ramp at
Vung Tau. The drastic imbalance created by the seperating
rotors, literally tore ole "Stump Jumper" apart! Miraculously, no
one was killed in the melee.
Another look at #151. 
Sadly, Flight Engineer Garnett Clark lost his arm as a result
of this incident
Another look at #151 
Here, you can see the Chinook that #151 hit 
Here is a photo of J.D.Ely, Dan Rivera and Jose Arroyo, taken 
just after their last combat mission
on 'Birth Control', November 1966.
.photo by Dan Rivera
Around the first of December 1966, the unit was redesignated 
as 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional), and attached
to the 1st Cavalry Division's 228th ASHB at An Khe.
Jerry Barnes photo - "Easy Money" on the PSP at An Khe
F.D. photo - "Birth Control" on the PSP at An Khe 
After the loss of #151, "Stump Jumper", testing was haulted 
on the first ACH-47, #145, at Edwards AFB rather suddenly
and it was rushed to southeast Asia. Naming the replacement
aircraft seemed to be an elusive prospect; Here you can
see one of the names used; "Crazy 8"
Photo by Cpt. Roy Benson, B Co, 1st BN, 12th Cav, 66-67
Another shot of #145 in the field.
Photo by Cpt. Roy Benson, B Co, 1st BN, 12th Cav, 66-67
#145 on the PSP at An Khe
Here you can see the "Co$t of Living" Artwork.
Photo by Jim Ketcham
A close-up of the Co$t of Living" Artwork 
Closer-up of "Co$t of Living", by Jim Frye 
David Knight photo - #145 Zero's her 20mm's 
David Knight photo - #64-13154, "Birth Control" on PSP at An Khe  
An easy smile - Lt. Paul Hicks
The Front Office 
David Knight photo - This is probably Pike Mayo (KIA 5 May 67), 
painting the company sign.
Panoramic LZ shot
Jerry Richards 
Go-Go Pilot Jerry Richards, doing what "Hookers" do best 
David Knight photo - One of the Go-Go Jeeps.
Crew member works on the 40mm 
David plays with the resident pooch 
David stands by the "Go-Go Rock", by #145's parking slot at An Khe 
#145 FE Gustafson
Gustafson fell off the helicopter while servicing it, which caused 
serious injury to his back."
...David Knight
The busy Flight Line at An Khe
A group of Go-Go Pilots relax at base camp
Between Missions
"Easy Money" passes over the Company Area at An Khe
Paul Jones photo - Distant view of Go-Go LZ Prep
The "Co$t of Living" artwork was soon removed, and #145 carried 
this dark OD paint the remainder of her operational life.
#145's Aft Pylon, showing newly repaired battle damage.
"Easy Money" is seen lining up on her target. 
Photo via David Knight, taken from #145
David enjoys some pure Hawaiian tunes, compliments of FE Joe Talan  
The Go-Go Jeep hauled the Pilots to and from the aircraft 
David Knight photo - High over the green hills of Vietnam
Melvin Oneal (L) and Gary Rodrigues, on one of those days when 
all the weapons were broken down
and cleaned.
- David Knight
David takes a defensive position behind the Go-Go Rock <;-) 
Gary and Melvin trying to coax a new Gunner into the ship!
The meanest Rock in the Cav!
They Called Them "Guns A Go-Go"
Artist depiction of a Go-Go Bird
2 Crew members relax inside one of the Go-Go's between missions.
"John B. Gunter, No1 Gunner, was firing on "Break Out", O'Neal 
and I were under a No Fire order"
.... David Knight
Crew members relax in the Company Area 
Rich Blakeley man's the Ramp .50 on "Birth Control" 
Another day closer to going home. - Rich Blakeley 
Mike Meer photo - "Birth Control" crew 
The "Stars & Bars" can be seen bleeding through the rushed 
up paint job on #145
Mike Meer and John Lezotte with feathered friend 
Up front in Flight 
Assess battle damage 
Assess battle damage 
Blade change for "Birth Control" 
Transmission change for "Birth Control" 
Rich Blakeley and Paul Hicks enjoy a rare treat; 
some vanilla ice cream!
Bill Kee photo - Ammo on the Ramp 
Blakely and Rodrigues loading Ammo 
"Birth Control" at An Khe 
One of the Go-Go Birds kicking up dust as she lands. 
Pre-mission - "We were banking and I had to lean into this one."
...David Knight
BC Ramp Gunner Rich Blakeley, out behind the Gunners Hooch 
Rich seems very pleased with the contents of his "Care Package" 
from home!
Rich's long awaited ride on the "Freedom Bird" is now only 
minutes away!
The Go-Go'ers prepping an LZ 
You can again see the "Stars & Bars" on this nice shot of #145 
"Birth Control" firing rockets during a mission.
David responds to a request to borrow a cigarette! 
Crew members perform routine maintenance on the 20mm
Joe Talon stands by the Go-Go Rock 
High over the I Corps Highlands
Looking down the #2 Position .50 onto the Golf Course.... David Knight  
On the way to get Charlie 
"Waiting for confirmation of mission results"... David Knight  
David Knight photo - Firing on "Break Out".. (see the Tracer 
Round in the lower
right of the picture)
"We had a target marked in the valley. While doing so, 
we drew fire from the mountain top.
The other Go-Go took a little off the top, to show
us where it was coming from. We attacked the top
while the other attacked the valley. There was nothing left to
photograph when we got through!"
.... David Knight
"We were flying support for the Air Force jets. See the 
little Silver Blur on the other side of the mountain top?"
... David Knight
One of the Go-Go's breaks out of a gun run over a lake. 
In Flight over the jungle 
"I'm firing and Joe Talan is the photographer."...David Knight  
Meant to Kill... Holding the round in his right hand, 
and his finger through the bullet hole on the other
hand, David shows what went into his brass collector bag,
which was full and stopped the bullet.
Meant to Heal...Boeing Tech Reps prepare to patch the bullet hole. 
David Knight photo - Go-Go can also be selective, with clean hits 
on a single target
David Knight photo - "Okay, we fired a rocket or two, now tell 
us what you want us to do?"
David Knight photo - We'd just broken out of our first run. The other 
Go-Go is going in firing as we prepare for our second run.
David Knight photo - Target marked with "Willie Pete"
"Easy Money" at An Khe 
The C-130 that ran off the end of the runway at An Khe; note 
the off duty Go-Go Crewmen running out to assist.
The Company Area at An Khe 
The new "Flash Supressors" 
Photo by Jim Burn
Flash Supressors on "Birth Control" 
Flash Supressors; These things were about as affective as tits 
on a boar! The cup shape caused severe buffeting
in the wind stream, making it near impossible to keep the
weapon on the target. They eventually wound up
in the trash cans.
Inside during a mission 
Crew members relax 
Rolling Hot - photo by Jim Frye 
"Birth Control" at LZ Pony 
Richard Stoessner photo - Lt. Hicks (KIA) sits at his archetype 
desk in the tent at Base Camp.
Richard Stoessner photo- Lt. Hicks and Maj. Stoessner's appreciation 
for C-Rats is reflected in their expressions.. <:-/
"Co$t of Living" at LZ Pony 
Between Missions 
David Knight holds the Company Standard as he prepares to go
back home.
Joe Talon defends the Go-Go Rock 
We were rolling hot on a target in this picture, 
looking at #149 from #145
A good shot of "Birth Control" in her early days 
"Someone please help me with the ID of this photo?" 
Hooch Mates 
It was while engaged in this action, Aircraft Commander 
Lt. Paul Hicks was hit in the foot.
Photo by: Mike Labriola - Here is Joe and I having a quick drink 
in my hooch for my birthday or just before.
Joe and I used to talk quite a bit on the flight line.
He use to say "If you give the Vietnamese (not the word he used)
a beer can they will give you back a Cadillac."
I believed it after I saw some of the toys made
from beer cans in town.
Example of each ballistic we carried 
"Co$t of Living" prepares to leave on another mission 
The photo was made in a field (it later became LZ Dog) across from 
LZ English up by Bong Son.

Taken in Jan '67 by WO1 John LaDue, who was
a "slick" pilot for Co.B 227th/AHB. (read his eyewitness account
of the loss of "Co$t of Living" in the "History" link)

While on the ground, checking battle damage one day, this woman
came up to the helicopter, begging us to take her children with us!
A sad testimony of war. - David Knight
"Birth Control" crew members checking battle damage while re-arming 
at LZ Two Bits sometime shortly before May '67
while in support of an operation that the 1/9th
was also involved.
Photo by Bob Phipps
"VC Lunchbox": two Crew Members re-arm the Ramp .50. (taken the
same time as photo above) Notice the full Brass Collector Bag.
Photo by Bob Phipps - Former lift pilot with A/1/9 CAV from
FEB 67-FEB 68. Call sign Apache 38
Company Sign 
Pit-Stop time 
#145 on the PSP at An Khe 
Then on the 5th day of May, 1967, everything changed!
While participating in action near Bong Son, one of the 20mm 
pip-pins vibrated loose during a gun run...
"Co$t of Living" and her Crew were no more!
The wreckage was recovered to An Khe 
The Go-Go Artwork on the forward Crown somehow survived 
the fiery crash.
Wreckage at An Khe 
There sure wasn't very much left of the Old Girl 
Part of #145's Pod - photo by Bill Kee 
Crew members at An Khe, take a moment to reflect on their 
fallen Comrades
More of the wreckage 
Preperation for the Memorial Service at the Company Area 
CWO Ed Weidenbach was new in the unit.  He was co-pilot aboard 
"Co$t of Living".
"From Hawaii, Joe Talan. It's easy to be friends with a happy, 
smiling, generous man. Joe was our Flight Engineer. He
was my best friend, but he was a lot of peoples best
friend! He was always cheerful and fun to be around,
even in Viet Nam! He would lessen the burden
we were under in many ways. I always felt that he
kept our helicopter as well as the crew in top
shape! Joe was KIA on 5 May 67. "I still miss him"...
David Knight
Melvin Oneal points out the bullet hole beside his station! 
Final Farewells 
"You will not be forgotten"