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178th ASHC - 14th Avaition Battalion

UNIT HISTORY

Before the 178th's deployment to the Republic of Vietnam it was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. At that time the 178th consisted of the 400th Transportation Detachment and the 774th Medical Detachment, all under the control of the 10th Aviation Group. The unit's organization was completed on 1 September 1965. Near the end of October the 178th was notified of its future deployment to the Republic of Vietnam. Intensive tactical training began immediately. This tactical training was completed on 3 January 1966.

The main body of the 178th consisted of sixteen CH-47A Chinook Helicopters. They were flown from Ft. Benning on February 16 and arrived at Sharpe Army Depot, near Oakland, California, on February 17. The aircraft were shipped on the Aircraft Carrier Breton, departing the United States on February 26 and arriving at the port of Vung Tau on March 10. The personnel assisted in the rigging of the aircraft and from Vung Tau they were transported to Phu Loi. The main body of personnel were airlifted to Phu Loi. Only 12 days after the unit had received its TO&E equipment it was fully operational. This set a record for the establishment of an aviation unit of this size.

Upon arrival at Phu Loi, the 178th, previously known as the 178th Aviation Company, received its present name, the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company. The company, under the 10th Aviation Group, was reassigned to the 11th Aviation Battalion, which is under the 12th Aviation Group. By that time the 774th Medical Detachment, which supported the 178th, was reassigned to the 145th Aviation Battalion and the 178th received the support of the 11th Aviation Battalion Medical Detachment.

The 178th was stationed at Phu Loi, RVN, from 1 January 1966 to 21 April 1967. Then, in April 1967, the 178th was placed in direct support of Task Force Oregon, located at Chu Lai. A major move of personnel and aircraft was made to Chu Lai. Two flights of five Chinooks moved everybody except for a small party which was left behind to handle administrative and supply problems. The 178th was temporarily assigned to Task Force Oregon, or as it is known today, the Americal Division, and was placed under the control of the 17th Group on 21 April 1967.

With the coming of the new year the 178th was reassigned from the 17th Aviation Group to the 16th Aviation Group. Now under the control of the 16th, and workign for the Americal Division, the major missions flown by the 178th were cargo, resupply, and troop transport.

During the first four months of 1968 the 178th experienced some extremely poor weather which increased ground time during daily missions by low ceilings. During this time the 178th took many hits, resulting extensive ground time for sheet metal work.

Also, in the beginning of 1968, the first "B" model Chinooks arrived in Vietnam and were assigned to the 178th. By March the replacement was complete, and the "Boxcars" were the first completely operational "B" model Chinook company in Vietnam. With the introduction of the "B" model Chinook in Vietnam came "Project Tree". This operation was designed to equip all existing "B" model Chinooks with the more powerfull L-7C engine. This project is still in progress all but two of the 178th Chinooks had these new engines by January 1969, and this has greatly increased its capacity as a medium lift helicopter company. The 178th was the first Chinook company to lift a complete 155 howitzer, which weigh in excess of 12,500 pounds.

In 1968 the 178th participated in operation Kham Duc, one of the major operations undertaken by the 178th. During this operation the 178th evacuated approximately 700 of the 1700 American and allied troops trapped at camp Kham Duc. All of this was 12 May 1968. Although two shipw were lost during the operation no lives were lost. The heroism displayed by the flight crews resulted in 7 individuals being recommended for the Silver Star.

In February 1968 the 178th logged its 20,000 flying hour and 11 months later it was the second Chinooks company in Vietnam to log its 30,000th flying hour.

Since the day the 178th joined the Americal Division its commitments have steadily increased. The Boxcars alone have suported the 1st Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 173rd Airborne Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, 198th Infantry, U.S. Special Forces, the Australian Task Force, the Army of Vietnam, the US Aid Mission, and the Americal Division Artillery.

On 1 October 1969 the 178th ASHC was placed under command of the 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) where it has remained to the present.

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