THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY JOHAN RAGAY. IT IS A 1965 USAF PHOTO THAT JOHAN DISCOVERED DURING HIS MANY HOURS OF RESEARCH OF THE H-43. THERE WERE SEVERAL SUGGESTIONS AS TO THE LOCATION AND OWNERSHIP OF THE AIRCRAFT. JIM MARDOCK THEN PROVIDED THE BELOW NEWS ARTICLE.
THIS NEWS ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE DEC 17, 1965 ISSUE OF "THE AIR DIVISION REPORTER", PUBLISHED FOR THE HQ 2ND AIR DIVISION, PACIFIC AIR FORCES IN SOUTH VIETNAM. JIM MARDOCK WAS A MEMBER OF THE 20HS ATTHIS TIME.
"Green Berets" of the Army Special Forces are perhaps the best known of the U.S. military's special operations forces, followed by the Navy's SEALs. But the Air Force was there at the beginning as well. Among the first such Special Forces was what is today the Air Force 20th Special Operations Squadron. On October 8, 1965, the 20th Helicopter Squadron (later redesignated the 20th Special Operation Squadron) was formed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, outfitted with 14 Sikorsky CH-3C helicopters. The 20th's primary mission was considerable in scope-to augment combat search-rescue forces, perform casualty evacuation, support communications sites as well as airfield construction and the tactical air control system, transport air liaison officers and engage in counterinsurgency. The squadron's secondary mission was to support MACV. The 20th began combat operations in December 1965. By March of 1966 the squadron was flying an average of nearly 1000 sorties per month from Tan Son Nhut (home base to A FLIGHT, with five aircraft), from Da Nang (B Flight with three aircraft) and from Nha Trang (C flight, with six aircraft)
NOTE: JIM MARDOCK IS WORKING TO IDENTIFY THE TAIL NUMBERS OF THE 14 HELICOPTERS. IF YOU CAN HELP CONTACT JIM AT USAF ROTORHEADS