UH-1H Iroquois “Huey” Helicopter

Vietnam UH-1H “Huey” Helicopter

From 1965 to 1973, the Bell UH-1, officially named “Iroquois” was the most common utility helicopter used in Vietnam. The “Huey” nickname stuck thanks to her early “HU-1” designation (it was later redesignated to UH-1 with the normalization of 1962). This particular helicopter is a “Slick”, used for troop carrying. It is not fitted with external weapons to save weight and is only armed with the M60s used by the door gunners. These aircraft operated in the hostile environment of Vietnam for almost a decade.

This Huey served in the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, performing troop insertions and extractions, medical evacuations, helicopter crew recoveries, smoke, sniffer psyops, and firefly missions. Based at Cu Chi, it survived multiple small arms attacks and one RPG strike. It was returned to service in 2011 to operate as a “Thank You” to Vietnam War Veterans and has completed over 180 missions since then.

Many Vietnam Veterans describe the UH-1 “Huey” helicopter as the “sound of our war”. Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association records show that 7,013 Hueys survived in the Vietnam War, totaling 7,531,955 flight hours. Over 90,000 patients were airlifted (over half of them Americans). The average time between field wound to hospitalization was less than one hour. During the Korean and World War II wars this time was measured primarily in days, not hours. The utilization of helicopters dramatically increased warfare survival rates.

The “Big Picture”

Over 10% of all combat and combat support deaths in Vietnam occurred in helicopter operations, a combined total of 6,175 (2,202 pilots, 2,704 aircrew and 1,269 passengers). About 86% of these causalities were U.S. Army. In addition to the human cost, the helicopter “casualties” of the war were staggering. A total of 11,800 helicopters of all types served in Vietnam. Approximately 5,000 helicopters were destroyed there, of which all but 500 were U.S. Army.


Primary Armament:

Typical armament included two M-60D machine guns on fixed door mounts manned by the Crew Chief on the left and a Door Gunner on the right. The M-60D is a 7.62mm NATO caliber weapon with a cyclic rate of fire of 600 to 700 rounds per minute. The large cans below the M-60’s held roughly 2,000 rounds of linked 7.62mm ammunition and were a typical field modification replacing the authorized can which held 500 rounds.

Secondary Armament:

Each Crew Chief and Door Gunner also carried a secondary weapon, usually an M-16 rifle but sometimes more exotic types. Because pilots were not issued M-16’s, they often carried other unauthorized weapons slung over their armored seats for personal protection. Crew Chiefs and Door Gunners always carried colored smoke grenades, often as you see them here on the seat posts. These were used to mark targets for the Gunships when receiving hostile fire or to mark landing zones (LZ’s).

Body Armor

All aircrew were issued body armor, jokingly referred to as “chicken plates”. If a Crew Chief or Door Gunner chose not to wear it, the chicken plate was often stowed under his seat for protection from enemy weapons fire from below.


In Vietnam the UH-1 had a crew of four: Aircraft Commander (A/C), Co-pilot or “Peter Pilot,” Crew Chief (C/E) and Door Gunner.

The Aircraft Commander, as his name implied, was in command of the aircraft at all times while on a mission. The Co-pilot assisted the Aircraft Commander in the air and flew the aircraft as needed. Most pilots began their tour in Vietnam as a Co-pilot and advanced to Aircraft Commander as they gained experience. In many units, the Aircraft Commander and Crew Chief were assigned a specific aircraft and Co-pilots generally rotated among unit aircraft. In addition, the Crew Chief was the only crew member personally responsible for maintaining his aircraft. The Crew Chief and his Door Gunner would work many hours before and after each mission maintaining their helicopter. Besides aiding the Crew Chief on the ground, the Door Gunner also assisted in loading and unloading the aircraft and manned the right door gun while flying. As with the Co-pilots, they usually rotated among unit aircraft.

Missions and Loads

The Huey slick’s primary mission was carrying infantry into combat, commonly called “combat assaults” which involved a “package” of up to 8 or 10 slicks carrying the infantry, supported by two or three gunships and monitored by a Command and Control slick (Charlie/ Charlie) orbiting overhead. During combat assaults, depending on density altitude and the strength of the particular aircraft, the UH-1 could carry 6 to 8 American infantrymen or 10 or more Vietnamese (due to their smaller size and weight). Other missions included supplying replacement personnel, food, water, ammunition and necessities to infantry units in the field or at forward bases. Hueys were also often utilized as Medevac helicopters, transporting wounded soldiers to safety and medical treatment.


Lycoming T53L13
Engine Rating
1400 SHP
Main Rotor
2 Blade Semi-Rigid 48′ Diameter 21″ Chord
Tail Rotor
2 Blade Semi-Rigid 8′ 6″ Diameter 8.4″ Chord
Internal Fuel
209 Gallon Capacity
Maximum Gross Weight
9500 Lbs
Empty Weight
5210 Lbs
Typical Payload
2200 Lbs (in addition to fuel and crew of 4)
Maximum Cruise Speed
120 Knots
Maximum Endurance
2.4 Hours
Cabin Volume
220 Cu.Ft.
External Cargo Capacity
4000 Lbs
Fuselage Length
41′ 11″
Height to Top of Rotor
11′ 9″
Width at Stabilizer Bar
9′ 13/32″
Climate Tolerance
65 Degrees F to + 65 Degrees F



Bell Model UH-1H Iroquois “ Huey”
s/n 65-09961
Served in Vietnam War during 1967-1970
Army units this aircraft deployed with in Vietnam:
USARV Flight Detachment Jun ’67 – Jul ’67
25th Infantry Division B Company: Nov ’68 – Apr ‘69
118th Assault Helicopter Company: Oct ‘69
68th Assault Helicopter Company: Nov ’69 – Oct ‘70
165th Transportation Company: Mar ’70 – Dec ‘70

Combat Flight Incidents

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 65-09961
The Army purchased this helicopter 0666
Total flight hours at this point: 00000983
Date: 12/03/1967
Unit: 355 AVN
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED IN THEATER
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While Enroute this helicopter was Unknown at 0010 feet and 100 knots.
South Vietnam
Helicopter took 2 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Passenger Cargo Section
Systems damaged were: UNK
The helicopter Continued Flight.
The aircraft continued and accomplished all mission objectives.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: UH1P2, 74314 ()

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 65-09961
The Army purchased this helicopter 0666
Total flight hours at this point: 00000983
Date: 12/15/1967
Unit: 355 AVN
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED IN THEATER
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While Enroute this helicopter was Unknown at 0150 feet and 080 knots.
South Vietnam
Helicopter took 7 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Equipment Section
Systems damaged were: ENGINE, MAIN ROTOR SYS
The helicopter made a Forced Landing. Aircraft was capable of one time flight.
The aircraft was diverted or delayed after completing some mission objectives.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: UH1P2, 74488 ()

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 65-09961
The Army purchased this helicopter 0666
Total flight hours at this point: 00001557
Date: 09/05/1968
Unit: HHD 44 ENG GP
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED IN THEATER
This was a Rescue and Recovery mission for Medical Evacuation
While in PickUp Zone this helicopter was Landing at 0006 feet and 000 knots.
South Vietnam
Helicopter took 9 hits from:
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges. (RPG)
The helicopter was hit in the Right Side
The helicopter Continued Flight.
The aircraft continued and accomplished all mission objectives.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: LNNF, JSIDR (Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report.)

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  1. I am owner curator of 68 16425 UH1H. Project 425 is a mobile static display and we have logged over 200 missions in South East Florida. 425 also served the 25th Inf. War Lords company “B” in Chu Lai for a whopping 1,970 hrs.. We have reseated 2 of her original pilots that logged several hundred hours ea. in her and recently reseated the crew chief that crewed her for a year. Please feel free to contact me and I can share our news letter with you. No Hill Mike michaelcarroll147@comcast.net

  2. Wow! this is awesome, my pops don’t talk much of Vietnam, but we know that he was a door gunner and later a crew chief. He just turn 75 yesturday. We love him so much.

  3. Chuck daniels

    I’m a former Huey crew chief ,Wa Natl. Guard. trying to determine what the cabin noise level is in a huey. Thabks for any assistance.

    • To Chuck Daniels:

      As a grunt with the 1st Cavalry, I rode in the open doorway of Hueys on many combat assaults and now suffer from significant hearing loss in my right ear, the one closest to the door gunner. I found an Army report on noise levels of common Army equipment that indicates a noise level of 102.9 decibels in the cabin of a Huey, and I think that is measured with the doors closed. By comparison, if you used an M60 machine gun, you experienced 155 decibels. You can find the report by searching for “Noise levels of common army equipment”. See pages 8, 9, and 13 for relevant data.

      • Donald Bergsgaard

        I am trying to get some VA help for my hearing loss. I was an aircraft electrician and had to do calibration work in the rear compartment while the Hueys and Cobra were running. I also crewed on the Hueys.
        In order to make a case I need decibel level back by the exhaust cone. Where are these pages 8,9, & 13?

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  6. aboard UH1 in 1990 for an emergency response on a dam where a nuclear gauge was crushed by a heavy vehicle.
    a survey of the gauge and immediate site indicated the Am241 source was intact in it’s capsule. left the site in
    complete darkness after confirming no radioactive contamination and fly back to airport safely over the mt. tops.

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  8. Love Lol Bear.

  9. David Gatson

    Awesome Cbopper. I was a Crew Chief with the 227th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cav Division, Ft Hood Texas.

  10. Jim Dickens

    We have UH-1H serial number
    68-16610 on display at our VFW Post 5532, Washingtonville Ohio. We’ve had no luck trying to find its history. We obtained it at Rickenbacher AFB in Columbus Ohio. Any info would be appreciated or a source that we might be able to research. Thx

    • Lauren M. LoSchiavo

      Did you try the Site with all the Marine Corps records? Awesome site..names crew chiefs, gunners, pilots, co-pilots..you can look up AAR’s, get coordinates, it has a plethora of info. Great site. I highly recommend any Marine on a mission involving a flight, who is interested in finding out more about what was going on, to check it out. You can email me at wolfrunner2010@gmail.com if you have any trouble finding the link.

  11. Barbara & Joe Goebel

    Looking for just a shell of a Huey for display at our Wayne Co. Veterans Memorial Park in Richmond, In. We have a pole to mount it on. Our park has monuments honoring all of our wars including a Womens monument. We have a website that you can visit to see what we have. We really would like to have a Huey to complete our Park. Thanks for any help you can give us

  12. thank ye huey26 4 the atricle

  13. You have been a true inspiration for us all. Please continue your work. I’d love to see you on the big stage. Congrats.

  14. Jamie Thompson

    Having been a grunt I’m not an expert on the Huey or Slick as we called it in the 1st Cav, but I noticed that in the “Army units this aircraft deployed with in Vietnam” a unit of the 25th Inf Div is included, but the 1st Cav is not. My understanding at the time (1970-71) was that the 1st Cav performed all the helicopter duties as needed for the 25th. In fact, in a typical Army irony, 1st Cav helicopters resupplied 25th Inf units in the field every second day, while we in the 1st Cav were only resupplied every third day! This was significant because it meant that we had to carry 1/3 more food and water on our backs.

    • Marc Knoles

      Crewed UH 1s with 25th Infantry
      3/4 Cav (Air Mobile) Centaurs
      D & F troop Cu Chi and Lie Khe
      69 70 71 don’t remember seeing
      seeing a 1st Cav ship?

  15. Ray Owens

    I did several tours as a crew chief on the Huey. 2 of them with the First Cav.

  16. Robert Smith

    Would be interesting if my flight records had the tail numbers. I was at 20th Transportation Co (ADS) at Cu Chi Aug 68-69. We were back up Direct Support to all units in the area. If your bird had major damage it probably would have come to us, it it was going to be a long time I would have issued a “float A/C)” as a loaner. Probably a good chance I would have been the test pilot and eleased it for flight. Went back to same Bn in Oct 71 attached to 165th Trans but assigned to AVEL Central Avionics General Support unit. Bob Smith MAJ USA Ret

  17. The ship looks great and the pictures bring back memories. I too was stationed at Cu Chi in 68-69 with Company E of the 725 Maintenance Battalion, 25th Infantry division. We did upper level repairs for helicopters and I briefly was crew chief for one of the company aircraft before returning home. The UH-1H we had was new and I performed the 300 hour service on it. Thanks for the memories.

    • Dick Villard

      Dan my brother Dennis Villard was in that unit at that same time too.
      Cu Chi Company E of the 725th Did you know him? ….Or Alvie Soles?

  18. Thanks you for having the video of Pancho’s Huey. The only thing missing is what it sounds like through the helmet earphones, with the igniters in the background and the low RPM audio coming on as you come up with the throttle.
    Thanks again

  19. Gary A Boyer

    Just finished restoration of 67-17145 UH1-H , located at VFW post 5202, Waynesville N.C

  20. Pingback: This is why the H-1 Huey has a special place in US military history | We Are The Mighty

  21. John Sterling

    I have a UH-1H that has a broken right side windscreen, and both chin bubbles too, if anybody has a lead on where I might find same. This was an 11th Armored Cav. bird in the Nam and I pull it in the local vets day parade to much applause. The former owner allowed future baseball players to practice rock throwing at the glass, unfortunately. Any help would be appreciated.

    • John W Fulcher Jr

      I was a 67N-1F with E co 227th Avn Regiment Combat Aviation Brigade Ist Cav Div Ft Hood Tx. My last bird in Iraq was 66-16187 . Any information on her wereabouts would be appreciated.
      I might have a source for some parts.

  22. John T. Lisica

    I was wondering if you would know how I could find out what happened to my UH-1H 67-17241. I was a crew chief
    with the 7/1 Armed Squadron “Blackhawks” in the Delta during 1968 and 1969

  23. Linda Pfaff

    I am trying to find flight logs that would show what my husband was doing on his 300 huey missions between 30 July 1968 and 23 Dec 1968. Is there somewhere logs or records are kept?

    • Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn has each aircraft’s flight log in their database or can provide a link to the DOD info. All the best to you.

  24. so is it just me or is the Huey in the vid a UH-1D and not H, as I recall the H model had the little 12″ side door behind the pilot and co-pilots seat where as the D model just had the 2 window side doors, and I also recall that the H models didn’t start showing up in the Nam till early 67…anyway just kind of my observation, I was a crewchief from 1-23-67 to 1-26-69 and this is what I remember, and the B models where single window side doors and where usually gun or HOGS as we called them ships

  25. Curtis Edwards

    Flew 25th 1969 little bear 20

  26. Hey Guys,
    I am a retired Marine Corps pilot, but have a question about an Army Huey UH-1 # 68 16609 which we have on static display in Williamson, GA. We are having a rededication ceremony for her this weekend, on 12 May. If anyone just happens to have her in a log book from any timeframe, I’d love to know more about where she was and when. Mainly a period in the late 60s where the records I have found were incomplete. Sorry for the late notice, I was just putting some info together for the ceremony and found this site. I’ll try Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn also, but any help is greatly appreciated.

  27. I was suggested this website through my cousin. I am now not positive whether or not this post
    is written by way of him as nobody else know such specific about my
    trouble. You’re incredible! Thanks!

  28. Manuel E Wright. SP 5

    Great videos. I served with the 142nd TC at Red Beach north of DaNang. CrewChief on UH – 1H
    67 – 15636 in the spring of 1970 my gunner was Don Maggi we still talk

  29. I am regaining some fond memories of slicks (hueys). I served in the 101st airborne and to this day appreciate all that slicks did for us troops. especially medevac, but I suppose i’ll even offer a thank you for keeping us supplied with those oh so delicious “c rats”! for me it’s not only mom and apple pie, but I include slicks for what defines , good in America…….

  30. WOW enjoyed the pictures. Trying to find a model of this helicopter for my husband. He never would talk about his experiences in Viet Nam until lately. We have joined a VA group and this has been good for him. If anyone knows where a model can be bought please send me info.

  31. Mike Gormley

    Door gunner on the “Longhorns”, C & C slicks for general and colonels of the Big Red One… Aug. 67 – Dec. 67.
    Volunteered ‘cause I thought it would be safer than humping the jungle. Slept in a cot most nights though.
    Gunners were also field radiomen for the brass when on the ground.
    Long day flying over and in and out of the ambush of the Black Lions, 2/28th. A and D companies and the command group were chewed up… Operation Manhattan I or The Battle of Ong Trangh. (spelling).
    Like a lot of vets I’m sure, I can bring it back really easy.

  32. Luis Araiza

    My father was an S&R Huey crew chief and did 2 18-month tours in Vietnam between 67′ and 71 with the 101st B Company Kingsmen. I’m trying to arrange a flight for him this Veterans Day. Is there an email where I can contact someone at the museum in regards to this?

  33. that sound is one i will never forget to this day i can still tell when one is close by

  34. Donald Bergsgaard

    I’ve been trying to get some VA help with my hearing deficit. I was stationed at Ft. Campbell A Company 5th Transportation Battalion Campbell Army Airfield from 72-75 and spent may hours working the Hueys, Cobras and Chinooks as a 68F20 Aircraft Electrician. Worked my hours at the rear of the aircraft while it was up and running calibrating and troubleshooting components. Being I wasn’t in combat it’s been a struggle getting any VA assistance without a disability on my DD214. I need some help with the decibel levels I encountered while doing my duty. I did crew and operate the rescue hoists.

  35. David Morad

    UH-iB’s & UH-1D’s served with A Co, 1st AVN BN, 1st Infantry Div. I was crew chief of UH-1D 64-13876 in 1966. Our crew chiefs & door gunners were assigned to the aircraft; the A/C & pilots were rotated.

  36. Bruce E. Davis

    Looking to see if anyone knows s/n 66-16855. I crewed that bird in El Paso Tx at Biggs Army Airfield. Just wondering what ever happened to her.

  37. James Easter

    Anyone who is reading this work on: Hueys, cobras, OH-6s, H-19s?

    Please email me if you have:


  38. just wondering if anyone came across a UH1C with tail #66-522 . I was her crew chief when I was with 2nd Gunship Platoon Air Cav Troop 11th Armored Cav ‘ Blackhorse ‘ ’67- ’68. Last I heard she was stat side with a Army Reserve unit.

    • L.S.Donaldson

      Are you the ‘Griff’ that Richard & Roger Hale would often bring up in conversations? Both Hales are in ‘Fiddler’s Green… RIP

  39. Steve Barnett

    My Dad was a 64Y AH-1 & UH-1 Poweplant Mechanic in Bien Hoa and Fu Loi in 71′ thru 72′ 155th Aviation Company. He died in July of 2016 of ALS due to Agent Orange exposure. I am a life long third party causality of AO exposure born 2 months premature with Congenital Heart Disease.

    He stated that most of the time he and a few others would be sequestered to strip downed aircraft for parts using a duce and a half and serve as door gunners on the Slicks. It’s nice to see that the history of their efforts are preserved in the bodies of the machines that they depend on. Thank you for keeping their contributions alive and well in living history.

  40. I was a Door Gunner from 75 – 79 in the 1st Air Mobility as it was called , but the Senior Pilots still called it Air Cav , with the 12th Squad , Recon flights carrying Spooks in and out while Interrogating Victor Charles , Stationed out of Thailand , down across Laos and Cambodia into Unified Nam. Thank God they didnt have Helmet Cam’s back then , The Spooks interrogated them then we tossed them at 200 ft . Hell of a wake up call for a 17 year old kid outta them Hills of Tennessee.

  41. Dennis DuPuis

    Just a note. The 335th and 44ENG Units are in the Aircraft Combat Incidents but not listed in the History.

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  43. Steve St-Martin

    I flew as a A Co 25th CAB “Little Bear” Aviator from Jan 81 to Nov 83 and can say all of us, collectively as a Company, were aware and proud of the legacy of our unit long after Vietnam. A Company was the only Ash & Trash aviation asset of the 25th. Those of us who keep in touch recall with fond memories the time we spent as Post Vietnam “Little Bears” and made every effort to maintain the spirit and “will do” attitude instilled in the name by those who established it in combat. It’s great to see & know a Little Bear Slick still thumps an beats the air into submission !! You have my respect and admiration for the care and effort of keeping this legendary veteran flying.

  44. Fred Porter

    I flew right side gun 229th assault helo Bttn 1st Cav 68 and 9 and I find it interesting the number of these comments that reference noise levels. I do remember (50 years now) that in order to communicate you had to yell but that was usually the least of our problems so didn’t get much attention. I enjoyed the article, wow what a trip down memory lane. Some of those memories good and some not.
    I think the Viet Nam war was a turning point in our nations history from which we will, most likely, never recover. Sad !!!

  45. I am building a model of a UH-1C gunship and have some questions.

    1. Did the Marine version use the 40mms grenade launcher as was seen in the Army birds?
    2. What was the exterior color of the Marine version – Olive drab, or field green or forest green?
    3. Were the gold up seats red or grey ?
    4 Where were the intercom cables plugged in for the crew?
    5. Did the Marines use the M-60 guns on.a.pintle mount with the 2.75 mms rocket pods and the 4 M-60s on the stub wings?
    I flew on.several.Hueys, but they were the November models in 1976. I was a 4641 combat photographer and not a crew. According to my old log books I have about 80 hrs in the Huey, 45 in the One of and 39 in the 53 D. Really enjoyed flying in these birds and had several good friends as crew.

    If you can help me with the answers to my question would appreciate answers . Can be reached on.facebook, Marine Air Wing.site or by way of.messenger. Semper Fi! And Thanks.

  46. I was a helicopter pilot and platoon leader in the 117th AHC in Vietnam in 1966-67. It was during my tour that Little Annie Fannie was painted on the nose cone of my helicopter and it received a lot of attention.

  47. Ned Hamlin

    I was a door gunner on UH1D 073 for ACTIV in 1968. We flew all over the Delta, but unfortunately made a few too many LZ landings and the Agent Orange dust got me. VA has been good to me, and they have also issued me hearing aids. Hearing loss was probably due to listening to AFN at high volume. One day while flying north of Vung Tau we saw some Aussies water skiing in the North China Sea, so we asked the pilots if we could set down to investigate. Two of us water skied (they had a single ski), then got back in the air to the war.

  48. Leonard Rawlins

    I was med evaced by a Huey in July, 1967. It was a life saving mission for me and some other brave soldiers. I loved the Huey!

  49. Since early 68 I have heard that sound many times. Still gets to me Love it

  50. Elmer Adams


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