1st MIBARS In Vietnam!

"D" Detachment

and The Baby Huey

Delivery Platoon

Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam

Photo Credit: David Butler, "D" Detachment and HQ, Delivery Platoon, 1967-1968

Above:  Logo of the 1st MIBARS' Delivery Platoon -- A Stork and the motto, "We Deliver."

A Duck In the Land of the Beavers . . . !

Photo Credit: David Butler

How "D" Detachment Got A Helicopter

[In response to the Site Administrator's question of how "D" Detachment came to have a helicopter as it's Delivery Platoon aircraft] -- "Major Harman was a pilot for D Detachment, and he was Huey rated.  So he, (being Field Grade and all), just went and got us one.  We had two different ones.  We used the Huey the same way the Beavers were used.  We just looked better in the Huey.  Young cowboys you know."

David Butler, "D" Detachment, Delivery Platoon, June 1967 to June 1968.   He was with the Headquarters Company for about a month then transferred to Detachment D in Nha Trang.

Above:  "D" Detachment's UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter, perhaps a "D" model variant with larger side doors, sporting a "Baby Huey" logo painted on its nose.  This aircraft picked up it's nickname -- "Huey" -- from it's original designation as HU-1 [helicopter utility] by its manufacturer, Bell Helicopter Company.  "D" Detachment named it's aircraft the "Baby Huey" after a large duckling cartoon character made famous in the 1950's. 

Recollections of "D" Detachment's Delivery Platoon

Photo Credit: David Butler


Photo Credit: David Butler

Photo Credit: David Butler

Above, Top Left:  "D" Detachment's own Delivery Platoon logo and slogan.  Above, Bottom Left:  "D" Detachment Delivery Platoon personnel, aviators, pilots and crew chiefs.   Above, Right:  Delivery Platoon Crew Chief pictured in front of the Delivery Platoon's operations shack.  

. . . and a World War II P-38 Lightening Fighter Pilot Flying A MIBARS Beaver!

Photo Credit: David Butler

Above: Two "D" Detachment Delivery Platoon personnel from 1967.  At left in the photograph is Chief Warrant Officer Cyril L. Nolan, "D" Detachment, Delivery Platoon, presumed-1967, a skilled U6A pilot and veteran of World War II.   Mister Nolen, of Marlboro, New York, passed away in 1998. 

Flight Experience

"I remember flying on a trip to Phu Bai with Cyril Nolen, our WWII pilot.  He was a treasure.  In brief, we landed on the airstrip (it was short and designed for "Bird Dog" use) with the brakes locked, and after delivering some prints, he buzzed us down to the end of the runway.  In turning around, the tail wheel became entangled in the barbed wire.  He was only trying to  get every inch of runway to take off because it was close.  The whole damn plane was vibrating, the instrument panel was jumping up and down from the plane being fire-walled with the brakes on.  I was sweating bullets, and Mr. Nolen just grinned and continued to scare the crap out of me all the way down the runway . . . I'll bet he didn't waste 20 feet of that entire runway.  I thought we were gonna crash in the wire and nearly pissed my pants . . . it was another day at work for Mr. Nolen, and I accused him of enjoying my discomfort a little too much; he really laughed at that, and once at altitude he let me use the yoke to steer the plan a little.  He was a super soldier and a superb pilot with nerves of steel.  I don't remember when the flight took place, but sometime between Jun 67 and Jun 68 when I was S-1 Sergeant, HHC."

James Greene, HHC, Administration and Personnel, 1967-1968

Cyril Nolen – Remembered In Francavilla

". . . [63 years ago . . .] in April 1944, my late husband Cy . . . a Flight Officer, was flying . . . his P-38 returning to Foglia [Italy], his base, from protecting B-24s on a bombing run. He was separated from the rest of the squadron because of clouds. He was flying near the Adriatic Sea, when he spotted a train below and decided to strafe it, but there was a German embatailen [anti-aircraft battery] that shot back. His gas tank was hit, one engine was out, and smoke was filling up the cockpit. So Cy went for the sea rather than the town and ditched the plane 100 feet from shore, got out and started swimming. The Germans did the same, met him, checked for guns and took him prisoner. He was taken to Germany, where he was a POW for one year, where his second escape was successful."  [NOTE: In 2006, residents of the Italian city of Francavilla al Mare discovered the sand-covered wreckage of Cy Nolen's P-38.  The only part that was salvageable was one of the aircraft's two engines.  Signed over to the Neptune Divers Club by the U.S. Government, the engine was restored and used as the centerpiece of a monument to aviators during World War II.  Mrs. Nolen's quotation, above, is taken from her article on the monument's dedication ceremony on the beach at Francavilla.  See the following website for details of the recovery -- "La storia 'dell'aereo" di Francavilla."  For English-only speakers, translation will be required.]


Rosalyn Nolen, Cyril Nolen – Lost and Found, www (dot) recordonline(dot)com, November 9, 2007

Photo Credit: A P-38 Lightening Fighter Aircraft Over California; An Official United States Air Force Photo

"Crash" Nolen Earned His Wings

"Nolen also did what angels do – he flew as a TWA flight engineer. As a World War II P-38 pilot, he was shot down and escaped from a German prison camp. At age 45, he flew a Vietnam War prop-driven reconnaissance plane. We was bedecked with medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross."

Wayne A. Hall, ‘Crash’ Nolen Earned His Wings At Our Lady, The Times-Herald Record, archive(dot)recordonline.(dot)com, December 17, 2000.

Meet the UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter

Photo of UH-1D: Wikipedia (dot) com; Declared to be in the Public Domain

Photo of the UH-1A , Left, and graphics of the UH-1H, Right: Wikipedia (dot) com; declared to be in the public domain

The UH-1 Iroquois was developed by the Bell Helicopter Company in 1952 in response to the U.S. Army's need for a helicopter to perform  medical evacuation and utility missions.  It utilized a single engine.  The helicopter first flew in 1956 and production began in 1960.  It was the first turbine-powered helicopter produced for the U.S. military forces.  More than 16,000 have been produced worldwide. Initial combat operation of the UH-1 was by the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. 

The Huey could be equipped for three distinct missions during the Vietnam War.  For medevac [medical evacuation] flights -- known as "dust off" missions during the war -- it was painted with large red crosses on white backgrounds and configured inside to carry wounded troopers from active battle field locations to medical facilities.  For troop transport and general utility work, it was configured as a "slick," carrying interior-mounted M-60 machine guns but no special external armament or interior configuration.  But in its role as an attack helicopter, the Huey -- as a "gunship" -- could be armed with a variety of externally-mounted weaponry such as machine guns and rocket and grenade launchers to provide close and immediate firepower during ground operations.    

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