1st Aviation Company

Newest data is shown in red                 Updated:  August 7, 2017



60-5432 (cn # 22) at the De Havilland facility in Downsview, ONT, Canada in June 1961. This aircraft was deliveried to 1st Aviation Company, Fort Benning, GA in July, 1961. (Norman Eastaff collection via Janic Geelen)

Fort Benning 

<<< Caribou 61-2384 (cn # 39) and Otter 53265 at Fort Benning, GA, unknown date  (AOCA Historian Archives)

>>> 60-3764 (c/n # 15) at Davidson AAF, Fort Belvoir, VA in 1962. (Kim Flora)

<<< 61-2592 (c/n # 70) at Fort Rucker AAF in 1962. (Kim Flora)

>>> 1st Aviation Company Caribous in flight, date and location unknown. L to R 61-2385,61-2386,60-5438


Korat, Thailand

<<< 61-2391(c/n # 49) of the 1st Aviation Co. being refueled at Korat, Thailand in 1962.  (US Army photo from the collection of Ralph Young)

>>>1st Aviation Company's 61-2387 (c/n # 47) and 61-2391 (c/n # 49) in  Korat, Thailand 1962.  (US Army photo from the collection of Ralph Young)


1st Aviation Company, June 1962

This is a picture of all the pilots just after our last flight closed in at Nakon Ratchasima (Korat), Thailand in June 1962.  We initially supported MACV from there keeping 10 or 12 AC-1 Caribou in several places throughout Vietnam (Saigon, DaNang, Plieku, Nha Trang, etc.) swapping and rotating planes and crews as maintenance needs required return trips to Korat.  While in Thailand we supported the US Embassy in Bangkok as well as the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force up at Ubon Thani.  On Christmas Eve 1962 we moved the entire company to Vung Tau, Vietnam. (Charles E. Dexter, Colonel, Infantry, US Army (ret) was a member of the 1st Avn Co (FWLT) from March 1962 to June 1963)
Third Row: 2/Lt. Sam Simerly, CWO. Don Joyce, 1/Lt. Chet Wilson, 1/Lt. Bill Sorenson, CWO. Warren Carsten, 1/Lt. Jim Brown, CWO. John Lawler, 1/Lt. Mac Pate, Cpt. Eff Gross, CWO. Marty Merz, CWO. Phil Crossan, CWO. Jody Moeller, Cpt. Ted Dayharsh, Cpt. Ted Phillips, CWO. Bill Stejback, CWO. Harry Fletcher, CWO. Chuck Steffani, CWO. Dave Doble, CWO. Quincy Bearden (Asst Maintenance Officer), CWO. Charlie Dye
Second Row: Cpt. Jim Frownfelter, 1/Lt. Charlie Dexter, 1/Lt. Phil Caldwell, Cpt. Arthur Dewey, Cpt. Bob Blackburn, Cpt. Wayne Coulter, CWO. Bob Johnson, CWO. Gordon Everhart, 1/Lt. Andy Bergeron, CWO. Bill Bailey.
First Row: Crawford Byers (DeHaviland Tech Rep), Cpt. Paul McHenry, Cpt. Bob Wall, Cpt. Don Masters, Maj. William Hooks (CO), Cpt. Harry Davis (XO), Cpt. John Grace (Maintenance Officer), Cpt. Dick McNutt, Cpt. Bill Jenkins, Cpt. Tom Ziek


Vung Tau, Vietnam

These four photos show 61-2388 (c/n # 45), being prepared for recovery by the 19th Transportation Company's H-37 # 55-636. In the second photo CWO Carl Flippin of the 611th Transportation Company stands by the R-2000 engine. (Col. Sam Conley Jr. photos from the collection of Ralph Young)

<<< Working on the R-2000 is Richard "Kim" Flora a crewchief with the 1st Avn. Co in Viet Nam in 1963 (Richard Flora)

>>> Bladders being tested before they were installed in the aircraft we were to return to the states with in 1963. (Roger C. Reetz)

<<< Flight line in Vung Tau in 1963. Roger C. Reetz, Mechanic 1St Aviation Company, Vung Tau

>>> Taken out cargo bay door on take off from Saigon. (Roger C. Reetz)

<<< One of the nose hangers used for some of the more major maintenance at Vung Tau. (Roger C. Reetz)

>>> Second nose hanger picture. (Roger C. Reetz)

<<< This shot is of the instrument panel after one of our ships had been retrofit with the new weather radar.  (Roger C. Reetz)

>>> Salvaged R2000 engine being cannibalized for parts at Vung Tau.  (Roger C. Reetz)

<<< Shot taken under wing of flight line at Vung Tau.  Notice the PSP ramp.  (Roger C. Reetz)

>>> Caribou 61-2387 (cn 47) of the 1st Aviation Company at Vung Tau. Otter 58-1713 in the background. (Col. Sam Conley Jr. photo from the collection of Ralph Young)

61-2385 (cn 41) Ed Wesley was the crew chief of this aircraft from July, 1962 to June, 1963. It was assigned to the 1st Aviation Company. In October, 1962 the landing gear collapsed while landing at Hue, RVN (close to the North Vietnam border).  The aircraft had approx. 2500 lbs of cargo aboard and there was no injuries. The aircraft was repaired and put back in service. (Ed Wesley)


Fort Benning

<<< Fly-by over the flight line at Fort Benning in 1965, when the units were getting ready to go back to Viet Nam. (Roger C. Reetz)

>>> Another shot of fly-by and flight line at Fort Benning. (Roger C. Reetz)

<<< Another shot of fly-by and flight line at Fort Benning. (Roger C. Reetz)  


Operation "RED LEAF"
<<< Three Caribous ( 60-3767 - 61-2594 and unknown) at Fort Rucker, AL in 11/66 just before being handed over to the USAF  (Chuck Ross)

>>> The Army Caribou Transition Team prior to the USAF arrival.  (Jim Davis)

<<< Jim Davis and his first USAF IP student before his "dollar" ride. Cpt. Craven was previously flying C-130's.  (Jim Davis)  

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