Army Reporter information
for 235 AWC
307 CAB
164 CAG

For date 681118

235 AWC was a US Army unit
307 CAB was a US Army unit
164 CAG was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Phong Binh Province, IV Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Can Tho
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Huey Cobra company deals death to Charlie" by SP4 John A Sullivan from the 18 Nov 1968 issue. One of the deadliest and busiest helicopter companies in Vietnam is the 235th AWC. Part of the 307th CAB, 164th CAG the only all Huey Cobra helicopter company in Vietnam, they provide close air support throughout IV Corps. Their area of operations covers 14,000 square miles, a large part of which is made up of rice paddies. Hit VC in backyard "Our job is to destroy the VC in his own back. Our area of responsibility includes areas that have been under the almost total control of the VC for years," said CPT Jim Clary. The 235th flies in direct support of ARVN and other South Vietnamese units working in the Delta. When supporting ground units the crews are briefed the night before. In the morning the Cobras meet the troop carrying Huey slicks at a prearranged rendezvous point. Then they provide close air support for air-assaults, ground action and medevacs. They also cooperate with the province chiefs in using free fire zones. The province chief designates certain areas which are off limits to everyone and he warns the populace that aircraft will shoot at anyone or anything in the zone. The 235th sends aloft a heavy fire team of three Cobras plus a Huey slick carrying a representative of the province chief and an American adviser. The observation chopper guides the Cobras into the free fire area and then the Cobras are free to fire upon any target in the area. On IV Corps standby During the day, the 235th maintains a light fire team of two Cobras on a 10 minute standby for duty anywhere in IV Corps. They are scrambled to aid the defenders of an outpost under attack, supply air support for medevacs or to protect the pilots of downed aircraft until they can be rescued. If the action is far away from their home base at Can Tho, they can refuel and rearm at airfields throughout the Delta. The Cobras also perform an escort role for the four airmobile companies in the Delta, augmenting their organic gunships. They supply suppressive fire and reconnaissance in LZs and PZs. "Their increased speed and maneuverability is invaluable when the fighting gets hot," Clary noted. In a fire fight the Cobra is called in for maximum firepower. "Earlier in the year the Cobras, working with airmobile infantry units, struck hard at the enemy's supply lines. A Cobra heavy fire team with five slicks traveled up the canals until they came to a likely layover point for enemy sampans and barges. The ground troops would air-assault into the area while the Cobras supplied air cover. After a 30-minute search, the troops would be pulled out and move to another area. Using this method large numbers of enemy weapons and supplies were captured. Busy at night too At night the company is just as busy. A light fire team flies with a slick carrying flares. Their primary duty is the defense of military installations and outposts in the Can Tho area. If the enemy attacks the team is scrambled. While the flare ship lights the area, the Cobras attack the enemy. Defense is not this team's only role. They also recon area where reports indicate the enemy may be hiding. Again they use areas designated free fire zones by the province chief. Many an enemy soldier has found his dark hiding place lit up by flares and attacked by the Cobras. The Cobras also fly with Army Mohawk aircraft. At night two Mohawks go up with a light fire team. The first Mohawk uses its sensing equipment to locate troop concentrations. The second Mohawk drops flares, lighting the area, then the Cobras destroy the enemy using their rockets, grenade launchers and miniguns. The pilots and crews of the 235th are proud of their Cobras. "Cobra is the aircraft, the Cadillac of helicopters. It handles more like it was a fixed wing aircraft than like a helicopter," is how WO George Szokoly expressed it. "We are one third again as airmobile because of our speed," Clary noted, "Cobras are quicker, better reacting than normal gunships." Photo Caption 1 - A BIG PUNCH is supplied by the Cobra's rockets. The delicate job of loading and arming the rockets is handled by the pilots and co-pilots. LT Charles Poultan immediately reloads after a combat mission. Photo Caption 2 - ALWAYS CHECKING to make sure the Cobras are combat ready the ground crews have a big job. Here SP5 William Sydnor adjusts the throttle linkage. The ground crews perform maintenance, refuel and rearm the Cobras in a minimum of time. Photo Caption 3 - A DEADLY SIGHT from the ground the Huey Cobra looks just as formidable seen from an observation helicopter above it. The Cobra carries a variety of weapons including rockets, minigun and a 40mm grenade launcher.
Comments: CPT Clary, Jim; 235 AWC pilot; ; LT Poultan, Charles; 235 AWC pilot; ; WO Szokoly, George; 235 AWC pilot; ; SP5 Sydnor, William; 235 AWC CE; ; SP4 Sullivan, John A.; USARV IO; ;

The source for this information was 6811AR.AVN supplied by Les Hines

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021