history of the 161st Aviation Company, to the best of my knowledge,
has never been fully documented since its tour of duty in Vietnam.
Our normal tour of duty in Vietnam was one year and for me that period of
time, a bond and trust was formed with many of those individuals in the 161st
Aviation Company. In recent years I
wanted to seek out those individuals. To
see where they were in their lives and write down some of the things we did and
saw, not just for us, but also for future generations, who may want to learn
about the Vietnam War from our perspective.
years ago, Harvey York of Rhome, Georgia had moderate success in organizing a 14th
Aviation Battalion Association. However,
I do not think a written history was ever prepared for the individual units.
Due to health problems, the late Harvey was not been able to carry-on
with his attempts with the 14th Battalion.
the summer of 1998, a rare opportunity presented itself to me.
Both the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association (VHCMA) and the
Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) would be having their respective
reunions in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. I
took it upon myself to organize a mini-reunion of the men who served in the 161st.
One of my tasks for the reunion was to prepare a 161st unit
history. Most of the history that
is presented in that first draft comes from several sources.
First, a short history of the 161st from the 14th
Battalion Tour Book published in late 1968.
The second, from several individuals, especially Les Hines, and their own
recollections of their own tour of duty. And
the third, my own personal recollections. This
is by no means the final history and may take years to mature into a reasonable
history of the unit. Being more
than 30 years in the past, this may prove to be a difficult task as individual
recollections is somewhat sketchy.