Alumni have right stuff.
by
Michael V. Stratton
"Crusader 25"

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Previously published - VHPA Newsletter - December 1991 Vol.9 No. 4


 

I've been a member of the VHPA for a few years, but I haven't recalled seeing any letters or mention of the first unit I ever served with in Vietnam: The 187th Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter).   I served in the 187th (Crusaders) from August 1969 to October 1970.   We were based at Tay Ninh in lII Corps and were assigned to the 269th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade.   We supported the U.S, and ARVN 25th Infantry Divisions and anybody else in the area.

I understand the 187th still "lives, so to speak (at least it was in the early 1980s), as a training unit at Fort Rucker's Lowe Army Heliport.   What believe makes this unit unique is the fact that three of its "alumni" had the right stuff and went on to become Army test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base.

Loran Haworth (an ex-chief warrant officer 4, now either a Captain or a Major) and I graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, MD, in 1980 (Loran in June, I in December).   CW4 Bob Williams graduated in 1979.   We were all assigned together at Edwards in 1981 and following, and that's how I found out we were all ex-Crusaders.

Loran, in fact, was a brand-new UH-1 instructor pilot in the 187th when arrived and he gave me my first in-country check ride/orientation flight.   Bob Williams had overlapped Loran in the 187th, but had left before I got there.

I'd be interested in knowing if any other Vietnam aviation unit has had three or more of its alumni accomplish this feat.

After I left the 187th, I transferred to the 10lst (C Troop, 2/17 Cavalry), followed by 11 months in the Infantry (2nd Brigade, 101st, I Corps).   I put in "one" tour (according to my DA ORE), but it was 27 months long!

Mike Stratton, LTC retired
"Crusader 25"
Brea, CA

Michael V. Stratton 1991

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