U.S. Army Helicopter Names in Vietnam by John Brennan | Books in Review

Back in 2009, we received an email from John Brennan, who served as a Flight Operations Coordinator with the Army’s 114th Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam. Brennan asked us for help with a big project he was working on: a compilation of the names that Army troops bestowed on their helicopters in the Vietnam War. We did our part by posting an author’s query for him on our Arts of War on the Web site.

That project has come to fruition with Brennan’s new book, U.S. Army Helicopter Names in Vietnam (Hellgate Press, 418 pp., $29.95, paper). Brennan, who has served as the 114th AHC Association’s unit historian, searched far and wide and has come up with lists of names (by name and by unit number) of some 3, 000 in-country Army helicopters that flew in Southeast Asia from 1961-73. Listings contain as much info as Brennan could ferret out, including the helicopter’s unit and details on where and when it flew and the names of its crew members.

Among the most popular names: Avenger; Bad News; Blood, Sweat + Tears; Cheap Thrills; Easy Rider; Foxy Lady; Grim Reaper; Iron Butterfly; Magnet Ass; Patches; Proud Mary; Roadrunner; Sat Cong; Snoopy; Suzie Q; Triple Nickel; War Wagon; Widow Maker; Wild Child; Wild Thing; and Witchdoctor.

A few others that stood out: Grace Slick, Nixon’s Withdrawal, Think Snow, and VC Birth Control.

The book is illustrated with 40 in-country photographs.

—Marc Leepson

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