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Our Price: $10.00

Product Code: AAHCBWUP1


188th Assault Helicopter Company – “Black Widows” and “Spiders” – The 188th Aviation Company was activated at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in November 1966 as the 188th Aviation Company (Air Mobile Light - AML) and assigned to the 101st Aviation Battalion. The unit deployed to the Republic of South Vietnam arriving in four separate groups during the end of April 1967. They were assigned to the First Aviation Brigade and made their base camp within the Michelin Rubber Plantation, one of the largest in Vietnam, at a place called Dau Tieng. It was also known as Camp Rainiin, located in the Western III Corps Area of Operations. On May 2, 1967 the 188th was assigned to the 269th Combat Aviation Battalion “Black Barons” headquartered at Chu Chi. The 269th CAB was under the command of the 12th Combat Aviation Group located in Long Binh. In June the 188th Aviation Company (AML) was re-designated as the 188th Assault Helicopter Company (AHC). On June 26, 1967 LTC James McWhorter became the new commander and Major Joe Sites became the new Executive Officer (XO) of the 188th AHC. To help build morale, Major Sites held a competition to design an unauthorized pocket patch that would incorporate a new logo with the company name. Assistant gun platoon leader, Captain Floyd G. Wilson won the competition. The 188th became the “Black Widows” and the gun platoon became the “Spiders”. The unit used “Black Widow” and “Spiders" as their call-signs. The 188th AHC was the First Aviation Company to arrive in-country with Bell Helicopter’s New H-model “Huey” Helicopters. On June 15, 1967 the 188th AHC became operational. The188th AHC flew numerous Black Ops with Special Forces Teams (B-56, and SOG’s CCN) over the fence into Cambodia (B-36, Code name Rapid Fire V), Laos (Code name Prairie Fire) the DMZ and North Vietnam. They participated in over forty-five major operations including the ARVN invasion of Laos during Operation “Lam Son 719” and also over the fence into Indian Country. For the last time the 188th AHC “Black Widows” moved from LZ Sally to Phu Bai, located just south of Hue. From the period from May 1967 through February 1972 when the 101st ABD stood-down) the Black Widows lost 41 Men Killed In Action (KIA) and over 130 wounded In Action (WIA) during combat operations in all four Corps Areas of Operation in Vietnam. The 188th had a 30% casualty rate in Viet Nam.

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