77th Aerial Rocket
Artillery 4th Battalion "B" Battery "Toros" Patch -
The 77th Aerial Rocket Artillery (ARA), 4th Battalion,
101st Airborne Division deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in March
1968 and made their base at Camp Evans 15 miles northwest of Hue in I Corps.
The 77th was an element of Airmobile and the second of the three Aerial
Rocket Artillery Units to serve in Vietnam.
The Armed Helicopters of the Aerial Rocket Artillery units were utilized as a
substitute for 8" and 175mm Howitzers. The 77th ARA had three firing
batteries composed of 12 UH-1C Attack Helicopters and later replaced with AH-1G
Cobras. The primary weapons of the 77th was 2.75" Folding Fin
Rockets, 7.62mm Mini-guns, 40mm Grenade Launchers and 20mm Auto Cannons. The missions
of the 77th ARA were all types of fire missions as performed by
conventional artillery units and provided support for Ground Force Troops,
Landing Zone Perpetrations, Interdiction, Counter-battery Fire and Aerial Escorts
for Medevac and Re-supply. The 77th ARA participated in supporting
the 173rd Inf. at the famous "Hamburger Hill" battle on Hill 875 in
the II Corps Tactical Zone. Several note worthy combat operations including Lam
Son 719 and also in 1970 where the 77th ARA were heavily engaged at Fire
Support Base Ripcord in the Ashou Valley in what became the last major U.S.
Ground Force involvement in Vietnam. On 13 April 1972
at An Loc an AH-1G Cobra from F Battery
79th ARA became the first ARA Helicopter to engage and destroy an
enemy Tank securing the helicopter place on the modern battlefield. The 77th
ARA stood-down in late 1972 and returned home to Fort Campbell, KY.