Rattler/Firebird Home Page

Welcome to the snakepit! This is the home page of the Rattlers and Firebirds of Company A/501st Aviation Battalion, 71st Assault Helicopter Company, 151st Transportation Detachment, and the 94th Signal Detachment. We served in Vietnam from 1964 until 1971, moving from our original base at Bien Hoa to Chu Lai in 1967.

Firebirds attacking

Firebirds attacking

Rattler & Firebird Names

The radio call signs “Rattler” and “Firebird” were used by our aircraft during our service in Vietnam. “Rattler” was used by our UH-1D & H helicopters (known as "slicks") that carried troops, supplies, ammunition, performed command and control, combat assault, medical evacuation and insertion/extraction missions, as well as many others. The call sign “Firebird” was used by our UH-1B, C & M gunships, some of the most feared gunships in all of Vietnam. You can find more about the call signs and where they came from on our history page.

The Association

The Rattler/Firebird Association has no political agenda. We simply provide a means to stay in touch with those who share our experiences and to honor the memory of those we have lost. If you served with us, or with anyone else during the Vietnam conflict and nobody has told you this already, we'd like take this opportunity to say, “Welcome Home!”

What's New?

Here are the most recent changes to our site:

12/09/2017 - Updated Reunion Information
Added information for making reunion reservations to the 2018 Reunion Page and added a page for the Activities and Tours to the 2018 Reunion section.
12/09/2017 - Added Newsletter
Added the November 2017 Newsletter to the Newsletter Section
11/29/2017 - Updated VA Compensation Rates
Updated the VA Compensation Rates page to reflect the new rates effective December 1, 2017.
11/09/2017 - Added Reunion Information
Added information about making hotel reservations on line for the 2018 Rattler/Firebird Reunion.
11/08/2017 - Added Reunion Information
Added a page with initial information about the 2018 Rattler/Firebird Reunion.
10/27/2017 - Cleaned up the Links Page
Cleaned up the Links page by removing some broken links and repairing some that had changed
10/09/2017 - Added Photos
Added a page to the Photo Gallery of images from a combat assault in June 1970, taken by David Daniels and Tom De Winter while serving with B Company 1/52nd Infantry.
09/26/2017 - Added a Photo
Added a photo of Capt. William Francis (Bill) O'Connell to the Miscellaneous Pictures gallery.