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.
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 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!”
September 16th. BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE, One of our men received a phone call today that one of his pilots was in Turkey and had lost all his credit cards and money and needed help ASAP. This pilot was actually 2 miles from his home in Texas!
On Saturday August 27th at 5:40 pm my wonderful wife Kay passed away after a 15 month battle with brain cancer. She is in a better place.
Your address directories were mailed today. RS