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:

Added Name to Taps Page - 02/19/2015
Added Vernon Albert to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
Updated VA Compensation Rates - 01/12/2015
Updated the VA Compensation Rates to the new rates effective 12/01/2014.
Added Newsletter - 01/12/2015
Added the November 2014 Newsletter to the Newsletters Section of the site.
Added to our Accomplishments Page - 12/07/2014
Added a link to a story about our own Randy Thomas to our Accomplishments page. Randy organized Pets for Vets in Southwest Missouri.