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.
The 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. You can also see more information about call signs and who used various call signs on our Call Signs page.
The Rattler/Firebird Association has no political agenda. We simply provide a means to honor the memory of those we have lost and to stay in touch with those who share our experiences. 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, “Thank you for your service. Welcome Home!”
National Vietnam War Veterans Day
Thank you for your service!
Here are the most recent changes to our site:
- 02/26/2023 - Added Name to Taps Page
- Added David O'Quinn to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
- 02/20/2023 - Added Name to Taps Page
- Added Ernie Matthews to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
- 02/12/2023 - Updated VA Compensation Rates
- Updated the VA Compensation Rates page to include the rates effective 12/01/2022.
- 01/21/2023 - Added Name to Taps Page
- Added Glelma (Shorty) Helmick to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us