Rattler/Firebird Association


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

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 Association

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!”

What's New?

Here are the most recent changes to our site:

09/10/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Norman Pruett
09/06/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Michael Stone
09/03/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Marty Visser
09/02/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by John Mateyko
08/26/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Stephen Alexander
08/19/2021 - We've Lost a Friend
He won't appear in our Taps Page, but we feel the loss just the same. Joe Galloway passed away Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Joe was guest speaker at two of our reunions in 2006 and 2012. A portion of his 2006 speech included his famous story "God's Own Lunatics"
08/18/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Hal Bowen
08/17/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by ND Pruett
08/07/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Hal Bowen
08/05/2021 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Marvin "Duke" Schwem to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
08/05/2021 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Don Kleiber to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
06/22/2021 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by William Mancil