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:

05/26/2020 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Howard D. Bahlke to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
05/23/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Hal Bowen
04/30/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by James A. Surwillo
04/13/2020 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Jim Berry to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
04/11/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by frederick smith
04/09/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Matt Jackson
04/08/2020 - Updated 2020 Reunion Information
Updated the 2020 Reunion page to reflect the cancellation of the reunion.
04/04/2020 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Bill Marshall to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
03/19/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Ron Seabolt
03/18/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Charles Everest
03/11/2020 - Added Reunion Golf Outing
Added information about the Golf Outing to the 2020 Reunion Page.
03/03/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Don Campbell