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!”

2020 Reunion Is Only 54 Days Away

COVID-19 Update: Following consultations by the board of directors on March 15th, a decision will be made on April 15th as to whether the reunion will take place. Understand that decisions made by national leaders before that date may make the decision for us.

The next Rattler/Firebird reunion is May 27-31, 2020 in Mobile, AL. Here are a few quick links:

What's New?

Here are the most recent changes to our site:

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
02/27/2020 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added John D. Palmer to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
02/26/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by greg arndt
02/24/2020 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added David Nottingham to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
02/23/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by George Reischling
02/19/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Tony Marinaro
02/18/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Ed Phillips
02/16/2020 - Added Photos
Added two new photos to John Mateyko's Gallery.
02/16/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Hal Bowen
02/14/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by Gary Arne
01/14/2020 - Added Lam Son 719 Information
Added a subsection to our unit history to contain new pages regarding Lam Son 719
01/09/2020 - New Post in Guestbook
A new post was made in the guestbook by john v brennan