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:

12/06/2019 - We have added encryption
In our ongoing efforts to ensure your browsing security, we have added encryption to the web site. you need do nothing to take advantage of the encryption Everything is automatic.
12/02/2019 - Updated VA Compensation Rates
Updated VA Compensation Rates to the new rates effective 12/01/2019.
11/06/2019 - Added a Tours and Activities Page
We've added a Tours and Activities page to the 2020 Reunion Section.
11/05/2019 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Wilbur Walk to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us
11/05/2019 - You Man Have Noticed
You may have noticed that we're undergoing a bit of a face lift here. This is a large job and is ongoing. We hope you like it.
11/05/2019 - Added Newsletter
Added the November 2019 Newsletter to the Newsletters Section of the site.
10/23/2019 - Added Guest Speaker Info
Added a page about Sammy L. Davis, our guest speaker for the 2020 Rattler/Firebird Reunion.
09/28/2019 - Added Name to Taps Page
Added Gerald E. Kislek to the list of Men Who Have Died Since Serving With Us