Army Aviation

Rotary Wing Bomber

By Mark Albertson / July 31, 1966: Those who think out-of-the-box are among those movers and shakers who bring us new ideas and concepts. Fortunately such critical thinkers can be found within the ranks of Army Aviation.

Rotary Wing Bomber

War Zone D, Vietnam, pinned down were two companies of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, enduring heavy Viet Cong attacks. Aerial artillery support materialized in the form of a CH-47 Chinook armed with mortars. The lethal tubes were jerry-rigged upon a wooden trough in the doorway. The lumbering Chinook made three passes, lobbing 83 rounds on the tenacious VC. This first ever “Chinook mortaring” generated 200 Viet Cong casualties.

The platoon leader of the 173rd Aviation Platoon—the unit to which the mortar-mounting Chinook was organic—offered, that by dropping sixty high-explosive 81 mm rounds at one time, a land mass 2,500 years across could be obliterated. In addition, mortar-mounting Chinooks could lighten the burden of ground troops from having to heft tubes and rounds through the jungle.

Source: Page 26, “Chinook ‘Bombers’ Keep VC Hitting the Deck,” Army Aviation, July 31, 1966.