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The Inheritors

Every so often, something kicks me in the memory in a *good* way -- usually, it's the sight of a desert cammy patch or an in-print reference to a current unit with a callsign originating in My War.

Outlaw. Tiger. Blue Max. Ghostrider. Warrior.

'Way-cool callsigns. Neat patches with vampiric skulls or heraldic beasties designed to instill combat fervor in the heart of the wearer and great trepidation in the heart of the foe.

Now, the 162d didn't have 'way-cool callsigns, and our patches were stark, but to the point. "This is who we are. Period" Of course, Gunnies will be Gunnies, so Third Platoon insisted on a bit of flair for their patch (remind me to tell you some time about the REMF who found their motto *offensive* -- heh).

We didn't have the trappings, but we did have a reputation among Those Who Knew. One day I asked a doorgunner about his CIB and he told me, "When I was in the Ninth, we never worried when the Vultures were supporting us. Whenever we needed you, you came for us, no matter what. When I re-upped, I did it just so I could come *here* to be a gunner, because I wanted to be a part of that."

We came. Sometimes, when the party got lively, we even stayed to help clean up.

Flight 1 -- Suspect combat damage to engine

Heh. I got my wallet paddy-soaked more than once, too...

Evidently, our rep stuck, because out there in today's Friendly Deployed-A-Lot Skies, along with the Outlaws, Tigers, Ghostriders and Warriors, there are Vultures.

These kids were the first of the New Vultures.

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Now B Co, 4-227th wears the patch.

But us Old Vultures have to be content with being museum relics.

Oh, yeah -- that museum just happens to be the National Air and Space Museum. If you're in DC and you have occasion to tour the Vietnam display, look in the left crew well of the UH-1H.

Eat yer hearts out, Ghostriders

If you give Bob Shine enough notice (and say nice things about Vultures), he might even ask his cousin Carol to be your tour guide. But be polite -- she's got about fifty Big Brothers, and most of us are *armed*...

5 Comments

The Black Widows, my Uncle's old Helicopter Asslt Bn from Charlie Co, 101st Airborne, were re-constituted and sent to Iraq, too. Black Widows carry on the tradition. Followed by a second tour. Somebody should have made a good movie about a place like FSB Ripcord.
 
Keeping the callsigns and patches of the Rotor Wing Units in place seems to be a tradition that bonds us "museum relics" to the "new kids". Particularly if you throw in a keg of beer. Sometimes though, our old callsigns of the 60's had to be discarded due to Political Correctness. Thanks for the post.......clear right.......
 
Kat, If you clicked on my "keg of beer" pic above, there's several of us who did the Ripcord thing as well with The Phoenix, most notably Ken Mayberry, one of the pilots Marshall quotes. Ken is the one in the wheelchair. Black Widows....We're in the process this spring of doing a cosmetic restoration back to her VN get-up of a Black Widow UH-1 68-16504......She's a Ripcord survivor as well, and is on static display in Fairmount, In.
 
cool. Very cool, Bill.
 
Vultures ruled the Delta!