Casper Aviation Platoon was the only separate aviation platoon in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Casper was organized with the 173d Airborne Brigade on Okinawa in 1963 and arrived in country with the Brigade on May 5, 1965 becoming the first United States Army ground unit committed to the Vietnam War. Casper Platoon supported the Brigade until they all left Vietnam in August 1971.
Casper flew almost every type of heliborne mission there was including resupply, visual reconnaissance, Snoopy, Nighthawk, dust off, command & control and combat assault missions. Besides loyalty and dedication to their job, Caspers had the highest "extension" rate in the Brigade. Casper Platoon Veterans served the 173d Airborne Brigade proudly during their "Tour of Duty" and continue to be honored today for their service in Vietnam.
"This website is dedicated to all of the men who served in Casper Aviation Platoon"
LZ English, Bong Son, 1969
During our Tour of Duty in Vietnam, the Casper Platoon was relocated four times and finally called LZ English our home from early 1968 to 1971. Casper's "Ghost Town" was located on the east side of LZ English and right next to what we called "Sniper Village.” This was a popular VC area after the sun went down.
Map of Vietnam
Casper Aviation Platoon areas of operation from 1965 thru 1971.
This complete list of the 173d ABN BDE | Casper Aviation Platoon aircraft information is provided by the Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association, VHPA.
Headquarters & Headquarter Company - 173d Airborne Brigade also received four U.S. Army Unit Citations and Campaign Participation. For more information:Unit Awards
PHOTO GALLERY:These Casper Aviation Platoon photo albums are a powerful collection of more than 1,000 pictures that historically documents our combat role and involvement during the Vietnam War from early 1965 thru 1971.
Many of the Casper Aviation Platoon crew members were awarded some of the medals below during their tour of duty in Vietnam: The Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Vietnam War Helicopter Model Dioramas
This section displays helicopter dioramas that depict various scenes in Southeast Asia featuring the different aircraft flown by the Casper Platoon.
On November 8, 1965, the 173d Airborne Brigade were ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong and 48 American soldiers were killed. Big & Rich wrote a song about this battle. Several Casper Platoon crew members were invited to participate at the concerts.