In 1966, the 179th ASH was moved to Camp Hollowway Pleiku from its original deployment at Dong Ba Thin. Its major function was to support as many as five separate locations simultaneously within the II Corps Tactical Zone.
The 179th was assigned to the 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion during its deployment and provided infantry and artillery moves, resupply missions, medical evacuations and aircraft recoveries.
Until withdrawal in the early 70's, the "Shrimpboats" remained a major contributing force in battle for the Central Highlands.
Our very own Tom Messenger brings us our own book about the 179th, Camp Holloway and our adventures in the Central Highlands.
With the escalation of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, the American military discovered it needed a new kind of helicopter to cope with the rugged environmental and combat conditions its fighting men were encountering. The need resulted in the development of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois and the Boeing-Vertol CH-47 Chinook. Now they just needed the pilots, flight engineers, crew chiefs and gunners to man them. In a sense they were LOOKING FOR FLYBOYS. Tom Messenger's memoir follows his experiences as a Chinook flight engineer on missions over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It not only relates the tales of those missions during the course of the war but also his interactions with fellow soldiers and the civilian population. Tom's stories run the gamut from recounting the dangers of battle and capturing the anguish of war to the humorous situations of daily life in the Army so familiar to anyone who has ever served.
Stan Neckermann sent in these photographs of his old aircraft, Shrimpboat 021 in 1969, and a recent photo of that same aircraft today. CH 47 Super C 68 16021 was converted to MH 47D 85-24361 and now to her current configuration MH 47G 06-03767.
We have lost another fellow "Shrimpboater" recently. Mike Volz passed away recently. He served in maintenance and as a gunner from 1969 to 1970, and has attended almost every reunion since we started. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike's family and we will miss him at our next reunion. Rest In Peace Mike.
And another "Shrimpboater" lost. Rick Dudley passed away Nov. 1, 2021 of cancer in Toledo, Ohio. Rick served with 179th in 1968 to 1969 as a maintenance mechanic. Our hearts go out to his family. For those of you that served with us, get a check-up and if you haven't,, register with the VA. Your life depends on it.