173rd ASSULT HELICPOTER
Lai Khe, Dong Ha, Marble Mountain Vietnam
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The 173rd Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter) was formed on 31 August
1965. It was attached to the 10th aviation group at Fort Benning for the purposes of training, POR qualification,
and administrative and logistical support, prior to the U.S. deployment to the Republic of Vietnam.
After completion of the training, the 173rd was moved to Vietnam with the
last portion of the unit arriving on 18 March 1966. The unit, subsequently nicknamed the "Robin Hood's" was
assigned to the 11th Aviation Battalion in the 12 Aviation Group, and was stationed at the Lia Khe Rubber
Plantation which naturally became "Sherwood Forest". The unit was assigned its own integral gun platoon,
the "Crossbow's", a maintenance platoon, "Friar Tuck"; and I avionics section, "Littlejohn".
On 10 May 1966, the Robin Hoods were declared fully operational and were
heavily committed to operation Birmingham. From that day, the 173rd has flown in such operation as
Alamo, Attelboro, El Paso 11, Ben Franklin, Danbury, and in many others, contributing greatly to the allied
effort. With the coming of the Cambodian offensive, the Robin Hood's became seriously committed in that area.
From Sherwood Forest, the 173rd has supported both US and ARVN combat
units. The Robin Hood's have supported such U.S. units as the 1ST Infantry Division, the 9th Infantry
Division, the 25th Infantry Division, the 1st Air Calvary Division, the 199th Light Infantry
Brigade, the 11th Armored Cavalry regiment, and the 5th Special Forces Group. With the coming of the U.S.
withdrawal and the Vietnamization of the conflict, the 173rd took on the task of supporting the ARVN units
that assume the area of operations left by the US withdrawal. Thus the Robin Hood's found themselves
supporting the 5th ARVN Division, the 7th ARVN Division, the 25th ARVN Division, and the 2nd ARVN
Throughout the years of their involvement in the Vietnam conflict, the
Robin Hood have established an example of professionalism in their flying ability while performing their
assigned missions that has been recognized by every unit that the 173rd has worked for.
The unit's devotion to duty and his tireless effort in the support of
the total spectrum of the war effort in Vietnam has reflected great credit upon itself.