Hobby Master HH1012 US Navy Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - HA(L)-3 "Seawolves," 1967 (1:72 Scale)
"I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive, but this I swear: I will be the first one to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off. And I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we all come home together. So help me God."
- Colonel Hal Moore, from the feature film "We Were Soldiers"
So unassuming is the humble Huey (never called "Iroquois" by those who flew them) that its role as one of the major combat aircraft of the century is easily forgotten. More than 12,000 of all models were built and -- on any given day, during its heyday in Vietnam -- 2,000 could be in the air at once.
From 1962, when the first short-fuselage HU-1s arrived, to the later large-doored versions, they took on transport, utility and medevac or "dustoff" missions. The Huey later morphed into a gunship with multiple protrusions of guns and rocket pods added to protect and escort the unarmed troop-carrying "slicks."
When the new Huey Cobra appeared, a true Air Cavalry was born. Though most of the USAF machines are gone, the army expects to keep the Huey through the first decade of this century.
The UH-1B was an improved model that was equipped with the Lycoming T53-L-5 engine of 960 shp (716 kW), revised main rotor blades of 44 foot diameter and 21 inch chord, 13 inches higher rotor mast and a longer cabin that could accommodate seven passengers. This version was redesignated UH-1B in 1962.
Later production UH-1Bs were equipped with Lycoming T53-L-9 and L-11 engines of 1,100 shp (820 kW). Gross weight was 8,500 lb (3,850 kg) and the standard empty weight was 4,513 lb (2,047 kg).
Army testing of the "B" model started in November, 1960 with first production aircraft arriving in March, 1961. A total of 1010 "Bravo" models were delivered to the US Army. First deployment was in November 1963 when eleven were sent to Vietnam to join the "Alpha" models already in use by UTTCO.
Rotor Span: 7.5-inches
Release Date: April 2013
Historical Account: "Naval Special Warfare" - Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) THREE (HA(L)-3), nicknamed the Seawolves, was an all-volunteer US Navy squadron formed in support of Naval Special Warfare operations and Mobile Riverine Forces during the Vietnam War.
In 1966, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) rotary support was originated as part of the response to the ongoing war in South Vietnam. Starting with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron ONE (HC-1), detachments of helicopter gunships supported the Navy effort in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam. HC-1, the Fleet Angels, operated two-plane detachments of surplus Army UH-1B gunships, staged from amphibious vessels. Providing a quick reaction, close air-support (CAS) role for units of the Navy's Special Warfare Groups and Navy Mobile Riverine Forces (also known as the Brown-water Navy), the effectiveness of the helicopter attack mission was quickly realized.
In response, the Navy began to widen the mission requirements. This created a need for a specific Squadron in support of the mission requirements. In April 1967, HC-1 was divided into four separate units, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron THREE (Navy Vertical Replenishment), and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE (LAMPS), and Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SEVEN (Navy Combat Search and Rescue), and Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) THREE (HAL-(3)), nicknamed the Seawolves.
In 1966, the Navy sent a message fleet-wide, asking for volunteer Naval Aviators to man HA(L)-3. From the response, eighty Aviators were chosen to be the first "Seawolves" and transferred to Vietnam. On April 1st, 1967, HA(L)-3 was officially commissioned in South Vietnam under the command of LCDR Joseph B. Howard.