1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
We are a non commercial community interested only in the discussion of all things military. We do not sell or authorise the use of images hosted on our servers, if you wish to purchase or use imagery contact the uploader directly.(you will need to register). Any requests received to purchase or use imagery will be ignored. Thank you and welcome to MI.Net

HQRU Huey/cobra Pilot & Crew Uniform

Discussion in 'HQ research Unit' started by Holmesy7291, May 6, 2017.


  1. Holmesy7291 United Kingdom

    Holmesy7291 Mi Sergeant MI.Net Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    *admin please relocate this thread if needed, I wasn't sure which section to put it in*

    Hey guys, i'm looking for some info on what uniform Huey and Cobra pilots would have worn in Vietnam-i'm going to the War and Peace Show in July and want to wear something different from the other guys.

    I've got both an early and a late-model SPH-4, I just need to get the rest. I've read that Huey/Cobra crews didn't wear flight-suits, they just wore the same as every other grunt. Would they have been modified by the crew at all? Would they have worn any EDRL cammies if they could get their hands on them? What sidearms would they have worn? What WOULDN'T they have worn?

    I'd look in my books but they're all packed up for moving and buried under a ton of everything else!

    Thanks in advance for your help guys mil-smile09
     
    Bombardier likes this.
  2. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Wotcha @Holmesy7291
    Moved your thread into HQ Research Unit

    Here is some info I found on the web

    Huey Pilot Combat boots
    combat boot.jpg
    The first type deployed were the standard all leather combat boots. Although used everywhere else these proved to be totally useless in the jungle environment. It should be noted that air crew and chopper pilots tended to wear them throughout the war because of fears about the nylon boot melting in a fire, also the lack of heavy lugs on the boot soles prevented aircrew from getting hung up on things such as rudder pedals.

    Huey pilot Survival knife
    huey pilot survival knife.jpg

    Not just used by pilots, these knives were found in many places in Vietnam. Not uncommon to see them on the belts or web harnesses of troops.

    I think your right about the clothing not being a flight suit, I recall seeing them wearing plain green BDU and heavy body armour, will see if I can get some pics.
     
    Holmesy7291 likes this.
  3. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Sorry about the chinese text but the pic gives a good idea

    air cavalry uniform pilot.jpg
     
    Holmesy7291 likes this.
  4. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Found this text on the Swith & Wesson site. It also confirms the thoughts about the boots

    smith and wesson model 10 vietnam.jpg

    Wesson Model 10 . These Holster were issued to the US Army & US marine Corp Copter crews
     
    Holmesy7291 likes this.
  5. Holmesy7291 United Kingdom

    Holmesy7291 Mi Sergeant MI.Net Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thanks Bom, I wasn't quite sure where to put it (as the Bishop said to the actress) :p

    I'd seen that article about the boots, tho they're very hard to come by these days-i've got a pair of HAIX GSG9-S boots that I used to wear for work that could pass muster at a distance (if the inspecting Occifer was half-blind) but i'll try and either find something similar to the flat-soled boots or the standard jungle pattern.

    I'm chatting to a guy who's selling his original SV-1 survival vest-he used to use it when he flew as Civil Air Patrol SAR several years ago-tho i'm going to get him to fire off the remaining flares (as Customs do not like things like that coming into the country) and he's sourcing me a new knife as his one has sentimental value. He's also on the lookout for a URC-64 radio for me.

    I'd like to source a set of Chicken-Plate body armour if possible, but a lot of US sellers won't sell to overseas addresses, even if it's outdated and obsolete kit. I've read that a lot of pilots used the standard flak-jackets (M1958+M1969 if I remmember correctly) as they were more comfortable than the chicken-plate, tho again these are getting hard/expensive to source.

    It may be pricy but i'll find a deactivated S&W somewhere, tho the holster may have to be a new one-I don't know how much they are.

    Thanks for the info Bom, very much appreciated!
     
    Bombardier likes this.
  6. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Trophy Points:
    138
    No Drama mate good luck getting it all together mil-smile11
     
  7. Holmesy7291 United Kingdom

    Holmesy7291 Mi Sergeant MI.Net Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Thanks Bom! Tho the hard part will be getting it past the Mrs!
     
    Bombardier likes this.
  8. Bombardier

    Bombardier Admin & Arbiter Staff Member Site Admin

    Messages:
    4,434
    Likes Received:
    1,785
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Isnt that always the case mate
    mil-smile02
     
  9. rotorwash United States

    rotorwash Sergeant Major MI.Net Member

    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Jungle fatigues were a good bet up until late 68, we heard that if Nomex was washed wrong it lost its fire retardant abilities. The boots thing is true, although I wore jungle boots all the time, leather would rot during the monsoons. Slick (UH-1D/H) crews wore the chicken plate with the back removed and placed under the seat, priorities you know. Gunship GIB (guys in back) wore the flack jacket almost exclusively, it allowed freedom of movement for reloading in the air, etc. We (EM) were not issued pistols although a lot of guys were. I just kept my M-16 which I cleaned about every six months, I had no idea if it would fire. I also obtained an assortment of other personal weapons (SF guys were good trading partners) including an M-3 grease gun. The survival knife was issued to just about everybody. An interesting thing about pilots and pistols, ours preferred the belt holster because when they sat down in the aircraft, the gun was rotated around and sat between the legs (priorities again). The -4 helmet was replaced starting in mid 67 with the beefier one that had a half inch of something-not-quite-bulletproof on the forehead then tapered thinner as it went over the skull. I had a good friend get a "Chinese haircut" when a round penetrated his helmet and ricocheted around his head exiting the back. Survival kits were a joke, each aircraft had one when it initially arrived in country but we cannibalized them pretty quick. For a while they issued a personal survival kit that hung on my belt, most of those ended up on the black market. It was a good idea because anything not attached to your body would not go with you in an emergency, but I think most of them got traded for a short time.
     
    Holmesy7291, BravoZulu and Xcalibur like this.
  10. Holmesy7291 United Kingdom

    Holmesy7291 Mi Sergeant MI.Net Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    IMG_6390.JPG IMG_6443.JPG Slight update time!

    Wasn't able to get all the kit together for the War & Peace Show-didn't give myself enough time and severely underestimated the expense/scarcity of some pieces. Ah well, there's always next year!

    I've managed to source 2 sets of late 60s-issue jungle fatigues (1 set of the poplin and 1 set of the ripstop, all '67-'69 dated) as well as an M51 web belt and a 1954-dated leather holster-all being shipped from Germany. Europe seems to have a lot of Vietnam gear... Also managed to find a deactivated WW2 S&W .38 M&P revolver (later renamed the Model 10) which cost a bomb but she's a lovely little thing! My friend in the US sold me his SV-1 vest, including the knife, so that's all there if I need it. Some original bits of survival kit, but mostly newer stuff (he used it when he flew S&R for the Civil Air Patrol after he came out the USAF).

    I'm STILL trying to source a pair of flat-soled boots in my size (8UK, 9US) and also negotiating for an M1955 flak vest, but apart from those bits i'm pretty much done! Just need to buy the correct patches (original if poss).

    Enjoy the pics!

    @rotorwash , what rank would you have been when you first arrived in country from training, WO1 or WO2? Regarding patch placement, am I righ in thinking rank taks on collar, 'US Army' on left chest with 'Air Assault' patch above, name tape on right chest, '1st Aviation Brigade' on left shoulder and Unit patch on right shoulder?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2017
    snapper and Bombardier like this.
  11. snapper United Kingdom

    snapper Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator Mi.Net Supporter

    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    18
    You will have to post a pic when ots all togeather , do you do living history ?
     

Share This Page