MISSION: The mission of the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company was to provide tactical air movement of combat troops in airmobile operations, and to provide tactical air movement of combat supplies and equipment.
HISTORY: The 173rd Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light) was activated on 1 September 1965 and was initially assigned to the 10th Aviation Group at Fort Benning, GA. The 173rd Avn Co (Airmobile) (Light) remained at Fort Benning for organization and training until January 1966 when it began deployment to Vietnam. The main body departed Columbus, GA 15 February 1966 and arrived in Vung Tau, Vietnam 10 March 1966. The 173rd was assigned to the 1st Aviation Bridge's 11th Combat Aviation Battalion at Phu Loi and made their base at Lai Khe. The 173rd supported elements of the 1st, 9th and 25th Infantry Divisions in the III Corps, in the Tactical Zone north of Saigon. The 173rd Aviation Company underwent a name change and became the 173rd Assault Helicopter Company and operated as an element of Airmobile. The 173rd AHC served from 1966 to 1972 when the unit stood-down. The unit was awarded the Valorous Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. SP4 Gary G. Wetzel was awarded our nation's most precious award, the "Medal of Honor" by then President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In September 1972, the 350th Aviation Company (Air Mobile), located at Fliegerhorst Kaserne, in Erlensee, FRG, part of the Hanau Military Community stood down and the aircraft and equipment was transferred to the restructured 173rd Aviation Company. The 173rd Aviation Company was a subordinate unit of the 11th Aviation Battalion located at Maurice Rose Army Airfield, Bonames, FRG, north of Frankfurt. At that time, there was a mixture of UH-1C and D models and AH-1s. Ultimately the unit would have 23 UH-1H helicopters equipped with the M-56 Mine Dispensing Units, broken up into 3 Flight platoons. There was also a Headquarters platoon and a Maintenance Platoon. The unit carried the nickname of The Robin Hoods and the field behind the billets was named Sherwood Forest. The unit remained until it was deactivated in the early 1980's.
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