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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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330th Transportation Company
Old 04-14-2019, 06:04 AM   #1
JOHN JONES
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Default 330th Transportation Company

A recent pick up, standard fare as far as Vietnam Army Aviation patches go.
But a good honest peice that has seen use, as is my forte. I obtained some nice background information from a pilot who flew Cobra's whilst
with the unit, although as explained, they were not part of the companies assets.

The 330th was a higher level maintenance company that was assigned the task of converting the tail rotor (known as the "Tractor Tail Rotor conversion") and higher level maintenance on the AH-1G Cobra helicopter. The tail rotor conversion was a major project in Viet Nam due to the fact it was discovered that in a high density altitude (high temperature and humidity) situation, the AH-1G helicopter would not have enough anti torque due to the tail rotor being located on the wrong side of the vertical stabilizer. The 330th along with a civilian contractor was assigned the task of relocating the tail rotor. In addition, the 330th had the mission of higher level repair of the AH-1G such as engine replacement, air frame repairs and other major repairs that lower level units did not have the capabilities of doing. I was assigned to the 330th in the later part of 1971 and into 1972 as the only functional test pilot during that period. After the conversion or other major repairs I had the job of test flying the aircraft to ensure that it was in perfect flying order before releasing it back to its parent unit. I also would fly with some of the units we supported in a combat role when they were short of pilots (which was not that often). During the period I was serving as test pilot I only had two emergency and three precautionary landings due to aircraft malfunctions. Howard H. Ford Cpt,
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330th Transportation Company.
Old 04-15-2019, 03:37 PM   #2
JOHN JONES
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Default 330th Transportation Company.

In reference to the pictures, the one of the steam bath is where all aircraft that came in for repair were sent to be cleaned prior to being repaired. The one of the 330th base, right foreground hanger is where the AH-1 Cobras were modified. Left foreground where the jeeps are parked was the maintenance offices. The left hanger is where repair work to all other aircraft were made. In the background is the company area (barracks, mess hall and motor pool). I did not mention it before but the tail rotor conversion was not the only work done on the Cobras. We also installed an attitude indicator in the front cockpit and a ECU (environmental conditioning unit, in laymen terms an air conditioning unit). We also did major repair work on fix wing and UH-1 aircraft. A test flight would take any where from an hour to three hours depending on what type of work done. I have done as many as five test flights in a day. Normally I only did one or two. I had additional duties as 1st platoon leader and forward CP commander during any attack on the perimeter. The 330th was directed to perform all repairs on the aircraft prior to returning them to their parent unit even to the point of painting them. Howard H. Ford Cpt, 330th TC
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