SOME OF THE FIRST HAWAKEYES 1967, Lt. Dick Ansinetti, Commander Capt. John mayer, Capt. Walt Taylor, and Hawkeye 22 Capt. Bob Martin at Phu Hiep. Below some of the First Hawkeyes Fort Sill Aug 1967
USS Weigel Troop Transport 1967 Transported the 203rd to Vietnam. Below are the 203rd Hawkeyes at the Oakland Naval yard boarding the USS Weigel Oct 2,1967 for the 28 day voyage to Vietnam.
On 12 April 1967, the 203rd Aviation Company was activated at Fort Sill Oklahoma. Authorized strenght was 33 officers and 95 enlisted men.
On 18 April 1967, notification was received that the units first aircraft were ready to be picked up at New Cumberland Army Depot, Pennsylvania.
On 29 June, 1967 it was notified that the first of the next group were ready for pick up at the Cessna plant Wichita Kansas. Within the next three weeks all 24 aircraft, 0-1G's, were on station.
The 203rd was equippped with 24 Cessna 0-1G Light Observation Airplanes. Twenty 1951 models and four 1953 model E and A's rebuilt and given the new classification of "G".
On 30 September 1967 at 1400 hours lead by acting commander John H. Mayer the main body 17 officers and 60 enlisted men said their farewells to Fort Sill and boarded buses to Oklahoma City to board a train bound for Oakland, California.
The main body arrived at the Oakland Naval Yard on October 2 and boarded the USS Weigel to start the 28 day voyage to Vietnam.
Their first stop was Midway Island to drop off a sick troop. The next stop was at Subic Bay for reprovisions. Then on to Vietnam with port calls at Qui Nhon and Vung Tau.
On 27 October 1967 the 203rd RAC arrived at Cam Ranh Bay. From Cam Rahn they flew in a C-123 to Tuy Hoa AFB and took 2 1/2 ton trucks on to Phu Hiep.
The advanced party of 5 officers and 6 enlisted men Headed by Maj. Stephenson departed Oct. 10 on a C-141 and arrived at Tuy Hoa Airforce Base on Oct 12 then proceeded 4 miles by vehicle to Phu Hiep.
The Bird Dogs were reassembled at Vung Tau and flown to Phu Hiep. All 24 had been delivered to Phu Hiep by Nov. 4.
On arrival in Vietnam the 203rd Aviation Company was changed to the 203rd Reconnaissance Airplane Company (RAC).
On 1 December 1967 the 203rd RAC officially became combat operational.
The disposition of the unit's resources as follows; 1st platoon Qui Nhon (5 aircraft) previously occupied by the 219th RAC; 2nd platoon LZ English a new location (6 aircraft) with a section at An Khe (5 aircraft) previously occupied by the 219th RAC; 3rd platoon at Phu Hiep (6 aircraft) with a section at Tuy Hoa north (2 aircraft) previously occupied by the 185th RAC; and company HQ at Phu Hiep.
On 15 july 1970 the 203rd RAC was on stand down and the 219th RAC took over the 203rd's 1st and 2nd platoon locations, resources, aircraft and personell. 3rd Plt. at Tuy Hoa North and Phu Hiep locations were closed.
There were 3 officers, 3 NCO's, and 3 enlisted men left in the 203rd until it was formally inactivated on 15 September 1970.
The life of the 203rd RAC was 3 years and 3 months but will always be remembered by the men who served with it.
From 12 April 1967 to 15 July 1970 the 203rd Hawkeyes had 385 men and of the 385 men 85 were pilots from 1 Jan 1968 to 15 July 70 they flew 47,469 missions, destroyed 1,170 enemy bunkers, with 1,512 confirmed enemy K.I.A. credited to the 203rd Hawkeyes
1967 to 1970 the 203rd had 40 Bird Dogs and lost half. 20 Bird Dogs lost: 5 to enemy mortars, and 15 crashed.