Week of August 6
In August of 1966 Naval aviators of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One (HC-1) began flying UH-1 “Huey” helicopters in III Corps and IV Corps over the twisting waterways of the Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long (Mekong River delta), replacing U.S. Army flight crews. From heavily armed gunships, they provided Navy Riverine Task Force 116 in Operation GAME WARDEN with reconnaissance, fire support, and medevac services. They transported Navy SEALs and supported covert operations.
The success of their missions resulted in the establishment of Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron 3 (HAL-3) in early 1967. HAL-3, nicknamed the “Seawolves,” would become one of the most decorated Navy squadrons of the war.1
1Edward J. Marolda, By Sea, Air, and Land: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy and the War in Southeast Asia (Wash DC: Naval Historical Center, 1994), pp. 167–69; Simon Dunstan, Vietnam Choppers (Oxford, Eng.: Osprey Publishers, 2003), p. 158.