Aero-Rifle Platoon - A Little History

Not so widely known - C Troop had a presence in Vietnam before the March 1969 deployment of the fully TO&E’d air cav unit. Wayne Gazafy, a C Troop aero-rifle platoon vet recalls “…because we had no helicopters of our own in any number, we flew with the helicopters of the 1st Cav units in I Corp about Hue, Quang Tri, A Shau valley and Highway 1 on our missions.” He also recalls that there were A & B Cav troops which worked with them on the ground and they were made up of apc, tanks, gun jeeps and jeeps with mounted howitzers; even a mortar squad. He relates that they were the only C Troop aero-rifle platoon attached to this 2/17th cav in 1968. Wayne arrived in Vietnam in February of 1968 and talks about friends who were there in 1967. On April 9, 1968, near Quang Tri, he and the rest of his squad were wounded by an exploding 105 howitzer round that was rigged by the NVA.

According to our Association Historian, Mac Jones, the Squadron, minus C Troop, deployed in Dec 1967. The aero-rifle platoon (just the blues) of C Troop did deploy with the Squadron and were “officially” attached to HHT as Squadron HQ security.