"The Last Headhunters"
Submitted by -CWO Laurence McIntyre, Pleiku Nov '71 - March '72
I started in 1971 with the 74th RAC in Tay Ninh RVN. My next assignment was to the 73rd SAC, a Mohawk unit, flying the Army/Lockheed YO-3A. After that the YO-3A unit was disbanded, I went to the 219th. At the time there were many pilots flowing through other units having stood down. We moved billets several times as Holloway AAF was in flux as well. During that period the CO changed from Maj Saylor to Maj Clubb. As you now the 219th stood down in, as I recall, December 1971. There were some administration people remaining into 1972. CWO William Huth and I were still there long in 1972, having not been reassigned or sent home and technically assigned to the 52nd Battalion. There were no pilots left and no aircraft unless it might have been a U-6. In February 1972 as NVA troops massed along the border there was no observation intelligence remaining. CWO Huth and I volunteered to fly two VNAF O-1’s rounded up by someone in high places. This yielded some amazing results as the NVA were not the least bit intimidated by much of anything and confused us that there were troops just out in the open and waving at us. A major operation was conducted with some of that intelligence and captured prisoners indicated they were not worried about being seen by VNAF aircraft. You may recall the Easter Uprising in 1972 which was barely beaten back from Kontum and Pleiku by the RVN and Assistance Command. I came back to the US and was discharged in March 1972 having never been assigned to a flying assignment, opting for a discharge to reserve status. Although technically assigned to the 52nd Aviation BN, I believe that CWO Huth and I were the last two 219th pilots to fly 219th mission albeit in VNAF aircraft.
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