quickly became
the
workhorse
in
ASA
s airborne
direction
finding
effort
in
Vietnam.
In
Vietnam,
there
were twice
as many
RU-8s as
any
other
platform
in ASA
s inventory
and as
such
they
became
the
backbone
of
Army airborne
direction
finding
in
Vietnam,
Laos, and
Thailand.
In
1968,
forty-four
systems
were
scattered
among
three
companies:
l38th
Aviation
Company
(RR),
l44th
Aviation
Company
(RR),
and
the
146th
Aviation
Company
(RR).
By
1971,
unit
drawdowns
were
beginning.
On 30
September
1971
the
IMth
Aviation
company
at
Nha
Trang
was
deactivated.
More
followed
with the
relocation
of the
156th
Aviation Company
from
Can
Tho
to Fort
Bliss,
Texas.
By I
May
1972, this
left the
z24thAviation
Battalion
with
two companies,
the
138th and
146th.
When word
was
received
from
the Commander
USMACV
in
June
1972
that
support
to
Altied
forces
was
still
needed,
the
224th
was
in the
process
of
turning
in its remaining
RU-8s.
For the
next
several
weeks
the
emphasis
was upon
retrieving
planes from
turn-
in and cannibalizing
others
for
spare
parts. But
within
ten
days
the
first
U-8
was back
in the
air, and
within
three
weeks
the
level
of
missions
had
returned
to
normal.
The
RU-8s
continued
operating
until
the
28 January
1973
cease-fire
and
were
among
the
last
platforms to
leave
Vietnam.
Following
Vietnam,
the
RU-Ss
would
remain
as
part
of the
l38th
ASA Company
(Avn)
(USAR)
stationed
in Orlando,
Florida.
AIRCRAFT
LOSSES
Three
Army
crews
made
the
ultimate
sacrifice
while
flying
signals
intelligence
aerial
reconnaissance
missions
under
enemy
fire.
All of
these
were
lost
in the
war
in Southeast
Asia and
were
the
only
ASA
crews
killed
by
hostile
fire
during
the
Cold
War.
Thirteen
U.S.
Army
personnel
were
lost
to
hostile
fire
while
11
performing
the
sensitive
airborne
intelligence
collection
missions.
Of
the thirteen, seven were U"S" Army
Security
Agency intercept
operators
and
six were flight crew
personnel.
Six of these
thirteen
are
still listed as Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered.
One
is
listed
as Died While
Missing/Body Recovered. The
others
are listed
as Killed In Action.
The
first ASA aircraft lost in Vietnam was a LEFT
SANK
EH-
lH
assigned
to
the lst
Cav
Division. The loss took
place
on
29
November
1969 near
Landing
Zone
Buttons in Phuoc Long
Province,
III
Corps.
The mission of this
crew
was airborne intercept
and location of
enemy transmitters directly threatening the 1st
Cav's
area of operations. The aircraft
was shot down by
ground
fire,
and the
crew
was killed
on impact. The
aircraft
was
later
destroyed
by
tactical
airstrikes to
prevent
compromise of
on-board
mission
equipment.
Those lost were:
CW2
Jack K. Knepp from Big Bear
City, California KIA
WO1 Dennis D.
Bogle from
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
KIA
SP4 Henry N. Heide ll
from West Palm
Beach, Florida
KIA
SP4 James R. Smith from Moore.
Oklahoma KIA
A second
LEFT BANK aircraft
lost on
1 March I9lI near
Dambe,
miles inside
Cambodia).
Those lost
from
the
1st
Cav Division was
Cambodia
(approximately
five
were:
WO1 Paul V. Black
from
Central
Valley, California
KIA/BNR
WOI Robert D.
Uhl from San Mateo,
California DWM/BR
SP5
Gary C.
David
from Pottstown, Pennsylvania
KIA
SP4 Frank
A" Sablan from Phenix
Citv. Alabama KIA
These
mission
crews on board the
two
LEFT
BANK aircraft
were assigned to
the 371st Radio Research
Company.
Originally
designated
as the 371st ASA Company,
it
was
formed
by the United
States Army
Security
Agency in
t952 and was
attached
to
the lst
Cavalry Division.
It
was with this division that the
company saw
T2

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