(RAAF Official Photograph)
RAAF Serial: A2-773
US Serial 67-17575
Construction Number: 9773
It is believed that
this Huey may have been originally built as a D Model but modified
to H Model standards prior to delivery.
A2-773 was delivered to 9
Squadron in Vietnam on 4 July 1968. Interestingly, A2-773 was used
to validate the “Bushranger” gunship concept before three (3) others
were also converted. The gunships carried twin-fixed forward-firing
7.62-millimetre mini-guns and two seven-tube 2.75 inch rocket
launchers, in addition to the two door-mounted M60 machine-guns.
These “Bushranger” gunships were able to cover troop-carrying
helicopters approaching “hot” landing zones and as well as providing
close fire support.
Post Vietnam service, the Huey was transferred to Australian Army
Aviation in December 1989 and served with the 1st Aviation Regiment.
The Iroquois was transported by C-130 Hercules aircraft to Christmas
Island to assist with refugee problem (28 August to 8 September
2001. The ex-“Bushranger” was subsequently retired and placed into
A2-773 is now at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) Annex in
Mitchell, ACT and set to be restored to Vietnam configuration for
eventual display. Apparently, the AWM has sought this helicopter for
some time because of its significant provenance, including two (2)
RAAF pilots winning gallantry awards.
Readers may be interested to note that the original “Bushranger”
configuration had both the minigun and rocket launcher to the rear;
the later configuration saw the minigun mounted forward in the more
familiar position. Also of note is the removal of the perspex from
the forward window of the cargo compartment to facilitate ‘hot’
refuelling; it also had the added benefit of reducing glare for the
Diagram of the M21
Sub Systems Components Here
Diagram of the 2.75 inch Rocket Launcher Here
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