5RAR Tiger Logo Aircraft in Support of 5RAR Vietnam War

Iroquois A2-773 in action during the Vietnam War

Bushranger A2-773
(RAAF Official Photograph)

RAAF Serial: A2-773
Model: UH-1H
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 storage.

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 door gunners.

Diagram of the M21 Sub Systems Components Here

Diagram of the 2.75 inch Rocket Launcher Here

Research: Roger Lambert