Guns A Go-Go



A pair of Guns-A-Go-Go Chinooks flying formation, date and location unknown.

             A pair of Gun-A-Go-Go ACH-47A Chinook helicopters flying formation, date and location unknown. Click-N-Go Here to view a larger version of this image.



Guns A Go-Go, circa 1966.



             Originally known as the Armed / Armored Chinook - A/ACH-47A, the designation was changed to the ACH-47A when the Army standardized its model designations, as per Army Regulation 70-50. The leading "A" (special mission symbol) became Attack, the "C" (mission symbol) stands for Cargo, the "H-47" (Basic mission and type symbol) stands for Helicopter -47, the "A" (series symbol) stands for the first model design. ACH-47A - Attack Cargo Helicopter -47 A model.


             Four armed/armored ACH-47A Chinooks were specially built for the U.S. Army by Boeing Vertol in late 1965. Three of the four aircraft were originally fielded in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) for a six month temporary duty (TDY) test period assigned to the newly formed 53rd Aviation Detachment.


             The three ACH-47A's to deploy were 64-13149 - nicknamed "Easy Money", 64-13151 - nicknamed "Stump Jumper", and 64-13154 - nicknamed "Birth Control". The first ACH-47A produced, 64-13145 (later known as "Co$t of Living") remained in the states for further weapons systems testing at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California. Following the test period, the unit was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's 228th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion and re-designated as the 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional). By February 1968, only one of the original four gunships was still flying. "Easy Money", 64-13149, was the only ACH-47A to survive the Vietnam War.


             LTC William J. Tedesco assumed command of Field Evaluation Detachment (Special) (CH-47) (Provisional) on 18 January 1966 at Fort Benning, Georgia. On 19 April 1966, the unit was re-designated 53rd Aviation Detachment, Field Evaluation (Provisional) and ordered to Vietnam for 180 days. The unit would spend three months at Vung Tau, and three months at An Khe.


             During the evaluation period, on 5 August 1966, "Stump Jumper" was involved in a ground accident with another A model Chinook. While ground taxiing, "Stump Jumper" ran into the other parked helicopter, and was destroyed. This necessitated the withdrawal of "Co$t of Living" from further testing at Edwards AFB and its immediate deployment to Vietnam, sending it down the path to destruction.


             Around the beginning of December 1966, the unit was re-designated as 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional), and attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's 228th Aviation Support Helicopter Battalion (ASHB) at An Khe.


             On 5 May 1967, while participating in action near Bong Son, "Co$t of Living" was lost when one of its M-24A 20 mm (millimeter) cannon forward mounting pins vibrated loose during a gun run, permitting the weapon to rotate upward and firing into the forward rotor system. The blades quickly separated from the aircraft, causing it to tumble out of control to the ground.


             The two remaining ACH-47A's, "Easy Money" and "Birth Control" continued to operate through the rest of the year, participating in numerous missions and proving valuable assets to field commanders. During this period, long standing gun and grenade launcher maintenance problems were resolved and mission tactics and techniques were refined.


             On 22 February 1968, while participating in the big push to recapture Hue during the Tet Offensive, "Birth Control" received numerous hits from small arms ground fire while pulling up from a gun-run, and had to autorotate into the dry rice paddies about 600 meters northwest of the Citadel walls. Under intense fire, "Easy Money" came in and positioned herself between "Birth Control" and the advancing enemy, delivering suppressive fire while rescuing the downed crewmembers. As "Easy Money" was struggling to get airborne from the added weight, the aircraft received several hits which wounded some of the crewmembers near the rear of the helicopter. Once airborne and enroute to Camp Evans, the aircrew attempted to coordinate a downed aircraft recovery mission. However, before the recovery could be attempted, a report came in that the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) had walked mortars up to "Birth Control", completely destroying the aircraft. Upon receiving the news, crewmember Walt Lacy responded: "She went out proud".


             The Army would not allow a single ACH-47A to operate alone and logistic transport helicopters were badly needed in the field. As a result, the experimental program was cancelled. "Easy Money" was transferred back to Vung Tau, where she served as a maintenance trainer with the in country Boeing Facility until the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam.


Guns-A-Go-Go out on a mission.





          Guns-A-Go-Go 1976
A look back in time.

             The following article, as originally written, appeared in the U.S. Army Aviation Digest, Volume 22, Number 6, June 1976, by LCDR Donald A. Mohr. It is edited only to enhance understanding of the material presented. The original photographs in our possession were omitted due to their poor quality.

             Marginal weather with a 200 foot ceilings had persisted in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) since the early part of February, hampering fixed wing airstrikes in support of the Battle of Hue. Only helicopters were flying and their operations were conducted in the dead mans zone at such low altitudes they were constantly exposed to enemy small arms fire.

             In an occasional break in the weather on 22 February 1968 two armed ACH-47 Chinooks from the 228th Assault Helicopter Battalion (Air Cavalry) joined numerous other helicopter gunships to provide needed gunfire support near the Citadel. Historians would later laud these efforts which significantly contributed to the victory in the bitter house to house fighting during the Tet Offensive.

             During one exchange of gunfire in the firefight, heavy and sustained enemy ground fire struck one of the supporting ACH-47 gunships. In the cockpit, numerous caution panel light segments illuminated signifying systems failures as the stricken helicopter broke off the engagement, seeking a secure area for landing. The wingman, Go-Go 9, continued to rake enemy positions with suppressive fire as Go-Go 4 executed an emergency landing precariously close to the walled city.

             The crippled Chinook's position was clearly visible from the city and drew intense enemy fire. Moments later Go-Go 9, piloted by Major Alan B. Matthews, touched down near the disabled craft, effecting a rescue of the seven man crew. The men clambered aboard as Captain (then WO1) Gary Daniel and waist gunners continued firing the 40 mm grenade launcher and 50 caliber machineguns, reducing the level of incoming fire.

             Go-Go 9 lifted off without incident and was in the process of initiating measures to secure the area around the downed Chinook while still enroute to Camp Evans. Troops requested to support the extraction attempt were later cancelled when word was received that Go-Go 4 had sustained a direct hit from enemy mortar fire and was completely destroyed.

             Attrition of CH-47 serial number 64-13154 - better known to the aircrew as "Birth Control" - would mean a good deal more than the loss of any other valuable Chinook. For, without an escort or wingman for mutual support, Go-Go 9's career as a gunship also had been terminated as surely as if it had been shot down by enemy fire. The loss of the third gunship would toll the death knell to the Guns A Go-Go evaluation and the 1 April 1968 demise of the 1st Aviation Detachment of the 228th Assault Helicopter Battalion. No evidence could be found to substantiate further single ACH-47 gunship operations - or others in conjunction with either UH-1B/Cs (Hueys) or AH-1Gs (Huey Cobras). Such an association might well have been as effective and lethal as the later adopted Huey/Loach (light observation helicopter) "pink teams".

             Ironically, the elimination of those standard Chinook systems which contributed to a more desirable gunship, and the armor added to improve survivability, precluded 149's return to the fold of the more conventional logistics Chinooks. Overweight and ill-equipped for this mission, Go-Go 9 (known as "Easy Money") was subsequently transferred to the 1st Aviation Brigade and flown to the Army maintenance facilities at Vung Tau where she served out the remainder of her Vietnam tour with the 17th Aviation Group (Combat) as an AAMTAP (Army Aircraft Mobile Technical Assistance Program) aircrew trainer for prospective crewchiefs. It was while serving in this capacity that the aircraft was reduced to a mere skeleton or hulk due to component and systems removals (cannibalism). With the graveyard looming as an imminent possibility, aid came from an unexpected quarter.

             Interested individuals who recognized the historical value of this craft intervened to restore and refurbish 149 and arranged for transportation stateside. This was accomplished about the time the Refresher Training School at Phu Loi was closed in April 1972. The helicopter was never flown while it was waiting to be transported back to the U.S. The reworked aircraft was then donated to the U.S. Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker.

             One might now expect serial number 64-13149 to finally grace a deserved place of honor at the Army Aviation Museum, resplendent in paint with stub wings bristling 20 mm cannon; rockets; and the M-5 grenade launcher under the nose. Unfortunately, not yet! No pristine paint graces 149 today along with the "Easy Money" name given in combat and which had adorned her side. Instead the helicopter is located at the Army Development and Readiness Command's Ammunition Center, Savannah, IL, where it is employed as a training aid for civilian careerists assigned to worldwide ammunition activities. The aircraft is used to teach typical helicopter loading/unloading and cargo tiedown procedures. The Ammunition Center also is responsible for formulation of ammunition and nuclear handling procedures.

             The inception of the combat experiment and evaluation known as Guns A Go-Go had its beginnings as a February 1964 Army battlefield requirement for employment of a heavily armed helicopter. The main emphasis was expected to focus on increased speed and higher weapons payloads; two major limiting factors affecting employment of the current UH-1B gunships. The Huey was not designed for the armed configuration, and as armament was increased to the helicopters maximum gross weight, airspeeds were limited to 80 knots. This speed proved unsatisfactory since the escorting gunships could not overtake an airmobile force.

             Several alternative helicopter models such as the Sikorsky S-61 Sea King and Kaman UH-2A Sea Sprite, along with existing helicopters in the Army inventory, were examined by the Bush Board* as possible candidates for this escort mission. Current production lines, existing logistic support and spare parts commonality may have been factors which tipped the scales in favor of the CH-47. By June 1965 the Army authorized production of four armed ACH-47 prototype configurations. The first of these, serial number 64-13145 (Boeing production number B-117) was accepted for the Army by the Navy Plant Representative as a standard CH-47A on 7 July 1965. After weapons systems and armor installations were completed the first flight of the ACH-47 series was accomplished on 10 November 1965.

             Later in November, 64-13145 was publicly displayed at Boeing's Center Two facilities located at Philadelphia International Airport, PA. This rollout almost coincided with the secret debut of a Bell Helicopter Company funded prototype Model 209. This Huey Cobra (which became the AH-1 and commonly called the Cobra) would revolutionize armed helicopter gunship tactics and configurations in the following 2 years. During the succeeding months three more Chinooks would be delivered; these being serial numbers 64-13149, 64-13151 and 64-13154.

             The most conspicuous difference between these ACH-47 helicopters and the standard CH-47A logistics support configured version was the rotatable M-5 nose pod and two fuselage pylons. These were 2 1/2 feet wide hardpoints located on both sides of the helicopter near station 242, just outboard of the front wheels. To provide fire support capability provisions for the installation of a 20 mm cannon, along with an XM-10 bomb rack for the 19 shot XM-158 2.75 inch rocket pod on each side. Five fuselage stations also were provided with flexible mounts for either 7.62 mm or 50 caliber machineguns - two along the sides and one on the rear loading ramp. This rear position provided a clear field of fire to engage targets after the helicopter had passed over them. This was a unique advantage among gunships and allowed pilots considerably more latitude in attacking fortified positions.

             A cardinal rule of gunship tactics is to never overfly a target area due to the vulnerability of the helicopter after its guns no longer keep the enemy down. Dual side and rear firing weapons permitted the Chinook to write its own rules. The armed Chinook also boasted more than 1 1/2 tons of expendable munitions aboard. The heavier 50-caliber machineguns normally used on the ACH-47 nearly doubled the engagement range of the 7.62 mm machineguns then being used by UH-1s in Vietnam.

             Many standard CH-47 items which were not essential for the fire support mission were not installed. These included the cargo hook, winch, heater, cargo door, auxiliary loading ramps, sound proofing and all but five troop seats. Estimates of 2,000 pounds of steel armor plate were added to protect crewmembers and vital components. To enhance the survivability of the helicopter, a combat interphone system, fuel fire suppression, [engine] crossfeed [fuel] shutoff valves and ballistic armor plate capable of withstanding the impact of 50 caliber ammunition were installed. Pilot and copilot seat and torso armor protection, known as the "iron maiden" (derived from an early torture device of the same name), also were provided. The normal combat practice of locating flack jackets in the chin bubble was employed.

             Army test and evaluation boards from Ft. Rucker operated the first helicopter at Aberdeen, Maryland, for weapons capability testing until March 1966. Following unit training at Fort Benning, GA, three of the craft were assigned transportation to RVN for combat evaluation. These helicopters arrived and commenced combat theater operations in June 1966 under the Army Concept Team in Vietnam (ACTIV) supervision. The initial testing was performed by the 53rd Aviation Detachment Field Evaluation (Provisional) operating under the 10th Aviation Group (see "Armed Chinooks," July 1966 and "Armed CH-47A Helicopter Employment," August 1966 Army Aviation Digest). These experiments earned high praises for the concept and caused officers to compare the Guns A Go-Go with the Air Force's lethal C-47, dubbed "Puff the Magic Dragon".

             Following completion of the ACTIV tests the ACH-47s were assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) which had introduced the Chinook in its standard logistics configuration to Vietnam operations in October 1965. Normal employment of the Chinook at this time was as a prime artillery mover. With a 7,000-pound payload, the Chinook could relocate a complete 105 howitzer, crew and net full of ammunition in nearly inaccessible areas. General John J. Tolson, in his monograph "Airmobility 1961-1971", praised the Chinook in this way: "If the Huey helicopter became the cornerstone of airmobility, then the Chinook must be considered one of the principle building blocks."

             The ingenuity and courage of all CH-47 aircrewmembers are indeed worthy of note. While two aircraft of the Guns delivered over eight tons of ordnance in the Song Re Valley on 9 August 1967, other Chinooks were dropping napalm and riot agents from the rear loading ramp. This ramp, which could be lowered in flight, provided a nearly perfect delivery method. While this mode of operation normally was employed only when tactical air was unavailable, the availability of the helicopters to do this mission facilitated considerable employment. A single CH-47 could deliver 2 1/2 tons of napalm. During Operation Pershing more than 29,000 pounds of riot agent was delivered in this manner by the 1st Cavalry.

             The installed armor on the Guns effectively protected all but one of the aircraft from loss; the actual reason* for the loss of 154 was never fully disclosed. A taxi accident was to claim the first of the ACH-47s in Vietnam on 5 August 1966. This occurred in the III Corps Area, prior to the 1st Cavalry assignment. Subsequent to this accident the fourth ACH-47 aircraft (serial number 64-13145), located at Edwards AFB, CA, for performance and flight quality testing, was deployed to RVN as a replacement. This aircraft is unceremoniously credited with its own destruction when it was lost on 5 May 1967. Due to failure of the retention [pin] of the M-24A 20 mm cannon on a gun-run, a round was fired into the rotor system, striking a rotor blade and destroying the craft. The last two examples survived until 22 February 1968 when 154 was lost. Yet, loss is a strong word only if it is not balanced against what was gained for this price.

             Guns A Go-Go, in its combat evaluation as an interim helicopter gunship, exhibited numerous strengths and a few weaknesses, some of which were subsequently solved in the AH-1G. It must be remembered the AH-1G was also only an interim gunship; the ill-fated AH-56 Cheyenne, cancelled after prototype testing, was to be the ultimate gunship.

             The speed, endurance and firepower of the ACH-47 immediately solved the requirements necessary for escorts of the airmobile force. Although the ACH-47 had to reduce forward speed when operating at max gross weights, it still could escort CH-47 formations since the latter seldom transited at VNE [Velocity, Never Exceed]. Its endurance equalled or exceeded UH-1 fuel reserves, even when the Guns were "armed to the teeth." With nearly 1 1/2 tons of expendable ordnance onboard, targets could be engaged on a more liberal and continuous basis than when each round had to be rationed for a specific purpose. This sustained fire support and long onstation time in the combat zone earned considerable praise. The guns excelled in landing zone preparation, road reconnaissance, interdiction, escort and in direct support of the infantry.

             The ACH-47s prototyped the forward cabin and rear ramp machinegun installations later adopted on the logistic model CH-47s as the M-24 and M-41 armament systems. With a full 360 degrees of fire capability, the aircrew could effectively engage and observe the aircraft being fired upon from all quarters. A serious shortcoming of the latter AH-1G Cobra was a lack of knowing when the aircraft was under fire until actually being hit. Introduction of the SA-7 Strella missile later in 1972 forced AH-1G gunship pilots to keep their heads on a swivel.

             The installed forward firing 20 mm cannon armament gave these helicopters the first opportunity to engage troop concentrations armed with 50 caliber weapons or larger, rather than being forced to withdraw and/or await tactical airstrikes. The increased target accuracy and engagement range of the 20 mm also enhanced survivability. The area fire effectiveness of the 2.75 inch rockets, identical to those carried by the UH-1, needs no further accolades. Additional target area suppression fire existed in the M-5 grenade launcher controlled by the copilot. Basically, Guns A Go-Go carried the combination of weapons systems any three single UH-1s might employ and the capability to continue the barrage twice as long. A pair of armed Chinooks were indeed a formidable adversary.

             Today various positions prevail concerning ideal size, agility and speed requirements for gunships. Certainly the effectiveness of this experiment must be assessed recognizing the excessive size and some limitations in maneuverability. Significantly, initial requirements recognized the Chinook would have little to no agility advantage over the UH-1, but it would excel with a distinct firepower advantage. The Guns also operated with the earlier lower powered Lycoming T55-L7, 2,650 shaft horsepower (shp) engines, and not the present L-11As which power the Super C model Chinooks and are rated at 3,750 shp each. [See powerplant notes below]

             Perhaps the ultimate tribute to The Guns can best be summed up in the words of their Vietnam commander, Major General Tolson, who said this about the Guns A Go-Go:

"Though anything but graceful, it had a
tremendous effect on the friendly troops
which constantly asked for its support.
From an infantryman's viewpoint, when
the "Go-Go Bird" came, the enemy

             Whenever an Army can field equipment the enemy is reluctant to engage and can do so much to improve morale and assist the fighting man on the ground, they're on the right track!

             The Guns A Go-Go blazed a high trail to glory in the short combat evaluation. The fact that the Department of the Army elected to discontinue the armed Chinook concept in no way diminishes the outstanding combat record of these craft and the heroic deeds of the pilots and the aircrew who flew them.

             * The Bush Board - A Department of the Army board convened to evaluate possible replacements for the UH-1 Huey gunships.





             Powerplant Notes:


             C model Chinooks were limited to a maximum dual engine torque of 84 percent, due to the combining transmission design. This severely limited the pilots ability to use all the available power from both engines at the same time. Only 3,150 shp from each engine could be applied to the combining transmission, or a total of 6300 shp. Since 1982, D model Chinooks have utilized the T55-L-712 engine, normally producing 3,750 shp at 100 percent torque, but capable of 4,500 shp. The D model has a significantly improved combining transmission design capable of handling 100 percent torque from both engines at the same time; 3,750 shp each for a total of 7500 shp. However, the engines are still capable of producing more power than the combining transmission can tolerate, with a guaranteed minimum of 4,500 shp. The only allowable time when the engine can go above 3,750 shp, or 100 percent torque, is during single engine operations, when the limit becomes 4,500 shp, or 123 percent torque.





          Co$t of Living


             64-13145, Boeing build number B-117, was an ACH-47A helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 20 December 1965. The administrative strike date was 5 May 1967. 64-13145 accumulated 435.0 aircraft hours. 64-13145 was the first of four "Guns-A-Go-Go" armed attack CH-47 helicopters (64-13145, 64-13149, 64-13151, 64-13154). 64-13145 was nick named "Co$t of Living". On 5 May 1967, 64-13145, while assigned to the 1st Aviation Detachment was lost in combat due to an accident near Bong, in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). During a firing run, a forward mounting pin broke, causing one of the 20mm cannons to elevate and fire through the forward rotor system. The blades separated from the aircraft causing the aircraft to nose over out of control. 64-13145 crashed and burned. All crewmembers perished. Co$t Of Living had the "dollar sign" instead of the letter "s" in the word "Cost" in her combat artwork. 64-13145 was the first of four armed ACH-47A's. The last known location of 64-13145 was in the Republic of Vietnam. Aircraft status: Crashed in combat.



             Aircraft 64-13145 "Co$t of Living" seen here outside the Boeing Center Two facilities at the International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13145 "Co$t of Living" - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.



          Aircraft 64-13145, "Co$t of Living", in the Republic of Vietnam:

Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13145, "Co$t of Living",  - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.

The nose art of Boeing ACH-47A helicopter 64-13145, "Co$t of Living".





          Easy Money




             64-13149, Boeing build number B-121, was a ACH-47A helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 30 November 1965. The administrative strike date was sometime in 1968. 64-13149 accumulated 927.0 aircraft hours. 64-13149 was the second of four, and sole surviving, "Guns-A-Go-Go" Chinook attack helicopters produced (64-13145, 64-13149, 64-13151, 64-13154). 64-13149 was nick named "Easy Money". 64-13149 was originally assigned to the Field Evaluation Detachment (Special) (CH-47) (Provisional), later to be re-designated the 53rd Aviation Detachment, Field Evaluation (Provisional), and then finally as the 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional), and attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's 228th Aviation Support Helicopter Battalion (ASHB) at An Khe in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). After the loss of the other three ACH-47A helicopters, 64-13149 was transferred to the 765th Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) and flown to Vung Tau for use as a maintenance trainer in 1968. In the early 1970's, near the close of hostilities in the Republic of Vietnam, 64-13149 was transferred stateside. Originally to have been shipped to the New Cumberland Army Depot (NCAD), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, sometime in January 1972 for re-work as a museum exhibit, 69-13149 instead went to the Army Development and Readiness Command's Savannah, Illinois Research Center. At some point, 64-13149 was transferred to Fort Eustis and was utilized as a sheet metal trainer. Recognized for historical significance in the late 1990's, "Easy Money" was rebuilt as museum exhibit at Fort Eustis. In May 2000, 64-13149 was moved to Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama and put on display near the Aviation Missile Command's (AMCOM) CH-47 Program Executive Office. As of 1 January 2002, this aircraft was one of the three surviving, although non-operational, CH-47A helicopters 60-03451, 61-02408, 64-13149 ("Guns-A-Go-Go")). As of 1 January 2002, this aircraft was 36.1 years old. As of 1 January 2002, the last known location of 64-13149 was Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. Aircraft status: Museum exhibit.



          Aircraft 64-13149, "Easy Money", in the Republic of Vietnam:

Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13149, "Easy Money",  - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.


Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13149, "Easy Money",  - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.





          Stump Jumper


64-13151 - "Stump Jumper", in the Republic of Vietnam.


             64-13151, Boeing build number B-123, was an ACH-47A helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 10 December 1965. The administrative strike date was 5 August 1966. 64-13151 accumulated 207.0 aircraft hours. 64-13151 was the third of four armed attack "Guns-A-Go-Go" helicopters produced (64-13145, 64-13149, 64-13151, 64-13154). 64-13151 was nick named "Stump Jumper". 64-13151 was originally assigned to the Field Evaluation Detachment (Special) (CH-47) (Provisional), later to be re-designated the 53rd Aviation Detachment, Field Evaluation (Provisional), and then finally as the 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional), and attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's 228th Aviation Support Helicopter Battalion (ASHB) at An Khe in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). 64-13151 was lost in an accident at Vung Tau, RVN. 64-13151 was ground taxiing when it struck another parked CH-47A helicopter, 62-02118. The last known location of 64-13151 was in the Republic of Vietnam. Aircraft status: Crashed.

Boeing ACH-47A 64-13151 - Stump Jumper after a ground accident in August 1966.





          Birth Control


Birth Control


             64-13154, Boeing build number B-126, was an ACH-47A helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 1 September 1965. The administrative strike date was 22 February 1968. 64-13154 accumulated 1,018.0 aircraft hours. 64-13154 was the fourth and final aircraft produced in the "Guns-A-Go-Go" series (64-13145, 64-13149, 64-13151, 64-13154). 64-13154 was nick named "Birth Control". 64-13154 was originally assigned to the Field Evaluation Detachment (Special) (CH-47) (Provisional), later to be re-designated the 53rd Aviation Detachment, Field Evaluation (Provisional), and then finally as the 1st Aviation Detachment (Provisional), and attached to the 1st Cavalry Division's 228th Aviation Support Helicopter Battalion (ASHB) at An Khe in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). 64-13154 was lost in combat near the Citadel at Hue, RVN. 64-13154 received ground fire from small arms and took several in-flight hits. 64-13154 lost aft transmission oil pressure. The aircraft landed north of Hue, where the crew removed guns from aircraft and took up a defensive position. Aircraft 64-13149 landed under constant enemy fire beside 64-13154 and took the 8 crew members aboard. On lift off, 3 crew members of 64-13149 and one crew member of 64-13154 were wounded. Later, while aircraft recovery operations were being prepared, 64-13154 sustained a direct mortar hit and blew up. The last known location of 64-13154 was in the Republic of Vietnam. Aircraft status: Shot down and destroyed.



          Aircraft 64-13154, "Birth Control", in the Republic of Vietnam:

Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13154, "Birth Control", - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.
Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13154, "Birth Control", - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.
Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13154, "Birth Control", - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.
Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13154, "Birth Control", - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.
Boeing CH-47A helicopter 64-13154, "Birth Control", - One of the original four Guns A Go-Go Armed CH-47s.



          The Crash Site of Birth Control

The crash site of "Birth Control".





          ACH-47A ARMAMENT


             The ACH-47A Chinook Guns A Go-Go, with a crew of eight, was armed with up to five M2 .50 caliber or M60D 7.62 mm machine guns (four XM32 window and one XM33 ramp mounted), and two fixed-mounted XM34 M24A1 20 mm cannon and two M18/M18A1 pod-mounted 7.62 mm miniguns, or two XM159B / XM159C 19-tube 2.75 inch rocket launchers, and a chin-mounted 40 mm automatic grenade launcher on the M5 armament subsystem.
Guns A Go-Go 20 mm cannon and 2.75 inch rocket pod.


M60D 7.62 mm Machine Gun in the M24 mount assembly.
   The M60D was a 7.62 mm link belt fed, gas operated, air cooled automatic weapon. When fielded with the ACH-47A helicopter, the door or window mounted version was known as the XM32 System (which later became the M24). The ramp mounted version was known as the XM33 System (later to become the M41).

The M2 .50 Caliber ramp mounted weapon system on the ACH-47A.

          The M2 .50 Caliber Machine Gun



             The ACH-47A helicopters also featured added armor protection for the crew and some critical components. They proved to be effective in the combat assault role, in spite of their involvement in two accidents and one combat loss, and the initial difficulty in maintaining the armament subsystems.


Armament and Ammunition on the ACH-47A.
ACH-47A Fields of Fire.



          Early 1960s ACH-47A Film


A film featuring the ACH-47A Chinook helicopter undergoing evaluation in the Republic of Vietnam, early 1960s.


             Click-N-Go Here to view an early 1960s film featuring the ACH-47A Chinook helicopter operating in the Republic of Vietnam. It is recommended you Right Click and select "Save As" to save it to your computer for enhanced viewing (17.1 Mb).



          Related Information


          More Guns-A-Go-Go Video


          Guns-A-Go-Go Article



          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


          Comments or Questions ? Email the Webmaster. Email the Webmaster.