220th RAC (Catkillers)





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Published on Dec 4, 2007

This film shows aerial views of the flying area of the 220th Reconnaissance Airplane Company (RAC) and scenes from their officers' club during a visit from a USO sponsored entertainment group. Pilots in the 220th RAC were called "Catkillers".. The Catkillers were based at Hue Phu Bai airfield, approximately 10 miles south of Hue, the ancient capitol of Vietnam. Their flying area was from just north of DaNang to the DMZ separating North from South Vietnam. The unit flew O-1 Birddogs. These single engine high wing aircraft%u2019s missions included artillery adjustment, forward air control, radio relay, convoy cover, naval gunfire, target analysis and combat observation. The "Dogs", as they were called, were two seat aircraft which carried no armament accept for up to eight 2.75 inch rockets which were used primarily to mark targets. The 1st platoon was assigned to support the marines near the DMZ and the Ho Chi Minh trail. The rest of the company provided support for the 101st Airborne Division, ARVN's and Navy ships off the coast for fire direction. The company flew reconnaissance missions in northern I Corps near the DMZ and the trail through Laos. This sequence of aerial scenes shows the military installations in the Phu Bai area then moves to the city of Hue where main focus is "The Citadel" the fortress walled home of former kings of Vietnam. The following scene is of the Marine base at Dong Ha, several miles south of the DMZ. The film then moves to aerial scenes of a Birddog flying near the famous "Rockpile" area, around which some intense battles were fought. The next scene is of an air strike being coordinated near the DMZ. The last aerial scene is taken in the DMZ near where the Ben Hai river empties into the sea. The subject matter in this footage is the giant garrison size flag the North Vietnamese had erected in the middle of the DMZ. As a footnote, subsequent to this film being shot, one of the Catkiller pilots successfully hit the flag with a 2.75 inch white phosphorous rocket and burned it to the ground! The final scene is of Catkiller pilots and their comrades doing a little "serious partying" after a long day on the job! Phu Bai was Alright! - Wow! Sure brings back memories. Been there, done that.

I even had to grab a barf back to watch this flick You know like you guys always made me do all the time over the Ashau.
I remember those spins and tight turns you guys, I remember!

Jerry Spette
Catkiller - 01
XXIV Corps - G2 Air.
Thanks for sharing these movies. Saw people there that I remember more than you would realize.

We still have not caught up with Bobby Arrington.

Charles Finch

Captain June 1968-August 1969
Wow - what a Party. I see Drechsel, Blevins, Wesley, Chief Hillman and many more. Thanks Pat - great job.


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