Scramble the Seawolves

| July 14, 2019

hal 3
hal 3

Boomer sends us a link to the story of HAL-3, Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Three, the Seawolves, and their exploits in the Mekong Delta in the bad days of Viet Nam. They were the only squadron of Navy aircraft that was established, and then decommissioned, on foreign soil. Ever. They picked up were the Army left off, and this is no slam on Army helo drivers, their stories are legend. But the Army Warrents just didn’t have the training or equipment for night flight, and the Navy did. This is an amazing story of what has been described a mix of Pappy Boyington’s Black Sheep and a McHale’s Navy outfit. That it was, and remains, the most decorated squadron in the Navy speaks for itself.

Scramble the Seawolves

Category: Guest Link, Navy, The Warrior Code, Valor

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank you, my father was a Seawolf and haven’t done any research since he passed four years ago. All I have are a few stories he told me 20+ years ago.


Hmmm. Ed, I always thought you were just a straight stick P-3 guy.

Since you’re an AW, did you have to do Rescue Swimmer duties as a helo crewman? When I went through NACCS in 1984, anyone striking for AW and detailed to helos was required to go to Rescue Swimmer school.

Caused a few problems for guys who weren’t the strongest swimmers. Heck, a kid died shortly after I finished NACCS. I still remember seeing the Rescue Swimmer classes getting the holy lovin’ crap PT’d out of them. Tough school.

And heck, was there even NACCS back when you first started and Rescue Swimmer school for that matter? Buddies of mine who were NAC in the 70s just did the DWEST and SERE. No NACCS.


No kidding.



I appreciate it Ed – if you’re in Jax and spent time at the NAS Yacht Club or Fleet Reserve in the 80’s/90’s you probably met him. We were regulars until I ran off and joined the circus.


One of my old CO’s was part of HAL-3. He received a Silver Star and DFC while with that squadron. He was a Captain by the time I met him in 1988.


Bad ass no doubt.
BZ to a great bunch of guys !!!
I read about these things and become even more honored to share a period of time with them in the world of larger things than I am…

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

Watched the Seawolves video a number of weeks ago from either online USNI or one of the Mil times online emails but forgot which one complete with films from the day and interviews with a number of the men that were there during the time the Seawolves were active.

5th/77th FA

Thanks for the post. Was not real up on these particular squids. They musta been too busy kicking ass to take the time to write down any names.

BZ Hal-3


That is a missing piece of history that should have been brought up long ago. Thanks for posting the whole thing!


Awesome documentary. Bravo Zulu,my Squidly Brothers. Makes it a little harder to say “Beat Navy” every year.


Someone really needs to clear up that “Army warrants flying Hueys and instrument training” thing. An awfully lot of company grade Army commissioned officers flew daily missions along with warrant officers; hard, dirty, dangerous work shared by all. And, our instrument training was adequate. Maybe not as in-depth as the Naval Aviator trainee got in fixed wing aircraft prior to transitioning to rotary wing but meeting the needs of the Army. HAL 3 even picked up a couple of our “Bravo” models from my gun platoon when we got “new” “Charlie” models. I doubt if anything significant was changed on the instrument panel before those aircraft were placed into service by The Seawolves. Taking nothing from HAL 3 as they did a fantastic job doing a dangerous mission in a hazardous AO. Their dedicated tactics were appropriate for their mission and accolades were legitimately earned. Had a unit of Army “guns” been dedicated to the mission done by The Seawolves, I suspect that unit would have been as successful as HAL 3. regards, Alemaster, 129th AHC, 3rd Platoon, callsign “Cobra.”


” But the Army Warrents just didn’t have the training or equipment for night flight,”

Now you tell me! Had I known that, I would never have gotten on those choppers! And those other thingees disturbing my sleep or providing fireworks sure sounded like Hueys/Cobras.


Now you know! It was the squids comin’ to save the day!