About This File
This is a collection of six skins representing Five units in the Vietnam War. Each skin represents an airframe on which one of the crewmembers was awarded the Medal of Honor.
The skins included are:
- US Army 82nd Medical Detachment (Air Ambulance)
- US Army 2/17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division
- US Army 173rd Assault Helicopter Company, 1st Aviation Regiment
- US Army 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (#775)
- US Army 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (#888)
- USMC Marine Observation Squadron Six (VMO-6)
I have added the names and ranks (at the time) of the pilots and co-pilots of these airframes at the time of the action. While I have attempted to be as accurate as these gentlemen deserve, I may have made some incorrect assumptions (this is especially true about the co-pilots, who are not as easily found in the public record). Likewise, I was unable to accurately represent GySgt Leroy Poulson and LCpl John Phelps of VMO-6, as the door gunner textures do not support it. If you see any inaccuracies, please let me know so that I may correct them.
All reference imagery and much of the research was taken from
The Airframes and the Medal of Honor Recipients:
82nd Medical Detachment (Air Ambulance)
CW3 Michael Novosel - October 2, 1969
CW3 Michael Novosel was pilot-in-command of of a UH-1H med evac Huey with the 82nd Medical Detachment in 1969. On October 2, he went to the assistance of a group of wounded South Vietnamese soldiers that were pinned down by an enemy force concealed in a series of bunkers. Flying without any gunship cover, he made repeated runs against heavy enemy fire to pick up the wounded. Near the end of the action, he spotted a wounded ARVN soldier near an enemy bunker. He maneuvered the ship near the wounded man and a crewman reached down to grab and lift the wounded soldier into the aircraft. During the maneuver the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and CW3 Novosel was wounded. In all, Michael Novosel and his crew made 15 extractions in the face of enemy fire, saving 29 wounded South Vietnamese soldiers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1971.
2/17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division
Sp4 Joseph G. LaPointe - June 2, 1969
Sp4 Joseph "Guy" LaPointe was a medic with Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry. On June 2, 1969, he was just one day from going on leave to meet his wife and new son. However, SP4 LaPointe volunteered for a mission that day because his replacement was a new guy without any field experience. The patrol landed on the top of Hill 376, near the famous "Hamburger Hill" battle site. Sweeping away from the hilltop LZ, the point man walked into a fire zone from concealed enemy bunkers. Two more men were quickly wounded and "Doc" LaPointe moved forward to aid his wounded buddies. He put himself between the enemy bunkers and the wounded, and began working on the wounded. He was soon hit by enemy fire, but ignoring his own wounds he continued to shield his buddies while tending their wounds. He was hit by a second burst of fire and knocked away from his friends. He crawled back to the wounded again and once more shielded them from enemy fire while resuming his aid. This time an enemy grenade landed among the group, mortally wounding them all, including Doc LaPointe. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on December 16, 1971.
173rd Assault Helicopter Company, 1st Aviation Regiment
PFC Gary Wetzel - January 8, 1968
PFC (later Sp4c) Gary Wetzel was a door gunner on "Robin Hood 866" in January, 1968. He was nearing the end of his second tour when his helicopter was hit by an enemy RPG rocket while landing in a hot LZ with an insertion team. The grounded helicopter was hit repeatedly by enemy fire and the pilot, Bill Dismukes, was wounded. As PFC Wetzel went to the assistance of his pilot, another enemy rocket impacted the ship just behind the pilot's seat. Wetzel was blown out of the helicopter, suffering severe wounds to his right arm, chest and legs, and his left arm was almost severed from his body - hanging only by a flap of skin. In spite of his multiple wounds, Wetzel climbed back into the damaged ship and took an enemy automatic weapon position under fire with his door gun. The enemy gun had the American troops pinned and Wetzel was able to destroy it with his fire. Wetzel then tried to go to the aid of his pilot again, but passed out from loss of blood. When he regained consciousness, his crew chief was dragging the wounded pilot to the shelter of a nearby dike. Wetzel crawled over and attempted to help the crew chief move the pilot to safety, but passed out a second time. After he and the other survivors were rescued, Wetzel's left arm was amputated and he spent five months in military hospitals recovering from his injuries and infections. Gary Wetzel was awarded the Medal of Honor on November 19, 1968.
229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (#775)
Captain Ed Freeman - November 14, 1965
Captain Ed Freeman served as Second-in-command of A Company, 229th Aviation Battalion in 1965-66. On November 14, 1965, he flew in support of LTC Hal Moore and the 1/7th Cavalry fighting against three battalions of NVA at LZ X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley. Captain Freeman flew 14 missions into the face of enemy fire over the course of the first day to deliver much needed ammo and water, and to evacuate wounded soldiers. He was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at LZ X-Ray on July 16, 2001.
US Army 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (#888)
Major Bruce Crandall - November 14, 1965
Major Bruce Crandall was commander of A Company, 229th Aviation Battalion, on November 14, 1965 at LZ X-Ray. With Captain Freeman's ship following him, Major Crandall flew 14 mission into the hot LZ , taking intense enemy fire to deliver supplies and evacuate wounded from the battle. As his ship was damaged by enemy fire (his crew chief was also wounded on one flight), Major Crandall was forced to switch to another aircraft. He flew a total of three different ships in his effort to support the troops at LZ X-Ray. Major Crandall was finally awarded the Medal of Honor on February 26, 2007.
USMC Marine Observation Squadron Six (VMO-6)
Captain Stephen Pless, USMC - August 19, 1967
On the afternoon of August 19, 1967, Captain Steve Pless and his crew were flying medevac escort near Quang Ngai (south of Chu Lai in I Corps). On the way to a pick-up of wounded ROK Marines, they heard an emergency call on the "Guard" channel from a transport helicopter. It had set down to make repairs on the beach, and was attacked by a large number of VC. Four Americans had been left on the ground when the ship took off, and they were being overrun by the enemy. Determining that the H-34 they were escorting could make the initial medevac pick-up without their support, Pless and his crew decided to respond to the emergency call. As they approached the site they could see the enemy beating and hacking at the four American prisoners. Pless took his gunship into a gun and rocket run, targeting a large group of VC in the clearing. Driving the enemy off with his gun run, Pless landed between the Americans and the enemy. Gunnery Sergeant Poulson jumped out and ran to support the single American still capable of walking. Putting the American on board the aircraft, Poulson, followed by the copilot and other crewman raced to help the other Americans. Determining one of the Americans to be dead, the three crewman began carrying the two injured Americans toward their Huey. At this point the VC attacked and tried to overrun the crew and helicopter. Pulling out their side arms, the crew alternately dragged the injured Americans and fired at oncoming VC. Some of the enemy came within a few feet of their Huey while they were loading the injured aboard. When all were aboard, Pless applied power to his grossly overloaded Huey and took off over the water. The skids of the ship touched the water four times before he finally got the aircraft to gain altitude. Pless jetisoned his rocket pods and ordered the crew to throw out all unnecessary items from the cabin. They landed the injured at Chu Lai First hospital and returned to their base at Ky Ha. The next day Pless and his crew learned that 20 VC dead had been found on the beach with evidence of many more enemy casualties being dragged off. Captain Pless was promoted to Major in September, 1967, and was awarded the Medal of Honor on January 19, 1969. The rest of his crew, Captain Rupert Fairfield, GySgt Leroy Poulson and LCpl John Phelps were all awarded the Navy Cross.
Because the 3D models used for the aircrew utilize modern flight gear I have chosen to model the skins as "modern aircraft with nostalgic patterns", as opposed to actual Vietnam era skins.. The significance of this is that I have chosen to skin the aircrew in contemporary flight uniforms. I felt that this was more fitting in a setting that involves modern orders of battle, and is also less of an immersion-killer than seeing Vietnam era "uniforms" on clearly modern objects.
A note about the Crew Chiefs & Door Gunners:
Since enlisted US troops don't wear rank/rate insignia on flightsuits, their rank/rate is displayed on their nametag. Since there are no specific nametag textures for the crew chief/door gunner texture, I have added a nametag to the velcro on the chest armor (as is standard practice).
In the case of the VMO-6 skin, since I have the names of all crewmembers, I opted to put GySGt Poulson on the nametag. This is the result of a coin flip and should not be considered a slight to LCpl Phelps, who was awarded the Navy Cross as well as GySgt Poulson.
In choosing names for the other textures, I opted for US servicemembers who received the Medal of Honor. SFC Paul Smith received the Medal of Honor posthumously in the Global War on Terror, and represents the United States Army in these skins.
Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on April 4, 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60 mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith's extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division 'Rock of the Marne,' and the United States Army.
Updating from Earlier Versions:
Version 1.21 or earlier:
Remove the folder "Army 101AD_LaPointe" prior to installation.
Version 1.02 or earlier:
DCS World 1.2.7 changes the pilot and gunner texture files, so the textures have been updated accordingly in this file. In order to clear out the obsolete files, go to the individual folders and remove the following files:
Copy the folders (except for TempTextures; see below) to your Liveries\uh-1h folder (either in DCS World\Bazar or Saved Games\DCS).
I have included files that have (IMHO) improved the textures of the pilots and door gunners. They now wear the standard green and grey nomex flight gloves and have pencil pockets on their left sleeves, similar to my USN and USMC uniform textures. Additionally, I included a 1st Cavalry patch that blocks the alpha channel for the First Sergeant rank, which removes sleeve rank insignia from the gunners' flightsuits (enlisted folks in the US services don't wear rank insignia on flightsuits).
To enable these textures, just copy the contents of the _Optional\TempTextures folder to your DCS World\Bazar\TempTextures folder. To disable the textures, just delete them from TempTextures and the default textures will be used instead.
The release of DCS World 1.2.4 added the ability to add texture paths using the file "autoexec.cfg" in your Saved Games\DCS\Config folder. This will allow you to save hard drive space as long as the skin filenames are unique. My skins support this, so any DDS file with the same name will be identical.
In order to enable this feature, add the following line to autoexec.cfg (be sure to create the file if it doesn't exist):
table.insert(options.graphics.VFSTexturePaths, "C:/Users/<username>/Saved Games/DCS/Textures")
You can use any path (even a different drive), but you must use forward slashes for your path. Backslashes won't work here.
Then, you can move all of the DDS files from each of the skin folders to this new folder you've added to your path. Allowing overwrites is not a problem, as I use unique names for each file. Finally, be sure to go into each description.lua file and change all "false" entries to "true."
Special thanks to upuaut for assistance with the more "exotic" material names, as well as the assistance with custom rotor colors.
You are free to use any of the textures (e.g. USMC door gunner) in other skins or projects as long as proper credit is provided in the readme file.
What's New in Version 1.3 See changelog
- Added "slick" specific textures to all skins
- Added Field Green weapons hardpoints to VMO-6 skin