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UH-1: HA(L)-3 Seawolves


Scramble Seawolves!

 

This was the common call in Vietnam when the US Navy Riverine Forces and SEALs needed immediate fire support. Helicopter Attack Squadron (Light) Three (HAL-3), known as the Seawolves, was the most decorated unit in the Vietnam War.

 

Seawolves flew UH-1B Huey gunships in all weather, day or night, in support of the Brown Water Navy. In fact, most of the missions were conducted at night in inclement weather, which is exactly when the SEALs preferred to operate. HA(L)-3 would conduct Close Air Support, Hot Medivac and Insertion/Extraction of SEAL Teams.

 

HA(L)-3 was decommissioned in March 1972, near the end of the Vietnam War.

 

Unit Decorations:

  • 6 Presidential Unit Citations
  • 6 Navy Unit Citations
  • Meritorious Unit Citation
  • Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (MUC) Palm
  • Vietnam Civil Action (Honor) with Palm
  • Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation

Individual Decorations:

  • 5 Navy Crosses
  • 31 Silver Stars
  • 2 Legions of Merit
  • 219 Distinguished Flying Crosses
  • 156 Purple Hearts
  • 101 Bronze Stars
  • 142 Gallantry Crosses
  • Over 16,000 Air Medals
  • 439 Navy Commendation Medals
  • 228 Navy Achievement Medals

The Skin (Seawolf 321):

 

I chose to model the HA(L)-3 UH-1B airframe in the scheme as it now exists on the USS Midway (CV-41) floating museum. Because of the 3D models used for the aircrew, I have skinned the pilots and gunners in contemporary USN flight uniforms. The pilots bear the nametags of LT James R. Walker and LTJG Robert E. Baratko, both of whom were awarded the Navy Cross in service with the Seawolves.

 

A note about the Crew Chief & Door Gunner:

 

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 choosing names for the texture, I opted for US servicemembers who received the Medal of Honor. MA2 Michael Monsoor represents the Unites States Navy in this skin. The following is his Medal of Honor citation:

 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element's position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy's initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor's chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

 

Petty Officer Monsoor is also the namesake of the USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001), the second in the upcoming line of Zumwalt Class guided missile destroyers.

 

Updating from Version 1.03 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 folder and remove the following files:

  • Gunner_UH1_*.dds
  • Pilot_UH1_USN.dds

Installation:

Copy the folders (except for TempTextures; see below) to your Liveries\uh-1h folder (either in DCS World\Bazar or Saved Games\DCS).

 

Optional:

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. USN helmet) in other skins or projects as long as proper credit is provided in the readme file.

 

 

 

Enjoy, and Fly Navy!

 

-Home Fries


 

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