Vietnam War Army Helicopter Nose Art...

... from Fonthill Media

Title: Vietnam War Army Helicopter Nose Art
Author: John Brennan

Publisher: Fonthill Media
ISBN: 978-1-62545-035-7


This 187 page soft cover book is packed with over 300 photos illustrating the artistry so common on military aircraft in wartime. There were examples in WW1 and far more in WW2 and Korea.  Even in more recent conflicts, such as the RAF during the Gulf War of 1991.  Names are important to the crews.  If you think back to WW2 then mention of Memphis Belle or the Enola Gay will immediately bring particular aircraft and events to mind, more so than simply saying a B-17 and B-29.  In this case we see the subject of the Vietnam War, a war in which the helicopter really came to the fore.  An American war but one which I still have vivid memories of from seeing the daily news stories on TV from the mid-sixties through to the mid-seventies.

The book is split into sections for each type of helicopter, and these include Attack; Cargo; Observation; Air Ambulance; Command and Control, Maintenance and Smoke; Utility; UH-1 Gunships.  These are given life by terms such as Slicks, Snakes, Loach, Dust-Off and Hooks.  Even more individuality is provided by the artwork to be found adorning all these types.  Not officially encouraged but the quantity and the variety of the nose art on display was clearly an important symbol for the crews themselves.  Not all are what might now be considered 'politically correct' and others reflect the times, with Flower Power or Beatle songs a common theme.

Each section has these photos all with captions that give extra details such as serial number, crew names, dates and places.  They are also accompanied by notes from veterans, many of whom have clearly submitted their own pictures for inclusion, with the memories they convey.  In the final pages there are some digital reproductions of some more examples, along with a series of the author's own scrap book photos from his time in Vietnam with the 114th Assault Helicopter Company, based at Vin Long AAB in the Mekong Delta between March 1970 and April 1971.

For anyone interested in the Vietnam War this is so characteristic of the period.  For any veterans, I am sure it will spark many memories, both good and bad maybe, while for the modeller there is a host of ideal reference information and plenty of ideas for another model or three.  An excellent photo collection.

Thanks to Fonthill Media for our review copy.