134th Army Aviation Company
457th Tactical Airlift Squadron
In early August the 134th was notified of “Operation Red Leaf”, the
transfer of the Caribous to Air Force control. On 13 August Major John F.
Tiernan arrived as the first Air Force replacement. Major Tiernan’s blue
uniform put him on the receiving end of considerable ribbing but his good
nature and quick wit soon made him a regular member of the unit. Shortly
thereafter, every conceivable type of Air Force pilot showed up to be
transitioned into Caribous (B-52, F-100, F4C, Reconnaissance, etc).
Surprisingly, the transitions went smoothly.
More and more Air Force officers and enlisted men began arriving in
November and living quarters again became a problem. Air Force and Army
personnel now worked side by side. By this time almost everyone who came
over with the 134th had reassignment orders and the old saying of
“Happiness in Vietnam is DEROS” was finally coming true. The first large
group of officers and enlisted men left on the 17th of the month, leaving
only a small number of Army personnel remaining.
Also in November, Aircraft 61-4161 struck a mound of dirt with the left
gear causing major damage while on a Special Forces low level extraction
mission. The aircraft landed at Bien Thuy Airfield with no injuries to
the crew. The left main gear was replaced and the aircraft then flown to
Vung Tau for more repairs.
By the beginning of December only a few key Army personnel were left
and the Air Force take over was almost complete. The remaining Army
personnel were kept busy with the final phases of deactivation. The Air
Force was confronted with the problem of moving the entire unit from Can
Tho and Soc Trang to their new home at Cam Ranh Bay. The last Army pilots
in the unit flew “Operation Rudolph” on the day before Christmas and
air-dropped a Christmas package to every Special Forces camp in IV Corps.
The last officer to sign out of the 134th Aviation Company was LTC Robert
During the company's tour in Vietnam, it carried 13,700 personnel on
troop lifts, flew 26,170 sorties, carried 15,244 tons of cargo, 165,010
passengers, performed 620 medivacs and flew 13,710 hours. The 134th
Aviation Company was deactivated at Cam Ranh Bay on 1 January 1967.