BigWindow BackArrow top
War Stories

Stable Boy Watches Helicopter Corral



Vol 1 - No 27 - 2 September 1966

When the helicopter pilots of D Trp., 3rd Sqdn., 4th Cav., fly their choppers out of the corral, they take the "Stable Boy" with them. The stable boy is a UH-IB helicopter which acts as a maintenance and recovery ship.

The airship was nicknamed stable boy by MAJ Richard W. Thomas of Wilmington, Del. It seemed only logical to MAJ Thomas that the aircraft designated to watch over the choppers flying from a corral should be called stable boy.

MAJ Nicholas H. Doiron of Chisholm, Maine, who pilots the stable boy along with MAJ Thomas, explained how they worked during an air operation.

With a crew of two pilots, a crew chief and gunner, a technical observer and a medical man, they fly above the other ships and are able to easily spot any chopper which may be in trouble.

Sitting down beside a downed ship, the stable boy crew moves into action. Medical aid is given to any injured and an appraisal of damage is made.

If the damage is minor, the ship is repaired on the spot. In the case of an extensively damaged aircraft, the crew, along with weapons and radios, is immediately evacuated. The damaged helicopter is picked up at a later time.
To date, the crew of the stable boy has recovered three downed ships, along with the crews and weapons. During one operation recently, they also succeeded in detaining a VC suspect until the gunships arrived.

The crew of the stable boy has become a priceless aid during air operations, and all pilots who fly from the corral consider it only good sense to take the stable boy along.