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Call signs

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  • Call signs

    According to the monthly 1st MAW Command Chronologies for March-July 1968, the assigned call sign was "Reenlist". It remained the "official" call sign at least through Feb 1969. When did "Scarface" return, or was it used all along?

    On the list of tailcodes/call signs (I didn't come up with the call signs) "Dixie Cup" and "Eagle Claw" are shown for 367. When were these used?

  • #2

    Scarface was the only call sign we used in late 1967 and all of 1968.


    • #3
      Thanks for clearing this up. Scarface is the only call sign used in the various Command Chronologies or After Action Reports.


      • #4
        Call Signs

        Originally posted by hma1369 View Post
        According to the monthly 1st MAW Command Chronologies for March-July 1968, the assigned call sign was "Reenlist". It remained the "official" call sign at least through Feb 1969. When did "Scarface" return, or was it used all along?

        On the list of tailcodes/call signs (I didn't come up with the call signs) "Dixie Cup" and "Eagle Claw" are shown for 367. When were these used?
        Eagle Claw was also used when we were assigned to SOG missions in 68/69
        Barry S. Mallin
        MGySgt USMC (Retired)


        • #5

          I remember when they tried to change the call sign. All the pilots got together and refused to use "reenlist". They tried to get us to use other words, but we were always Scarface. At least wjile I was there from11/67 to 7/69.


          • #6
            I was in VMO-3/HML-367 in 67/68. When I got there in Aug 67 the callsign was Oakgate. It soon was changed to Scarface and about the time HML was formed they switched it to Reenlist. I believe this was to confuse Charley !! All squadrons were subject to this commsecurity move; however as I recall, the switch had us going to "Renlist", VMO-6 was "Cadaver", VMO-1 was "Hostage" etc. Anyway those were so ridiculous no one used them and we stayed "Scarface" Can you imagine Cadaver Medevac chase checking in? These may have the sqds confused but I remember the dumb callsigns!


            • #7
              Call signs

              I always wondered about a few of these myself..Some were particilarly "unusual", in my mind:

              Cattlecall- HMM-161
              Spartan Luck- HMM-165
              Frosty Gold- HMM-262
              Comprise- VMO-1 (?)

              Never really thought about it before arriving RVN, but all the war movies we saw up to that time had aricraft as "Red Leader" or "Eagle" or similar fear inspiriing callsigns. Cadaver, Reenlist and the others don't really sound that awe inspiring, but we got used to them.
              Semper Fidelis

              Phu Bai tower:
              YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
              Remember, These are "A" models!
              YW-11 BuNo-151939
              '65 Model CH-46A


              • #8
                Call Signs

                It must have taken a staff of sixty or more at headquarters to think these things up!

                Raymond J. Norton
                1513 Bordeaux Place
                Norfolk, VA 23509-1313

                (757) 623-1644


                • #9
                  just call me

                  "fighting mad 1 - 4 actual"

                  now that is a real call sign, courtesy of 3/3/3

                  sure beats the hell out of "clip clop" = hmm-362

                  semper fi


                  • #10
                    Comprise was HML-167, and Hostage was VMO-2


                    • #11
                      Klondike, call signs

                      VMO-6, Ky Ha, we were Klondike. It seems we changed to something else, for a short while, then, that was weird.....Cadaver to the Coffin...was generally the call to the Tower.
                      I remember working with the guys on the ground, we would check in with our Cadaver..some had a real problem with that. But, I remember once, a very reluctant sounding radioman was looking for some gun support...we finally broke protocol and told him....formerly Klondike.....his tone immediately changed. We had to rebuild our reputation from scratch. It never did make much sense to me, but I am sure it fooled some gook out there someplace, who really didn't care.....
                      S/Sgt Rick Ault
                      VMO-6 '66-'68
                      HML-367 '69-'70


                      • #12
                        Eagle Claw

                        The call sign Eagle Claw was used on our SOG mission in 1969 in fall and winter month of 1969 and probably for a long time prior to that time. Scarface regularly provided 2 UH1E gunships per day for mission 72. We usually launched before dawn from Phu Bai as a Scarface flight and landed at the SF launch site MLT-2 in Quang Tri, as an Eagle Claw flight.

                        The call signs for the other aircraft in the package on the SOG missions from there were: Dragon flies, Knats and Kingbees and the FAC ac were Covey and Nail.

                        Army AH1G Cobras from the 77th Aerial Rocket Artillery of the 101st ABN Div were call sign Dragon fly, but it was usually shortened to Fly. The Knats, H model UH1's from the 101's (BlackWidows I think) were simply Knats, the the Kingbees, H34's from the Vietnamese 217th (?) squadron were Kingbees. Eagle Claw was usually shortened to Claw lead.

                        The missions were flown for SOG's operation Prairie Fire. If things turned to shit and it became an emergency - a recon team in trouble or a bird down across the wire we could declare a Prairie Fire Emergency, usually shortened to a PF, and the word was that we could get any air support we needed including the Goodyear blimp.

                        Scarface's role on these missions was to control all helicopter assets on the operation and provide provide gun and rocket support as well, backed up by the Army Cobras which could carry so much more ordnance.
                        Last edited by Mark Byrd; 12-14-2010, 00:48.
                        Mark Austin Byrd - SCULPTOR
                        13309 Peyton Drive
                        Dallas, TX 75240



                        • #13

                          When I arrived on scene '69, we were 'Highboy', then went to 'Clan', then another one, and another before they left in Oct'69, I believe. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rick View Post
                            VMO-6, Ky Ha, we were Klondike.
                            I found a document online that had VMO-6 using "Klondike" in Korea in 1950.


                            • #15

                              It was still in use in '69, as I remember it. Semper Fi, and READY-APP.