The 282nd Assault Helicopter Company and its three support detachments, the 484th TC Det (Cargo Helicopter, Field Maintenance), the 504th Signal Det (Radio Repair and Avionics), and the 105th Medical Det, was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on 7 October 1965. The mission was to train personnel and prepare for overseas movement. The Company's personnel, aircraft and equipment deployed, arriving between May and June of 1966 at Marble Mountain Airfield in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam.
The 282nd initially flew missions in I & II Corps in support of MACV, SF, LRRP, Ranger and Hac Bao units. This included elements of the USMC, USAF, USN, ARVN and the Aussies. This mission required that personnel be garrisoned as far north as Hue Citadel, as far south as Dong Ba Thin, and as far west as Ban Me Thuot and Kontum.
The 282nd flew UH-1 (Huey) helicopters and consisted of three flight platoons. First and Second Flight Platoons flew lift helicopters (Slicks) armed with an M-60 machinegun on each side. Crews consisted of an aircraft commander, pilot, crewchief, and gunner. Each aircraft commander was assigned a permanent call-sign (Blackcat) which was used by his crew instead of the ID number of the aircraft being flown. The Third Flight Platoon flew heavily armed UH-1B's, C's, and Cobra gunships and used the call-sign Alleycat. These men flew medevacs, combat assaults, LRRP insertions and extractions, delivered hot food to troops fighting for rough terrain, delivered water, ammo, mail, batteries, and beer to Special Forces base camps, artillery observation posts or any other type of mission which was required. They sustained more than their share of casualties, even amongst those who returned to "the world". This page is dedicated to them.
The call sign "Blackcat" was assigned to the company on 23 May 1966. The Black Cat patch on the left was the original crest and was used by the entire company. In March of 1967 the lift platoons adopted the crest on the right, which graces the front of each lift helicopter and strikes terror into the hearts of every enemy whose paths they cross. The "Blackcat" call sign was used by the First and Second Platoons who were referred to as "Lift" or "Slick" Platoons.
The Gunship Platoon adopted the call sign and crest of the "Alleycat" in March of 1967. The call sign is not to be construed as an outcast of the feline lineage, for the Alleycat is known for it's tenacity, Courage and cunning in the face of danger. The Alleycat is displayed on the front of each gunship, making them a prime target for groundfire. The crest on the left was the original insignia, but was replaced by the one on the right before the end of 1967. The "Alleycat" call sign was used by the Third Platoon and was referred to as the "Armed" or "Gun" Platoon.
The "Cat Doctor" callsign is another branch in the lineage of 282nd sections. This callsign requires no further explanation because it is more than self explanatory. The Cat Doctor performs the duty of any self-respecting, hard working vet. As his medical counterparts who operate on human patients, the Cat Doctor has designed no crest advertising his ability, thereby showing the trait of professionalism to the utmost.