UH-1 Huey Gunship vs NVA/VC Forces
Vietnam 1962 – 1975

Duel 112


Peter E. Davies

Illustrated by

Jim Laurier
Gareth Hector


This 80-page paperback book is the 112th book in the Duel Series of books that is available from Osprey Publications.


Often described as the US Army’s aerial jeep the UH-1 Iroquois (‘Huey’) was the general-purpose vehicle that provided mobility in a hostile jungle environment which made rapid troop movement extremely challenging by any other means. Hueys airlifted troops, evacuated casualties, rescued downed pilots, transported cargo externally and enabled rapid transit of commanders in the field. Although ‘vertical aviation’ had only become a practical reality during the Korean War helicopters evolved rapidly in the decade before Vietnam and by 1965 the US Army and US Marines relied on them as primary combat tools. This was principally because North Vietnam’s armed forces had long experience of jungle operations, camouflage and evasion. Generally avoiding set-piece pitched battles they relied on rapid, frequent strikes and withdrew using routes that were generally inaccessible to US vehicles. They commonly relied on darkness and bad weather to make their moves, often rendering them immune to conventional air attack. Gunship helicopters, sometimes equipped with Firefly searchlights and early night vision light intensifiers, were more able to track and attack the enemy. Innovative tactics were required for this unfamiliar combat scenario and for a US Army that was more prepared for conventional operations in a European-type setting. One of the most valuable new initiatives was the UH-1C ‘Huey Hog’ or ‘Frog’ gunship, conceived in 1960 and offering more power and agility than the UH-1B that pioneered gunship use in combat. Heavily armed with guns and rockets and easily transportable by air these helicopters became available in large numbers and they became a major problem for the insurgent forces throughout the war.


Covering fascinating details of the innovations in tactics and combat introduced by gunship helicopters, this book offers an analysis of their adaptability and usefulness in a variety of operations, while exploring the insurgent forces’ responses to the advent of ‘vertical aviation’.



The contents of this book are:

  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Design and Development
  • Technical Specifications
  • The Strategic Situation
  • The Combatants
  • Combat
  • Statistics and Analysis
  • Aftermath
  • Further Reading
  • Index



Duel 112 UH-1 Huey Gunship versus NVA/VC Forces is an interesting look at an offensive weapon, the UH-1 Huey Gunship against the defensive infantry weapons that were available to the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. You read how the Gunships missions were to include escort, reconnaissance, direct fire, support, and security. You read about the tactics that were employed both defensively and offensively against the NVA/VC. You also read about early operations and how the tactics of using the gunships matured in time.

The Vietnam modeler will especially love this book with all the drawings and photographs. The historian will gain a new insight to the war in Vietnam and the use of this innovative weapon. The wargamer will also enjoy all the information that is presented and gain a new insight into the weapons and tactics that were employed. Overall, it is an excellent book that readers will enjoy and put into their library.

This 80-page paperback book, Duel 112 UH-1 Huey Gunship vs NVA/vc Forces, Vietnam 1962 – 1975 is available from Osprey Publications.



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(The photographs used in this review are copied with the permission of Osprey Publications.)