GHOST RIDER CALL SIGNS

While most units used assigned call signs & numbers for identification,
the Ghost Riders were unique by using singular names for their call signs.
Ghost Rider names had to be earned!
Some described a physical feature, while others were earned as the result of a memorable event.
The use of names, in place of call signs, was yet another unique trait of the Ghost Riders
that set us apart from all others during the Viet Nam war.

Underlined or "highlighted" names below are in our data base. You can e-mail an old friend (or join in our lively Bulletin Board) by clicking HERE and logging in.
Abernathy
Aggie
A.J.
Albert
Andy
Angel
Arch
Argyle
Artie
Auggie
Baby-San
Barfy
Balloon
Bat Guano
Bear
Berk
Big Al
Big E
Big Mac
Big O
Big S
Birdman
Bixby
Blackbird
BlackJack
Blades
Bo
Boo Boo
Boots
Brandy
Bridge
Bull
Burger
Buzz
Caesar
Caca
Cajun
California
..Dreamer

Camel
Carrot Top
Casper
Chemist
Chicken Hawk
Chuckles

Chunky
Clarabell
Clem
Cootie
Coyote
Crane Pilot
Crash
Deputy Dawg
Diesel
Dish
Duck
Dog
Double Aught
Dr. Muff
Dropout
Dude
Dumpling
Dutch
Elmer
Elsie
Eskimo
Farmer
Fertilizer
First"5"
Flakey
Flash
Flash(Bratton)
Foggy
Foo-Foo
Fox
Foxy Lady
Frenchy
Frog
Froggy
Geronimo
Gimpy
Goober
Gooch
Gov
Green Jeans
Groucho
Hard-on
Hack
Hawk
Hooker
Hot Dog
Huck
Hud
Humpty
Hunt6
Husker
Igor(Sikorski)
Igor
(Hamilton)
Infamous C.W.
Irish
Itty-Bitty
Injun
Jack
Jay-Gee(JG)
Joisey
Junior
Kid
Last Rider
Lawman
Lollipop
Loose Nut
Luke
Mac
Machine
Maggot
Maverick
Mayberry
Monkey
Mop
Mos
Mike
Missing Link
Motz
Muddy
Mud Machine
Mule
Muleskinner
Music Man
Nanook
Nerd
Nitty Gritty
Noah
Okie
Padre
Pappy
Panties
Parrot
Pat Six
Peaches
Peanuts
Pee Wee
Penguin
Pete
Peter Cotton
..Tail
Pineapple
Polock
Poncho
Pooch
Pops
Possum
Preacher(Harrell)
Preacher(Neilsen)
Priest
Puny
Puff
RamJet
Ranger
Rat
Rat Hole
Reb
Red Baron
Red Leg
Red Ranger
Ring Master
Rock
Rocky
RuffnReady
Rusty
Sally
Sandbag
Sandy
Sarge
Sassy
Scarface
Scratch
Scooter
Scotty
Seahorse
Shadow
Share Cropper
Sharky
Shitty
Shorty
Skeeter
Ski
Slim
Slimey
Sluggo
Smokey
Snake(Spry)
Snake(Steele)
Snoopy
Soapy
Sparkie
Speedy
Spider Man
Springtime
Squeaky
'Stache
Stormy
String Bean
Sugar Bear
Surfer
Swampy
Sweat-Hog
T.D.
Tail Rotor
Teddy Bear
Tennessee
Tennis Shoes
Termite
Tex
Tinman
Tiny
Toad

Tom
Top
Toro
Traitor
Turtle
Uncle Gil
Van Gogh
V.D.
Vino
Volunteer
Weasel(Normand)
Weasel(Saunders)
Weasel(Wexler)
Weasel(Wix)
Whit
White Rat
Wish
Woodcutter
Woody
Wop(Cary)
Wop(Genna)
Wop(Carbonaro)
Wrench
Yogi
Yossarian
Zero


Final Departure

"Tower, this is Ghost Rider Muddy, ready for departure."
"Roger, Ghost Rider Muddy, wind calm, altimeter 29.92, clear for straight up departure, call frequency change.

"6600, no caution no warning, we're in the green" "Clear up left sir;" "Clear up right sir." "On the go"

 Final Departure

 I have dreams, dreams that when "Taps" is played for me
 I will no longer need my helicopter to fly.
 The clouds will be my aircraft, the wind, my rotor blades;
 God will be my right seat, angels, my crew.

 I will not need to refuel, the air will propel me anywhere I wish,
 And I will fly (as the poet said) "Where never lark, or even eagle
flew."

 And I will skim the ground like I was part of it, better than
 Any Nap of the Earth jockey ever hoped to.

And, I will low level better than the hottest of fast movers and
Pull it back to a hover; something they only dream of.

 I will not need night vision devices, my eyes will be part of the
night.
 And, weather will never slow me down again, for I will be part of
the rain.

 I will not need guns and rockets, hail and lightening will be my
arms; and I will still carry my sick and wounded brothers, but I
will take them to a far far better place.

You see, I became an Army helicopter pilot, the best of the best,
 And above the rest. It is now in my blood and soul, it is part of
me.
 It is that which no one can ever take away from me.

 Tho I am old now and It is my time to go,
 the sound of those rotor blades will stay with me forever.

 And besides.....with God as my right seat and angels as my crew,
 There is no mission so great, that I cannot do.

 "Tower, this is Ghost Rider Muddy, QSY."
 " Roger Ghost Rider Muddy,
 frequency change approved, contact Heaven approach 122.5….Goodbye"

 "Heaven approach, Ghost Rider Muddy is inbound"

 "Roger My Son, clear to enter…....and Welcome home."

 Dan, the kyrednek copterjockey

 Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well
preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out,
shouting, "...holy shit...what a ride!"

In Memoriam

SP4 Thomas Ewald Hacker - KIA 12 Mar 69
CW2 Elton Lloyd Searcy - Pilot - KIA 26 Apr 69
CPT David Warren Watson "Bear" - XO - KIA 25 Apr 69
William Walter Ellis III - Door Gunner - KIA 2 Aug 69
SP4 Steve Sebastian Crosier "Slimy" - KIA 28 Jul 70
Greggory John D. Denton - Door Gunner '69 - KIA 7/28/69 after transferring to D 1/506 Infantry
Gerald Johnson - Crewchief 7/69 thru 12/69 - Died 10/04 in Decatur, IL
SP4 Bradley "Allen" Kinder - Crew Chief/Gunner - KIA 8 Feb 70
CPT Robert S. "Volunteer" Richmond - Pilot - KIA 21 Mar 70
CPT Gary J. "Squeaky" Barnett - Pilot - KIA 21 Mar 70
SP5 Richard Lee Ehnes - Crew Chief - KIA 21 Mar 70
SP4 Ronald Wayne William - Door gunner - KIA 21 Mar 70
CW2 Charles (Chunky) Wilks - Pilot - Killed in a Training Accident 1972
CW2 Donald E. "Pappy" Hampton - Pilot - '69-'70 - Died Apr 72 (Army Air Crash)
CPT Danny "Dog" Salin-1st Platoon '69-'70 -KIA 1991
flying for the CIA in Central America.
Jerry K. Payne - Aircraft Powerplant Mechanic '69-'70 - Died May 93 in Commerce Georgia>>>>
Robert D. Crane - Aircraft Maintenance apprentice '70 - Died April 1978 in Texas.
CW0 Allen W. (Scarface) Larson - Pilot - Died 3 Oct 76
SFC Woodrow J. Demery - Aircraft Maint. NCO '70 - Died Aug 78
CPT Ray H. "Sluggo" Morely - XO '69-'70 - Died May 1979
SP5 Robert E. James - Avionics Technician - '70 Died July 1981
SP5 Samuel Dixon Jr. - Acft Structural Repairman '70 - Died Dec. 1979
SP4 Timothy E. Price - Hel.Mech. - Apr 71-Apr72 - Died Apr 88
SP4 Danny D. Murray - Hel.Mech - Aug 71-Aug 72 - Died Dec 89
CPT Theodore S. "Teddy Bear" Ash, Jr. - XO (Mid '71) - Died Dec 96
SP4 Dennis R. Barnes - Crew Chief 1969 - Died Apr 98
SSG John E. Dinardi - Crew Chief 1969 - Died Jan 2000
Edward C. "Tex" Gibson - Crewchief '70-71 - Died April 1973 in San Joaquin, CA
CW2 Jim H. Cass III - Pilot - 70-71 - Died Aug. 2001
SP4 Johnny D. Planker - Door Gunner - Oct 70-Oct 71 - Died 8/73
PFC Don R.McNair - Switchboard Op. - Nov 70-Nov 71 - Died Aug 85
SP5 James J. Grinder - Crew Chief - Nov 70-Nov 71 - Died 1/92
SP4 James M. Katz - Hel.Mech. - Nov 70-Nov 71 - Died Feb 87
SP5 Ronald A. Kooyman - Sr.Hel.Mech. - Dec 70-Dec 71 - Died Nov 78
PFC Robert Scott 67N - UH-1 Helicopter Repairer 70-71. Died Jan 1979 in Toccoa Georgia.
SP4 Leslie M. Landau - Door Gunner - Feb 71-Feb 72 - Died May 86
CW2 Marc W. Stover - Pilot - Mar 71-Sep 71 - Died Nov 74
SP4 Donnial Cobb - Cook - Apr 71-Apr 72 - Died Apr 98
SP4 Horace Steward - Tech.Insp. - Apr 71-Apr 72 - Died Aug 82
SP5 Robert W. Cathcart - Sr.Hel.Mech. - Jun 71-Jun 72 - Died Sep 00
PFC Harvey C. Hanson - Hel.Mech. - Jun 71-Jun 72 - Died Dec 92
SP4 John D. McCusker - Door Gunner - Jul 71-Jul 72 - Died Apr 87
PFC Thomas W. Sampson - Hel.Mech.- Jul 71-Jul 72 - Died Jul 86
CW2 Carl E. Vance - Maint/Pilot - Aug 71-Aug72 - Died Apr 91
SP4 Johnny A. Cortez - Acft.Fuel Handling Spec. - Aug 71-Aug 72 - Died May 77
SP4 Warrene R. Nieweg, Jr. - Pwr.Trn.Mech. - May 71-May 72 - Died Aug 96
SP5 Gary E. Bickford - Doorgunner '69-? - Died 25 Apr 90
John A. Knight - Crew Chief '70/'71 Died June 1978 in Bexar Co. TX
Amadio R. (Bob) "Buzz" Fioretti W.O. Pilot 6/69 thru 6/70 Died 8/19/02 in Shoreham, NY
LT. Van S. Ellis "Elsie" - Pilot '71, Died June 1997
SP4 Gene E. Gans - Aircraft Hydraulics/Pneumatics, Died Sept. 2003 in San Diego, CA
Chef Ted M. Inscore - Cook '70-'71 - Died Oct 2004 in Statesville, NC
Sgt. Kenneth W. Huchel - 67N Crew Chief 69-70 died  3/22/05 in Snohomish, WA
Earle Wayne "Andy" Capps - Died 8/1/05, Lewisburg, KY
Sp4 Larry D. "Flash" Bratton - 76W Petroleum Supply Specialist '69-'70 - Died 01/30/06 in Jacksonville, FL
SSG Robert L. Gates - 67N Crew Chief. Died 11/22/2006, in Gwinett County, Georgia
Mark "Pete" Peters - '69-'70. Died 5/27/07 in Millidgeville, GA
SSG John R. Russell - Supply - Died 07/07/ in West Palm Beach, FL
CWO Phillip H.(Clarabell) Fisher -Pilot- Died 9/17/2008 Atlanta, GA
Larry Briggs - Crew Chief - Died October 30, 2008- Alexandria Bay NY
CWO Russell "Rusty" Myers - Pilot '71 - Died May 29, 2009 in Harrison, OH
Ronald L. Richards- Platoon Sgt, 1st Flight Platoon 1971-Died September 22, 2009
Edwin L. "Ring Master" Richter - CO 04/70 to 08/70 - Died Apr 7, 2010, San Antonio, TX 
Charles B."Tool" McCarty - 07/68-01/70 - Died  6 Jan 2011
MAJ Turner Buck Griffin (Red Leg) CO ’69. Died 9/22/2011 San Antonio, TX
1SG Nick Nichols (Top) First Sergeant, Died 8/8/2012 Pleasantville, KY

Rick "Sandy" Shores, 4/70-4/71, Died Sep 28, 2011, Houston, TX
CPT Richard F. (Rick) "Dumplin" Wickboldt - Pilot Mid '71-Stand down. Died 31 Mar 2012,  Slidell, LA - Head Injury
CWO B.J. "Bridge" Barnett, IP until July '69- Died June 2, 2012, Round Rock, TX - Heart Attack
CW0 Ted (Old Sarge) Gish, Pilot '68-'69, Died 12 Aug 2012
Winson J. Wynn - Mechanic, Maint Plt '68-'69. Died 12 Jan 2013 in Wagoner, OK
James E. "Jack" Frost - CE Carson-3/69, Died 31 Oct  2013 in Hereford, TX - Pneumoni
a
CWO Harold E. "Itty Bitty" Smith, Pilot  - LamSan 719, Died 30 Jun 2014 in Zephyrhill, FL
Larry "Lollipop" Blight, Pilot '69-'70. Died 13 July 2014

CW4 James "Springtime" Summerford - Died Dec 29, 2014 in Enterprise, AL
Gary "Fertilizer" Grow - Pilot  07/70 to 07/71 - Died August 28, 2015

CWO Duane A. "Muddy" Watters, Pilot, Died May 7, 2016
Doug "Gunner" Crislip, '70-'71. Died Dec 4, 2016, Boise, IA
CW1 Frank A.(Skip)"Vino" Santillo, Pilot. Died Feb 6, 2017
Michael "Hard-on" Harding, CE Mar -Jun '71. Died May 22, 2017, Vancouver, WA

(This Memorial section is CONSTANTLY BEING UPDATED)

Last Updated May 25, 2017

No Names have been Intentionally left off this list. If you can help me with those I missed, please CLICK HERE TO E-MAIL ME!

HISTORY OF CALL SIGNS
Call signs were a necessity for radio communications. There was a list of radio users and their assigned frequencies published in a directory known as the SOI (Signal Operating Instructions). It was classified, and required safeguard procedures. The listings were changed frequently to confuse the enemy as to who was what, and the frequency they used. "Ruby Red 38" might ID a specific unit and subordinate for today, but would change to "Majestic Chronos 53" in the next edition of the SOI. These periodic SOI revisions depended on everyone receiving the most recent SOI edition on time. That never happened! As a result, radio call signs reverted back to a previous standard borne of similar past failings in previous conflicts. "6" was a commander. His Exec was "5". The Operations Officer was identified as "3". The subordinate 1st Platoon Commander was "16". When you combined a unit call sign with these numbers, anyone could readily identify "Lancer 6" as the commander of the Lancer company. The enemy would then take great efforts to shoot at him (exposing his position to retaliation by gunships) for the hopes of getting a medal-winning "kill" , often at their own expense. Monitoring a radio call sign of "Balloon" didn't give any clue to that person's identity or status. An enemy revealing his position by firing on "Balloon" might not get him the kill he desired...but would certainly get him a rain of bullets on his exposed position.

PRIMITIVE CRYPTOLOGY
The failing of timely distribution of the SOI led to several primitive methods of number encryption. To get a specific radio frequency "in the clear", it was necessary to establish some base of reference. Often it was toward some purely Americana reference, such as "From Jack Benny... (he never aged over 39)...go UP 4 point 2." It was a beautiful way of getting the desired radio frequency of 43.2 mHz. to dial into your radio. Another popular base was "Heinz". If you went from Heinz (57 varieties)...DOWN 3 point 8...you got 53.7. This system was expeditious for limited numbers in a narrow range.
For a broader range of "secure" numbers from 0 to 9, we used a base composed of 10 non-repeating alphabetic characters. PACHYDERMS was a favorite, as was MONKEYSHIT, and CHARLESTON..Here is how it worked:

P A C H Y D E R M S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

0

This was the code alignment for the 1st, 11th, 21st, and 31st day of the month

 

P A C H Y D E R M S
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
This was the code alignment for the 2nd, 12th, and 22nd day of the month


To radio the coordinates 355280 on the 25th day of the month would be:
Mike Papa Papa Romeo Hotel Delta

(So easy you can probably do it in your head, huh?)

 


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