Life Under The White Stripe

In the Middle Ages, knights bore shields of unique colors and patterns so that they could be recognized at far distances. Military aircraft have continued this heraldic tradition with unique and distinctive markings for the same purpose. Such marking were on aircraft from WW1, WWII, and Korea.
Aircraft markings in Viet Nam were similarly unique for each unit; some displaying distinctive nose markings (usually crests, crossed sabres, and the like). Some units painted their tail booms with colored symbols for ease of identification. As an example, some units had different colored stripes on their tail booms.

All aircraft assigned to the 101st Assault Helicopter Battalion had colored diamonds on their tail booms. Aircraft from the 158th AHB had colored circles on their tail booms. As a general rule, a red color was used to designate A Company. B Company was white, C Company was blue, and those bearing a yellow color scheme belonged to D Companies falling under the 101st Airborne Division. All had a "Screaming Eagle" symbol of the vertical stabilizer.
However, there was one anomaly (or should I say addition) to this heraldic scheme. The Ghost Riders of A Company 158th AHB were different in that they had an additional marking on their aircraft. The WHITE STRIPE refers to the distinctive marking on the top of their UH-1 aircraft - Just behind the greenhouses and in front of the transmission cowling - A large, broad white stripe running the entire width of the top of the aircraft and down the sides just above the hand holds.

It was BOLD, non-conforming, and unique! It heralded the Ghost Riders for exactly these same qualities.

Designation: UH-1H Iroquois (Huey)
Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter, Fort Worth, Texas
Main Rotor Span: 48 ft 3.2 inches
Tail Rotor Span: 8 ft 6 in
Length: 57 ft 0.67 inches (rotors turning)
Fuselage Length: 41 ft 5 inches
Skid Width: 8 ft 6.6 inches
Height to top of mast: 13 ft 7.4 in
Max Speed: 124 knots forward,
30 kts sideward & 30 knots rearward
Max Gross Weight: 9500 lbs
Engine: Lycoming T53-L-13 turbine engine,
1300 shp (shaft horse power)
Fuel: 206.5 gal JP-4
Flight Duration: 3 hrs
Crew (Vietnam): Pilot, Copilot, Crew Chief and Door Gunner
Passengers: 9
 

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