Today, the Salty Dogs at SOFREP are proud to feature an image of a knife-chompin’ member of the US Navy “Seawolves” providing close air support for a River Patrol Force in Vietnam as the pic of the day.

More formally known as Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron 3, or HA(L)-3, the Seawolves were established on April 1, 1967, and were disbanded on March 16, 1972.

Seawolves helicopter art
On the side of a Huey that was part of the Seawolves. Screenshot from YouTube

The Seawolves were an all-volunteer squadron and were created to support the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) and River Patrol Boats (PBR) operating in the Mekong Delta and the inland waterways of South Vietnam. The primary mission of HAL-3 was to provide gunfire support, troop insertions and extractions, medical evacuations, and to transport supplies and personnel.

The squadron operated UH-1B Huey gunships, which were armed with machine guns, rockets, and grenade launchers. The Seawolves were known for their aggressive tactics and were highly effective in providing close air support to the ground forces. They played a crucial role in the success of the Navy’s riverine warfare operations during the Vietnam War.

In total, HAL-3 flew over 120,000 combat missions over South Vietnam and Cambodia, and 44 Seawolves lost their lives in the line of duty. Two hundred more were wounded. For their valor and dedication, the squadron received numerous awards and decorations, including five Presidential Unit Citations. Despite their disestablishment in 1972, the Seawolves have left a lasting legacy as one of the most decorated naval aviation units in history.

Scramble the Seawolves