J. D. Huss served in the U. S. Army from 1965 until 1973. He was trained as an Army
Aviator (WORWAC 66-17) and flew helicopters in Viet Nam (1966-1967) with the 117th
Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) “Warlords” attached to the 1st Brigade (BDE), 101st
Airborne Division (ABN). In 1967 he was transferred to 1st Field Force – Vietnam (IFFV)
where he provided aviation support to the Military Assistance Command’s Studies &
Observation Group (MACSOG). He was later transferred to the 176th AHC “Minutemen”
continuing to support 101st ABN. He completed his first tour as aviation support
to the newly formed Task Force Oregon which would later be designated the 23rd
Infantry “Americal” Division. During this tour, he would move bag, baggage, and
tent to 41 different locations within I, II, & III Corps Vietnam and lose 7 aircraft, while
participating in Operation(s) Cedar Falls, Junction City (where CBS News showed his
aircraft being shot down and evacuated on national television), Daniel Boone, Phoenix,
Malheur I, and Klamath Falls.
Returning to the U. S., he was assigned to the United States Army Aviation School
(USAAVNS) at Hunter AAF, Savannah, GA, where he instructed basic entry students
and foreign students in basic and advanced helicopter instrument flying. In 1969
he received a direct commission in the army’s Transportation Corps and attended
the Aircraft Maintenance Officer’s Course (AMOC) at Ft. Eustis, VA, prior to being
reassigned to Vietnam.
Assigned with the 7th Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry (7/1 CAV) “Blackhawks” at Vinh Long
RVN, he arrived in late April 1970 and participated in President Nixon’s “Cambodian
Incursion,” flying a Bell Cobra (AH-1G). He served as the Squadron Maintenance
Officer before being assigned to the 370th Transportation Corps Detachment, Aircraft
Direct Support (370th TC/ADS) a 185 man maintenance unit, which he would later
command for six months.
Following completion of his second tour, he was reassigned to the 119th AHC “Red
Hawks” at Ft. Bragg, Fayetteville, NC. He moved to Chief, Aircraft Maintenance Branch,
on the General Staff of the 12th Support Brigade (later re-designated 1st Corps Support
Command [COSCOM]) with the additional duty of Chief Pilot for the Commanding
General of the Brigade and co-shared the same pilot duties for the Commanding
General of XVIII Airborne Corps & Ft. Bragg. He remained in this position until he was
involuntarily released from active duty in the fourth Reduction-in-Force (RIF) following
end of the Vietnam conflict.