The 18th Aviation Company was established in Vietnam in 1961 (though some elements arrived in 1960). Their Company insignia and nose cowling design was the blue 'Low-Slow-Reliable' logo. Their 'call-sign' was 'Reliable'. Originally, headquartered (HQ) in Nha Trang (on the coast - considered close to a mid-way point geographically in South Vietnam) with a Platoon stationed at Saigon's Tan San Nhat International Airport. The 18th operated in this configuration for 5 years until in 1966. at that point they moved the 18th Aviation Co HQ up to Qui Nhon Airfield (with a 1st Platoon at Marble Mountain Marine Airbase in Da Nang, a 2nd Platoon at Camp Holloway in the Highlands at Pleiku and their 3rd Platoon remained at Nha Trang Airport to support the 5th Special Forces HQ.


The 54th Aviation Co was established in 1965 and fully operational in 1966. Their Headquarters (HQ) was set-up at the Vung Tau Airport just SE of Saigon on the coast. They established a platoon in Saigon and Can Tho (in the Mekong Delta). Their original unit patch and nose cowling was designed with and Otter and a MACV logo shield (top left). It was changed to the 'Big Daddy' insignia (red patch on bottom left) in roughly 1968 to match their 'Big Daddy' call sign.

Bother the 18th and 54th Avn 'Otter' companies were disbanded in mid to late 1971.

See MAPS > sub-Page for a larger version of this Map

1965-1971 the 18th Aviation Co had their HQ in Qui Nhon, their 1st Platoon was at Marble Mountain Marine Base in Da Nang, their 2nd Platoon was in the central highlands at Camp Holloway Army Airfield in Pleiku and the 3rd Platoon was at the Nha Trang Airport.

In the early year of the VN War ('61-'65), the 18th Avn Co HQ was in Nha Trang (the home and HQ of the 5th Special Forces) with Platoons in Saigon, Ban Me Thout and the 'Rat Finks' down in Can Tho (central Meking Delta)

'65-'71 the 54th Aviation Co. was HQ'd in Vung Tau, with a Platoon in Can Tho (the 54th's 'Rat Finks') and Saigon. In 1970, they HQ moved to Long Than North (LTN) before 'shutting-up-shop' and disbanding in 1971.

Above: The 'Line-Up' of 9 Otters on the ramp at Vung Tau at the start-up of the 'Big Daddy' 54th Aviation Company 1965.

The 256th Trans Detachment ~ Aircraft Repair "Keep It Fixed - with the 256th" was a Detachment of the 18th Aviation Co. in Quin Nhon, VN.

The 255th Trans Detachment ~Aircraft Repair - was a Detachment unit of the 54th Aviation Co. in Vung Tau, VN.

NOTE: Both Units kept the Army 'Otters' in the air and service-ready with major inspections, fuselage maintenance and engine major repairs. They were the 'Most Valuable' units in maintaining our operational status.

The 163rd (Medical) Detachment Corp was part of the 18th Aviation Co. in Qui Nhon, VN ~ The 'Life Savers'