COBRA! The AH-1G “Cobra” or “Snake” helicopter system filled the Army’s need for a fast armed escort/attack helicopter in Vietnam. Unlike the lightly armed Huey, the Cobra carried an array of weapon systems that quickly proved their tactical worth by providing immediate fire suppression and rocket barrages to the airmobile doctrine. This Cobra helicopter, tail number 67-15663, first entered service in Vietnam in August of 1968 with F troop of the 8th Cavalry stationed in Chu Lai. Its fuselage is patched from where it took ground fire during a combat mission on November 25, 1969. In Vietnam the Cobra proved it could engage Soviet made armor during the North Vietnamese forces attack on An Loc on March 30, 1972. After Vietnam, the Cobra series helicopters added the XM65 TOW missile system to their weapons package and were designated as AH-1S and redeployed with an additional anti-tank role on the front lines of the Cold War. The Cobra would be on the front line protecting areas such as Frankfurt to counter a potential Soviet/Warsaw Pact invasion of Germany through the Fulda Gap.
This Cobra served with the 175th Aviation Company and then with 3rd Infantry Division Company B in Germany from 1973 to 1975. It is on display at the Army Heritage and Education Center.