The Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter was known as the workhorse of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. The original designation, HU-01 is often referred to as the Huey. The Huey production line started in 1960 and continued until the production line shut down in 1986. During those twenty-six years, over 16,000 military and civilian versions were produced. Over 7,000 Huey’s were deployed to Vietnam with 3000 lost or destroyed. The 101st Airborne Division was credited with being the first unit to use Huey’s. The helicopter was used to test a variety of weapons system. The Huey was used as a gunship, referred to as “Hogs”, the transport version was called “Slick” and the medivac versions were called “Dustoffs.” During the Vietnam War, the Huey is credited with conducting over 30 million flights.
This week we salute Toby Johnson. Sergeant Toby Johnson served in the United States Army from 1971 to 1975. His military occupational specialty was as a Huey mechanic and as a OH 58 mechanic. Toby went to Fort Lewis, Washington for Basic training, Fort Rucker, Alabama for Advanced Individual Training (AIT), His first duty assignment took him to Fulda Gap, Germany where he was with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), then he transferred to the 11th ACR. He was then stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, assigned to the 10th Cavalry Regiment. Toby has lived in Rosebud county since 1962. He is married to Lois Johnson, and they have two children. His civilian career was as a Coal Miner.
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Dr. Irene Dickerson has a doctorate in Business Administration and is a retired Army Colonel living her best life in Big Sky Country.