Army Aviation 1953 US Army; Army Aircraft, Army Helicopters; The Big Picture TV-234

Army Aviation 1953 US Army; Army Aircraft, Army Helicopters; The Big Picture TV-234

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‘The Army’s own air arm has become an integral part of THE BIG PICTURE. The light liaison plane and its cousin, the helicopter, is pictured at work on the battlefield and in training…’

The Big Picture episode TV-234

Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

The United States Army Aviation Branch is the administrative organization within the United States Army responsible for doctrine, manning and configuration for all aviation units.

After the United States Army Air Corps grew into the Army Air Forces and split into the new service, the United States Air Force, the Army was left with its sole fixed-wing aviation units flying L-2 observation planes for artillery units. The Army would develop a new concept of aviation using the helicopter that would show promise during the Korean War and would truly revolutionize warfare during the Vietnam War…

Birth of Army Aviation (1942)

Following a final series of experiments with organic Army spotter aircraft conducted in 1942, the Secretary of War ordered the establishment of organic air observation for field artillery—hence the birth of modern Army Aviation—on 6 June 1942. It was this new World War II-era phenomenon with its few small single-engine spotter planes, organic Army Aviation, that eventually evolved into today’s Army Aviation Branch.

Organic Army Aviation first entered into combat in November 1942 on the coast of North Africa. During World War II, L-4 Grasshoppers and a few larger L-5 Sentinels were used to adjust artillery fire, gather intelligence, support naval bombardment, direct bombing missions, and perform other functions. Most training of both pilots and mechanics was conducted by the Department of Air Training within the Field Artillery School at Post Field, Okla., although the Army Air Forces conducted some primary training of organic Army Aviation personnel.

After the creation of the Army Air Forces, the Army Ground Forces retained the use of light aircraft for artillery forward observation and reconnaissance in June 1942. When the United States Air Force was established as a separate service in 1947, the Army developed its light planes and rotary wing aircraft to support its ground operations. The Korean War and Vietnam War proved the growing capabilities of these aviation assets to perform a variety of missions not covered by the Air Force.

The Korean War provided new challenges and opportunities for Army Aviation. Organic Army Aviation had acquired its first helicopters, thirteen H-13 Sioux, in 1947, shortly before the U.S. Air Force became independent of the Army. In Korea, the Army employed the O-1 Bird Dog and other improved fixed wing planes, but also helicopters…

The “Howze Board,” or “Tactical Mobility Requirements Board,” was established in 1962 to develop and test the concept of air mobility… recommendations were tested by the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) from 1963 to 1965. In 1965, the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) was organized and sent to Vietnam, where it repeatedly demonstrated the validity of the airmobile concept in actual combat…

The most widely used helicopter, the UH-1 Iroquois, or Huey, began to arrive in Vietnam in significant numbers in 1964… The AH-1 Cobra arrived in 1967 to partially replace the Huey in its gun ship capacity. Other important helicopters in Vietnam included the CH-47 Chinook, the OH-6 Cayuse, the OH-58 Kiowa, and the CH-54 Tarhe…

New or radically modified aircraft were adopted from the late 1970s into the mid-1980s. These included the UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, D-model of the CH-47 Chinook, and OH-58D version of the Kiowa…
Army Aviation 1953 US Army; Army Aircraft, Army Helicopters; The Big Picture TV-234