Vietnam War Army Helicopter Nose Art

John Brennan

Like a fifty-year-old time capsule unearthed and opened for public display, this book unlocks a treasure trove of over 250 recently recovered Vietnam War photographs from veterans. These helicopter nose art photos capture that typical and distinctive American war custom of embellishing one's assigned aircraft with personalized markings.
Date Published :
January 2018
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Color and B&W photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781625450357
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 11 X 8 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Vietnam War Army Helicopter Nose Art brings to light over 250 recently recovered Vietnam War photographs from Army aviation veterans. The vast majority of these photographs have never before been published, with them all capturing that quintessential and unmistakable American war custom of embellishing one’s assigned aircraft with personalized markings. Each is accompanied by a caption containing data particular for each featured image: helicopter name, unit, serial number, photo date, photo location, crew names, artist name, photo contributor, and anecdotal information.

Against a backdrop of censorship, political correctness, and military directives to the contrary, in-country Army helicopter nose art flourished in Vietnam, and the failure to acknowledge this archetypal convention in any study of Army aviation history demonstrates a lack of respect for the personal cost of conflict.

Although ‘Iron Butterfly’ may not be as well-known as ‘Memphis Belle’ or ‘Enola Gay’ from World War II, it nonetheless carried its crews into battle with just as much passion for life and sense of duty as its predecessors. We all know the ugly politics of that war; these pictures show us the human side of it.

About The Author

John Brennan has authored six Vietnam War helicopter books. His background in this subject begins with a twelve-month military tour in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, where he was assigned to the Army’s 114th Assault Helicopter Company as a flight operations coordinator. This was followed by a BA degree in American studies from California State University at Chico. He was subsequently hired by the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Library in Washington, D.C. Later, when the 114th formed an association, Brennan served as historian. Today, he is retired from federal service and resides with his family in northern California.


"Highly recommended."

- AMPS Indianapolis

"Whether you are into nose art or the Vietnam War or both this one is for you... These pictures would remain unseen and probably forgotten about had it not been for people like John Brennan who have managed to compile them into lovely books like this. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did and I’m already hoping that John Brennan will bring out a second volume of long forgotten photos depicting the colourful side of green."

- War History Online

“The pictures are are clear and provide the modeler with some interesting possibilities for weathering, vignettes and dioramas. Highly Recommended for all modelers.”


“John Brennan’s colorful new book, “Vietnam War Army Helicopter Nose Art,” seems timely in light of recent forays into the conflict by makers of both metal and plastic toy soldier items… these combat aviators’ distinctive artwork illustrates the human side of the controversial politics surrounding the Vietnam War.”

- Toy Soldier & Model Figure

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