Drawing: Cobra Drawing: Cobra

Image: Shark 165 gets fuel

Shark 165 gets fuel

Duc Pho, Vietnam, 1968 — This is Shark 165 (66-15165), about to get refueled at its revetment at Duc Pho. Normally both the Sharks and Dolphins refueled at the POL point (Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants) on the east end of the 174th area at Duc Pho. The normal procedure was to refuel "hot" (with engine running and blades turning) from rubberized bladders of JP-4 jet fuel, then hover from POL to the revetments. Occasionally, for various reasons (perhaps after a maintenance runup), they would be refueled from a tanker truck in the revetment. Here the truck is just pulling up to the aircraft. Note the construction of the revetment—perforated steel planking (PSP) normally used for portable runway construction. It is framing multiple layers of sandbags, set out in an "L" shape, used for helping protect the aircraft from shrapnel from near hits from mortars and rockets. Also note the condition of the ramp in the foreground. The ramp is basically just a cleared dirt area covered with a thin coat of a petroleum-based tar-like substance commonly called "penaprime" or "pentaprime." It was quite thin and frequent helicopter rotorwash would wear it away where the surface got broken. Often the skids from the helicopter landing would break the surface, and the area would quickly turn into a washed out "pothole."

Photo by Jim McDaniel.

Photo courtesy of 174th Assault Helicopter Company

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Updated: 28 January 2013 Born on 10 February 2000