Gross, Ollie James, AO1

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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
AO-0000-Aviation Ordnanceman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Ordnanceman
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 8263, HA(L)-3 Seawolves
Service Years
1964 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Plank Owner
AO-Aviation Ordnanceman
One Hash Mark

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cory Butterfield, AO1 to remember Gross, Ollie James, AO1.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Apr 23, 1969
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Cu Chi (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
New Market Baptist Church Cemetery - New Market, Ohio
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Panel 26W Row 032

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  1968-1969, 8263, HA(L)-3 Seawolves

From Month/Year
August / 1968

To Month/Year
April / 1969

HA(L)-3 Seawolves Unit Page

Petty Officer First Class

8263-Aerial Door Gunner

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 HA(L)-3 Seawolves Details

HA(L)-3 Seawolves

US Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three (HA(L)-3) Seawolves
Vietnam 1966-1972 (5 1/2 Years)

(Narrative still in progress, email Unit Administrator with questions or comments.)

US Navy Vietnam Gunship Ops began in the summer of 1966 using 8 borrowed Army UH-1B Helicopters from the Army's 197th Armed Helicopter Company to form the nucleus of a Navy armed helicopter unit. 

Pilots and crewmen for the new venture were initially drawn from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One (HC-1) based at NAS Ream Field, Imperial Beach, California
The first eight pilots and enlisted crewmen of HC-1, Detachment (DET) 29, arrived in Saigon, Vietnam on 4 July 1966, followed on the 17th and 29th of July by DETS 27 and 25, respectively and Combat Operations in Vietnam began on 19 September 1966DET 21, last of the original HC-1 detachments, was not deployed to Vietnam until several months later, arriving during the last week of November 1966. 

HC-1 DETS officially became
HA(L)-3 established on 1 April 1967 originally home based at Vung Tau, with operations later moved to Binh Thuy permanently on 1 May 1969 after Seabees completed enough construction of the base to move.

HA(L)-3 Commanding Officers:
LCDR Joseph B. Howard, (Acting CO) Apr 1967 - May 1967
CDR Robert W. Spencer, May 1967 - May 1968; 
CAPT Arthur H. Munson, May 1968 - Apr 1969; 
CAPT Reynolds Beckwith, Apr 1969 - Apr 1970; 
CAPT Martin J. Twite, Apr 1970 - Apr 1971; 
CAPT Charles O. Borgstrom, Jr., Apr 1971 - Feb 1972; 
CDR William J. Mulcahy, Feb - Mar 1972

HA(L)-3 operated NINE DETS throughout the Delta in addition to the Sealords operating out of Binh Thuy. 
DET 1Originally HC-1 DET 29, August 14, 1966 began operating from the USS Tortuga (LSD 26) with Army split crews until August 30, 1966 when DET 29 relieved Army Fire Teams. 10 days later moved to the USS Comstock (LSD 19) and November 11, 1966 the USS Jennings County (LST-846). Moved to the Gulf of Thailand in 1969 and operated alternately from 4 LST's, USS Garrett County (LST-786), USS Terrell County (LST-1157), USS Windham County (LST-1170) and USS Washtoe County (LST-1165). During the construction of an Advanced Tactical Support Base (ATSB) called Sea Float, DET 1 operated there during the day and went back to the LST at night. When Solid Anchor was completed on 1 September 1970 near Nam Can on the southern tip of the Ca Mau Peninsula, DET 1 relocated there permanently. DET 1’s area of operations is the southwest Ca Mau Peninsula supporting Naval Craft, SEAL Unit’s, and Vietnamese Marines in the Cau Lon River and southern Mekong Delta area. Support provided by DET 1 was part of an effort to establish the government of South Vietnam in this area for the first time in many years and providing security for the nearby village of Nam Can allowing local people to sell their goods to government agencies rather than at a fixed price to the Viet Cong.
DET 2 – Originally HC-1 DET 27, based at Nha Be part of Military Region III in April 1967, the only DET that didn't move to another location during the squadron's existence. Assigned the mission of keeping the Long Tau shipping channel to Saigon open, and patrolling the Rung Sat Special Zone flying overhead cover for special interest ships including ammunitions ships and tankers. If a ship was sunk in the channel, Saigon would be cut off from the sea until the ship could be refloated and removed. DET 2 became a "Double DET" with 4 aircraft and crew in June 1969. 
DET 3 – Originally HC-1 DET 25 based at Vinh Long Army Airfield. They moved to an LST off Ha Tien September 1969 and finally to Ca Mau on 5 August 1970. Previously DET 3 had night staged at Vinh Gia and the To Chau Civilian Irregular Defense Group Camp. There were two air strips at Ca Mau; the Long and Short strips. Facilities at the Long strip were minimal for quite a while. The Seawolves had to sleep in the open and eat C-rations. Conditions eventually improved and a permanent staging structure built, living in the Province Senior Advisor’s (PSA) compound. Area of operation was the southern and eastern U Minh Forest; the Dam Doi Secret Zone in Solid Anchor’s area of operation, and throughout the southern Ca Mau Peninsula, often providing support for DET’s 1 and 6.
DET 4 – Originally HC-1 DET 21 deployed to Vietnam in November 1966, operated from the USS Garrett County (LST-786), under the command of OinC LCDR George (Rocky) Rowell. Flew with Army gunship companies and entered combat early 1967 when it was re-designated HC-1 DET 4 just prior to commissioning of HAL-3 in April. DET moved to Dong Tam in early 1969 and later to Ben Luc. They supported the PBR’s and other Riverine Warfare Units. Operation Giant Slingshot, their primary mission to interdict Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops infiltrating into South Vietnam from the Parrot’s Beak and Angel’s Wing area of Cambodia, also placing strikes on Dufflebag activations. 
DET 5 – Activated in 1968, stationed aboard the USS Hunderton County (LST-838) on the Co Chien River. July 30, 1968 DET 5 moved to PBR Mobile Base (MB) II at Thuong Thoi. DET 5 moved to YRBM-20 off Rach Gia in the Fall of 1968, then to YRBM-16 in November 1968 to Dong Tam, and finally to south of Chau Doc on the Bassac River a few miles from Cambodia. They operated an interdiction program known as “Tran Hung Dao I”, ostensibly to keep the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese from infiltrating from Cambodia into South Vietnam. Operations also included the Tram Forest and Seven Mountains area. 
DET 6 – Activated in 1967, operated from Dong Tam, moved to USS Garrett County (LST-786) at the mouth of the Song Ong Doc River night staging, then land based at Song Ong Doc. Moved to Phu Loi May 1971. 
DET 7 – Established at Binh Thuy until June 1969, operating from a small helipad by the Bassac River in front of the enlisted barracks. It was just SEALS, PBR guys, Seawolves and a few FASU Binh Thuy enlisted men. The pad had two trailers on it for the officers and one for the enlisted separated by a walkway with corrugated steel for a roof surrounded by wire. In April of 1969, the Seabee Detachment finished enough of the new base across the street for the DET to move there. DET later moved in June 1969 for Tay Ninh for what was supposed to be temporary, but ended up permanent. In 1970, DET 7 moved to Dong Tam and remained until stand-down.
DET 8 – Activated in July 1969, the first new detachment created since squadron established, operated from Tay Ninh with DET 7, then to LST near Rach Gia. May 1970 staged off USS Hunderton County (LST-838) at Long Xuyen near Cambodian border. July 1970, returned to Rach Gia. 
DET 9 – Activated at Binh Thuy in September 1969, then moved to YRBM-21 near An Long. June 1971 moved from YRBM at Tan Chau to USS Vernon County (LST-1161) off Kien Hoa and Vinh Binh. October 1971 relocated to Binh Thuy also staging out of Thanh Phu. 
SEALORDS – January 1970, Sealords were added to provide logistics to the DET's and support various U.S. Navy and Free World Force Units, based at Binh Thuy. Also involved in combat missions with SEAL insertions/extractions, and medivacs.
26 January – HA(L)-3 commenced stand-down.
1 February – CDR Mulcahy relieved CAPT Borgstrom as CO of HA(L)-3. HA(L)-3 commenced a 60 day stand-down period in preparation for disestablishment.
3 February – DET 6 at Phu Loi was disestablished.
6 February – DET 1 at Nam Can was disestablished.  LT Ralph M. Tea (DET 8) wounded during an air strike.
10 February – DET 7 at Dong Tam was disestablished.
14 February – DET 5 at Chau Doc was disestablished.
18 February – DET 8 at Rach Gia was disestablished.
19 February – DET 4 at Ben Luc was disestablished.
23 February – DET 3 at Ca Mau was disestablished.
25 February – CNO Admiral Zumwalt arrived in Saigon for a two day tour of Vietnam to include Binh Thuy.
26 February – DET 2 at Nha Be was disestablished.
1 March – DET 9 at Binh Thuy was disestablished.
6 March – The last HA(L)-3 Seawolf gunship was retrograded and the last Sealord flight flown by HA(L)-3 CO CDR Mulcahy, pilot and HA(L)-3 XO CDR Nichols, co-pilot.
9 March – The first HA(L)-3 Sealord was retrograded.
11 March – The last HA(L)-3 Sealord was retrograded.
16 March 1972HA(L)-3 completed stand-down procedures and was officially disestablished.

Air Units - Rotary Wing


Parent Unit
Rotary Wing

Air Squadron

Created/Owned By
CMC Arnes, Daniel L (Seawolf 70-72), CMC 27

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2017
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
354 Members Also There at Same Time
HA(L)-3 Seawolves

Swart, James Franklin, MCPO, (1956-1978) 00 8263 Chief Petty Officer
Bowles, Lloyd Lane, PO1, (1956-1970) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Burton, Walter Eugene, PO1, (1951-1974) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Johnson, Larry Richard, PO1, (1957-1969) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Johnson, William H., PO1, (1954-1973) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Pennell, John Robert, PO1, (1949-1969) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Taylor, Larry Patrick, PO1, (1959-1969) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Walin, Wayne John, CMC, (1965-1995) 00 8263 Petty Officer First Class
Bartleson, Jerry Lee, PO2, (1967-1971) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Bolton, Donald Truman, PO1, (1963-1969) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Garrett, Bobby Karol, PO2, (1965-1969) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Jones, Craig, SCPO, (1965-1990) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Maher, Christopher Loring, PO2, (1964-1968) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
McSwain, James David, PO2, (1964-1970) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Smale, David, PO2, (1968-1971) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Templeton, Gray Monroe, PO1, (1967-1978) 00 8263 Petty Officer Second Class
Kidd, William Glenn, PO3, (1967-1970) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Lay, George Harry, PO2, (1967-1971) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Leduc, George R., PO2, (1968-1979) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Marinaccio, Anthony, PO2, (1967-1970) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Prather, Jimmy Dale, PO2, (1965-1969) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Rogers, Larry E., PO3, (1967-1970) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Sandoval, Salvador, PO3, (1965-1968) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Taylor, Joseph Sidney, PO3, (1968-1972) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Wimer, Clifford Karl, PO3, (1967-1971) 00 8263 Petty Officer Third Class
Davidson, Clarence Conrad, AN, (1967-1970) 00 8263 Airman
Elliott, John Leroy, AN, (1966-1969) 00 8263 Airman
Fargher, Michael Jay, AN, (1968-1970) 00 8263 Airman
Valania, Florian Thomas, AN, (1966-1970) 00 8263 Airman
Versace, Joseph Philip, AN, (1967-1970) 00 8263 Airman
Meussner, Rick, PO3, (1966-1970) 00 8202 Petty Officer Third Class
Rutledge, Richard, PO2, (1967-1971) 00 8202 Petty Officer Third Class
Shelly, Henry, CPO, (1968-1994) 00 8202 Airman
Beckwith, Reynolds W., CAPT, (1943-1975) OFF 131X Captain
Munson, Arthur Herbert, Sr., CAPT, (1940-1979) OFF 131X Captain
Carson, James Thompson, CAPT, (1955-1986) OFF 131X Commander
Duff, Robert, CDR, (1951-1975) OFF 131X Commander
Hipp Jr., Ronald Nickolas, CDR, (1951-1971) OFF 131X Commander
Strange, Robert Cooper, CAPT OFF 131X Commander
Whitmire, Vivien Clyde, CDR, (1941-1972) OFF 630X Commander
Aden, Melvin Oldham, LCDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Batti, Donald Edward, LCDR, (1945-1975) OFF 633X Lieutenant Commander
Bolton, John Mason, CDR OFF 630X Lieutenant Commander
Bouchard, Joseph Samuel, CDR, (1944-1976) OFF 633X Lieutenant Commander
Crowell Jr., George Thomas, CDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Driver, Thomas Preston, LCDR, (1956-1978) OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Frankenberger, Paul Francis, CDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Hartman, Donald Glenn, LCDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Innes, Henry Edgar, CAPT, (1960-1985) OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Jones, Drew, LCDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Keyes, James, CDR, (1954-1980) OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Lang, William Robert, CDR, (1956-1978) OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Myers, Charles Elmore, CAPT OFF 166X Lieutenant Commander
Pennington, Ronald Milton, CDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Pratt, Marvin J., CAPT OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Priestley, Joseph Robert Glenn, LCDR OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Savage, Jimmy Roscoe, LCDR, (1952-1973) OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander
Schrader, Norman Edward, CDR, (1956-1977) OFF 630X Lieutenant Commander
Wantz, Leslie Harold, CDR, (1956-1976) OFF 131X Lieutenant Commander

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