Vince Presbyszewski | Vietnam War Veteran


Vince Presbyszewski's Vietnam War Photos

Vince Presbyszewski


Lieutenant, Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron 3, "Seawolves," U.S. Navy

Vince Presbyszewski joined the Navy and was assigned to Helicopter Attack (light) squadron 3 (HAL3), more commonly known as the Seawolves. The Seawolves had nine detachments of helicopters throughout the Mekong Delta, some land based and two or three that were on floating LST’s that cruised the Mekong river. Their primary mission was to prevent Armament loaded sampans from distributing arms to the Viet Cong in the South, as well as providing air cover for river patrol boats.

He remembers the Mekong Delta.

My first impression was that it was flat – rice paddies for miles and miles and my first question was how in the world do you find out where you are in this place because it all looks the same. But after a month or so of flights over the Delta you got to look at subtle landmarks so you could tell where you were.

The Seawolves performed many tasks in the Delta, sometimes just routine patrols, like taking Navy SEALS in and out of special missions, transporting cargo, mail and personnel, and sometimes more dangerous missions like rescuing Army shot down helicopter pilots.

Probably the most dangerous missions were those that we had to fly at night, and if it was raining or there were thunderstorms we still flew. We never turned down a mission.