Bell AH-1 "Huey" Cobra 70-16038:
In Vietnam, they called her the "Snake". The first helicopter designed specifically for direct fire support of ground troops, the Cobra attack helicopter of the Huey family ultimately performed a variety of missions in all weather conditions, engaging in direct air support, anti-tank operations, armed escort, and air-to-air combat.
Cobra Helicopters saw continuous service from 1967 until 1999 and were used by the Army and Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. The Cobra's formidable combination of armor, armament, and agility proved to be an effective weapons delivery platform for pilots, and spawned many variations.
Our AH-1 Cobra or "Snake" is 70-16038 and was delivered to the US Army in May 1972 as a AH-1G. Snake 038 was immediately deployed to Vietnam with Troop F of the 9th Cavalry Regiment. Here she would operate from 1972 until the cease fire in 1973 in what they call a "Pink Team" with a scout OH-6 "Loach" helicopter. This was a strategic Hunter-Killer team attempting to draw out the enemy. The OH-6 "Loach", usually with a pilot and observer, flew as little as 10 feet above the treetops at between about 45-60 mph, scouting for signs of the enemy. Cobras flew circles 1,500 feet above the scouts, waiting to pounce on whatever may fire upon the OH-6.
With the official cease fire confirmed, 038 was part of the last helicopter unit to come home. Back to the USA, she would eventually be updated as a AH-1S model with the TOW missile system to acquire, track, engage, and destroy enemy armored vehicles tanks with the Tube Launched Wire Guided missile. Later she would join the 1st Battalion of the 122nd Aviation Attack Squadron of the RI Army National Guard in Quonset Point, RI.
The AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter 038 came to Battleship Cove in September 2002 with over one and a half years of restoration work undertaken in Quonset Point, RI by the RI Army National Guard prior to presenting it for display at the museum.
AH-1 038 is currently awaiting a complete restoration to her G model Vietnam War combat appearance as a tribute to all those who served.