Developed from the Huey transport helicopter, the Cobra was the first purpose-built helicopter gunship to enter military service. It was the mainstay of U.S. Army attack aviation from its combat debut in South Vietnam during 1967 until replaced by the AH-64 Apache in the 1980s and ‘90s. Versions of the Cobra continue to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of many nations.
From 1968 to 1971, this Army “G” model flew 2,100 combat hours in Vietnam with D Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division; C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 20th Artillery (Aerial Rocket); and D Company, 158th Assault Helicopter Battalion. While flying this aircraft on August 15, 1971, Capt. Allen Butler held off enemy forces attempting to overrun South Vietnamese Marines and received the Silver Star. (What a crying shame: There is no other mention of him or picture on-line that I could find.)