Aerial Rocket Artillery Association Home Page

Aerial Rocket Artillery History

This site was built to honor ALL who served in any of the Aerial Rocket Artillery and Aerial Field Artillery Units at any time as well as all post Vietnam Blue Max units!

The Original site: Blue Max Aerial Rocket Artillery was built on honesty, integrity and equality for ALL these units and their families without regard to rank or job description. The intent is to continue this support.

However, because this site is not owned by the ARA and is no longer part of the Aerial Rocket Artillery Association, the mission of this site has changed.
If you want any information on or about the association go to the Aerial Rocket Artillery Associationwebsite

The owner of this site wishes to thank everyone for their support of the original Aerial Rocket Artillery Association. If you were an active member of the original association, your membership remained in place under the new command. We apologize if this caused any inconvenience or misunderstanding. The founder could no longer operate under the conditions as they were. Thanks again for all your support for those fifteen plus years.

Welcome you are on fire mission number.

Please sign the ARA HISTORY guest book honoring EVERY ONE who served in the ARA/AFA or Blue Max.

Use the links below to VIEW old entries or POST your own message to the OLD and CONTINUING GUEST BOOK.


If you served in the ARA in Vietnam with the 1st Cav 2/20th (ARA), 101st AB 4/77th (ARA),F Battery 79th Arty (AFA), 77th FA Battery (ARA), served with C 1-229th and was re-flagged C 3-3 BARB (Blue Max) and re-flagged again to C 1-10 and is now under the 10th Mountain Division out of Ft. Drum or served with or now serving with B 3-101 out of Ft Campbell, this site may have some information that is of interest to you.

If you are looking for UNIT PATCHES, ask the ARA Association. ALL UNIT PATCHES were turned over to the association and there are more in stock from the supplier.

ONLY TWO Aerial Rocket Artillery Battalions in the history of the Army that served in Vietnam.

The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)had the first ARA Battalion followed by the 101st ABN. <


If you were a member of the First Cavalry Division, but have never joined the First Cavalry Division Association, moved or forgot to renew your Saber subscription, you can join the association or renew your subscription below.

First Cavalry Division Association membership form

If you served with the 101st AB Division and wish to join their association, then you need to use the link below!

101st AB Association Membership form


Below is a photo taken in 1965/66 of the first Battalion Commander of 2/20th, LTC Nelson Mahone and Major Roger Bartholomew Commander of C Battery 2/20. After returning to the states Bartholomew was promoted to LTC, he returned to Vietnam, becoming the first Battalion Commander of the 4/77th 101st. He was killed in action, while attacking an enemy position north of Da Nang on 27 November 1968. LTC Nelson Mahone died 16 March 1991 and was posthumously inducted into Army Aviation Hall of Fame at Rucker.

First two ARA Battalion Commanders

(Left) Major Roger Bartholomew (Right) LTC Nelson Mahone

Photo by WO Chip Parker - pilot for LTC Mahone


Jerry Barnes had this stone placed in the Memorial Garden at the site of the National Vietnam War Museum in Mineral Wells, TX. Jerry, thank you for your service to your country and your continued support to our ARA Alumni. It is an honor to have you on our team.


The first ARA Battalion in Vietnam started as an experimental unit at Ft Benning. After being re-flagged as the 2nd Battalion 20th Artillery (ARA) 1st Cavalry Division, it arrived in Vietnam in 1965

After proving that an ARA concept would work and making history, the unit stood down, turned equipment and personnel over to F Battery 79th Artillery, and unit colors left Vietnam for Ft Lewis in 1971.

F Battery 79th Artillery 1st Cavalry Division was activated in Vietnam in 1971 as a stand down unit and it was deactivated in 1972

This link will take you to the F Battery 79th Artillery web site


On the 21st of March 1974 F Battery 79th Artillery (AFA) was activated at Ft Hood, TX and was de-activated December 1974. This was the last ARA or AFA unit ever in the US Army. As soon as we can get more information on F Btry 227 Avn BN we will post that on the web as well. We know CPT Lichtenberger was original commander of this ARA or AFA unit. Although Bob Lichtenberger passed away, I had the honor to have known him. Rest in Peace SIR!

HQ and A Battery 4th Battalion 77th Artillery (ARA) formed at Ft Sill. B and C Battery 4th Battalion 77th Artillery (ARA) formed at Ft Bragg. After being formed, the newly formed 4th Battalion 77th Artillery (ARA) 101st ABN Div arrived in Vietnam in 1968 under the command of LTC Roger Bartholomew. This Battalion had some pilots from the original 2/20 ARA Battalion but also had many who had never seen combat. When the unit arrived in country, a few more pilots were transferred from the original 2/20 ARA into the new unit.

In 1971 4/77 stood down and left Vietnam.

CLICK HERE for more 4/77th information.

In December 1971 the 77th Field Artillery Battery, Aerial Rocket Artillery (Provisional) was formed from A Battery 4th BN 77th Arty (ARA). This unit was in operation from 23 December 1971 until 2 February 1972. Many people did not even know this unit existed and when asked many would tell you they were in A 4/77. Information given to Russ Warriner at 2008 reunion and verified with a set of orders furnished by Steve Melancon. Thank you Sir! There are two units using the name Blue Max today. Both say they have the rights to the name but we do not know or have the right to say who really has the bragging rights. Both sport the Blue Max logo on their aircraft and have made patches for the respective units.

The first of these two units using the name Blue Max has gone to the extent of getting the FAA permission to use the radio call sign at airports and airfields in the US.

The Blue Max unit at Hunter Army Air Field, Savannah, GA. was re-flagged Blue Max C Company 1-10 (now under the Tenth Mountain Division Ft Drum, NY)

This unit was formerly Blue Max C Company 3-3rd ARB Bn and before that it was formerly C Company 1-229th out of Ft Bragg, NC Note the Blue Max on the aircraft.

If this unit has a web site we would be glad and proud to connect with them.


The second unit carrying the name Blue Max name is B/ 3-101 out of Ft Campbell, KY.

The B 101 web site has moved or is gone. We would very much like to reconnect, so if anyone is in contact with the unit, please help us reconnect.

The link was added on November 8, 2007, when were contacted by a member "Blue Max" B/ 3-101 from Ft Campbell, KY. I am sorry to say this, but we have lost communications with the unit. Therefore, the photo of the aircraft has been removed.

We wish to welcome any and all members of "Blue Max" B/ 3-101 aboard past or present that wish to join the Alumni Group. We desperately need a contact with the unit and/or a contact point.


GET YOUR COPY FROM THE AUTHOR!!!!

A non-fiction book based on the memories of an Aerial Rocket Artillery crew chief/door gunner

Anyone wishing a copy of this book should go to the following link.

Click here

or go to the

"Empty Tubes and Back Seat Memories" web site

and use the order book ICON or find more information.





A non-fiction book based on the memories of an Aerial Rocket Artillery pilot

Click here to view Blue Max Missions and Memories web site and order your copy



To read some items on this web page and others on the web you will need Adobe Acrobat reader.

Click here and download FREE Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader:

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The "MEMBERS only area", for the association was removed because the association did not want to work with the webmaster of this site to keep it's members safe from predators.





It is illegal to copy or use our web site, trade marked/copyrighted text and/or images without permission. Such acts may be reported to the proper authorities.
Such acts could result in a copyright infringement lawsuit in accordance with the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Copyright 1995 - 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


October 10, 2012