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 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.

This site is not owned by the Aerial Rocket Artillery Association.
If you want any information on or about the association go to the Aerial Rocket Artillery Association website

The owner of this site wishes to thank everyone for their support of the original Aerial Rocket Artillery Association.

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.

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.

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

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

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 and was sent to Fort Drum, NY

On a trip to Hunter in April 2016, I learned that Blue Max C Company 1-10 was re-flagged Blue Max C Company 1-229. 1-10 was deployed and Blue Max C 1-229 will move to Fort Lewis Washington. Further updates as we get them on this unit.

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: This Blue Max unit has been reflagged C 1-10 and will station out of Fort Lewis Washington.

The second unit that was carrying the name Blue Max name was B/ 3-101 based at Fort Campbell, KY.

On a trip to Hunter in April 2016 to be the guest speaker for the 603 Aviation Support Battalion Workhorse Ball, I learned that B/ 3-101 that was based at Fort Campbell, KY is been debanded leaving the only Blue Max unit 1-229.

Russ Warriner
Association Founder

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April 26,2016