US Army trials of the Bell 204 helicopter in 1955 lead to the development of the HU-1. Because of the initial designation the nickname Huey came about. It was soon realized that the HU-1 didn’t have the lifting power for heavy loads or room for enough troops so it was given a larger cabin, larger engine, a modified main rotor along with a few other improvements and was re-designated the UH-1B. Later versions of the UH-1B received a more powerful engine. There were 1,010 “B” variants delivered to the US Army.
Iroquois 582081 was manufactured as a UH-1A at the Bell Helicopter Fort Worth, Texas facility and was delivered to the U.S. Army in 1962. The 57th Medical Detachment was the first helicopter medical evacuation unit in Vietnam arriving April 1962 and assumed the name “The Originals”. 58-2093 was assigned to the 57th MD. In September 1962 the UH-1A was re-designated UH-1B. The unit call sign was “Dust Off” and breaking with the usual procedures that changed the calls sign periodically the 57th was permitted to make it their permanent call sign.
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