(Login BruceArcher) HyperScale Forums from IP address 220.127.116.11
I was watching a show on the fire aboard the Enterprise in 1969, and there were several scenes with a grey Sea King with US Air Force titling. So does anyone know about the USAF usage of the Sea King?
The illustration does not look like the Sea King i the program. It was a lighter grey, and it had "US Air Force" on the tail boom.
You could see the Enterprise's deck number when the Sea King landed for medivac. So they were in Hawaii.
. . . what you saw was a CH-3 in gray (or aluminum) paint, not in the "jolly green giant" camouflage that battle-zone ships had. It's the cargo-ramp version of the H-3, while the Sea King is the boat-tail version.
Grant Matsuoka (Login gmat5037) HyperScale Forums 18.104.22.168
Darren's right 6593rd Test Squadron, 6594th Test Group
July 23 2012, 12:50 AM
Darren's right. The CH-3Bs were assigned to the 6593rd Test Squadron, 6594th Test Group.
After 1972, when the 6593rd was deactivated, the 6594th took sole control over all of the aerial recovery operations and became a unique flying group with no subordinate flying squadron.
Note: 3 CH-21Bs [Air Recovery Section (helicopter) 6593rd TS] were tasked with supporting the recovery mission from Oct. 1961. They were replaced with 3 CH-3As from Dec. 1963. All were land based. USN CH-34s were ship-based (USNS Sunnyvale and USNS Longview, USN manned, USAF controlled) to support recovery operations. They were replaced with 3 CH-3Bs plus the original CH-3As converted to CH-3B standard in 1 Feb. 1965. The recovery ships were also acquired by the Western Test Range and placed under control of the Test Recovery Group. In 1973/74, the CH-3Bs and ships were replaced with 6 'Salty Rooster' HH-53Cs.
According to Joe Baugher's website those three VH-3As (originally designated HSS-2Z) were operated in Army markings, while the others wore the Marines' markings. Oddly enough, even the Army-assigned VH-3s wore Navy bureau numbers. I can definitely confirm 150611 wore Army markings because it's the VH-3 that took President Johnson from Andrews AFB to the White House the night of Nov. 22, 1963; as a result you see it a lot in photos and footage from Johnson's brief address that night at Andrews, and in some photos you can make out that number. 150611, incidentally, is now at the Reagan Library parked next to SAM 27000. 150617 is at the Nixon Library and Museum, and it's famous for being the VH-3 that Nixon left the White House aboard on August 9, 1974.
Sometime during the Johnson administration the VH-3As shifted to the first iteration of the VH-3 markings still used today, with "United States of America" on the aft fuselage instead of the specific service markings. IIRC, the Army bowed out in 1976 and the Presidential VH-3s became the province of the Marine Corps.
To bring this back to models, I have a Hasegawa SH-3 squirreled away for conversion to a VH-3A in the original Army markings, with the Military District of Washington insignia and everything else. It's something you don't see ever day, that's for sure!
The professor of my rotary wing engineering class used to fly CH-3B's at Kwajalien in the late '60's
Used to recover Minuteman dummy MERV warheads after splashdown following launch from Vandenberg. Never asked, but assume he was with the 6593rd at the time. He had a lot of great stories, including flying with the 20th SOS "Pony Express" in Cambodia.
He used to pull a lot of the performance problems we worked in class from the CH-3B -1!
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