VMO-2

HOK assigned to VMO-2  - a historical overview

 

 

MARINES     VMO-2

 May 1956 - May 1965       
MAG 16 , 3rd     Marine Division

Camp Sukiron , Okinawa , Japan                 May 1956 - Oct 1960

MCAF Futema , Okinawa , Japan                 Oct 1960 - May 1965

MARINES  Sub-Unit 1 , VMO-2

MAG 11     NAS Atsugi , Japan                      Sep 1960 - May 1965

May 1956 

From "Rotor & Wing International" - April 1989 - page 16 – Letter from Mr. James M. Middleton : 

I was on active duty as a Marine Corps officer and pilot from November 1954 to May 1957, and in the Reserve until 1962. To support the following facts, my flight log shows flights of HOK-1s in September 1955 at Patuxent River NATC and May 1956 at Okinawa.

On May 23, 1956, VMO-2 received eight HOK-1 's at Naha, Okinawa. The machines were offloaded from a freighter to the wharf where rotor blades were installed . The machines were flown  by Kaman test pilot Pete Russell and VMO-2 pilots to the VMO-2 base at Sukiron for inspection and test flights.

According to the Individual Aircraft History Cards, the following 9 aircraft were assigned to VMO-2 Sukiron as of 10 May 1956 : 129817, 129818, 129819, 129824, 129826, 129827, 129829, 129830, 129831

1958 TDY Cubi Point, Philippines  Mar-Dec 1958
1960 From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Nov 1960 - page 18 : TDY training exercise to Philippines 
Sep 1960

From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , May 1961 - page 19 :  Helicopters of Sub-Unit 1, VMO-2     at Atsugi.
Sub Unit One of MAG-16     VMO-2     originated Sept. 1960, and was placed under operational control of MAG-11. The sub unit operated with two HOKs and three pilots

1962 From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , June 1962 - page 16 :  VMO-2, MAG 16, MCAF     Okinawa     -     HOK-1's     attached to VMO-2 land on the carrier USS Princeton during maneuvers in the Western Pacific.
1962

From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Oct 1962 - page 3-6 : The squadron calls MCAF Futema, Oki­nawa, home, but Sub-units of the squadron are likely to be found scattered throughout the Far East. In order to carry out all of these varied missions, the squadron employs the Kaman HOK-1 and Cessna OE-1 type aircraft .
The squadron was in the Philippines partici­pating in "Operation Tulungan. "
The squadron had aircraft oper­ating in Japan, on the LPH Princeton, NAS Sangley point, and two locations on Mindoro Island, Philippines. Also, during this maneuver the entire squadron, including all personnel, equipment, and aircraft, were moved from the aircraft carrier to shore and back again, three separate times.
The nine HOK's participating in this ma­neuver logged 428 hours in 13 flying days. 
Whenever aircraft are transferred to Japan, Korea, Philippines, or other areas in the Far East, they usually are dis­assembled and airlifted by Marine GV's or Air Force Globemasters, then reassembled on location. During the past ten months the HOK's were disassembled and reassembled 21 times and the OE's ten times.

1963 From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Apr 1963 - page 6 :  An OH-43D (HOK-1) attached to VMO-2's Sub Unit One based at NAS Atsugi, Japan, recently logged its 2, 000th accident-free flight hour to become the third helicopter of this type to obtain such a goal. This is the second time that VMO-2, which is stationed on Okinawa, has surpassed the 2, 000th accident-free hour with an OH-43D-the first was in April, 1962. VMO-6, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. , first set the record in March, 1962.
28 May - 13 June 1964 "Operation Ligtas" , SEATO  exercise -  more information here : TDY to Island Mindoro , Philippines   
ca. May 1964

From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Jun-Jul 1964 - page 6 :                           "2,500 Hours"      BuNo. 129817
Congratulations were in order at VMO-2, MCAF Futema, Okinawa, when this OH-43D set down. It was the squadron's fourth helicopter of this type to pass the impressive 2500-hour flight mark. Shown after the landing are, left to right, WO H. L. Ritter, maintenance officer; LtCol  J. L. Freitas, command­ing officer ; Cpl D. L. Curtis, crew chief ; and GySgt E. G. Stover, maintenance control chief. Like the men of VMO-2, the OH-43D's have really "been around. " This helicopter accumulated the 2500 hours while flying in the United States, Okinawa, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Korea. (USMC photo by Sgt George Franco)

129817 VMO2 Futema 1964 RTipsJun64.JPG

1964

From :  "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Aug 1964 - page 20 :                             "Marine Mercy Mission"
Capt George E. Pratt, USMC, of VMO-2, MCAF, Futema, Okinawa, was awarded a Scroll of Honor re­cently for the night helicopter evacu­ation of a seriously injured civilian from the jungle on Mindoro Island , PI. 
Darkness was fast approaching when Captain Pratt, in an OH-43D, heard a call on Guard channel from a forward air controller on the ground. A civilian had a badly lac­erated leg and needed immediate medical attention. The captain pro­ceeded to the area and was vectored into the landing zone by the lights of a jeep. The trees in the area were from 100 to 150 feet high but, with radio help from the ground, he was able to land and evacuate the injured man to a field hospital.

19 Oct 1964

From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Dec 1964- Jan 1965 - page 5  :  

129829 VS9 Futema 19Oct64 RTipsDec64 p5 1.JPG

"VMO-2's Flyingest Helicopter Retires"                                                 VS 9  -   BuNo. 129829
MCAF FUTEMA, OKINAWA, Office of Information - One of the "flyingest" helicopters west of the In­ternational ternational Dateline and east of San Diego set a milestone in Marine Corps helicopter aviation recently at Futema, Okinawa. 
On 19 October, 1964, "Old Num­ber Nine, " an OH-43D (HOK-1) manufactured by the Kaman Air­craft, Corp., completed 3000 flight hours and nine years of active ser­vice with Marine Observation Squad­ron Two stationed at Futema. It also rounded out 180, 000 accident and incident-free air miles in end­ing its service career. LtCol J. L. Freitas, Jr., commanding officer of VMO-2, was at the controls for the historic flight; Mr. William Murray, KAC vice president, was copilot. 
VMO-2, one of the squadrons making up Marine Aircraft Group 16 stationed at Okinawa,       accepted Number Nine in April of 1956. Since that time squadron pilots have tested Nine's worth in training missions as a part of the Marine Corps' Force in Readiness in such locations as Formosa, Korea, Japan and the Philippines. Marine observers have used the aircraft to perform land and carrier-based operations in­volving reconnaissance, naval gun­fire spotting, artillery spotting, photo reconnaissance and the direc­tion of close air support attack air­craft. When not flying tactically, the marines have flown Number Nine on routine training flights, search and rescue assignments, and for emergency evacuation of sick, wounded or injured marines of the 3rd Marine Division, also stationed at Okinawa.

The nine years and 180, 000 air miles of accident/incident free fly­ing for Number Nine is mute testi­mony to the outstanding mainte­nance and repairs Nine has received at the hands of VMO-2 mechanics electricians, metalsmiths and plane captains. In fact, the mechs and the plane captains have kept the 'chopper' in the same state of com­bat readiness as when it first joined the Corps. VMO-2 will be receiv­ing anew jet helicopter soon, but 'Old Number Nine' goes into retire­ment as a tough, dependable, proven veteran, ready for recall should the need arise.
Photo-caption: 
HISTORIC FLIGHT -Shown after OH-43D's 3000th landing are, left to right, Col Robert A. Merchant, commanding officer of MAG-16; LtCol Joseph L. Freitas, Jr., commanding officer of VMO-2; LCpI G. F. Brickey, crew chief; William R. Murray, KAC vice president - Test Operations and Customer Service; Donald R. Tancredi, KAC service representative. (USMC photo)

129829 VS9 Futema 19Oct64 RTipsDec64 p5 2.JPG

May 1965

From "Kaman Rotor Tips" , Aug-Sep-1965  - page 15  :                    "Veteran OH-43D Retires"            
Jack King, technical representative for KAC, says "sayonara" to 1stLt Don W. Cantrell, OIC of VMO-2's Sub Unit 1 as the pilot and his copilot, 1stLt Wayne W. Crews, prepare their unit's OH-43D Syncropter for its final flight to Kisarazu where it will be phased out of the Naval-Marine service. The VMO-2 Sub Unit is the last Navy organization to utilize the services of the piston-driven helo. Since 1958 the unit has supported Marines attached to Camp Fuji, located at the base of Mt Fujiyama. King was at Naha air station in 1956 when the first OH-43D was unloaded. (Official USN photo)

OH43D VS12 KamanRTips Aug Sept 65 p15

Assigned     aircraft :

129817  10 May 1956  -  14 Oct 1964   O&R North Island, storage

129818  10 May 1956  -  20 May 1964   O&R North Island, storage

129819  10 May 1956  -  17 Aug 1956  w/o , SOC

129824  10 May 1956  -  23 Jul 1963   w/o , SOC

129826  10 May 1956  -  22 Jul 1959   w/o , SOC

129827  10 May 1956  -  14 Oct 1964   O&R North Island, storage        :    "VS 8"       Korea  1960

129829  10 May 1956  -  18 Mar 1965   O&R North Island, storage        :    "VS 9"       Oct 1964

129830  10 May 1956  -  18 Mar 1965   O&R North Island, storage

129831  10 May 1956  -  23 Jun 1962   w/o , SOC 

139983  17 Feb 1958  -  11 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage        :     "VS 1"       Japan  1960    (storage Oct73  VS-11  ??)

139984  17 Feb 1958  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage        :      "VS 10"     Philippines  Jun 1964

139985  17 Feb 1958  -  22 Sep 1959  w/o , SOC

139986  17 Feb 1958  -  01 Mar 1963  w/o , SOC 

139987  17 Feb 1958  -  11 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage

129805  09 Aug 1959  -  13 Oct 1964   O&R North Island, storage       :      "VS 5"      storage Oct73

129815  05 Jan 1960  -  06 Feb 1964   O&R North Island, storage  

139990  05 Jan 1960  -  17 Jun 1965   O&R North Island, storage       :      "VS 4"       Okinawa   (KamanRT Feb 1963)

139991  13 Nov 1963  -  17 Jun 1965   O&R North Island, storage

139988  27 Jan 1964  -  17 Jun 1965   O&R North Island, storage        :      "VS 14"     Japan     May 1964   (storage Oct73)

129802  01 Apr 1964  -  14 Oct 1964   O&R North Island, storage

129804  02 Sep 1964  -  18 Mar 1965   O&R North Island, storage        :      "VS 5"      storage Oct73   (see remark below)

125528  22 Sep 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage

129828  22 Sep 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage 

129837  22 Sep 1964  -  11 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage 

138101  22 Sep 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage 

139971  22 Sep 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage 

139989  22 Sep 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage 

Also three UH-43C  (HUK-1) aircraft were once assigned to VMO-2 :

146306  27 Jan 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage

146314  16 Jan 1964  -  06 Apr 1964   damaged, w/o, SOC

146316  24 Mar 1964  -  24 May 1965   O&R North Island, storage 

photo     139983      "VS 1"       Japan  1960    (storage Oct73  VS 11  ??)

photo     ....            "VS 3"       Sub Unit 1, VMO-2     Early 1964

photo     139990      "VS 4"       Okinawa         (KamanRotorTips     Feb 1963-p.6) with     "VS 1"     and     "VS 6"

             129805      "VS 5"      storage Oct73

             129804      "VS 5"      storage Oct73   (129805 VS 5 left VMO-2 when 129804 arrived at Futema)

photo     129827      "VS 8"       Korea  1960     ,   storage Oct73
photo     129829      "VS 9"       Oct 1964
photo     139984      "VS 10"     Philippines  Jun 1964,     with "VS 5", "VS 6" and "VS 11"

photo     ....            "VS 12"     Sub Unit 1, VMO-2       1965  
photo     139988       "VS 14"     Japan     May 1964   ,  storage Oct73

  

 

 

 

 

139983 VS1 FuchuAB Jun60 coll NETaylor

HOK-1  139983  VS 1  VMO-2   , at Fuchu AB  June 1960 -

coll.  N.E. Taylor

 

 

 

last update 16/12/2016