A Marine Helicopter Squadron in Vietnam 1965-1968

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CPL John A Streeter

HMM-363 1967

History information for HMM-363           

HMM-363 was a US Marine Corps unit
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps

 

Date: 650901 Event or source: unit arrival

Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Ky Ha
Description: MAG-36 departed from Santa Ana via Long Beach Naval Yard on 11 Aug to Vietnam on the USS Princeton (LPH-5) with three UH-34D squadrons (HMM-363), one squadron (VMO- ) of UH-1Es, and a detachment of six CH-37Cs. MAG-36 was off-loaded in an undeveloped area just north of Chu Lai and began building the Ky Ha helicopter base. These deployments were completed about the end of the month.
Comments: COL Johnson William G.; CO;

The source for this information was M&H, 1962-1973 P. 186


Date: 650902 Event or source: construction of Ky Ha helicopter base

Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Ky Ha
Description: MAG-36 established its headquarters at the Ky Ha helicopter facility still under construction north of Chu Lai. The entire MAG had just arrived in Vietnam. When they arrived the helipad was fully graded and about one-third of matting laid. Their squadrons stayed at Da Nang temporarily. By the end of the month, HMM-362, HMM-364, VMO-6, H&MS-36, and MABS-36 had relocated to Ky Ha. Only HMM-363 was based on Qui Nhon temporarily.
Comments: COL Johnson, William G.; MAG CO; ;

The source for this information was M&H, 1962-1973 P. 186; USMC H 1965 P: 149


Date: 650905 Event or source: unit relocation

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Da Nang
Description: HMM-363, of MAG-36, relocated from Ky Ha to Da Nang.
Comments: COL Johnson William G.; CO;

The source for this information was VHPA Member Dick Clifton to MGL


Date: 650928 Event or source: unit relocation

Binh Dinh Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Qui Nhon
Description: HMM-363, of MAG-36, relocated from Da Nang to Qui Nhon after being in Da Nang for a few weeks. They would provide troop/cargo transport and medevac support for various Army units and the Korean units as they arrived.
Comments: COL Johnson William G.; CO;

The source for this information was VHPA Member Dick Clifton to MGL


Date: 651101 Event or source: unit history Operation QUYET THANG 172

Phu Yen Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Tuy Hoa
Description: The A Company, 1st Aviation Battalion unit history states that between major missions in the Plei Me, Ia Drang operations, the 52d Aviation Battalion supported Operation QUYET THANG 172 at Tuy Hoa with Company A, the 119th Aviation, and the Marine Helicopter Squadron from Qui Nhon. (Editor's note: HMM-363) This operation supported the 22d ARVN Inf Div to again secure the rice rich Tuy Hoa Valley. A total of 720 troops were moved in three lifts, under low ceilings and with poor visibility. The USAF provided a 45 minutes prestrike on the LZ. One UH-1B was struck by ground fire but recovered to the stage field with no further incident.

The source for this information was STAGECOACH, History of the 155th AML by CPT John A. Geurin


Date: 660119 Event or source: operation report Operation VAN BUREN

South Vietnam
Description: As part of operation VAN BUREN, HMM-363 lifted a recently arrived USA 1st Bde, 101st Abn Div infantry battalion from Tuy Hoa to their operational area southwest at CQ0542.

The source for this information was Rand, AAR dated 23 Mar 1966, SUITLAND


Date: 660203 Event or source: unit history Operation DOUBLE EAGLE

Quang Ngai Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Description: In support of DOUBLE EAGLE, MAG-36 reported at 0630H two UH-34D's from HMM-363 escorted by two VMO-6 UH-1E's inserted a recon team at BS808272. At 090H one UH-34D from HMM-364 escorted by two Army UH-1B's inserted a five man recon team at BS635408 and retracted a four man team from the same zone. At 1230H twenty seven UH-34D's escorted by two Army UH-1B's lifted 499 troops of 2/4(-) from BS795325 to BS828277. VMO-6 acted as TAC(A) mission controlling A-4 and F-4 aircraft on LZ prep. At 1530H forty UH-34D's escorted by two UH-1E's lifted 500 troops of BLT 2/3(-) from BS719425 to BS921267. Again VMO-6 acted as TAC(A) for LZ prep. At 1730H twenty UH-34D's with two UH-1E' as escort lifted an additional 225 from BS636449 to the BSA at BS834420.

The source for this information was HQ MAG-36 Combat After Action Rpt 20 Mar 66


Date: 660304 Event or source: operation report

South Vietnam
Description: The initial LZ for operation UTAH was on Route 527, about seven miles east of Route 1 and in the center of a five village complex named Chau Nhai. Despite a good prep from USAF and USMC jets, the first landing at 0900 was met with 12.7mm fire. Within 10 minutes, all four armed VMO-6 UH-1Es were hit and one shot down. This crew was evacuated. Ten of 20 UH-34s from HMM-261 and HMM-364 were hit. MAG-36 grabbed 16 UH-34s from HMM-363 and by 1030 the ARVN battalion was in the zone. Reinforced by a squadron from MAG-16, three Marine companies were inserted by 1300. Several UH-34s were hit and one crashed in the LZ.
Comments: MAJ Needham, Michael J.; flight leader HMM-364; ; COL Johnson, William G.; CO MAG-36; ; LTC Zitnik, Robert J.; CO VMO-6; ;

The source for this information was USMC History 1966, P 109


Date: 660304 Event or source: operation report

South Vietnam
Description: During the afternoon, infantry from the 7th Marines made heavy contact with two NVA battalions. The fighting was very intense for the rest of that day and night. Numerous resupply and medevac missions were flown by HMM-261, HMM-363, and HMM-364 escorted by VMO-6 gunships. The NVA were expecially active when a helicopter arrived to support one of the ground units.


Date: 660308 Event or source: unit relocation

Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Ky Ha
Description: HMM-363, of MAG-36, relocated from Qui Nhon to Ky Ha after serving in Qui Nhon since late September, 1965.
Comments: COL Johnson William G.; CO;

The source for this information was VHPA Member Dick Clifton to MGL


Date: 660321 Event or source: operation report Operation TEXAS

South Vietnam
Description: In support of operation TEXAS, MAG-36 helicopters inserted a Marine battalion near Phuong Dinh (2). As the infantry moved out, one VMO-6 pilot reported: "My God. I can't believe it! They're erupting from the ground! There are hundreds of them." A second battalion was inserted to the south near Xuan Hoa (1) in an LZ situated at the foot of a low-lying hill and in an area that had been "neutralized" with artillery and air. One HMM-363 helicopter was hit with large mm machine gun fire and crashed killing all ten Marines onboard (see 1LT Kraft).

The source for this information was USMC History 1996, P 123


Date: 660704 Event or source: SLF unit replacement

South Vietnam
Description: HMM-363 departed Vietnam to replace HMM-364 as the SLF helicopter squadron on the USS Princeton. HMM-364 returned to Vietnam after serving with the SLF since 9 Apr 1966.
Comments: LTC McGough, James D.; CO HMM-363; ; LTC Somerville; CO HMM-364; ;

The source for this information was 1966 USMC history P 303


Date: 660716 Event or source: operation DECKHOUSE II Operation DECKHOUSE II

Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam
Description: Operation DECKHOUSE II consisted of the SLF landing two of its BLT companies in an amphibious assault eight nights northeast of Dong Ha. HMM-363 lifted another company 3,500 meters inland from the landing beach. Once the SLF had established a firm foothold ashore, the operation was terminated and the BLT joined the Marine Task Force Delta in support of operation HASTINGS. The SLT naval and helicopter support thus joined HASTINGS as well. HMM-363 came ashore and joined MAG-16's forward headquarters at Dong Ha.

The source for this information was USMC H 1966, P 163


Date: 660904 Event or source: operation report Operation SWIFT

South Vietnam
Description: The NVA started the first major action for operation SWIFT when they attacked a USMC infantry Co at 0430. When UH-1Es arrived to help them, the Marines marked their positions with strobes and the NVA adjusted the fires accordingly. The NVA infiltrated inside the perimeter and the Co CO was killed while driving them out. Very close air strikes ended this phase of the battle. When a second infantry Co joined the first, another NVA force attacked. VMO-2 aircraft dropped tear gas and the NVA broke contact and lost 26 KIAs as they withdrew. Both sides reorganized and as HMM-363 lifted in a third Co, two of their UH-34s were shot up and one shot down with one VMO-2 UH-1E. The "Deadlock" gunship crew took their weapons off the aircraft, changed their call sign to "Deadlock on the deck" and continued calling in air strikes and supporting the infantry. Two more infantry Cos were inserted 4Ks ENE from the battle at noon. By mid-afternoon they had linked up. More tear gas and a heavy NVA mortar attack plus a score of air strikes took place that afternoon. USMC SGT Lawrence D. Peters and USN Chaplain LT Vincent R. Capadonno both posthumously received the Medal of Honor in the evening's fighting. Covered by artillery, HMM-363 was able to successfully conduct a resupply and evacuation. The NVA withdrew that night and the next day's sweep reported 130 NVA dead and 37 weapons captured. The Marines lost 54 KIA and 104 WIA.
Comments: MAJ Ross, David L.; VMO-2; ; LTC Lewis, Robert; CO HMM-363; ;

The source for this information was USMC H P 113


Date: 660928 Event or source: unit arrival

South Vietnam
Description: HMM-363 returned to Vietnam. Previously they had departed Vietnam on 4 Jul 1966.

The source for this information was 1966 USMC history


Date: 670216 Event or source: operation DECKHOUSE VI Operation DECKHOUSE VI

South Vietnam
Description: Operation DECKHOUSE VI was conducted by the SLF in two phases in the southern Quang Ngai Province and augmented DESOTO. HMM-363 from the USS Iwo Jima supported the operation.
Comments: LTC Huntington, Kenneth E.; CO HMM-363; ;

The source for this information was USMC 1967 History, P 153


Date: 670225 Event or source: change of command

South Vietnam
Description: During a troop lift in support operation DECKHOUSE VI, LTC Huntington and his copilot were wounded and the squadron XO, MAJ Day assumed command. A few days later Day was promoted to LTC and continued as commander.
Comments: LTC Huntington, Kenneth E.; former CO; ; MAJ Day, Marvin E.; new CO; ;

The source for this information was USMC 1967 H P 153


Date: 670227 Event or source: operation report Operation DECKHOUSE VI

South Vietnam
Description: Phase II of operation DECKHOUSE VI began when HMM-363 air assaulted the SLF into LZ Bat about five miles inland. Eight of the 14 UH-34Ds in the initial assault were hit by enemy fire and six were put out of action. When the Marines responded with air strikes and naval gun fire, the enemy withdrew.

The source for this information was USMC 1967 History, P 154


Date: 680101 Event or source: UNIT LOCATION

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain


Date: 680131 Event or source: Tet-68 at Marble Mountain

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain Air Facility
Description: The MAG-16 command chronology reported that at 0338H Marble Mountain Air Facility (MMAF) received 29 incoming enemy 122mm rockets resulting in one minor injury to MAG-16 personnel (LCpl R.C. Cremer) and the following damage: 1 CH-53A, substantial damage; 4 CH-53As, limited damage; 10 CH-46A, limited damage; 8 UH-34D, limited damage. Four VMO-2 UH-1E armed helicopters were launched in defense of MMAF and engaged enemy units.
Comments: LCP Cremer, R.C.; MAG-16; WIA;

The source for this information was MAG-16 Command Chronology 1-31 Jan


Date: 680201 Event or source: unit history

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain
Description: The MAG-16 command chronology reported operations in the Chu Lai area were normal. In the Da Nang TAOR the following aircraft were hit by enemy fire: One HMM-265 CH-46A hit at AT045515, no injuries; one HMM-265 CH-46A was shot down by a rocket at AT854676 resulting in minor injuries to crew but fatal injury to one passenger and major injuries to two passengers; one VMO-2 aircraft hit, coord. unknown, no injuries; three HMM-363 aircraft wer hit, one at BT080510 resulting in major injuries to crew chief, one at BT080510, no injuries, and one at BT046513, no injuries. MAG-16 units conducted an emergency extraction of recon team "Dublin City" at AT8576.

The source for this information was MAG-16 Command Chronology 1-29 Feb


Date: 680205 Event or source: unit history

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain
Description: The MAG-16 command chronology reported operations in the Chu Lai area were normal. In the Da Nang TAOR one HMM-363 UH-34D was hit BT055659, no injuries.

The source for this information was MAG-16 Command Chronology 1-29 Feb


Date: 680206 Event or source: unit history

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain
Description: The MAG-16 command chronology reported operations in the Chu Lai area were normal. In the Da Nang TAOR the following aircraft were hit by enemy fire: two VMO-2 UH-1Es, one at AT941672, no injuries, and one at AT9666, no injuries; two HMM-363 UH-34Ds, one at AT945667, resulting in minor injury to corpsman, one at BT027668, no injuries; four HMM-265 CH-46As, one at AT954673, no injuries, one at BT014630, no injuries, one at BT975582, no injuries, and one at BT1161, no injuries.

The source for this information was MAG-16 Command Chronology 1-29 Feb


Date: 680208 Event or source: unit history

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain
Description: The MAG-16 command chronology reported operations in the Chu Lai area were normal. In the Da Nang TAOR one VMO-2 UH-1E was hit at BT022689, no injuries; one HMM-363 UH-34D was hit at BT023712, no injuries; one HMM-265 CH-46A was hit at BT028703, no injuries; and in the Khe Sanh area one HMH-463 CH-53A was hit at XD979429, no injuries. In the Phu Bai TAOR, one H&MS O-1C was hit at YD742205 resulting in one minor injury.

The source for this information was MAG-16 Command Chronology 1-29 Feb


Date: 680210 Event or source: unit history

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Marble Mountain
Description: The MAG-16 command chronology reported operations in all TAORs were normal. HMM-363 chopped to OPCON of CTG 79.4 and HMM-361 chopped to OPCON 1st MAW.

The source for this information was MAG-16 Command Chronology 1-29 Feb


Date: 680210 Event or source: SLF unit replacement

South Vietnam
Location, SLF Alpha
Description: HMM-361, commanded by LTC Wilson, returned to Vietnam after serving with the SLF Bravo since ????? 67 and was assigned to MAG-16. HMM-363, commanded by LTC Allgood, detached from MAG-16 in Vietnam to be the SLF's helicopter squadron.
Comments: LTC Romine, Richard E.; CO - HMM-165; ; LTC Rick, Robert F.; CO - HMM-164; ;

The source for this information was USMC 1968 H


Date: 680211 Event or source: Pacific Stars and Stripes

Quang Nam Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Da Nang
Description: Sunday 11Feb68-No Time To Wait For Cap Da NANG (OSI) - "If you find my cap and lighter, bring them back to me, will you?" The request from 1st Lt. Frank C. Wickersham III was passed to maintenance crews sent to recover his UH-34D helicopter which had been shot down. Wickersham had been flying copilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Sq. 363 on a medevac mission. When an emergency mission was called into the "Lucky Red Lion" ready room he scrambled with his crew and headed south toward An Hoa. "We took two rounds in the engine compartment," Wickersham said. "We lost power and couldn't take off." As the pilot and co-pilot were securing the helicopter and shutting down power, another round crashed through the plexiglass and clipped Wickersham's chin. "I got out of there as fast as I could and I guess during the rapid exit, I left my cap and lighter behind," he said. Two hours later, the crew was picked up by another medevac chopper.
Comments: 1LT Wickersham, Frank C. III; pilot; ;

The source for this information was paper source documents supplied by Les Hines


Date: 680325 Event or source: change of command

South Vietnam
Location, SLF Alpha
Comments: LTC Allgood, Frankie E.; former CO; ; MAJ Hoffert, Duwayne W.; new CO; ;

The source for this information was USMC HIST 1968


Date: 680414 Event or source: SLF unit replacement

South Vietnam
Location, SLF Alpha
Description: HMM-363, commanded by MAJ Hoffert, returned to Vietnam after serving with the SLF Bravo since 10 Feb 68 and was assigned to MAG-36. HMM-362, commanded by MAJ Harrison, detached from MAG-36 in Vietnam to be the SLF's helicopter squadron.
Comments: MAJ Shaver, Walter H.; CO - HMM-362; ; MAJ Hoffert, Duwayne W.; CO - HMM-363; ;

The source for this information was USMC 1968 H


Date: 680822 Event or source: change of command

Thua Thien Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Phu Bai
Comments: MAJ Harrison, James L.; new CO; ; MAJ Hoffert, Duwayne W.; former CO; ;

The source for this information was USMC HIST 1968


Date: 680906 Event or source: SLF unit replacement

South Vietnam
Location, SLF Alpha
Description: HMM-362, commanded by MAJ Shaver, returned to Vietnam after serving with the SLF Bravo since 14 Apr 68 and was assigned to MAG-16. HMM-363, commanded by MAJ Harrison, detached from MAG-36 in Vietnam to be the SLF's helicopter squadron.
Comments: MAJ Shaver, Walter H.; CO - HMM-362; ; MAJ Harrison, James L.; CO - HMM-363; ;

The source for this information was USMC 1968 H


Date: 681130 Event or source: change of command

South Vietnam
Location, SLF Alpha
Comments: MAJ Harrison, James L.; former CO; ; MAJ Cronin, Timothy J. Jr.; new CO; ;

The source for this information was USMC HIST 1968


Date: 681208 Event or source: SLF unit replacement

South Vietnam
Location, SLF Alpha
Description: HMM-362, commanded by MAJ Shaver, returned to Vietnam after serving with the SLF Bravo since 14 Apr 68 and was assigned to MAG-16. HMM-363, commanded by MAJ Harrison, detached from MAG-36 in Vietnam to be the SLF's helicopter squadron.
Comments: LTC Schlarp, Jack E.; CO - HMM-362; ; MAJ Cronin, Timothy J. Jr.; CO - HMM-363;


 

HMM-363 2003 - 2011