First HH-3C/E Helicopters in the SEA Theater
In August 1965 Major Baylor Haynes gathered his crews of the newly built HH-3s (which were built especially for Combat Rescue) at Stead AFB Nevada. Under code name “Limelight 36” Haynes, a rescue veteran of Korea, led his men as they plunged into their orientation and training program.
After completion of orientation in September, they took leave and reported to Udorn in October. On November 3rd, a pair of HH-3Cs arrived at Bien Hoa AB in a special rush delivery by C-133 transport. (Note: Apparently they were HH-3Cs as a result of the –5 engines that were contractor (GE) provided and had not been tested and approved by Edwards AFB).
Major Haynes and a select crew reassembled and then tested the choppers over the South China Sea before flying them to Udorn on November 10th.
The first HH-3Es arrived by C-133 at Udorn in early 1966.
By the end of December 1966 there were six HH-3s operating out of Udorn in addition to the one remaining CH-3C.
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