View Full Version : Hmm-561
I got a request for a HMM-561 patch from a guy that claims his older brother served in Vietnam with HMM-561. He sent me a picture it has chess knights head with lightning bolds, and it has HMM-561 on the lower banner. I know there is no 561 on the order of battle 1962-1975. Can anyone help me with any information about this squadron, I cannot find anything about this unit.
HMM-561 provided refresher training for UH-34 crews deploying to Vietnam. It was the last operational UH-34 squadron in the Fleet Marine Force.
Activated January 1967 at Santa Ana, Califorrnia, as Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 561, and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 56, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
Deactivated 27 October 1969
When HMMT-301 Turned into HMHT-301 at MCAF Santa Ana in around Mid to late 1968. The 34's became HMM-561 at Santa Ana. The Marine Air Group was MAG-56 because MAG-16 was serving in Vietnam. The Squadron disbanded in late 1969 and it"s members were either absorbed into the 46 or 53 or H-1 community. Many recieved orders to the MARTD of their choice.
I remember in August 1969 (I was with HMM-363) HMM-561 was scheduled to be disbanded in the October time frame.
One of our members and one of my good friens, Darrell Tygart crewed one of their last flights out of LTA in October '69, possibly the last one. He may have something to add.
I crewed one of the last H34's out of Santa Ana there was a flight of 4 headed east, we split up in El Paso Tx and I went to New Orleans and we left them with Gy Conard, who was NCOIC of HMM 767 maint. section, he relieved me in 1967 when I went back to nam. The bulk of the squadron reformed HMM 161 when 561 broke up, we got the H46's off ship from nam. pmayn
HMM-561 activated 31 Jan 1967 at Santa Ana. It remained in cadre status until 8 May 1968 when it officially stood up. Until deactivation 27 Aug 1969, it provided refresher training for UH-34D pilots and crews headed for WestPac. It was also the last FMF UH-34D squadron in service.
When I re-joined HMM-265 Nov 69 at LTA, after leaving the squadron in Oct 69 aboard the Iwo Jima, most of the personnel were from 301. A bunch of people with no helicopters. Eventually filled out the squadron with CH-46s from overhaul.
That's the patch displayed. I joined HMM561 in March of 69 and left in September. There were a bunch of us that came in, in early 69 from Memphis/Millington. I believe most of that group were given the choice of MARTD's to go to. Five of us went to Glenview, and from there were sent to Vietnam or waited out our tours. If you make the patch I'll get one or two. I've out grown my old jacket and misplaced all my patches. By the way, George Curtis was my crewchief on the VX1. He was there for a short time and went back to Vietnam. I do that to people. George was a great guy. Semper Fi
Darrell added in a conversation to me that they were flying drug interdiction flights out of Yuma as some of the very last flight before taking the birds to reserve bases or Davis-Monthan. Still trying to get him to post on it. He's been very busy with job stuff.
I was the Comptroller at MCAF Santa Ana from "Feb 67-Oct 69 and flew with
HMT-301 until they transferred the H-34's to HMM 561. Then I flew with 561 until I left in October 69 to go back to Viet Nam, as did every '34 driver in the 3rd. Wing. If Allyn gets a 561 patch, I would like to have a couple to add to my 61 Collection. I was assigned to, or flew with 161, 261, 361, Commanded 461, and flew with 561.
We now have HMM-561 patches in stock. It will be a few weeks before they are posted on the FREEDOM HILL PX: SQUADRON PATCHES.
I was asked a few years back to research HMM-561 aircraft. So far, this is all I have come up with:
145777 VX- w/o 12 Dec 68 (damaged 26 Nov 68)
Can anyone come up with more BuNos or side numbers?
HMM-561 also had the following UH-34D's
148082, 148767, 148770, 148784, 148789, 149369, 150242, 150724, 153116, 153117, 153118, 153119, 153120, 153121, 154896, 154897, 154898 and 154899.
If you required the dates for these aircraft, drop me a line
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