View Full Version : Who were they?
When I was in HMHT-301 in Santa Ana, 1968,69 and 71, there was a squadron across the hanger known as "F" Troop. As I recollect they had the clocks running backwards and a squadron patch that said "F" Troop. I'll try to attach it here because somehow I wound up with one of the patches. I just don't remember who they were. Does anyone have any idea who they were?
HMMT-302. There's a picture of 2 of their 46's with the F-Troop insignia on the forward pylon here: http://www.popasmoke.com/visions/image.php?source=14156
i seem to remember 302 and 301 sorta combining into HMT-301 and after that we called our selves F troop :)
I joined HMMT 302 in Feb of 1970 and the squadron really sucked. When we went to the SNCO club everyone would say here comes F troop at that time F Troop wasn't painted on the AC. The CO was replaced ,the next co was all so replaced by LtCol K D Vanenk took over. The first thing he did was call all the SNCO,s into his office. His first words where the objective of this squadron is to train pilots and to do that we must fly helicopters .any one that doesn't want to do that pack your gear and get out. In the next few days after that is when F troop was painted on the helicopters. After flying around 500 or less each month ,the first month he was there we flew almost a 1000 hours and ever month after that it was 1500 are better until he left in Feb of 72 , I left that month to so I don't know what went on after that. SF
302 at Tustin did not suck unless you are thinking of beer bottles. About F troop. In Dec of 1969 The weather was so bad around Santa Ana that we couldn't fly very many hours. So Vanick some how got permission to take 6 or 8 46's to China Lake Calif. to get more hours of flight time. Every month he was setting some kind record for 46's. And fly we did. How many can say they went from Mt. Whitney to Death Valley in the same day, chased burrows or donkeys in Death Valley. I forget which pilot could do the fastest touch and go. Back to F Troop, I believe it was Gunny Daw who made the suggestion one day that we needed a nick name, so, he called us F Troop. And had us paint a big F on the forward cowling.
I believe that is where the F Troop was started
Like I said before in 1968 we hardly made 500 hours a month, When we went to the staff club and the other SNCO's there would say here comes F Troop and they didn't mean it in a good way. If Charlie Daw was stgill living he would tell you the same thing. In 1969 when LtCol Vancik took over after the first month we flew over 1500 hours ever month. It was usually 10 A/c that went to China lake. The way It was Gunny Daw and I who asked the CO about painting F Troop on the birds. I was proud to be a member of F Troop even to day I drank my coffee from my 302 mug. Gunny Daw and I both made Msgt while with 302. SF
We were never notified of Top Daw's passing. He was the Maintenance Chief with 263 when i was in country. He was a good guy. Do you have any info such as the date of his passing?
MSgt Daw passed on to a better place Feb 2 2008 may God have mercy on his soul.
Charlie had an old beat up Fiat that he drove to work ,after KD took command he panted it black and painted a F Trop patch on each side of it . SF
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