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Ch-53a 153304

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  • Ch-53a 153304

    I am just beginning the restoration process at Flying Leatherneck Museum at MCAS Miramar. She is in pretty sad shape but hopefully I'll be able to spiff her up a bit. Anyone in the area who'd like to help, come on down.

    What I'd really like is to hear from anyone who had any personal ( or not so personal ) history/info on this airframe. We'd like to end up finishing it off with new paint from one of the old A model squadrons she spent time with. Any, repeat...any info will be a huge addition to the project. So far, one of the tail rotor blades bears an HMH-462 stamp near the hub...but blades move around so who knows.

    Oh, one more thing...could use some help finding maint. manuals, and not that I'm pushing it or anything, but the cockpit was gutted and a couple of front seats would be awesome.

    Thanks and as always...

    Semper Fi,
    Rich E.

  • #2
    Ch-53a 153304

    Don't know much about 153304, except that she was with HMH-461 at New River, NC, in July, 1968. I flew her 2.1 hrs on July 22, 1968.
    Here's to Us and those like Us!


    • #3
      She was with HMT-301 when I was there in 75-77, She was transferred to HMH-361 in early 1977. I flew her often as a crew chief.

      Semper Fi, K.D. Logue


      • #4
        CH-53A 153304

        Thanks for the info. It will all be helpful as we piece together the history of this aircraft. As with any museum piece, historical info helps to bring an otherwise static display to life.

        K.D., where was 301 during your tour, Tustin?

        Rich E.


        • #5

          In case it's easier this's my email address....

          Thanks again,

          Rich E.


          • #6
            History of CH-53A 153304 up to 1985 is as follows.

            Accepted by the USMC at Stratford, CT on the 31st of January, 1967.
            Delivered to HMH-461 on the 26th of May, 1967.
            To HMH-361 on the 28th of March, 1969.
            To NARF North Island on the 13th of January, 1971. For overhaul and storage.
            To HMH-363 on the 20th of December, 1974.
            To HMH-361 on the 30th of November, 1979.
            To HMH-462 on the 1st of December, 1980.
            To HMH-363 on the 4th of February, 1981.
            To HMH-361 on the 30th of May, 1981.
            To HMT-301 on the 6th of July, 1981.
            To HMM-363 on the 30th of December, 1981.
            To HMH-361 on the 1st of December, 1982.
            To HMH-462 on the 1st of December, 1983.
            To HMH-363 on the 1st of December, 1984.
            My records end here, but she was noted with HMH-462 coded "YR-71" in April 1988.
            Then preserved at MCAS Tustin.


            • #7

              Thanks a million.

              Does anyone have any info regarding tail number, etc., etc., etc. on this aircraft while it served with HMH-361 in 1969 - 1970? I'm embarassed to say, I was in 361 from late 69 to mid 70 and I am a total blank on bureau numbers.

              Semper Fi,

              Rich E.


              • #8
                HMH-361 70-73

                It was my pleasure to serve in 361 at MCALF Santa Ana in 1970 until 73 under Gene Rawlins and Bob Captor.

                We were a "rag-tag" group of re-treds who were assigned to 361 after being in other communities in RVN. I was a cobra pilot, but there were no cobra squadrons outside of RVN. We had huey guys and 46 bubbas and then some hard corps 53 A guys that taught us to be heavy haulers. Jonny Dean Restevo Dan McKnight and Jim Watson (the blond Jim Watson) were a few of our mentors. I'll check my logbooks to see if I have a history in that buno. But I can tell you I was one of the worlds most dangerous HAC's because I went from flight school to cobras to 53's and it was like going from a sports car to bus. My only "crew" in the cobra was a gunner - and I controlled the Master Arm. Suddenly I had to have a crew chief to tell me to move forward 6 inches so someone could hook up an external. Amazing we all survived!!


                • #9
                  Is this the airframe that was on display in the front of Tustin MCAS during the late 80's? If so, then that was the airframe that was knocked/rolled over during a windstorm at MCAS El Toro. I am not sure of all the details, but I know that the one I am thinking about suffered extensive damage and it was decided to strip it down and then just put it on display.

                  I would love to know what else you have discovered regarding this airframe. Please feel free to contact me.



                  • #10

                    Can't help you with that airframe, but I have 153300 in my logbooks.



                    • #11
                      YR Not HMH-462

                      YR is/was HMM-161, I believe, although they could've had her when operating as a "combined" squadron.
                      Semper Fidelis

                      Phu Bai tower:
                      YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                      Remember, These are "A" models!
                      YW-11 BuNo-151939
                      '65 Model CH-46A


                      • #12
                        Re: 153304

                        Originally posted by Rich Erickson View Post
                        In case it's easier this's my email address....


                        Thanks again,

                        Rich E.
                        I realize it's probably done by now, but I do have some pic's from a pocket camera I carried in my flight suite back in the day. (75-79) worked on "double nuts" back then at LTA.
                        Semper Fi!
                        Steve N. 361 AVI 75-79


                        • #13
                          Re: Ch-53a 153304

                          In 1975 following the mid air of two 53's in Feb 75, we recieved her later in the year from the boneyard with only 350 hours on it.