Helicopter: UH-34D HUS Seahorse
Unit: HMM-364 PURPLE FOXES
Tail Code: YK
FIRST PRESIDENTIAL HELICOPTER
On September 7, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was vacationing at his summer home in Newport, Rhode Island, when his immediate presence was needed at the White House. Col. Virgil D. Olson of Marine Helicopter Squadron ONE (HMX-1) and his crew were ordered to fly the President in their HUS-1 across Narragansett Bay to the waiting Air Force One. HMX-1 continued to fly the President in the HUS-1 until it was replaced by the VH-3A Sea King in 1962. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
Sikorsky HUS-1 (UH-34D) Seahorse
Pre 1962 designation HUS-1 Post 1962 designation: UH-34D
HUS-1 : H(Helicopter),U(Utility) by S(Sikorsky) – 1(1st major subtype)
The many missions of the HUS-1 with the U.S. Marine Corps included personnel transport, combat assault, search and rescue, medical evacuation, and cargo transport. It also gained national fame as the recovery helicopter for the early Mercury space flights.
The Sikorsky HUS-1 was developed as a lengthened and more powerful version of the HRS-3 (UH-19) Chickasaw. It first flew in 1954 as a U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare helicopter. The Marine Corps received its first HUS-1 in 1957 as a replacement for the HR2S (H-37 Mojave) heavy lift helicopter. In 1962 it was redesignated as the UH-34D. It served as the Marine Corps’ main operating helicopter in the Vietnam War until it was replaced in 1965 by the turbine-powered CH-46 Sea Knight. Outside the war zone, the UH-34 served in search and rescue missions, and utility and VIP transport. The last flight of a Marine UH-34 took place on September 3, 1973, marking the end of the USMC piston-engined helicopter era.
FIRST HELICOPTER GUNSHIP
Marine Corps UH-34s were also among the first gunship helicopters to be tested in combat, being fitted with a Temporary Kit-1 (TK-1), comprised of two M60C machine guns and two 19 shot 2.75 inch rocket pods. The operations were met with mixed enthusiasm, and the armed H-34s, known as "Stingers" were quickly phased out. The TK-1 kit would later form the basis of the TK-2 kit used on the UH-1E "Huey" helicopters of the USMC.
Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, Connecticut
Type: Transport helicopter
Accommodations: Two crew and 12 combat troops or 8 litters or 2,000 lb of cargo.
Power Plant: One 700-hp Wright R-1300- 3 seven-cylinder radial piston engine.
Rotor diameter: 56 ft
Length: 42 ft 1 in (blade folded); overall length: 62 ft 6 in (rotors operating)
Height: 13 ft 4 in
Empty: 5,193 lb
Gross: 7,761 lb
Max speed: 103 kn (118 mph)
Ceiling: 12,800 ft
Range (combat): 110 nm
Bureau number: 130252
Factory number: 55408
Year delivered: 1953