FRIDAY FOTO (August 17, 2012)
The Ugly Angels
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362, known as the “Ugly Angels,” completes a memorial flight over Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 9. The squadron was created in 1952 and holds the distinction of being the first Marine helicopter squadron to arrive in country during the Vietnam War (1962).
Later this year, the CH-53D Sea Stallions of HMH-362 will return to their home station of Marine Corps Base Hawaii to be retired and the squadron will be deactivated after 60 years of service. In addition to seven years duty in Vietnam, the squadron has been deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm (the first Gulf War) and twice to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Ugly Angels are winding up their fourth deployment to Afghanistan, ferrying troops and supplies where needed.
On April 15, 2009 — the 57th anniversary of its arrival in Vietnam — the squadron touched down in Afghanistan. The Ugly Angels had been deployed, not from their home base at Kaneohe, Hawaii but straight from Iraq where they had been sent just three months earlier. That transfer required major engine work by the squadron’s mechanics and maintenance crews to adapt the big birds to the high altitudes of Afghanistan.
Click here to see a YouTube video of the Squadron on a vehicle interdiction mission In Helmand Province.
Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency, FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Afghanistan, Counter Insurgency, helicopter, Marine Corps, military aviation, Ugly Angels, Vietnam War.