Jump to content


US Army/Navy use of Helicopters in WWII

Started by uplandmod , Feb 07 2012 08:49 AM

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:49 AM

I got to thinking this morning about the US Army and Navy use of helicopters in WWII.

A friend of mine's grandfather flew helicopters in WWII, unfortunately he had already passed away. WWII helicopter pilots and crew are hardly ever talked about.

I was wondering if anybody has any groupings, recollections, or uniforms of our forgotten Helicopter pilots and crew from WWII?

I never hear of any such sales and In my opinion they have to be some of the rarest groupings ever.

Here's a couple of links concerning US Helicopters in WWII:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Sikorsky_R-4
http://www.nationalm...heet.asp?id=518
http://cbi-theater-3...y/hoverfly.html


Please let me know what you know!
Leonardo

Edited by uplandmod, 07 February 2012 - 08:55 AM.


#2 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:16 AM

Any thoughts on this subject?

Leonardo

#3 Fly USMC

Fly USMC
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,056
  • 4,109 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Milton, FL (Near Pensacola)

Posted 08 February 2012 - 12:23 PM

Very Difficult to find anything pre 1950s

#4 Allan H.

Allan H.
  • Members
    • Member ID: 151
  • 3,223 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Topeka, Kansas

Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:18 AM

A good friend of mine owns a grouping to a helicopter pilot who flew with the First Air Commando in World War II. I know the veteran claimed that he was the first pilot to fly a helicopter in combat, but don't know how that would ever be proved or disproved. Anyway, outside of photos that the veteran had of helicopters, you'd have never noticed anything different from his uniform or gera. He wore standard Pilot wings on his uniform as I recall.

Sorry, but I don't have any photographs. :dunno:
Allan

#5 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:47 AM

Thanks, any info for these WWII Helicopter pilots is welcomed, I was just inquiring what is out there or if anybody has seen such groupings.

Leonardo

#6 Cobrahistorian

Cobrahistorian
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,470
  • 5,134 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hovering Along in a Dust Cloud!

Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:04 PM

I just parted with all of my WWII helicopter stuff. There were eight Army units that flew helicopters in WWII, the most famous being the 1st Air Commando Group. However, the 1st through 6th Aircraft Repair Units (Floating) flew R-4 and R-6 helicopters, as did the 8th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Look into "Operation Ivory Soap". The information is out there. I was going to do a book on the subject, but a good friend and colleague is much farther along on the research than I was, so I've passed everything I had along to him.

The Coast Guard was very influential early on in the helicopter program too. I've still got copies of thousands of pages of documents, so if you're looking for anything in particular, let me know.

Jon

Edited by Cobrahistorian, 10 February 2012 - 07:07 PM.


#7 sactroop

sactroop
  • Members
    • Member ID: 17,422
  • 953 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

I may be wrong here but I believe the major drawback to helicopter operations during WW2 was the frequent failure to relaunch these craft after they landed.
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll61/sac_troop/Bills%20Military%20photos/CG-4AoverFrancePage3-1.jpgOK I couldn’t resist. Sorry. :rolleyes:

#8 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:31 PM

I may be wrong here but I believe the major drawback to helicopter operations during WW2 was the frequent failure to relaunch these craft after they landed.
OK I couldn’t resist. Sorry. :rolleyes:


LOL!

#9 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

I just parted with all of my WWII helicopter stuff. There were eight Army units that flew helicopters in WWII, the most famous being the 1st Air Commando Group. However, the 1st through 6th Aircraft Repair Units (Floating) flew R-4 and R-6 helicopters, as did the 8th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Look into "Operation Ivory Soap". The information is out there. I was going to do a book on the subject, but a good friend and colleague is much farther along on the research than I was, so I've passed everything I had along to him.

The Coast Guard was very influential early on in the helicopter program too. I've still got copies of thousands of pages of documents, so if you're looking for anything in particular, let me know.

Jon


Very cool, glad they haven't been forgotten!

Leonardo

#10 KASTAUFFER

KASTAUFFER

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 105
  • 8,335 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:06 PM

Here is the Pilots Certification to USCG Helicopter Pilot # 67 from 1945.

I bet there are not many of these to be found. I bet D-bail M-1 helmets are more common :)

Kurt

Stauffer_001.jpg

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 16 March 2012 - 02:20 PM.


#11 Dave

Dave

    MODERATOR

  • Moderators
    • Member ID: 209
  • 9,485 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:California Desert

Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

I bet D-bail M-1 helmets are more common :)



Yeah, but was this ID used by the 101st Airborne at Normandy on D-Day? I think NOT!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously - this is a super rare and really neat set!

Dave

#12 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:47 PM

Wow! This has got to be the first WWII helicopter related item I've ever seen!

Thanks for sharing!

Leonardo

#13 ehrentitle

ehrentitle
  • Members
    • Member ID: 146
  • 2,402 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA

Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:35 PM

I have a book that was given to me as a child titled "Flying windmills: the story of the helicopter", published in 1953. The book was written for the youth market and there is not much on WWII other than the dates that each of the services adopted the helicopter.

The Navy adopted the XR-4 helicopter in the early months of 1943 and by October began training of pilots and mechanics as the Coast Guard Air Station, Floyd Bennett Field, NY. None of the helicopters adopted by the Navy in WWII were every put to use in combat operations.

The Coast Guard was very aggressive in adopting the helicopter because of its utility in rescue operations, especially at sea. Commander Frank A. Erickson was the Coast Guard's advocate for adopting the helicopter and became the Coast Guard's first helicopter pilot. Later the Coast Guard established a helicopter development group at Elizabeth City, North Carolina and Erickson was placed in charge of the unit. One of Erickson's early inventions was the hydraulic hoist for pulling rescued persons aboard the aircraft. It worked so well that it became standard helicopter rescue equipment for all of the services. In the winter of 1943-44, a Coast Guard R-4 helicopter carried vital blood plasma from New York city to the New Jersey coast during a raging snowstorm to aid members of the Destroyer Turner which had exploded off the coast.

The Coast Guard has a good biography on Erickson at: http://www.uscg.mil/...sonFrankBio.asp

Edited by ehrentitle, 16 March 2012 - 04:40 PM.


#14 Cobrahistorian

Cobrahistorian
  • Members
    • Member ID: 5,470
  • 5,134 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hovering Along in a Dust Cloud!

Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

Another great read is "Anything a Horse Can Do" by Colonel Frank Gregory. He was the AAF's counterpart to the USCG's Erickson and was a strong advocate for the development of AAF rotary wing aircraft. The last piece I've got of my WWII Helicopter collection is a signed 1944 first edition copy.

Dave and Kurt, I'll second that! Far more rare than a D-bail, but none of the hollywoodness of the 101st.... Too bad.

Jon

Edited by Cobrahistorian, 20 March 2012 - 10:03 AM.


#15 siege1863

siege1863
  • Members
    • Member ID: 211
  • 1,793 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mississippi

Posted 30 June 2012 - 05:35 PM

I was wondering if anybody has any groupings, recollections, or uniforms of our forgotten Helicopter pilots and crew from WWII?

I never hear of any such sales and In my opinion they have to be some of the rarest groupings ever.


I have three "short snorters" with helicopter connections. One from "Operation Ivory Soap," one from a member of the 1st Air Commandos, and another signed by helo pilot Alec Voight. I am still researching the last one to determine who the others are who signed. They may have been air crew or ground support.

#16 Longhorn1939

Longhorn1939
  • Banned
    • Member ID: 100,783
  • 53 posts

Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:47 AM

Difficult to find anything pre 1950s :unsure:

#17 R-4

R-4
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 114,178
  • 1 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:52 AM

My father was station at Wright field with the helicopters during WW 2. I just recently posted some of the slides photos that he took on flickr.
All I know about them is what he wrote on the back of the slides. He passed away back in 1984 and we just found them back in 2010.
As far as I know theres nothing like these photos out there. I even have two 16mm rolls of movie film that say they are of the helicoptes but I
have no way of playing them.
If you look at them and have any info please comment on the photos.
hears a link.


Thanks.

#18 uplandmod

uplandmod
  • Members
    • Member ID: 20,589
  • 3,867 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montclair, CA, USA

Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:19 AM

Wow! Those are incredible photos!!!

 

The prints are beautiful!

 

LF




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)