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USNR - U.S. Naval Reserve - on land, sea and air


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Reserve Anti-Submarine Squadron VS-931 Korean War 1951 - 1953



Operated off of the escort carriers USS SICILY (CVE-118) and USS BADOENG STRAIT(CVE-116)



VS-931 Antisubmarine Squadron was activated at Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania on March 1, 1951 during the Korean War and was transferred to Los Alamitos Naval Air Station in California. The squadron was sent abroad on the USS Sicily and operated near Japan and Okinawa. Upon transferring to the USS Badoeng Strait, the Squadron went to Korea on two different occasions to protect the US Naval fleet from enemy submarines. There were several transfers back and forth between the two ships and in addition the squadron was stationed on land bases at Atsugi and Itami for brief periods. The squadron returned to the States aboard the USS Sicily. Upon returning to Los Alamitos the squadron's designation was changed from VS-931 to VS-20

VS 931 001.jpg

VS 931 002.jpg

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HS-813 USNR, Naval Air Station Twin Cities Minneapolis Minnesota

“Sink or Swim … or What?”
The annual request from the Minnesota ANG to provide helo water hoists for their air crew was welcomed. It would provide an opportunity for the pilots and air crew to complete their requirements. Time selected was a Sunday in July, 1966 at Lake Nokomis in the south part of Minneapolis. It was also Aquatennial time, an annual summertime festival and celebration. There were about 3,500 people at the lake that Sunday. The helo exercise was an added attraction to the other scheduled events. The weather was typical Minnesota July … hot & humid.
The SH-34J helicopter was being used by the Navy and Marines at the NAS at that time. I was assigned to HS-813 which was the unit assigned to do the hoists. Lake Nokomis is about 5 miles from the NAS. A portion of the shore line was cordoned off as a landing area to permit the ANG crew to debark after the hoist.
The drill called for 2 helos to fly at the same time: one hoisting and the other landing and debarking. A large raft, up to 40 man size, was anchored in the lake. The people to be hoisted left the raft and would swim out about 100 yards and await their turn. The helo would enter a hover at 35' and lower the sling for recovery.
As I started an approach everything was normal. As power was applied to establish the hover (took a lot of power on "hot & humid") there was a tremendous BANG and the rotor RPM started to drop rapidly. A frantic 'milking' of the collective had no effect as the helo headed down to the water. I was told later that the guy waiting to be picked up almost 'walked on water' as he tried to get out of the way.
As the helo contacted the water, full up collective pitch was applied and we made a really soft landing. It did not start to sink as I had feared. Of course it couldn't fly but it had neutral buoyancy. This was not expected. I nudged the cyclic stick and the helo started to move slowly through the water … just like a boat. My crewman was frantically trying to get the hoist cable back into the helo before it tangled with the tail rotor. My co-pilot turned on the windshield wipers … they were needed.
I applied slight pressure on pedals and turned the plane toward shore where the ground crew moved the 'rubberneck' spectators off to a safe dis­tance. As we got into shallow water, I could feel the wheels contact the lake bottom. The rotor RPM started to increase as the helo weight was starting to be supported by the wheels. With the RPM again at normal, I was able to 'gingerly' lift off and ease into the landing area.
The helo was shut down and inspected. The lower cylinder head of the R-1820 engine had cracked all the way across. The blades were folded and the helo was towed back to NAS Minneapolis … to fly another day. We had accomplished a successful water landing in a SH-34 … It is not 'sposed to be an amphibian! Reference: http://thebrownshoes...ick-c-bereswill

 

HS 813 USNR 001.jpg

HS 813 USNR 002.jpg

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