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Salvage Sailor

USN DASH & DRONES - Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter 1960's

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Aloha Everyone,


We have several DASH items scattered about the boards and also items from the first USN Drone units. The Navy began testing remote controlled aircraft and drones during WWII and continued this development into the 1950's. Prior to the development of reliable Naval helicopters and the ability to house and service them aboard smaller vessels, the USN began the deployment of the DASH system on destroyers.


Gyrodyne QH-50C Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) Shown below, port (red) and starboard (green) views
The QH-50 D.A.S.H. was the first drone helicopter to enter operational service, the first rotorcraft deployed with nuclear armament, and one of the first armed unmanned aerial vehicles. The introduction of Soviet nuclear-powered submarines in the early 1960s created an immediate demand for a remotely piloted helicopter that could operate from smaller, older destroyers and could carry a Mark 57 nuclear depth bomb (like the training model seen here) or two torpedoes.
Most QH-50 deployments consisted of anti-submarine patrols with torpedoes, but a number of the craft were used during the Vietnam War primarily for spotting naval gunfire. A few were adapted to carry gun and rocket systems. Gyrodyne built 758 D.A.S.H. airframes, most of which went to the U.S. Navy. Japan also operated a few.
Rotor diameter:6.1 m (20 ft)
Length:6.1 m (20 ft)
Height:3 m (9 ft 8.5 in)
Weight, empty:530 kg (1,169 lb)
Weight, gross:1,046 kg (2,306 lb)
Engine:Boeing T50-BO-8A, 270 shp
Manufacturer:Gyrodyne Company of America, St. James, N.Y., 1965
Gift of Peter P., Barbara, and Alexander Papadakos

Source: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

So if you've got DASH or Drone related items in your collections, feel free to post them here.



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DASH CRUDESPAC - Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter unit, Cruisers-Destroyers Pacific Fleet


US Naval Base, Yokosuka, Japan, Gyrodyne Mobile Technical Support Group/NAESU covered Western Pacific and South Pacific, assigned to MOTU-7 / COMCRUDESPACLOGREP

For the Western Pacific Fleet (WESTPAC), the DASH/NAESU (Naval Air Technical Engineering Data and Services Command) employees were attached to MOTU-7 (Mobile Ordnance Training Unit). Comprised of both military and civilian technical personnel, the unit was required to provide technical assistance to ships that required help with their installed systems. This was not easy. Operating from Yokosuka, Japan, Gyrodyne personnel would find themselves responding to a CASREP by getting aboard a military aircraft, flying to Cubi Point in the Philippines, catching a COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) plane out to a carrier conducting operations off Vietnam, waiting until the destroyer with a problem was within range of the carrier's helicopter, and then being lowered down in a horse collar to the deck of the destroyer. After recovering from the inevitable seasickness, fixing the problem, and being officially detached, the GCA employee would make their way back to Yokosuka anyway they could.
Eventually, the GCA/NAESU employees convinced COMCRUDESPAC (Commander, Cruiser/Destroyers Pacific) that to improve the system performance, it was better to fix a discovered problem then wait for every destroyer in the flotilla to discover the problem itself. As a result, all DASH/NAESU representatives at Yokosuka were transferred to the CRUDESPAC Logistics Representative office (CRUDESPACLOGREP). This allowed for better communications as the Logistics Representative had direct communication with all destroyers and tenders to provide training as well as technical assistance.


Source: DASH History (all you need to know about DASH is here)



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What do you do with a ASW Drone Helicopter, in a non-submarine war? The Techreps of Gyrodyne, based out of Yokosuka, Japan install extra fuel tanks, additional transmitters and Video cameras and turn that torpedo delivery system, into a reconaissance platform for Gun spotting, the shells of the USN destroyer, USS DEHAVEN (DD-727). Dubbed "SNOOPY", this QH-50C SNOOPY Flight shows typical operations from USS DeHaven (DD-727) in Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam on Aug. 14, 1967. This SNOOPY QH-50C, DS-1377, returns after its TV antenna was shot off. SNOOPY aircraft were flown until "expended"; over 50 QH-50s were used and then lost in this way...and this was 44 years ago - Long before the term "UAV" was coined. The QH-50 flew from over 165 U.S. Naval ships during the DASH deployment.
DS-1377 was lost flying from DEHAVEN on May 14, 1968.



DD 727 USS DEHAVEN DESRON 27 Hilborn Hamburger 001.jpg

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DRONES - Point Mugu California, US Naval Air Missile Test Center

The Naval Air Warfare Weapons Station at Point Mugu is a 4,490 acre, heavily developed site on the coast of Southern California, near Ventura. It is a weapons research and development, test and evaluation center for the Navy, and has been developing missiles, drones and target vehicles since WWII.




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