usa Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One Six

US Navy

HC-16 Bullfrogs
United States Naval Aviation

1977 to 1993    

Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One Six
HELSUPPRON 16, tail code BF, provided Search and Rescue from NAS Pensacola
By Howard M. Tillison, Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Naval Reserve (Retired) :
Helicopter Combat Support Training Squadron Sixteen (HCT-16) was commissioned at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida on 1 November 1974. The unit was comprised of officers, sailors and aircraft which had formerly been assigned as the Search and Rescue (SAR) Detachment under the overall command of the Commanding Officer, NAS Pensacola. Lieutenant Commander Lee Wright was the first commanding officer of HC-16.

The mission of HCT-16, assigned to Training Wing Six headquartered at NAS Pensacola, was to provide helicopter search and rescue "plane guard" service for the training aircraft carrier, USS Lexington, CVT-16, and overall SAR coverage, on five-minute alert, for the Pensacola Naval air training complex whenever any aircraft from any of the fixed wing and helicopter squadrons were conducting flight training operations. HCT-16 also participated in the U. S. Coast Guard "SAR Net" and answered SAR calls from Apalachicola, Florida to Mobile, Alabama as assigned by the USCG Rescue Coordination Center which had responsibility for overall SAR coverage from Port Arthur, Texas to Panama City, Florida.

Additionally, HCT-16 took on the role of Fleet Readiness Squadron (FRS) for student pilots who had already earned their wings, and provided transition training from the TH-1 series training helicopter to the CH-46/HH-46 helicopters operated by fleet HC squadrons, and by Naval air station SAR detachments at various bases.

HCT-16 was transferred from the Naval Air Training Command to operational control of Commander, Atlantic Fleet under COMNAVAIRLANT (Commander, Naval Air Forces, Atlantic) on 2 May, 1977, and was redesignated Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Sixteen (HC-16) at that time. HC-16 continued to perform the plane guard, SAR and FRS training missions until the H-46 series aircraft were pulled back for service with the United States Marine Corps in 1985.

I reported to HCT-16 as an Ensign, newly graduated from helicopter training at HT-18, on 1 July, 1975, and served there until I was transferred to become a student at the U. S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in August of 1978.

HC-16 was originally commissioned as HCT-16 in 1972. It was the Navy training squadron for the H-46. The designation changed to HC around 1978. The squadron started off with only H-46s and didnt get the first UH-1N until 1980. The H-46 was with the squadron until the summer of 1985 when it was replaced by the SH-3D. The UH-1N and the SH-3D remained with the squadron until it was dis-established in 1993. I was a very proud member of the Bullfrogs for 7 years. During the squadron life span, 272 people, military and civilian, had their lives saved by the dedicated flight crews of HC-16. Unfortunately, we lost two pilots and one crewman. One of our Parachute Riggers also lost his life while trying to aid a swimmer in distress at a local beach.
Originally established as HCT-16 from NAS Pensacola Search and Rescue (SAR) November 1974, operationally attached to the Training carrier USS Lexington (CVT-16) and administratively under NAS Pensacola. I was part of the original Plank Owner team as an H-2 and then HH-46 Pilot until 1976. Just returned from Pensacola having celebrated a 40th anniversary pilot/officer reunion, I guess once a Bullfrog, always a Bullfrog!
Mar78-Aug81, I was plane cpt of. The month powerplant tech. Pqs quallified. 1st to train female pilots. 1st to test fiberglass blades.
1980 we were awarded the most ready manned squadron in the naval air force for our participation in the Cuban crisis.

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1977/93NAS Pensacola / Forrest Sherman FieldKNPA

Models Login to Edit

1985/93s-61 H-3
1977/85107M H-46 Sea Knight

Construction Numbers for HC-16 / HCT-16 Help Us

C/NVersionBuiltIn this OrgIn other Org
77 UH-2A 149775 : Kaman K-20 Seasprite, c/n 77, ff?; del USN as UH2K-1, 149775 unk; redesig +
82 UH-2A 149780 : Kaman K-20 Seasprite, c/n 82, ff?; del USN as UH2K-1, 149780 unk; redesig +
2008 CH-46A 1963 150271 : redesig HH-46A 14Sep73; xfer NAS Pensacola FL 16Nov73; xfer HCT-16 12Nov74+
US Marine Corps 150271 : BV-107M, ff 1963; del USMC 24Jul63 as CH-46A 150271; asgd Boeing RDT&E Mor+
: HH-46A 150271 was transferred to NAS Cubi Point during 1977 after having g+
: I flew this aircraft at NAS Adak in 1977-78 as HH-46A model. In 1978, we t+
2035 CH-46A 1964 150950 : redesig HH-46A 05Sep73; xfer NAS Pensacola 02Mar74; xfer HCT-16 01Nov74;+
: w/o 01mar78 HC-16 /BF-410 90m E Jacksonville, FL
US Marine Corps 150950 : BV-107M, c/n 2035; ff ?; del to USMC 31Aug64 as CH-46A 150950; asgd Boeing+
2068 CH-46A 1965 151918 : redesig HH-46A 27Aug73; xfer NAS pensacola 25oct 73; xfer HCT-16 01Nov74+
US Marine Corps 151918 : BV-107M, c/n 2068; ff?, del USMC 09Apr65 as CH-46A 151918; asgd Boeing FR +
2131 CH-46A 1966 152511 : USN, HC-16 /BF-?, unk; w/o 13May82 ivo NAS Pensacola, FL
US Marine Corps 152511 : BV-107M, c/n 2131, ff?; del USMC 01Mar66 as CH-46A 152511; asgd Boeing FR +
2133 CH-46A 1966 152513 : USN; xfer NAS Cubi Point 11Jan72; xfer FAWPRA Atsugi 01Dec72; xfer NARF Ch+
US Marine Corps 152513 : BV-107M, c/n 2133, ff?; del USMC 12Mar66 as CH-46A 152513; asgd Boeing FR +
2139 CH-46A 1966 152518 : pictured (pic2) as HC-16 /BF-400 at Pensacola. Notice TH-57 on background
US Marine Corps 152518 : BV-107M, c/n 2139, ff?; del USMC 14Mar66 as CH-46A 152518; asgd Boeing FR +
: Jul68 HMM-265 /EP-2 pictured (pic1) on USS Tripoli (LPH-10). During take o+
2161 CH-46A 1966 152539 : 1975 asg SAR Unit at NAS Meridian; 1979 to HC-16 Pensacola, FL; 1985 xfe+
US Marine Corps 152539 : BV-107M, c/n 2161, ff?; del USMC 15Jun66 as CH-46A 152539; asgd Boeing FR +
: 1968 pictured as HMM-164 /YT-.. inserting 2nd Bn 5th Marines on a hilltop +
2164 CH-46A 1966 152542 : xfer HC-3 28Dec70; xfer MARTD Norfolk, HMM-774, 18Feb71; xfer NARF Norfol+
US Marine Corps 152542 : BV-107M, c/n 2164, ff?; del USMC 16Jun66 as CH-46A 152542; asgd Boeing FR +
2165 CH-46A 1966 152543 : ; xfer NAF Cam Ranh Bay 24Dec70; xfer NAF Cam Ranh Bay, Det T, 01Mar71; xf+
US Marine Corps 152543 : BV-107M, c/n 2165, ff?; del USMC 15Jun66 as CH-46A 152543; asgd Boeing FR +
61-432 sh-3d 156486 : 1985 at HC-16, until sqd dis-established in 1993. We removed all the ASW +
: Jul86 pictured as HC-16 /BF-404 from the bridge of the USS Nimitz (CVN-68)+
Carson Helicopters N82702 : Carson Jun97-Aug14; expired
31411 UH-1N 158240 : 1988 HC-16 /BF-106; 02nov04 stricken from the US Navy list; AMARC/7H0241; +
US Marine Corps 158240 : USMC; conv HH-1N
US Department of State N8528D : INL/A from 2007 type:HH-1N ex 158240
31416 UH-1N 158245 : HC-16 /BF-104; 24sep93 to AMARC-7H240
US Marine Corps 158245 : USMC, conv to HH-1N
31619 UH-1N 158278 : Feb80, detached from NAS Guantanamo and was flown aboard USS Guadalcanal (+
: USN, date unk pictured as HC-16 /BF-103 at NAS Pensacola
US Marine Corps 158278 : USMC; VIP in 1972 prior delivery HMX-1 VH-1N
: to HMT-303?; 2004 Yuma H&HS /5Y at MCAS Yuma, AZ
31682 UH-1N 159206 : USN, HC-16 /BF-99
US US Marine Corps
2040 CH-46A 1964 150954 : BV-107M, c/n 2040; ff?, del to USMC 16Oct64 as CH-46A 150954; asgd Boeing +
2044 CH-46A 1964 150958 : BV-107M, c/n 2044, ff?; del USMC 24Nov64 as CH-46A 150958; asgd Boeing FR +
2055 CH-46A 1965 151908 : BV-107M, c/n 2055, ff?; del USMC 26Feb65 as CH-46A 151908; asgd Boeing FR +
2082 CH-46A 1965 151932 : BV-107M, c/n 2082, ff?; del USMC 23Jun65 as CH-46A 151932; asgd Boeing FR +
2083 CH-46A 1965 151933 : BV-107M, c/n 2083, ff?; del USMC 02Jul65 as CH-46A 151933; asgd Boeing FR +
2099 CH-46A 1965 151949 : BV-107M, c/n 2099, ff?; del USMC 30Sep65 as CH-46A 151949; asgd Noeing FR +
2103 CH-46A 1965 151953 : BV-107M, c/n 2103, ff?; del USMC 25Oct65 as CH-46A 151953; asgd Boeing FR +
2109 CH-46A 1965 151959 : BV-107M, c/n 2109, ff?; del USMC 19Nov65 as CH-46A 151959; asgd Boeing FR +
2131 CH-46A 1966 152511 : BV-107M, c/n 2131, ff?; del USMC 01Mar66 as CH-46A 152511; asgd Boeing FR +
2139 CH-46A 1966 152518 : BV-107M, c/n 2139, ff?; del USMC 14Mar66 as CH-46A 152518; asgd Boeing FR +
2175 CH-46A 1966 152553 : BV-107M, c/n 2175, ff?; del USMC 18Jul66 as CH-46A 152553; asgd Boeing FR +
27 serials found for HC-16 / HCT-16

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