Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron ONE
|HS-1 Seahorses |
1951 to 1997
Tail Code AR, it was the Navys helicopter fleet replacement squadron until closure in 1997. HS-1 trained maintenance personnel, replacement pilots, and provided the fleet with updated combat and rescue techniques.
By Ed De Cort
: I was in the Navy from 1983 – 1987; during that time HC-2 Fleet Angels were no longer an outfit or known by that designation. I’m not sure when, but I think in the late 70’s their mission was moved from Norfolk, VA. To the responsibility of NAS JAX HS-1 SEAHORSES, and was known as their oversea Detachments: HS-1 SEA DET.
SEA DET had two permanent detachments; One in the Persian Gulf which was Det – 1 (The Desert Duck’s) the second was Det-2 was in the Mediterranean home ported in Gaeta, Italy (The Gray Ghost). Both Det’s were attached to Command Flagships and served the Commanding Admirals.
In the Persian Gulf the Command Flagship was the USS. LaSalle, although we were not ship personnel we were attached to the ship, though at times we also would be stationed at Bahrain and work from their airport and stay at ASU. Our main function was to support the two star Admiral whose name escapes now. His actual title was Commander of the mid east force. Basically the same was true for Det-2, though the Admiral in that case was a three star Admiral who was commander of the 6th fleet and also NATO forces.
The mission of the Detachments varied from each other. The Helicopters were both SH-3, but that’s all they had in common. The “Duck” was totally utilitarian and we did a number of various duties: From transferring passengers from Bahrain International to the ships in the Gulf and vice versa, we also did vert-reps, mail delivery’s, and landing on the ships with me hanging out the cargo door calling the landing, boarding Marines and flying to ships in distress of Piracy to prevent that action from taken place, and to keep shipping lanes open. It was in every sense of the word a working helo. On ships we couldn’t land on we would pick up and drop off people with the hoist (including the Admiral) on occasion. Search and rescue was also our mission.
The “Gray Ghost” as it was called then was a completely different helicopter with a completely different mission; it was painted gray green with a customized window in the cargo door so you couldn’t even open it. (The Desert Duck was white), the mission of the Gray Ghost was to transport the Admiral and whatever other high ranking personal rated it. The helicopter was sound proofed custom setting and carpet. It reminded me of the Presidential Helicopter which it resembled and happened to be the same make and model. Though the “gray Ghost” was a much more glamorous version than the “Duck” the mission wasn’t, though it was probably just as important.
I was member HS1 1956-1958 Sea Plane Base, Key West Florida. Detachments USS Wasp, Valleyford, Leyte, Tarawa, Antediem, Lake Champlion during that time.
I was in HS-1 fall 1957 to 1960, we were at the Sea Plane Base, Key West, FL. I was TAD with the Squadron on the Lake Champlain, Leyte, and Tarawa all CVSs. The chopper of the era was Sikorsky S58. Have been looking for my Squadron Album because I wanted to locate a couple of guys I served with. Corky Pickerell, Bobbie McLeod both from Texas. If anyone remembers them let me know. Just finished up thirty years of flying and selling business aircraft.
I was ordered to HS-1 in Sept to Dec 1965, Sea Plane Base Key West Fl. By 1965, It was called Key West Heliport, for training on the SH-3A. The mission at that time was as a training Squadron for maintenance and crew training. Good time and I learned a lot about Helicopters and Jet Engines. I was an ADR3 at time just coming out of a EC 121 Super Constellation outfit, VW-11, and knew nothing about Jets. That training allowed me to work for Pratt and Whitney
I was SA stationed 1963 1964 worked in special services, life guard at officers pool. Did the entire base close?
By George Czech:
I was assigned to HS-1 in Quonset Point, RI February 1973. I was to attend SAR school, then train as onboard mechanic. After training I was to be stationed in Sigonilla, Sicily. During the time I was at Quonset Point, it was announced that the squadron would be moved to Jacksonville in 1974. On April 25, 1973, I took an early discharge ... an moved back to Missouri.
By Larry Arneson AMS-2
: I went from structural mechanic school at Millington Tenn. to the HS-1 squadron Key West Florida spring of 1955. At that time HS-1 shared the hanger with a squadron of sea planes. The plane in use when I got there was the HORS3 Sikorsky S-55. Later new S-58 arrived. HS-1 trained in the Key West area and went on various detachments. In 1956 HS-1 went on a med cruise to France ,Holland, Greece and Italy. Assigned to carrier Antietam (CVS-36) along with a submarine and two destroyers. About that time the Suez war broke out and the task group went to the Mediterranean to observe. Later the squadron sent part of the HS-1 crew to a new squadron put together in the hanger and known as HS-5
that eventually went to Jacksonville, Fl. As I understood it new squadrons were to be formed known as HS-5, HS-7
all on the east coast. At this time LCDR Ward was the c/o. Chief James Knowles was in charge of the airframe shop at the time and helped staff the HS-5. HS-1 was a great anti-submarine squadron doing valuable work for the fleet. I was discharged in July 1957. Looks like the original helicopter squadrons went on to many interesting assignments in later years. I presume antisubmarine helicopters are still being used.
| Construction Numbers found for HS-1 ||Help Us |
9 C/N found for HS-1
|C/N||Version||Built||In this Organisation||In other Org|
| 61-046 || hss-2 || 148974 : USN; conv SH-3G; HS-1 w/o 02nov80|
| 61-072 || hss-2 || 148998 : USN; conv SH-3H; 1993 HS-1|
| 61-193 || hss-2 || 149921 : USN; conv SH-3H; HS-1 w/o 01oct82|
| 61-200 || hss-2 || 149927 : USN; conv SH-3H; HS-1 w/o 25jun82|
| 61-208 || hss-2 || 149932 : USN; conv SH-3G; 1989 as /AR-420 HS-1 at NAS Jacksonville repl training sq+|
| 61-422 || sh-3d || 154122 : 1995 SH-3H type HS-1 /AR-401 || 0883 : ARA d/d jul09 as 2-H-242; 2008 UH-3H refurbished by Clayton internacional + |
| 61-447 || sh-3d || 156501 : USN; conv SH-3H; 2011 as /AR-453 HS-1 instructional airframe at Naval Air +|
| Força Aeronaval da Marinha do Brasil|
| || s-70b || N-3034 : Marinha MH-16 type d/d 30jul12, HS-1|
| || s-70b || N-3035 : Marinha MH-16 type d/d 30jul12, test serial N1025J; asg HS-1|
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35707 serials 7186 photos 2398 heliports
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|MH-53M, MH-60R Gazelle HT.2 & HT.3|
| EH.101, NH.90, Tigre, Bell 430, AW.139 |
|Orgs.|| CV-22 Osprey, EC.145|
|Units:||HS-1, 78Sqd, USCG, PNA |
|Ships:||Destroyers, HMS Ark Royal |
|New:||Bell 525, AW.149, AW.609, S-61T |
| ||X2, X3, EC.130T2, EC.175 |
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