The United States Coast Guard was one of the first organizations to recognise the usefulness of the helicopter.
Was during World War II, due to the insistence of several Coast Guards officers,
that the helicopter was developed for war and peacetime uses.
Their efforts helped this new revolutionary aircraft to evolve into the machine
that is known today.
1940, May 13 : Igor I. Sikorsky's flew his
VS-300 helicopter for the first time in a public demonstration. Commander William J. Kossler,
US Coast Guard, was an observer and began plans for its use by the Coast Guard.
1942, April 20:
Igor Sikorsky flew the R-4/HNS in a new demonstration. Kossler was there once again to witness this flight. He
would spend the rest of his life devoted to an aviation organization built
around the helicopter for use by the Coast Guard.
1942, June 29 :
Following an inspection of Igor I. Sikorsky's
VS-300 helicopter on 26 June,
Lieutenant Commander F. A. Erickson, US Coast Guard, recommended that
helicopters be obtained for antisubmarine convoy duty and life-saving.
1942, July 24:
The US Bureau of Aeronautics issued a Planning Directive calling for procurement of four Sikorsky helicopters for study and development by US Navy and US Coast Guard aviation forces.
1943, February 15 :
The Commander in Chief US Fleet, Admiral King, assigned responsibility for sea-going
development of helicopters and their operation in convoys to the Coast Guard
and directed that tests be carried out to determine if helicopters operating from
merchant ships would be of value in combating submarines.
1943, June 10 :
Erickson, proposed that helicopters be developed for antisubmarine warfare,
To this end he recommended that helicopters be equipped with radar and dunking sonar.
"not as a killer craft but as the eyes and ears of the convoy escorts."
1943, December 18 :
On the basis of his belief that tests indicated the practicability of ship-based
helicopters, the US Chief of Naval Operations separated the pilot training from
test and development functions in the helicopter program. He directed that,
effective 1 January 1944, a helicopter pilot training program be conducted by
the US Coast Guard at Floyd Bennett Field, under the direction of the Deputy
Chief of Naval Operations (Air).
1944, January 16 :
Lieutenant Junior Grade Stewart R. Graham, US Coast Guard, made the first
anti-submarine patrol from the british freighter Daghestan in mid-Atlantic
during a convoy from United States to England flying a Royal Navy R-4.
Between March 3rd 1944 and December that year, at Floyd Bennett Field along with the USCG staff,
4 courses of RN and RAF trainees were introduced to the R-4 (Hoverfly in British service ).
On December 30, the 10 Hoverflies were shipped to Britain (Faslane, Scotland) aboard HMS Thane.
1945: Bell 47
The Coast guard had two
Bell HTL-1 on wheels
One was based at USCG Air Station Traverse City, Mich. and the other at USCG Air Station Miami, Fla. Most of the Traverse City helicopter was on the Icebreaker Mackinaw on the Great lakes and the other on the CGC Eastwind in Greenland and Ellesmere Island in the far North of Canada. Both were lost in crashes.