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  • usa Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Thirteen

    US Navy

    HS-13 : Sub Choppers

    1961 to 1962    

    Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Thirteen
    For as long as HS squadrons have been in existence, the US Navy has based the even numbered squadrons on the West Coast and the odd numbered squadrons on the East Coast. Thus HS-1, HS-3, HS-5, HS-7, HS-9, HS-11, HS-15 and HS-17 have always been East Coast squadrons. Many believe that there never was an HS-13, which had something to do with the unlucky connotations of the number 13. Despite the harbingers of doom associated with the number, there was an HS-13 in existence in the early 1960s, if only for a few days over one year. Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron THIRTEEN (HS-13) was established on 25 September 1961, as part of Anti-Submarine Carrier Air Group SIXTY-TWO (CVSG-62), which itself was stood up on the same day. Shore based at NAS Quonset Point, R.I., HS-13 was authorized a strength of up to 16 Sikorsky HSS-1N Seabats. The N model Seabat was optimized for night and all weather operations. Also assigned to CVSG-62 was Anti-Submarine Squadrons TWENTY (VS-20) and FORTY-TWO (VS-42), both flying the Grumman S2F-1 Tracker. Although HS-13 was authorized up to 16 HSS-1Ns, the squadron rarely had that many on strength. In September 1961, only 2 airframes were listed on hand, with four more arriving the next month. At the close of 1961, HS-13 had 11 Seabats. Finally, in June 1962, the squadron had a full compliment of 16 Seabats. The exact date of the announcement that CVSG-62, and all its squadrons, would be disestablished is not certain. However, the end was certainly clear because in July 1962, HS-13 had only one airframe still on the books. Indeed, VS-42 was completely gone. By August 1962, the final HSS-1N was gone and HS-13 ceased to be listed as a viable squadron in September 1962. CVSG-62, along with HS-13, was officially disestablished on 1 October 1962. There is one reference that questions whether or not HS-13 even existed, positing that the squadron was simply formed on paper. However, the January 1962 issue of the Navy Naval Aeronautical Organization (OPNAV 05400) states that HS-13 was on board NAS Quonset Point, and had 49 officers and 262 enlisted personnel. Throughout its short existence, HS-13, nor CVSG-62 for that matter, never deployed to sea. HS-13 was nicknamed the Sub Choppers. The squadron patch showed a cartoon cat, equipped with a tail rotor and flying off an aircraft carrier. The cat is carrying a bloody axe and is poised to take a swing at a submarine. Some squadrons are disestablished on one day, only to be reestablished later in the future. This never happened to HS-13. Perhaps the number 13 was indeed, unlucky. Cheers. Dave Powers

    Hi, I'm Jack McArdle, I am a blank owner of HS13 for about one year beginning about November, 1961.
    When HS-13 was disbanded in 1962, some of us enlisted men were transferred to HS-5, where I ended up, or HS-11. Both those squadrons were also based at Quonset Point.
    1961, HS-13 Quonset Point. Then to HS-5. Ed Dabbs, AKAN
    1961-1962 Edward Dabbs AKAN Supply Dept with J Franks. -
    1961-1962 It looks like I am the only sonarman so far on the site. The sonar rating was a "blackshoe" rating that had a helo component. I remember when I showed up and bumped an aviation rating from flight status. The hss-1 only antisub sensor was sonar so most of the aircrewman were blackshoe sonarman. not a very good situation so the navy created the AX rating aviation antisubmarin warfare. I remember the skippers car auction, but in a little different way. I remember that he wanted to sell it but couldn't get any buyers so the executive officer and the CO's wife came up with the paint job and auction idea. I can remember morning quarters when they had the car all painted like one of the helo's and parked in the hanger with a fire bottle beside it an an auxzillery power unit cable going under the hood. Needlless to say he was surprised. Then it was auctioned off. I remember walking around the hanger on fire duty at night in the snow, and for a Florida kid it was cold in Rhode Island. My most remembered flight was also in the winter , wearing a winter flight suit (pupysuit), and flying around the Boston harbor looking for a man-over-board from a ship Then went thru the decommissioning and ended up in HS3 down in the cuban missle crisis. I continued in the navy and retired in 1982. For all those crazies who think the moon shot was phony, I also was in HS_8 when we recovered the Apollo 11 moon landing, watched the capsule re-enter and splash down within sight of the carrier. -
    I was a plank owner of HS-13 and was assigned to HS-5 after HS-13 was decommissioned. We were deployed on USS Lake Champlain, USS Randolph, USS Wasp. I am looking for the roster to find a few shipmates that may still be around.
    I also was a plank owner of HS-13 based at NAS Quonset Point RI. From 1961 to 1962 and after the notice of decommissioning was transferred to NS Rota Spain. I still have my patch as seen in the above article. As I recall we were told by our Commanding Officer that we were commissioned because of the Berlin Crisis of 1961,to see if a sub squadron could be up and operational within a year. I talking to my son who was also in the Navy and stated that I looked in many different Military sites and could not find anything on HS-13 and he found this site. It the only site that I know that refers to HS-13. Hope we find more shipmates.
    I was a plank owner in this squadron. Henry Allen ADR3. I was a Plane captain and air Crew. I also flew ASW training missions because we had no AWs yet. I left in about april 1962 for B school.
    HS-13 was indeed a real squadron, with my father being assigned to it out of Quonset Point. He was assigned to the USS Essex (CVS-9) in the fall of 1961 and did not have HSS-1Ns, but had the HSS-2s assigned to their unit on the Essex. The squadron on the Essex was HS-13 until the fall of 1962 and then re-named HS-9. He has both patches, the Sub Chopper patch and also the Sea Griffin patch. He said that they were in the middle of the Cuban Crisis, with their mission being the tracking of Russian subs. He said that his HS-13 squadron located a Russian sub and with assistance of a destroyer, they forced the Russian sub to surface.
    I was one of the original 12 enlisted plank owners that helped HS-13 get started. The only officer was the commanding officer. He went through our records and give us assignments. I was in charge of setting up communions dept. I was due to be discharged the end of Aug. 1962. I think when I left there was only about 5 people left in the squadron. Don Green AT3
    I was a plank owner in HS-13. I was a AD3 and when it was decommissioned I was transferred to HS-9 that was attached to the Essex. HS-9 was never HS-13, there were three Helo squadrons stationed at Quonset Point RI. HS-5 aboard the USS Lake Champlain and HS-9 aboard the USS Essex, HS-13 was never assigned to any Air Craft Carrier. Ken
    I was a plank owner in HS-13. I worked in supply and was taught by Jerry Franks. I was one of the last to go and went to HS -5. Larry walters
    My name is Larry Walters and I had a HS-13 patch with Plank owner over the top. I remember Don Green as we went to Brown Spring Weekend one time. I went to HS-5 and eventually ended up at Nea Makri Greece. I was a Plank Owner in HS13 where I worked in Supply with Gerry Frank and a bunch of others. there was INDEED an HS-13. I think, but dont know for sure, if we were the first to have HS-34J
    Does anyone remember the name of the corpsman of HS-13. He use to borrow my MGA and would fill it with gas for me. He came and saw me when he got his new orders to transfer. He wanted to go back to the Marines. He was so happy he got want he wanted. I have often wondered if he went to Vietnam. I think I have pictures of Larry Walters. I think you were one of the 4 non-rated in the ops office. There were only 5 enlisted men in ops with about 23 officers. Larry if you will email me I can email you the picture and see if I am correct about who you are. degreen60 AT hotmail.com
    Commander Wiseman obituary the commanding officer of HS-13, the officer that assigned me the task of setting up the communications dept.
    My father V.C Whitmire was a member of the squadron, he was a Lieutenant or Lt Commander. I believe the patch is on a plaque hanging on my mother's wall still. Our family was stationed at Quonset Point in 1961 (I recall the winter there, so that fits the timeline), but I think we were there for only six months before heading to Norfolk for 6 months, then Key West for 6 months. Tough time for my mom with 4 young kids. He has been gone for 5 years now, I wonder if anyone remembers him.
    My Dad was in HS-13, don't have many details except tgat he lost an eye working on one of the choppers. George Dewey ADR3 was how he left the Navy.
    HS-13 and HS-5 deployed on USS Lake Champlain CVS 39. My service dates, Jan 1,1961 - Dec 1964 after discharge worked for US Navy Bureau of Weapons Quonset Pt. Vietnam Campaign support. HS 13 operated longer than 2 years. Our Commander Eugene E Wiseman was more than our commander and he was more than our officer in charge. He departed for a better place in 2014. After his retirement he lived in North Kingston R.I. There were many of us that hold the honor as Plank Owner. My patch is framed with a few mementos along with my AMS3 rating. Bob Crowley of Philadelphia won the prize for submitting his drawing, he was another member or the AMS aircraft maintenance structures division of HS-13. Commander Wiseman instilled leadership traits to each and everyone under his command. He lead not only by word but with his actions. He was the first person in my life as an 18 year old that I could look up to and learn what it takes to be a leader. 55 years later I hung up my wrenches with 50 plus year award from the FAA. This is a small example of his leadership and I can relay many more. Every month he would organize a squadron party and instill that each and everyone of us was an important part of the squadron. He had a 50 Plymouth Gray cope. For one of our parties he arranged our Structures dept. to design and paint it in our squadron colors. At Davisville the Seabees had a auto car wash and paint shop we painted a dayglo hood light blue for the rest of the car and large number 50 his aircraft number on the side of the coupe and it was auctioned with the proceeds for children's care in N Kingston. On a few of our squadron deployments the "Champ" USS Lake Champlain was in a couple collisions. May 6, 1964 DD 936 USS Decatur collided with the Champ while replenishing and fueling the Decatur had its super structure heavily damaged. June 3, 1964 a Norwegian freighter rammed us on our starboard side just aft of our superstructure at our waterline. It was approx. 4 am heading up Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis to pick up midshipmen. The fires were pretty intense They were at our squadrons structural shop on the hangar deck. When the continue ships bell sounded it was the alarm to head to your battle stations. My group headed to our hanger deck shop and found the Oxygen cylinders and Acetylene cylinders were burning together as an immense cutting torch. Hours later and at daybreak we heard on our radio from a news agency what happened. 2 trailer truck size holes at our water line as we entered the shipyard for repairs. I tried finding fellow ship mates from HS-13 Joe Simons, Joe Sheffield both ADM;s both from New Jersey, Bob Crowley, Caruso both AMS, Donnie Shell, Ralph Mullen. If anyone has a good website drop me an email, Ronald Castagna -
    just came across this site today 2/07/2021 and notice one of my brothers or sisters posted two posts above about our father, George William Dewey Jr. My father was a member of HS-13, and did a short at sea period on board the USS Lake Champlain, but I am not sure of the specific dates. His Navy service was from March-59 to Jan-63 and he attained the rate of ADR3 by the time of his discharge. I do recall him having that same patch shown above, and sure his said Plank Owner, and remember him explaining to me when I was young what that meant. Some time toward the end of his Navy service he had an accident while working on one the choppers and as a result lost his right eye. He received a disability retirement which turned out to be beneficial for us as a family years later as we always had medical coverage through that retirement status. George Dewey went on to work as a machinist and to have six children (3) boys & (3) girls, two of which joined and honorable served in the US Navy. Them being my older brother George and myself, John. George Dewey Jr passed away from cancer in late 1992 at the age of 51. -

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