Kaman  HOK-1 (OH-43D)    Huskie


The first HOK-1's were accepted by the MARINES  in the period April-December 1953        (125528, 125530, 12802)


TOTAL   HOKs   BUILT    83
BuNo.  125528 - 125531  (4)
BuNo.  129800 - 129842  (43)
BuNo.  138098 - 138102  (5)
BuNo.  139971 - 140001  (31) 

HOK-1  129835 at Bloomfield - Kaman photo - collection Mr. Sean Carroll



Probably the very first rescue executed by a Kaman HOK was undertaken with aircraft 129813, a Huskie at that time used by Kaman Aircraft Corp. for various trials at their Bloomfield, CT plant..
Chief test pilot Mr. Al Newton, KAC rescued 13 persons from different locations in Unionville, CT. during a disasterous flood in the Farmington River Valley, CT.  on 19 Aug 1955.
The aircraft had no hoist or cargo hook. The rescues were made with the aid of a 75' length of 5/8"  manila rope with a loop in the end.

A second HOK, with KAC test pilot Pete Russell and Herley Tower, KAC employee, picked up a doctor from his flooded backyard. Both HOKs helped to transport food and medical supplies.
(KamanRotorTips July 1960-page 3 and 13)



The Navy's Overhaul and Repair Facility was based at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL.  (1959-1962)
(KamanRotorTips  April 1962-p.7)

In the Far East the UH-43C/OH-43D (HUK-1, HOK-1) overhaul and rework was facilitated at  Shin Meiwa Industry Co.'s  Itami, Osaka, Japan.  It was completed with the delivery of the 39th helicopter. A ceremony was held by the Osaka Detachment of  Fleet Air Western Pacific, U.S. Navy, to mark the event. Pilot of this HOK was Capt Francis E. Martin, USMC.  With the captain, were Cdr Edward O. Crosby, USN, facility management officer; and Lt D. D. Conquest, USN, contract administrator.
(KamanRotorTips  Apr-May64-p.9)



 Kaman Rotor Tips issue Aug-Sep-1965 page 15



NATC Mar 1955 - ?
NAS Patuxent River, MD
"Rotor & Wing International" , April 1989 , p.16 "Letters" The HOK-1 was flown at the  NATC at Patuxent River as early as March 1955, before it was placed in service with Fleet Marine Force units. These were so called BIS-trials.  Marine Corps line pilots were assigned to put the machines through the various flight regimes that would be required for field performance after delivery to the Fleet Marine Corps units. Information from these flights was also used to determine serviceability and maintenance requirements. The BIS trials were begun only after factory flight testing had been completed. In about March 1955, an HOK-1 disintegrated in flight over the Chesapeake Bay, killing the pilot. The BIS trials were suspended until the accident investigation was completed. In September 1955, the BIS tests were resumed with five Marine Corps pilots participating. On about Sept 23, 1955, another HOK-1 crashed in the woods a few miles north of Patuxent River. The pilot was killed. The BIS tests were again suspended until the accident investigation was completed. The first deliveries to the Marine Corps began in 1956.
Assigned  aircraft :


HOK  129835 was tested by the US Army at Ft. Rucker , AL  during a six-month period of time. It arrived at Ft. Rucker, AL on 25 October 1956




1956 - 1964       
MAG 26 , 2nd  Marine Aircraft Wing, Aircraft, FMF, Atlantic
MCAF New River , Jacksonville , NC
KamanRotorTips  April 1962-p.7  

"VMO-1  HOKs Qualify For Carriers"
A whole squadron of HOKs flew out to the carrier USS Thetis Bay off the coast of North Carolina recently for a period of carrier qualification and shipboard indoctrination for 10 pilots attached to VMO-1, MAG-26, MCAF New River, NC.
It was the first time this squadron of HOK has been given the opportunity to carrier qualify.
VMO-1 is called upon from time to time to send a couple of HOK's with other squadron detachments from MAG-26 when they go aboard carrier for cruises, and therefore, their combat readiness was elevated considerably by all of the available squadron pilots being able to carrier-qualify at one time.

Under normal operations, the pilots of VMO-1 are under the operational control of the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, and fly missions in support of ground forces in maneuvers at the Marine Corps Base, and at Vieques, Puerto Rico where they have one HOK in support of the battalion there.

KamanRotorTips  Dec63 - Jan 64 -p.9

"VMO-1 Rescues Three"
While on detached duty, OH-43D crews from VMO-1, MAG-26, MCAF, New River, NC., rescued two marines and a civilian from shark-infested waters.
Saved were the pilot and crewman of a light observation plane which crashed near the USS Okinawa while coming in for a landing.
An OH-43D, piloted by 1stLt D. P. Reichert, was loaded with cargo slings at the time. The helicopter landed on the ship, dropped the slings, took aboard Sgt C. W. Revier and Cpl B. Hilmandolar as crewmen, then flew to the crash site. The rescuees were hoisted to the OH-43D from their life raft and taken aboard the ship for medical treatment.

Several days later another OH-43D was on its way from St. Thomas to the naval station at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, when Capt George G. Evans and his co­pilot, Capt Jacob W. Moore, intercepted a radio call on SAR frequency between a Coast Guard SA-16 and the naval station tower. A civilian had been sighted in a water-filled boat and rescue operations were underway. Captain Evans joined in the search and, guided by smoke flares dropped from the SA-16, located the boat. The lone occupant was hoisted to safety and flown to shore.

KamanRotorTips  Oct-Nov64-p.3,4 "VMO-1's  Mission to Peru"
By Capt G.F. Gallagher, Capt R.N. Moore, WO. R.L. Norton – as told to 1st Lt S.C. Spink, Information Services Officer.
A short while ago marines from VMO-1, MAG-26, MCAF, New River, N, C. played a leading role in the helicopter rescue of 11 sick, injured or wounded Peruvian road engineers from the dense Amazon Basin jungle near Iquitos in Northern Peru. The engineers had been sur­rounded and under attack by hostile Indians for several days. Flying in OH-43D’s, the marines were part of a combined rescue operation involving the Peruvian Air Force, the U. S . Air Force and the U. S. Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. A request from the Peruvian govern­ment for aid for the beleaguered party put the wheels in motion. Following alert of the rescue control center at Albrook AFB, C. Z. , USAF C-130's airlifted two marine OH-43D's from Howard AFB to Iquitos, Peru , 600 miles north of Lima. The helicopters normally operated from the USS Guadalcanal which was taking part in training exercises in the Caribbean area.

see pictures below  
Assigned  aircraft :

photo 129820  "9820 ER"  "143"     1962
photo 129823  "9823 ER"  "142"     1964
photo 139977  "9977 ER"  "146?"   1962

photo 139979  "9979 ER"  "147"

These three pictures of VMO-1 aircraft copied out of Kaman Rotor Tips issues Oct64 and Apr 1962


MARINES     VMO-2                                   Apr 1956 - 30 Apr 1965
MAG 16 , 3nd  Marine Division   
Camp Sukiran , Okinawa , Japan   
              Apr 1956 - Oct 1960 
MCAF Futema , Okinawa , Japan  
             Oct 1960 -  Apr 1965               

MARINES   Sub-Unit 1 , VMO-2 
MAG 11    NAS Atsugi , Japan                  Sept 1960 - Apr 1965

"Rotor & Wing International" , April 1989 , p.16 "Letters" On May 23, 1956, VMO-2 received eight HOK-1s at Naha, Okinawa. The machines were offloaded from a freighter to the wharf where rotor blades were installed . The machines were flown by Kaman test pilot and VMO-2 pilots to the VMO-2 base at Sukiran for inspection and test flights.
1958 TDY Cubi Point, Philippines  Mar-Dec 1958
KamanRotorTips  Nov 1960-p18 TDY training exercise to Philippines
KamanRotorTips  May 1961-p.19

Helicopters of Sub-Unit 1, VMO-2  at Atsugi.
Sub Unit One of MAG-16  VMO-2  originated Sept. 1960, and was placed under operational control of MAG-11. The sub unit operated with two HOKs and three pilots

KamanRotorTips  June 1962-p.16  VMO-2, MAG 16, MCAF  Okinawa  -  HOK-1's  attached to VMO-2 land on the carrier USS Princeton during maneuvers in the Western Pacific.
KamanRotorTips  Oct 1962-p.3-6

The squadron calls MCAF Futema, Oki­nawa, home, but Sub-units of the squadron are likely to be found scattered throughout the Far East.
In order to carry out all of these varied missions, the squadron employs the Kaman HOK-1 and Cessna OE-1 type aircraft 
The squadron was in the Philippines partici­pating in "Operation Tulungan.
The squadron had aircraft oper­ating in Japan, on the LPH Princeton, NAS Sangley point, and two locations on Mindoro Island, Philippines. Also, during this maneuver the entire squadron, including all personnel, equipment, and aircraft, were moved from the aircraft carrier to shore and back again, three separate times.
The nine HOK's participating in this ma­neuver logged 428 hours in 13 flying days. 

Whenever aircraft are transferred to Japan, Korea, Philippines, or other areas in the Far East, they usually are dis­assembled and airlifted by Marine GV's or Air Force Globemasters, then reassembled on location. During the past ten months the HOK's were disassembled and reassembled 21 times and the OE's ten times.

KamanRotorTips  Apr 1963-p.6   An OH-43D (HOK-1) attached to VMO-2's Sub Unit One based at NAS Atsugi, Japan, recently logged its 2, 000th accident-free flight hour to become the third helicopter of this type to obtain such a goal. This is the second time that VMO-2, which is stationed on Okinawa, has surpassed the 2, 000th accident-free hour with an OH-43D-the first was in April, 1962. VMO-6, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. , first set the record in March, 1962.
28 May - 13 June 1964                TDY to Island Mindoro , Philippines
                   "Operation Ligtas", SEATO excercise                                   
KamanRotorTips  Jun-July64-p.6

"2,500 Hours"   
Congratulations were in order at VMO-2, MCAF Futema, Okinawa, when this OH-43D set down. It was the squadron's fourth helicopter of this type to pass the impressive 2500-hour flight mark. Shown after the landing are, left to right, WO H. L. Ritter, maintenance officer; LtCol  J. L. Freitas, command­ing officer; Cpl D. L. Curtis, crew chief; and GySgt E. G. Stover, maintenance control chief. Like the men of VMO-2, the OH-43D's have really "been around. " This helicopter accumulated the 2500 hours while flying in the United States, Okinawa, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Korea. (USMC photo by Sgt George Franco)

KamanRotorTips  Aug-Sep64-p.20

"Marine Mercy Mission"
Capt George E. Pratt, USMC, of VMO-2, MCAF, Futema, Okinawa, was awarded a Scroll of Honor re­cently for the night helicopter evacu­ation of a seriously injured civilian from the jungle on Mindoro Island , PI. 

Darkness was fast approaching when Captain Pratt, in an OH-43D, heard a call on Guard channel from a forward air controller on the ground. A civilian had a badly lac­erated leg and needed immediate medical attention. The captain pro­ceeded to the area and was vectored into the landing zone by the lights of a jeep. The trees in the area were from 100 to 150 feet high but, with radio help from the ground, he was able to land and evacuate the injured man to a field hospital.

KamanRotorTips  Dec64-Jan65-p.5  

"VMO-2's Flyingest Helicopter Retires"    (photo of   HOK  VS-9   19 Oct 1964   3000hrs )
MCAF FUTEMA, OKINAWA, Office of Information - One of the "flyingest" helicopters west of the In­ternational ternational Dateline and east of San Diego set a milestone in Marine Corps helicopter aviation recently at Futema, Okinawa. 
On 19 October, 1964, "Old Num­ber Nine, " an OH-43D (HOK-1) manufactured by the Kaman Air­craft, Corp., completed 3000 flight hours and nine years of active ser­vice with Marine Observation Squad­ron Two stationed at Futema. It also rounded out 180, 000 accident and incident-free air miles in end­ing its service career. LtCol J. L. Freitas, Jr., commanding officer of VMO-2, was at the controls for the historic flight; Mr. William Murray, KAC vice president, was copilot.   
VMO-2, one of the squadrons making up Marine Aircraft Group 16 stationed at Okinawa,  accepted Number Nine in April of 1956. Since that time squadron pilots have tested Nine's worth in training missions as a part of the Marine Corps' Force in Readiness in such locations as Formosa, Korea, Japan and the Philippines. Marine observers have used the aircraft to perform land and carrier-based operations in­volving reconnaissance, naval gun­fire spotting, artillery spotting, photo reconnaissance and the direc­tion of close air support attack air­craft. When not flying tactically, the marines have flown Number Nine on routine training flights, search and rescue assignments, and for emergency evacuation of sick, wounded or injured marines of the 3rd Marine Division, also stationed at Okinawa.

The nine years and 180, 000 air miles of accident/incident free fly­ing for Number Nine is mute testi­mony to the outstanding mainte­nance and repairs Nine has received at the hands of VMO-2 mechanics electricians, metalsmiths and plane captains. In fact, the mechs and the plane captains have kept the 'chopper' in the same state of com­bat readiness as when it first joined the Corps. VMO-2 will be receiv­ing anew jet helicopter soon, but 'Old Number Nine' goes into retire­ment as a tough, dependable, proven veteran, ready for recall should the need arise.
HISTORIC FLIGHT -Shown after OH-43D's 3000th landing are, left to right, Col Robert A. Merchant, commanding officer of MAG-16; LtCol Joseph L. Freitas, Jr., commanding officer of VMO-2; LCpI G. F. Brickey, crew chief; William R. Murray, KAC vice president - Test Operations and Customer Service; Donald R. Tancredi, KAC service representative.
(USMC photo)

KamanRotorTips  Aug-Sep65-p.15

"Veteran OH-43D Retires"           photo of VS-12 
Jack King, technical representative for KAC, says "sayonara" to 1stLt Don W. Cantrell, OIC of VMO-2's Sub Unit 1 as the pilot and his copilot, 1stLt Wayne W. Crews, prepare their unit's OH-43D Syncropter for its final flight to Kisarazu where it will be phased out of the Naval-Marine service. The VMO-2 Sub Unit is the last Navy organization to utilize the services of the piston-driven helo. Since 1958 the unit has supported Marines attached to Camp Fuji, located at the base of Mt Fujiyama. King was at Naha air station in 1956 when the first OH-43D was unloaded.
(Official USN photo)  see photo near top of this page "Final Flight"

Assigned  aircraft :

photo  129827  with  "VS 8"    Korea  1960
photo  139983  with  "VS 1"    Japan  1960
photo  139984  with  "VS 10"  Philippines  Jun 1964,  with "VS 5", "VS 6" and "VS 11"
photo  139988  with  "VS 14"  Japan   May 1964
photo  139990  with  "VS 4"    Okinawa      (Kaman
RotorTips  Feb 1963-p.6) with  "VS 1"  and  "VS 6"
photo  …..        with  "VS 3"    Sub Unit 1, VMO-2   Early 1964
photo  …..        with  "VS 9"    Oct 1964
photo  …..        with  "VS 12"  Sub Unit 1, VMO-2    1965  



MARINES   VMO-6 July 1956 - 1962
MAG 36 , 1st  Marine Division
MCAS Camp Pendleton , CA
KamanRotorTips  April 1962-p.7

Camp Pendleton, CA  ---  A  HOK-1  passed the 2,000 flight-hour mark here recently (about Jan 1962).
The HOK-1 was accepted from the manufacturer at Bloomfield, Conn in July 1956. During the past five and one-half years it has twice seen service with VMO-6 at Camp Pendleton and with HMR-363, MCAS Santa Anna, CA. (MAG-36) 

The HOK-1 , used for reconnaissance and observation missions, will soon retrace the route it took in February 1959 - to the Navy's Overhaul and Repair Facility at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL.

KamanRotorTips  Dec 1962-p.6 VMO-6, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. , recently accumulated 10,000 accident-free flight hours from Aug. 18, 1961 to Aug. 3, 1962. The squadron, apart of MAG-36, flys HOK-l's and OE fixed-wing aircraft. The helicopters were flown for 4558 hours while the OE's totaled 5442.
KamanRotorTips  Apr 1963-p.6 An OH-43D (HOK-1) attached to VMO-2's Sub Unit One based at NAS Atsugi, Japan, recently logged its 2, 000th accident-free flight hour to become the third helicopter of this type to obtain such a goal. This is the second time that VMO-2, which is stationed on Okinawa, has surpassed the 2, 000th accident-free hour with an OH-43D-the first was in April, 1962. VMO-6, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif. , first set the record in March, 1962.
Assigned  aircraft :

photo 129828  "WB 23" 
photo 129836  "WB 17"   Feb 1961 
photo 138098 
"WB ?"     May 1961
photo 139974  "WB 7"     (in storage 1965) 

photo               "WB 16"   Oct 61



MARINES   HMX-1 1955
MCAS Quantico, VA
Assigned  aircraft :

photo 129820  "XM 33" 
129821  "XM 34" 
photo 139992  "33"          Jun 1962 

photo 139978  "33"          Nov 1962

HOK-1  129820  - Kaman photo - collection Mr. Sean Carroll



MARINES    HMRL-263 1958 - 1959
Location ?
Assigned  aircraft :



MARINES     HMR-363 1959 ?
MAG 36
MCAS   Santa Anna , CA

KamanRotorTips  April 1962-p.7

A  HOK-1  passed the 2,000 flight-hour mark here recently (about Jan 1962).
The HOK-1 was accepted from the manufacturer at Bloomfield, Conn in July 1956. During the past five and one-half years it has twice seen service with VMO-6 at Camp Pendleton and with HMR-363, MCAS Santa Anna, CA. (MAG-36) 
Assigned  aircraft :



MARINES  Station Operations 1958 - 1960
MCAS El Toro, CA Photo  139992  "YZ 77"             May 1958 
Photo  140001  "El Toro 001"    Dec 1959
MCAS Mojave, CA  Photo  139974  "Mojave 9974"     (KamanRotorTips July 1960-p4) 


last update 31/05/2007