Posts tagged ‘hmh-363’

CH-53 Delta photos pt.1, Deltas in Hawaii

Pictures of actual CH-53 Deltas, like the name of my website suggests would be found here, were specifically asked for. I chose using 53 Delta in the title because it was unique and had meaning to me. But after more than one person saying: “There’s not really any pictures of Deltas on there,” I decided to deliver.

2008

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2009

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2011

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A Pair of Gold Oak Leaves for Maese

New Years Day.
Just couldn’t turn down Capt Maese’s invitation to attend his promotion in Quantico. I had to see the guy get promoted who I first flew with when we were both in training before the fleet, and one of only two pilots who did the three deployments with me.

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LtCol Volkert working the crowd like a seasoned late-night host

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Museum promotion

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Let’s hear what the man has to say…

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Five former Red Lions, including Maj Elseroad, LtCol Volkert, Maj Maese, Myself, Sgt Valencia

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Giving Maese an old Red Lions shoulder patch I found in Okinawa

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Me and Gus Gus

Self-Portrait project

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Staring into the past

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Once you put it on, does it really ever come off?

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Are medals made of cloth and brass, or are built from the actions it resulted from

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Fonder memories

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Squadron patches

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I’itoi, the Native American ‘Man in the Maze’. Spontaneous choices lead to meaningful tattoos

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We can’t wait to take the uniform off, but after our duty is finished we yearn to put it back on

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Countless hours spent flying and sweating in that helmet

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Wonder what’s next

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Sentimental Armor

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Well-worn chevrons

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Hung up for good, or waiting for me to put it back on

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Lone warrior

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Revocation of Flight Orders

From (Red) Lions to Tigers

So, the last remaining CH-46 squadron here, HMM-262, the Flying Tigers, was slated to turn into an Osprey squadron not long after our arrival, and one morning in mid-August a large gaggle of the ungainly-looking helicopters flew in. I expected the Ospreys sooner or later, but what shocked me was the squadron that the aircraft and people came from.
I quickly recognized the lion’s head emblazoned on the tail fins and the “Y Z” tail code, and written on the fuselages was VMM-363. It was kind of like a swift kick in the nuts to my psyche, seeing these aircraft I’m not very fond of with my old unit’s designation. Not that it’s the same as my 363, HMH-363, since it turned into a unit with completely different people and aircraft in a different location, but sucked nonetheless. Of course, I also received the expected jokes from some of the other more senior guys here since they knew I was a Red Lion, and I had recently put a Red Lion patch on the front of my cranial. “I didn’t know you were a V-22 guy” was probably the most common one I heard the first few days, among some others.
Of course they won’t stay as 363 and once the 262 redesignation takes place, these Ospreys will be marked as VMM-262, with all the other Flying Tigers logos and such.

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Sucks to see these old aircraft go

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A proper Red Lion aircraft (January 2011, ‘Lava Viper’ at PTA, Hawaii)

A Trip to the Patch Shop

After learning about a patch-making store that almost every Marine aviation unit has used during their time on Okinawa, I knew there had to be some nice old patches from HMH-363. Most of the Crew Chiefs and Mechanics that taught me when I was a boot in 363 had deployed to Oki with the squadron once or twice, and fellow Kaneohe Bay 53D squadrons 362 and 463 had been there several times. In fact the store, called Tiger Embroidery, is apparently the “go to” place for all military units (American, Japanese, and other foreign nations) to make ‘det’ patches. They keep stacks of previously printed patches as what I assume were extras. Some patches were pretty old; I noticed one 363 patch referencing being on Okinawa in 1991 when Desert Storm was taking place elsewhere, I refrained from buying it though. I did not, however, refrain from buying all the other HMH-363 and CH-53D patches I could find. For me, it was like being a kid in a candy store.

Here are some of the patches I found, and if any old 363 people want me to pick up a patch for them send me an e-mail: drtorrellas@gmail.com

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Kinda cool, but too big and awkward of a shape to actually wear

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A strange ‘blacked out’ version of the standard HMH-363 patch

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I believe this one is from the 1980’s

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My favorite patches, something tells me this is from 363’s 2002 or 2004 deployment to Okinawa

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Also a good one