"The Purple Foxes"

Squadron Patch
HMM Swifty
UH-34 Dog; by Mike Leahy
1961 - 1966
CH-46 Phrog, by Mike Leahy
1967 - 2014
2014 - Present
VMM-364 Swifty
VMM Swifty

Last Revised: 27 JANUARY 2024

If you served with HMM-364 and/or VMM-364 anytime between 1 September 1961 and
TODAY and your name does not appear in the squadron roster pages,
just email the SLJNCO with your last rank with the squadron, and years you were assigned to HMM-364.

Jump to the Table of Contents

"If the Army and the Navy, Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines."

SEMPER FI from your brother and sister Purple Foxes

SGT 67-69
January 1943 - January 2024

7 Narratives
Online Obituary

Bill, or as his service buddies knew him, “Willy” or “Maka” honorably served in the
Marines for 10 years and then served another 10 years in the Navy,
retiring after 20 total years of faithful service.

In lieu of flower donations may be made to
Shriners Children’s Hospital at or
St. Judes Children’s Hospital at

RIP, Willy
Semper Fi

Reunion INFO

Pop-a-Smoke 2024
Washington DC
1 - 4 August
Early Check-in 31 July

Few details yet.
Watch the Pop-a-Smoke
reunion site
official updates.

BIKES for school children around Danang

FROM: Warren Smith:
Dear Purple Foxes,
I have found a group dear to my heart that gives a good feeling all year.

It is a program developed by Matt Keenan that was in the Army in Danang at the end of the war helping the Vietnamese take over the bases we were leaving. He is in Vietnam on a regular basis and involve with the Vietnamese Agent Orange Association and a few orphanages.

He started a program to buy bikes for children living outside Danang that allow them to get to schools in Danang. The cost of the bike is $75 and you can have it named with a personal name of one of your interests. I picked my name first and the second bike I put HMM-364 on it. The second bike was given to a student from Quang Nam where many of us have flown over or landed.

You can contact Matt Matthew on email at: or Facebook under Matthew CF Keenan.

Matt will find out how many bikes you want, what name you might want on it. and give you an name and address to sent a check here in the States. He will let you know when the bike has been purchased and a picture of the student and bike.

I asked if there is any anger created by a military reference on the bike and he no they love Americans.

Vietnam Bikes - Warren Smith bike Vietnam Bikes - HMM364 bike

Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues

"If you served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina, you may have had contact with contaminants in the drinking water there."

Please check this link at the VA for more information.

This is not a religious site, but these Purple Foxes are in need of prayers:

Gary Galloway (another victim of Agent Orange)
Neddy Dautriel
Jim Smith

who else?

A Message from one Puple Fox about Agent Orange


This subject may be old news to many of you, but after a recent health experience I began talking to several Marine friends from the Vietnam era. I was surprised that, like me, some were in the dark or simply ambivalent about dealing with the U S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). While some had medical issues, they did not act for a variety of reasons. However, others went on to file successful VA disability claims. It is in this regard that I’m sending this note to the webmaster for his review and possible publishing to the site with the thought of alerting you to the program about Agent Orange. You may have missed it or simply ignored the potential benefit.

Briefly, I ended up hospitalized with a condition that affected my heart. During that process someone suggested that I qualified for a VA benefit. I put that suggestion aside, because I had left active duty in 1973 and thought that the length of time and my general good health over that period precluded a reasonable claim. However, I did follow up with the VA and learned about the presumptive nature of the list of Agent Orange diseases. There are numerous diseases listed, and some are very common amongst people of our age, such as….prostate cancer…type 2 diabetes and certain heart conditions.

You can read about this in the links below, but in essence, if you were there, it is presumed that your ailment, if one of the listed diseases, was caused by Agent Orange exposure. It doesn’t matter if you were drenched in the stuff or just saw the result of its spraying from the air. You don’t need to show causation because it is presumed that the specific disease is caused by agent orange. Also, the disease can be recently diagnosed and still be deemed to have been caused by agent orange.

The claim process for me was simple. The county VA agent provided the papers and chased down the necessary doctor’s statements. I supplied my DD214 and signature. It took a few months, but the clock starts when you file the claim.

My claim was successful, though limited because of my relative good health. Such a ruling can also be helpful with things such a real estate taxes and health care if warranted.

See the following links for a much more detailed discussion:

Take care,
Al Robillard
Purple Fox, 1969-1970

A NEW and Different Newsletter from HMM-364's active duty Marines and families.

Thank you Stephanie Hanson Caisse for sending this to us.

ACTIVE DUTY newsletter

The Squadron has shared with us their current NEWSLETTER that is sent to the active duty Marines.

Thanks to LtCol Kaiser and all of the Marines and their families for sharing this with us.

Col Henry Steadman, USMC
Inducted to the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Legacy Wall

Col Steadman

Served 1945-1978

Col. Henry (Hank) W. Steadman (1927-2016) USMC-ret. (1945-1978); interred at nearby Barrancas National Cemetery Pensacola. That long train ride from the farm in Mississippi to Parris Island, SC in 1945 was an auspicious start to a remarkable 33-year career in USMC. During his 5 years as an enlisted Marine, one of his earliest assignments was serving as Honor Guard on the Freedom Train for 14 mos. escorting all the important documents of the US throughout the United States following WWII. Selected as model for the USMC recruiting poster, utilized for nearly 20 yrs. Commissioned in 1950, followed by flight training, beginning an eventful and exciting flying career. Flew many of the early Marine Corps jets, including F-9F, FJ-4, T-33 and A-4. Miscellaneous other aircraft flown include: SNJ, T-28, F6F, AD(-4/5/6), SNB, R4D-8/C-117D, and OV-10. Transitioned to helos in 1959, and eventually saw service in HTL-6, HO4S, H-37, H-34, H-46, H-53, UH-1 and AH-1J. 2 distinguished tours in Vietnam: the 1st in 1965 as XO/CO of HMM-362 flying H-34s; his 2nd tour in 1970 as CO ("Papa Fox") of HMM-364 Purple Foxes flying CH-46s, and S-3 of MAG-16. Notably awarded 2 Silver Stars, LofM w/Cmbt V, DFC, VN Cross of Gallantry w/Silver Star, Purple Heart and 25 Air Medals during 500 combat missions over two VN tours. Final flying assignment: CO of MAG-29 at MCAS New River, NC (AH-1, UH-1, OV-10); then attended ICAF. Following retirement in 1978 served as helo/fixed-wing simulator instructor for 6 yrs. at NAS Whiting Field, FL. Proudly served as docent at this museum over several years. TOTAL Military Flying: 25 years, 5,000+ hours, 2 combat tours/500 combat missions, wide diversity of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft in multiple leadership positions. Col. Hank Steadman was our own larger-than-life hero and inspiration, 3 of his children followed with military careers, model Marine, distinguished and recognized leader, devoted family man and true American Hero.

Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum In Danger of Shutdown

Save the Museum

They're Moving to
El Toro.

The above link is a Word document of an email they sent out recently.

Museum Has The Largest Collection Of Historical Aircraft, Flown By Marine Corps Aviators, IN THE WORLD!

Our history and the courageous people who made the best of it happen are too often ignored or left to fade away by those who really should pay it the proper respect. Unfortunately; more evidence of that situation has reached us here at ANN.

On April 1, 2021, the United States Marine Corps intends to permanently close the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum.

The future of the artifacts, research library, and aircraft, which belong to the Marine Corps, is unknown. We have been told that the closure is for financial reasons, even though the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation has offered to assume full financial responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Museum.

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum has the largest collection of historical aircraft flown by U.S. Marine Corps aviators in the world. Currently on display in an outdoor setting are 31 aircraft from World War II to the present. Indoors there are 8 galleries displaying artwork, photographs, uniforms and artifacts from World War I to today.

The museum has a 27,000 square foot restoration hangar and up until the most recent downturn, there were future plans to build a 90,000 square foot museum building for indoor displays.

YOU can help by clicking this link to Save the Museum. They have tons of information about how to help, and what actions you can take.

A site that might be of interest:
U.S. Camps in Vietnam.

Credit to Mike Tennent for sharing this with us. Gary Benson shared this very interesting, but sad story about one of the bases: Camp Evans was named after Paul Evans, a buddy of mine, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was a year ahead of me in high school. We played football together in HS and college. He dropped out of college and was killed in December 1966 while assigned to the 26th Marines. That month I was working for Miller Funeral Home in Sioux Falls when we received the call that there was a military casket at the airport we needed to pick up. I was stunned when I saw the name on the manifest. He was a great guy. His mom never recovered from his loss and died within a few years after.

Wants YOUR photo!

The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
wants YOUR Vietname era phtoto of a CH-46 for their website/calendar. It MUST be a photo they have not used before in their calendar or their website. You can see the great photo collection they have at the

VHPA Photo page.

Purple Fox Origin Stories

An Origin Story
from Wally Krywko

Another version
from Col Watson

Swifty Spotlight Banner
Something new we are very excited about, our own Stephanie Hanson Caisse, author of A Corpsman's Legacy and A Corpsman's Legacy Continues, has started a newsletter called the Swifty Spotlight. She gets all kinds of snippets and tidbits of news about the squadron, so she decided to share it with the rest of us. If you would like her to sent one directly to you, I am sure you can get on her mailing list by contacting her through her website or Facebook.

Swifty Spotlight Issue 1 Swifty Spotlight Issue 1 Swifty Spotlight Issue 1
Stephanie Hanson Caisse
Author of "A Corpsman's Legacy"
Website -
Facebook -

Table of Contents

Jump back to The Top o' the page.

The Month of NOVEMBER in Your
Squadron's History

Squadron History(1),
As Published by HQMC

(Revised 10 February 2019)

Squadron History(2)
As told by the Purple Foxes

(Revised 9 October, 2021)

All Gave Some . . .
. . . Some Gave All

(Revised 12 JUNE 2022)
Memorial Monument and

Purple Fox Section

Taps, Deceased Since Returning From Vietnam
(Revised 27 JANUARY 2024)

The "Purple Foxes"
Squadron Roster

(Revised 27 JANUARY 2024)

Recent Roster Revisions
(Revised 27 JANUARY 2024)
The Warriors of Hill 881S
(Revised 19 October 2023)
Awards For Valor
(Revised 2 January 2016)

I Remember, Short Vivid
Memories of Vietnam

(Revised 1 March 2020)
Cruise Books, Extracts
Photo Album
(Revised 20 August 2017)

Squadron Lineage
Squadron Honors
Comments, From 
Those We Supported
(Revised 1 July, 2012)
"Foxes" Today,
Items of Interest.

(Revised  24 NOVEMBER 2019)

Recorded  Ditties
and other good stuff

(Reviseod 24 AUGUST, 2018)

Oral Histories
(Revised 3 JUNE 2017

Our Magnificent Crew Chiefs
(Revised  30 DECEMBER 2022)
Military Research
& Health Links
Last Updated: 11 August 2019
Request Copies of
Your Military Records
From the 3rd Stool on the Left
            Last Updated: 14 November, 2013

Reunion Updates
Last Updated: 31 July 2022
Health and Wellbeing
Links to Veterans related sites or pages on Health, Financial, Recovery, etc.
Updated: 25 February 2020

Dedicated to those Marines, and others, who served with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364
during their time in the Corps.   This site represents the collective efforts of all
former members of HMM-364 who believe their history, and the part they played in conducting
aerial support missions should be preserved.   In some cases the "PURPLE FOXES" relate,
with appropriate reverence and respect, incidents relative to their counterparts who did
not "come home alive".  All who view this historical account of HMM-364 should appreciate
that a complete history of our squadron must contain information relative
to all of our former Marines and Navy Corpsman.

Further, it should be noted that HMM-364's illustrious legacy should not appear to diminish the
contributions of our other 'Marine Brothers,' be they aviation, ground or support units. 
There existed at these times in our Marine Corps a great deal of mutual respect among all Marines
who endured the experience of war.  Therefore, where possible, credit will be given to
individuals and units which were associated with developing this  historical account of the
"Purple Foxes" to cultivate and promote the same Esprit De Corps which existed then and today.

Contributions to this site are respectfully requested which might cover, but not limited to,
subjects such as those listed in the 'Table of Contents' above and, we encourage submissions
from those Marines we supported.

(Offered for information only.) POW/MIA

I am looking into an MIA, and hoping to convince the MIA/POW people to look in another place for Gary Rehn. HMM-364 flew the Mission: Major Hocevar did the recon insertion, and Major Robinson did the emergency extraction.

Recon Team was eversharp. Inserted was on 8 Nov 1967, and emergency extraction was on 9 Nov 1967 after an ambush. VMO-6 flew escort on both, and coordinated the LZ prep for both.

I am hoping to find some contact information of either Major Hocevar and Major Robinson.

Ray Backstrom
MSgt USMC (Retired)

Declassified After Action Report

(Offered for information only.)

Lou Reda Productions

To whom it may concern,

Since 1983, Lou Reda Productions has worked hard to preserve and share America’s military history through film. The company has been a longtime collaborator with networks including the History Channel and National Geographic, producing high-quality, non-fiction programming.

Currently, we are hoping to be in pre-production for a Vietnam series for television. We are looking for 8mm and 16mm film of the Vietnam War, particularly footage shot by soldiers or individuals in-theater, audio letters, and period footage from the 1950s-1970s highlighting the home front and the average “day in the life of an American.”

If you have footage or audio letters, we would be interested in speaking with you and possibly interviewing you on camera for our series. You may contact Lou Reda Productions directly at or 646-620-6181. To learn more about Lou Reda Productions go to

(Offered for information only.)

Hello, my name is Jon. I was in the Marine Corps from 2013-2017, I was a Sergeant in MWSS-372 and deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from 2015-2016. I did TRAP duties with C/1/7, VMM-268, and VMGR-352 while deployed.

Since I've gotten out I've dedicated my free time to upholding the legacy of the Marine Corps. I run an Instagram page dedicated to Marine Air Wing history:

I also recently attended the 5th Marine Division Association reunion where I interviewed WWII and Vietnam vets alike. I'm reaching out to see if any Marine Corps veterans of the Vietnam War would be interested in talking about their experience with me. I'm looking for Pilots and/or Crew Chiefs that are willing to share their story. My intent would be to record and share these stories in a way that is reverent to their service, and also upholds the legacy of the Corps. If anyone would be interested the best way to reach me is by email at

Thank you all for your service, and welcome home! Semper Fidelis!

©1999  All rights Reserved.

Copyright Information and Disclaimer

Bookmark This Site Now.
The History is Still Being Written.

If you have comments or suggestions, email me at SLJNCO
Webmaster's Logbook (blog)