I was transferred from HMM-363 to HMM-364 in January 1966 during the reassignment of the personnel in the original Marine Aircraft Group 36 (MAG-36) deployment.  The entire group had been deployed in August of 1965 and it suddenly dawned on someone that it would be necessary to replace us with another entire group if the level of support to the Grunts were to be maintained.  Another group of UH-34 (Dog Drivers) did not exist and the CH-46s weren't ready to be deployed to South East Asia yet so we were all "volunteered" to be reassigned to balance out air crew individual rotation plans.

I served with the squadron from January through October 1966.  During that time the squadron was based in Ky Ha and aboard the USS Princeton (LPH-5).  The Commanding Officer was LtCol Dan Sommerville; Executive Officer was Maj M.J. "Arms" Needham; Maintenance Officer was Capt Dick "Tricky" Gleason.  Don't remember the Operations Officer, must be a mental block . . . .</;=) Group CO was Col William Gentry Johnson who later served as the Assistant Wing Commander, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Vietnam 1968-1969 as a Brigadier General and later was Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego prior to his retirement.

I have several slides from the time I served with the "Purple Foxes" but have not had time to get them converted to disc.  If you know of someone who has the time and equipment to do this I would be happy to provide them.

There are lots of stories from that time frame also and next time I retire and have time to do so, I will write them for the "log".

John H. Pierson, Jr. Major USMC(Ret)

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