On 30 June 1967, an HMM-364 aircraft piloted by Captain Gordon R.
Jefferson and 1stLt. Richard J. Blanchard crashed while recovering from
a practice autorotation at MCAF, Santa Ana, California. The discovery
that the aircraft lost part of the blade in flight due to metal fatigue
led to the suspension of all CH-46D flight operations. Because of
this accident a great hazard to safe flight was detected and now a method
of rotor blade inspection is being developed to preclude any further mishaps
of this type.
Also in September an aircraft piloted by Major Marvin E. Peacock and 1stLt. Rocky E. Darger were called upon to retrieve a police Jeep owned by the Elsinor Police Department which became stalled in the rugged terrain of the Saddleback Mountains west of Lake Elsinor, California.
Throughout the month of September the majority of the Squadron's
36 aircraft were also undergoing combat modification for the Squadron's
transfer to the Western Pacific area.
On October 28th the colors of the Squadron left the United States
with the main body. Another echelon departed the following day, leaving
a small group to continue working with the structural modification at MCAF,
Santa Ana. The Squadron is presently attached to MAG-36, FMAW, FMF
Franklin A. Gulledge, Jr. Major USMC (Ret)