The Genesis of YK-12 7/8ths
By Colonel Merlin V. "Bud" Statzer, USMC (Ret)

When I arrived at Phu Bai the MAG-36 Commanding Officer, Colonel Bruce Matheson, told me to go fly with HMM-364 because I would be taking over the squadron at some future date..  On my first visit to the squadron I believe I was being escorted around by Capt. Marcus G. "Catfish" Monk and noticed YK-13 was in the hangar being patched up from some recent bullet wounds.  Catfish possibly mentioned that it was not unusual for YK-13 to undergo such maintenance procedures.  I mentioned that on my first tour overseas in Korea with VMF(N)-513 we did not have a number 13 because at least two of our aircraft that had borne the number 13 had been lost to enemy action.  Instead we flew number 12 7/8ths.

It was a pleasant surprise, at the change of command ceremony on 13 Sept. 1968, to see the static display helicopter in the background was number 12 7/8ths.

LtCol. Joseph R. Dobbratz passes the squadron's colors to
LtCol. Merlin V. "Bud" Statzer

LtCol. Statzer returns the colors to the Change of Command
Adjutant signifying command has been transferred.
(If you can identify the Adjutant advise by clicking below)

The redesigned 12 7/8ths.  Am told that Sgt. Robert B. Steinberg
was instrumental in painting the new number on the aircraft.

One of 12 7/8ths predecessors which was lost to enemy action on
5 February 1968 while conducting a medical evacuation mission
near Hue City

LtCol. M. V. "Bud" Statzer's History Index

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