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Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron-267 [HMLA-267]

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 was first activated in 1944 in Quantico, Va. as Marine Observation Squadron 5 and relocated to Camp Pendleton to prepare for its August deployment to Ewa, Hawaii and assignment to the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing for further deployment to Pacific combat operations. After participating in the Iwo Jima Campaign, the squadron was relocated to Hilo, Hawaii in April of 1945. In April 1944 the unit relocated to Camp Pendleton.

In June of the same year VMO-5 was assigned to Marine Observation Group 1, then reassigned in August to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The following month, deployment to Sasebo, Japan occurred and the squadron participated in the occupation of Japan from September of 1945 to January of 1946. Upon completion of its occupation duty, VMO-5 returned to San Diego and was deactivated.

With the upswing of the Vietnam War, VMO-5 was reactivated on December 15 of 1966 at Camp Pendleton and assigned to Marine Helicopter Training Group 30, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. The aircraft assigned was the UH-1E "Huey" and the OV-10 "Bronco." In July 1967, VMO-5 was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 56. The squadron was redesignated HML-267 in March 1968 and remained in combat readiness for the remainder of the war. In November of 1971 the squadron was reorganized resulting in HML-267 flying only UH-1E aircraft. The command received its first complement of UH-1N "Hueys" in March 1976 and completed transition to all UH-1N aircraft by December of the same year.

In November 1979 HML-267 expanded operations to both sides of the Pacific by rotating one third of its assets every six months from Camp Pendleton to Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, Okinawa. In February 1982 the squadron again began operating with two types of aircraft when the UH-1N "Hueys" were joined by AH-1J "Cobras." Beginning in May 1983 the "Huey/Cobra" team began deploying to Okinawa, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program. During these six-month deployments the squadron has participated in numerous training exercises including detachments to Korea, Guam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Iwo Jima. In February 1987, the squadron was redesignated as HMLA-267, and in March 1987 received its first AH-1W, "SuperCobra".

The squadron's last major deployment was from June to October 1988 in the Persian Gulf.

HMLA-267's mission is to provide utility and attack combat helicopter support to the landing force in the ship-to-shore movement and in subsequent operations ashore. The squadron's numerous tasks include close in fire support, helicopter escort, forward air control (airborne), re-supply, troop inserts and extracts, parachute operations and other special insertion techniques, sensor drops, airborne radio relay, courier, command and control, VIP transport, and administrative movement of passengers and medical evacuation.

HMLA-267 has been awarded numerous honors and decorations which include: Meritorious Unit Commendation with Bronze Star in lieu of second award, Asia-Pacific Campaign Streamer, World War II Victory Streamer, Navy Occupation Service Streamer, National Defense Service Streamer, and Navy Unit Commendation Streamer.

Today, HMLA-267 continues to support MEU's originating out of San Diego and Japan, the Unit Deployment Program in Okinawa, and continuing support of the 1st MARDIV at Camp Pendleton.

HMLA 267 took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was the first Camp Pendleton aircraft squadron to return. The squadron, which left Camp Pendleton Jan. 17 under the Unit Deployment Program, was diverted from Okinawa to Operation Iraqi Freedom and arrived in the Persian Gulf region on Feb. 24. HMLA-267 pilots were in every major firefight of the war.




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