Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463)
The mission of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) is to provide Assault Support transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment during expeditionary, joint or combined operations. Be prepared for short-notice, worldwide employment in support of Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations.
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) was first activated as Marine Bombing Squadron 463, a fixed-wing bombing squadron, on 20 July 1944, at Cherry Point, North Carolina and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 62, 9th Marine Aircraft Wing. In November 1944, the Squadron was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 34. In February 1945, the Squadron was reassigned to Marine Operational Training Group 81, only to be deactivated on 28 July 1945. On 15 July 1945, the Squadron was reactivated at Santa Barbara, California as Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 463 and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 51. The following year, on 20 March 1946, the Squadron was once again deactivated and would remain so until 1958. The Squadron was reactivated on 1 September 1958 at Santa Ana, California as Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron 463 and assigned to Marine Air Group 36, 3rd Marine Air Wing and then deactivated on 30 June 1959.
The unit was reactivated on as Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) on 1 March 1966 at Santa Ana, California and assigned to Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing flying the CH-53A airframe. A four aircraft detachment from HMH-463 deployed to Marble Mountain, Republic of Vietnam in December 1966. HMH-463 was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16. The remainder of the Squadron would deploy during May 1967 to Marble Mountain, where they participated in the Vietnam War for the next 4 years. After the Vietnam War, HMH-463 relocated to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in May 1971 and was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
In 1973, HMH-463 returned to Vietnam and participated in minesweeping operations in the Haiphong/Hon Gai Area of North Vietnam from February through July 1973. The Squadron again returned in 1975 to participate in Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind during the evacuations of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. The Squadron's efforts in Southeast Asia earned HMH-463 a Presidential Unit Citation Streamer, a Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with one Silver Star, a Vietnam Service Streamer with two Silver Stars and one Bronze Star, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with a Palm Streamer, and a Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer.
In August 1990, HMH-463 deployed to Saudi Arabia to take part in Operation Desert Shield. The Squadron remained in Southwest Asia to participate in Operation Desert Storm before returning to Kaneohe Bay in March 1991.
In September 1992, HMH-463 participated in hurricane relief efforts for the island of Kauai, Hawaii in Operation Garden Isle (Hurricane Iniki Relief). The Squadron participated twice in Joint Task Force - Full Accounting in Cambodia, once from September to November of 1993 and again in February 1995. The Squadron remained in Asia to participate in Exercise Cobra Gold in Thailand, which continued through May 1995. In November 1996, HMH-463 deployed a four aircraft detachment to Cairns, Australia aboard Air Force C-5 Galaxy aircraft in support of the President of the United States. In March 1997, the Squadron embarked aboard the USS New Orleans to participate in Exercise Tandem Thrust 97, the largest Joint/Combined Exercise held in Australia since World War II.
During May 2001, HMH-463 sent a 2 aircraft detachment to Mombasa, Kenya for Exercise Natural Fire. In July 2001, HMH-463 deployed a 4 aircraft detachment to Guam to participate in Operation Koa Thunder. In June and July of 2002, the Squadron served as the Aviation Combat Element for Hawaii Combined Arms Exercise (HCAX) 2-02 and Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2002.
In October 2002, HMH-463 deployed to Iwakuni, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program. During this 6-month deployment, the Squadron participated in Exercise Talon Vision in the Republic of the Philippines during October 2002 and the Korean Incremental Training Program (KITP) in Korea during November 2002. In February 2003, the Squadron served as the Aviation Combat Element, for Special-Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 38, during the Philippines Interoperability Exchange (PIX) in the Republic of the Philippines.
Marines from HMH-463 aboard MCB Hawaii, had the opportunity to assist the Navy SEALS from Seal Delivery Vehicle Team 1 aboard Pearl Harbor Naval Station on 6 August 2003. The SEALS were practicing insertion and extraction techniques on an undisclosed location aboard the island of Oahu. The Marines from HMH-463 were tasked with flying to Pearl Harbor and loading them into a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter and inserting them into a simulated enemy territory.
Following HMH-463's deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom ending September 2011, the Squadron completely transitioned all of their aircraft to the CH-53E.
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