Battleland

The Difference Between the Army and the Marine Corps: To Huey, or Not to Huey

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Army photo

The Bell Helicopter UH-1 Huey.

Oct. 2, 2009: The Army and Army National Guard announce the retirement of the UH-1 Iroquois, known to one and all as the Huey – and for the distinctive whoop-whoop-whoop of its two-bladed rotor. “It was our lives. It was our friend,” Army Guard Brigadier General Alberto Jimenez, the Army Guard’s senior aviator, said that day. “It was the aircraft that took us in and out of Vietnam, and it was also the aircraft that saved many countless lives as we rushed the wounded and the sick out of the battlefield.”

Apr. 27, 2011: Well, maybe there were still a few left flying. Four UH-1 Hueys left their U.S. Army post in Germany for the last time. “It would take a hell of a beating and keep flying,” retired Army colonel, Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Bruce Crandall said that day. “All you needed was enough duct tape to cover the holes.”

Aug. 4, 2011: Not quite finished. Aviators at Fort Polk, La., announced their final Huey flight. “This was a good way to see the Huey in action one more time,” said Army Brigadier General Clarence Chinn. “While the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk is moving ahead in upgrading our aviation fleet, we still want to respectfully recognize the end of the Huey era.”

May 28, 2013: The Pentagon announces the Marines are buying 15 new UH-1Y Hueys.

3 comments
Serenity
Serenity like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

The UH-1Y is really not the same aircraft. It just looks similar.

JoeBoyum
JoeBoyum

Still not clear why the marines needed to invest billions into the H-1 project instead of buying into the Navy H-60 program.

emeraldseatown
emeraldseatown

@JoeBoyum Half the reason the USMC operates the UH-1 is to maintain parts commonality with the AH-1, the other half is that the UH-1Y has been molded over decades to the specific requirements of the Marines.  A UH-60 based on the Seahawk would be more expensive, harder to maintain and more complicated, with little increase in performance.


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