Vietnam War-era Huey completes final Marine Corps deployment

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The last November: end of an aviation icon

The last UH-1N Huey ever to deploy with Marines recently conducted its final flight Nov. 5, ending a storied era of Marine aviation.

The two-bladed version of the Huey recently deployed with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (Reinforced) out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., in support of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 26th MEU recently returned from a float in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

The two bladed UH-1N variant has now been replaced by the heavier-hitting four-bladed UH-1Y.

The specific UH-1N that was the last to deploy was also among the oldest in the service’s inventory. It was built before the end of the Vietnam war.

“Aircraft 30 was built in August 1970,” said Capt. Andrew Kingsbury, UH-1N Huey pilot assigned to VMM-266, referring to his helicopter in a Marine Corps news release. “There were one or two that were older, but they were stricken from the record about 15 years ago. This aircraft has seen every major conflict the Marine Corps has been involved in since the 1970s.”

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7 Comments

  1. The UH-1N will fly for much longer with the Air Force who bought many N models for security personnel at ICBM bases. With the new Y version im happy to see the UH-1 series flay for America so much longer.

  2. Wow! It never occurred to me that this bird would ever not be part of the Corps. I had the pleasure of training on them when I was a kid and stationed at Camp Pendleton’s MAG-39. I’m glad they will still be active elsewhere :)

  3. Richard Paredes on

    When I flew Hueys (HML-167, MAG-16), they were “one hole” aircraft with a 2-blade main. I never got to fly the “two hole” version, which made the aircraft more durable–and survivable! With the twin-engine, 4-bladed variant entering the fleet, we now have one kick-ass chopper that will get more of our Marines home from the fight! OOH-RAH!!

  4. Michael McConnell on

    The 26th MEU was not the final flight for this aviation platform. Just five days after this flight, HMM-773, Red Dog flew 2 novembers from the Dutch amphibious ship Zr. Mr. HNLMS Rotterdam during Africa Partnership Station 13 on November 10th landing at Naval Base Rota, Spain. Just saw this and wanted to share a later flight date of this work horse.

  5. Mr McConnell is correct. However, it is HMLA-773, not HMM-773. Unless they have Phrogs on the deployment with them. I think Battle Rattle needs to investigate the nature of their article titles prior to publishing.

  6. This article is inaccurate. There are Reserve UH-1Ns deployed aboard a Dutch ship as of the date of this printing. They return soon, but the aircraft in the article was not the last one to deploy.

  7. I think the point is that this particular aircraft (Bureau Number) has been around since Vietnam and this deployment was that particular aircraft’s last deployment. Certainly there are still UH1Ns flying with the Marine Corps.

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