USAF ROTORHEAD Members
I’m an old Rescue Flight Engineer.
But prior to that I was in the US Navy for the first ten years of my career. I flew as a flying Crew Chief (Plane Captain) and as a rescue swimmer on the Navy version of the H-3 (SH-3A,C and D models).
I also flew as Plane Captain/Rescue Swimmer on the old Navy SH-2 F, lovingly referred to as the Kaman Coffin. (single engine model). I was also qualified as a Flight Engineer on the Navy Lockheed EC-121 Willie Victor, Lockheed P-2V -5 Neptune and as a second mechanic on the Lockheed P-3A Orion Patrol aircraft.
My rate in the Navy was a ADR (Aviation Machinist Mate Reciprocating) and was later cross trained into the Jet engine career field and became an ADJ (Aviation Machinist Mate Jet).
My last duty station in the Navy was at Adak, Alaska an island in the Aleutian Chain of islands that stretch out into the Bering Sea. I was discharged at Pier 91 in Seattle, Washington.
(Back to the USAF) I was in the 37th ARRS at Danang (not 38th) and the 40th ARRS at NKP. I was at Danang a short while (from March 1972 until Dec 1972.
During that time they were closing down Vietnam and 1 was one of the FE’s that flew one of the five HH-53’s to NKP where we joined up with the 40th ARRS.
I was stationed in the 40th until October 1975 except for my jaunts back to the land of the big BX for refresher training in the simulator and a short stint as the FCF FE for the 1550th Training Squadron at Hill AFB.
The list of HH, CH-53’s and HH, CH-3’s are too numerous to mention without going back though my old flight records. (I plan on doing that one of these days when I’m not busy cleaning the lint out of my belly button…..hehehe).
I was also stationed with the Rescue Unit at Tyndall AFB from late 1975 thru 1978.
I then was transferred to the Rescue Unit at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines. I was stationed their until October 1980 and transferred to the 55th ARRS at Eglin AFB., Florida.
I worked maintenance on the CH and HH-3’s at Tyndall. I was the Crew Chief on one of the MARS helicopters there. I flew the HH, CH-3 at Clark and in the 55th until I retired in May 1982.
I became a civilian (GS-11) Tech Rep for the US Navy. In June 1982 my family and I went back to the Philippines. I was the HH-53E, SH-3G Tech Rep for VC-5 at Naval Air Station Cubi Point (Subic Bay) from 1982 until 1989.
My assigned duties was to provide technical assistance, troubleshooting, airframe and engine training, blade track and balance training, vibration analysis troubleshooting and training.
My area of responsibility covered all the US navy assets in the Philippines, Guam, Japan, Okinawa, Indian Ocean (Aircraft Helicopter Squadrons aboard the carriers and other ships) Diego Garcia and to the Gulf of Oman.
The Tech Rep at Camp Pendleton, California was responsible for the Hawaiian Islands as well as the entire West Coast.
In 1989 I was cross trained into the Marine Corps AH-1W Attack Cobra and the UH-1N Huey Utility helicopter program. I along with my family was transferred to New River Air Station, Jacksonville, North Carolina. I worked there as the AH-1W/UH-1N Tech Rep until my retirement from Civil Service on 3 Nov. 1995.
Well there you have my story in a nut shell. It was a great trip and some of it I really miss, some are better forgotten…..hehehe
Glad to be a part of the “group”
Woody R. Freeman, TSgt. USAF. Ret.
Woodrow “Woody” R. Freeman, USAF (Retired)
October 06, 1943 – November 21, 2021