Boeing/Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight
Source: U.S. Navy 070313-M-3968C-012 / USMC Combat Assault PhroG
- The United States Marine Corps realized that beach assaults in the atomic age would be suicide. It needed to move large numbers of Marines far inland very rapidly, to sites without runways.
- For mass troop delivery, the Marines needed something larger and faster than the Army’s Hueys. In the meantime, they used the piston-engined CH-34 Seahorse.
- The Boeing/Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight arrived in 1965. In Vietnam, it could carry a squad of 12 or 13 Marines, compared to the Huey’s five or six. It also cruised at 155 mph — 25 mph faster than the Huey.
- The initial CH-46A version was unreliable. The CH-46D model was better, but it suffered several initial crashes. The flaw was fixed, and the CH-46D became an excellent assault helicopter. After the war, many Phrogs, as the Marines called them, were upgraded to the CH-46E standard. Ours was one of...