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Our CH-53D Sea Stallion



CH-53s at a Forward Aerial Refueling Point (FARP)

Pacific Aviation Museum’s newest aircraft is a Sikorsky CH-53D Sea Stallion, S/N 157173. The CH-53 has been the Marines’ heavy lift helicopter since the days of the Vietnam War. Our aircraft was commissioned in December 1969 and quickly went to Vietnam. It crashed on October 10, 1970 but was retrieved and placed back in service. Since then, this bird has served in most major conflicts, most recently in Afghanistan. Until its recent retirement, it belonged to Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron HMH-363 at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. The squadron’s nickname, the “Ugly Angels,” is a comment on the CH-53’s boxy Bulldog appearance. Today, the Marines have transitioned out of most of their CH-53Ds and are trying to extend the lives of the CH-53Es to stay in service until the CH-53Ks arrive sometime around 2018. The CH-53 is the largest helicopter outside Russia, yet Marines have shown that it can be rolled and even looped.

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