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andyf117

VH-53D Help! (Solved)

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So, there I am, taking a break from building a series of Sea Kings, and dig out one part-built and two stripped and partially-dismantled CH/HH-53 kits from storage (I also have another half-a-dozen slightly-started and un-started kits in the stash)...

...decide to go the whole hog, and completely dismantle all three, then start looking at what versions to re-build them as, and what schemes to finish them in...

...one was always going to be a HMX-1 VH-53D, using Microscale 72-445 decals - but while looking to see if I could find some more photos I came across this:

https://www.sikorskyarchives.com/pdf/News July 2009.pdf

Right there on the first page, and repeated again on page 7, is a photo of a VH-53D with a white top alongside a VH-3...

....photos of the (two?) all-green aircraft have proved to be few and far between, but I have never seen a white-top one!

Can anyone identify it by BuNo, please - I'm guessing it's an early incarnation before going all-green, but which airframe?  

Edited by andyf117

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According to Helis looks like only 2 built 157755 and 157756

 

https://www.helis.com/database/model/VH-53D/

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That was why I put (two?) - airliners.net has two photos (one in-service, one at the boneyard) of 157166 in the presidential support scheme...

....I have two photos of 157756, and three of 157755, including this one: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6421143

....between them, I have those (three?) aircraft with and without intake filters, and with small and large external tanks...

....but until finding that newsletter, had never seen one with a white top - so I'm keen to identify it, and maybe find more pics...

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My guess would be both had white tops before going to the all green support role. Doesn't make sense to me to just only have one in that role and not the other.

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  Today I contacted the Sikorsky Archives directly, and got a response within a matter of hours...

....not only were they very helpful by locating the photo to identify the aircraft as being BuNo 157930...

....but they also kindly scanned it and emailed me a full-size copy so I could actually see it for myself...

....I've since found a 1992 photo of 930 in the all-green scheme - so HMX-1 had at least four presidential support -53s...

....but to the best of my (new) knowledge, it seems 157930 is the only one to have been - originally, at least - a 'white top'...

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4 hours ago, andyf117 said:

  Today I contacted the Sikorsky Archives directly, and got a response within a matter of hours...

....not only were they very helpful by locating the photo to identify the aircraft as being BuNo 157930...

....but they also kindly scanned it and emailed me a full-size copy so I could actually see it for myself...

....I've since found a 1992 photo of 930 in the all-green scheme - so HMX-1 had at least four presidential support -53s...

....but to the best of my (new) knowledge, it seems 157930 is the only one to have been - originally, at least - a 'white top'...

That's pretty fantastic that they replied in that manner.  You should send them pics of what you end up building!

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Great find. Did you ask them if it was the only white top 53? 

 

I just can't image only having the one bird with a white top. If that bird is down for whatever reason, they would want another that looks the same so no one would know that was what had happened. I could almost see all four being white top for a bit before going all green as the mission changes. 

 

Also it appears that while that bird mission is VH, that bird type didn't change like the first two birds mentioned. 

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I've now heard back from the archivist in response to two further queries regarding this photo...

....the first was to ask if they knew the date it was taken - advised as being March 9, 1972...

....the second was to ask permission to post the larger version here - most kindly authorised:

1013057331_o.jpg

 

I have converted it to a jpg for posting here - the copy supplied to me was in pdf form, which when enlarged on screen shows the BuNo very clearly...

 

 

Edited by andyf117

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I can confirm that during my tour of duty with HMX-1 at Quantico there was only one VH-53D at any given time. I have to look to see if there was more than one Buno because as airframe rotated back for depot level maintenance other airframes were brought on line. There were other CH-53Ds Painted in the gloss gloss green but not white topped,that were used for VIP support missions but not for White House support. There were also UH-3Ds painted in that same gloss green. The green was a mixture of Army green and Marine Corps Green as a compromise from the era when both services provided White House support on a rotating basis. In those days the VH-3Ds were painted the gloss green which was called Breen or dreen or some such name but the service markings on the tail said Army or Marines. When the Army helicopter support was dropped thewas when they changed to the United States Of America on the side of the aircraft. When the VH-53D was phased out the squadron painted a VH53E in the White top scheme and currently has at least one VH22 Osprey painted in the white top scheme

 

During the LBJ administration the Army supported the Texas White house while the Marines supported the DC White House..

As usual my buddy Tank beat me to the punch and was right on the mark with his information.

 

Semper Fi 

 

Gary D

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I just realized that I responded to a post from 2018. It just popped up on my screen as a new message.

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Good to see MAGOne posting around these parts again.

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