Our Project - Marine Helicopter 145810

This aircraft was flown by every Marine SHUFLY Squadron in Vietnam from the day HMM 362 secretly flew into Soc Trang on 4/15/62. It was then passed to rotating squadrons HMM 163, HMM 162, HMM 261, HMM 361, and HMM 364. The officers and enlisted men of HMM 364 then trained Vietnamese Pilots and Crews and handed this aircraft to them in July 1964, where it was flown for four years until it finally found its way back the United States to the Bone Yard at Davis Monthan AFB on 10/20/69. This helicopter flew in every Shufly squadron with the exception of HMM 365, which served a tour in Vietnam after this helicopter was given to the Vietnamese Air Force. HMM 365 was the last squadron operating under the code name Shufly, which ended in early 1965, when Marine and Army ground forces entered the Vietnam War. Many of these squadrons gallantly served second and third tours in Vietnam after the end of the operation code named OPERATION SHUFLY.

145810 remained in storage in Tucson Arizona for the next 20 to 25 years until it was acquired by a true Patriot and supporter of the Marine Corps, Mr. Gerald Hail, who moved the aircraft to Inola, Oklahoma. The aircraft sat there nearly untouched for another fifteen years, acquiring the nickname "The Ghost." In March of 2012, the 50th Anniversary of Operation Shufly, Hail donated this helicopter to USMC SHUFLY HELICOPTER FLIGHT ASSOCIATION INC. Our goal is to restore this helicopter and record and preserve its valiant record for future generations. Please join us as we Revive The Ghost!

This helicopter has over 100 combat patches and a history only our Enlisted Crew Chiefs and Mechanics can provide. Only they can provide the YL, YP, YS, EM, YN, and YK squadron side number used by each individual squadron to identify this helicopter. The photograph above, of the aircraft still bearing the faded star and bars of the Vietnamese Air Force, shows the battle damage highlighted with white dots to better see the massive damage this proud bird endured. How many troops were safely returned to their operation Airfield or Base after a combat flight? With the amount of hits this helicopter sustained in the transmission and tail section area, it must have had to be returned to its squadron repair facility by an S-53 or some heavy helicopter.

As additional information on this aircraft's amazing history is gathered, it will be shared here. If you have information on this aircraft to share, please contact our organization.