HMH-463's Message Board

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Posted Friday, 24 February, 2014

I am looking for the pilot/co-pilot or a crew member of a CH-53 Sea Stallion from Marble Mountain Air Base that remembers extracting eight (8) wounded, 2 US & 6 SCU (Special Commando Unit) through a hole in the top of Marble Mountain, twilight, December 14, 1968. The wounded were trapped inside the large grotto after a prolonged firefight and were unable to be extracted other than through a hole near the top of Marble Mountain.

Thank you for your help in this matter.

Dan Thompson

You can mail info to the link at right: <Daniel Thompson>

Posted Friday, 2 January, 2014

I am seeking reference information on the VNAF CH-47A Chinook that was painted in HMH-463's tailcode and seen landing on the USS Hancock. What was the original number of the aircraft while with the VNAF? Also what is the disposition of the aircraft? Did it end up being pushed over the side or rebuilt in the US as a CH-47D?

Many thanks, Harold -----

You can mail info to the link at right: <Harold>

Posted Wednesday, 27 November, 2013

My name is Matt Bustamante. Can you please let me know how to reach out to veterans that may have known my father in Vietnam? His name was Raul H. Bustamante. He was a CH53 pilot that was involved in Operation Tailwind!! He passed away five years ago this week. Thank you soo much.

Matthew C. Bustamante Proud son of my father!!! <Matthew>

Posted Thursday, 5 January 2012

Looking for HMH-463 Crewmembers on Strike to Go Noi Island 6-9-1970 My son-in-law's uncle, Cpl Thomas Whetstine, was a member of Hotel Co, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines at An Hoi Combat Base. On 9 June 1970, they were picked up by a CH-53D for a strike mission on Go Noi Island. On the approach to the LZ on Go Noi, the helo took ground fire and Cpl Whetstine was wounded and medevac’d after the insert. He is looking for the crewmembers of that helo from HMH-463. He remembers that the helo had .50 cals mounted in the windows and the crewmembers in the cabin were wearing headsets instead of helmets. The after action reports for this month are not available at the Texas Tech Vietnam Library. However, the HMH-463 Command Chronology for June 1970 mentions a strike mission on this date with three of the four helos taking fire with light damage and one passenger wounded (this date coincides with the date on Cpl Thomas Whetstine's Purple Heart Certificate). Any help in identifying or locating the crew would be apprectiated.


BJ Sigman

Posted Thursday, 5-May-2011 10:10 AM


I wasn't in HMH 463, was with SOMS Kaneohe, HI across the hangar. Was hoping to leave msg on the message board. I'm afraid I don't remember the names anymore of the Marines I knew with 463, there were some I went to AMS-A school with. I tried to go with them when they were getting ready to go on Operation Frequent Wind and Eagle Pull, but was denied!! They were taking on a lot of extra people at the time. I was in the Marine Corps from 1972 to 1976, SOMS 1973 (Nov) to 1976 (Jun).

I doubt any of the people I knew would remember me.


Robert E. Duncan <>

Posted Tuesday, 15-Feb-2011 9:58 AM

Gentlemen/Ladies, I am looking for some help locating information about my fathers service in the Marines in Vietnam . My dad was George Joseph Perron Jr. he did not talk much to me about his service and most of what I do know was learned from my aunts,uncles, and mother and the very limited VA and active duty paperwork that I have of my fathers.

I do have a copy of his DD214, Some paperwork showing his promotion to Lcpl, a request for assignment to an EOD unit, and the only location anyone can remember him specifically saying he served at was Dong Ha .

If anyone can help me locate anyone who may have served with my father, memories, pictures, stories..(which there are a few since my dad was known to get in trouble..) please contact me either through here or via my email at <>

Thank you all in advance...a grateful Air Force Veteran ( or as Dad stated when I joined ..... "Boy Scouts in blue")

Jason M. Perron

Posted Wednesday, 5-Jan-2011 07:15 AM

My husband Steve Burroughs served in Vietnam USMC as a helicopter crew chief aboard the US Inchon, Tripoli and the New Orleans during OPERATION ENDSWEEP.

His name is Steve M. Burroughs. We are seeking information, photos to prove that he was or had as the VA would say "Boots On" in Vietnam. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease 8 years ago and is on 100% disability and his claims to the VA for disability have been denied. Now you tell me???? The US Government assigned my husband to a ship which took him to the waters of Vietnam and was ordered by the US government to fly with a helicopter off these ships into Haiphong Harbor and now he must prove that he served in Vietnam?????

His DD 214 says Vietnam Service, Vietnam Service Medal, Foreign Service and we now must prove his service? I know that others are going through the same thing with even worse disabilities and I am bound and determined to fight this denial. I am appalled at the treatment of US soldiers from any branch of the service that served in Vietnam and are being treated like dogs! I am desperate for help and would appreciate any information.

We just found your site and the reading has been informative, heartfelt and altogether great! We are going to try and make the Fort Irwin Salute to Vietnam Veterans date "We Remember." Thank you for the site.


Pauline C. Burroughs

Wife of a USM who served in Vietnam and proud of it....


Posted Thursday, 2-Dec-2010 12:30 CDT


I work here at HQMC and am looking for assistance from your audience. The CH-53D aircraft are being retired out of the USMC inventory after a long and honorable career serving our war fighters in many conflicts. I am seeking lists of aircraft BuNos in an effort to ensure that any aircraft that may have been involved in historic events are preserved, i.e. museums or bases. I am seeking any inputs from those of you who may have historical knowledge so that we can search our current fleet and make ensure that those aircraft get treated with proper protocol.

Please pass this email around as I am desperately seeking inputs on ANY CH-53A/D as long as they have associated BuNos.

Thank you in advance and thanks for being our nations HEROES




I currently am working with the newly selected Pegasus C.O. LtCol Jeffrey Davis who will take command of the Pegasus in 2011.

Wayne "Gunns" Cowan (APW-51A) Heavy Lift Helicopter Requirements HQMC Aviation, Pentagon Office (703) 693-2496 DSN 278-2496 Fax (703) 614-2318 NIPR SIPR

Posted Friday, November 5, 2010 4:26 AM

Looking for HmH463 crewmen or any info that flew 2 USMC 105 mm guns to Kham Duc then on to Ngok Tavak just south of there, also provided supply to the Marines in Late April 1968 way out west near Laos border, Good pix of a Sea Stallion on 70th Engineer site taking a sling load to Ngok Tavak at Kham Duc A 70th Vets Bill Schneider Kham Duc / Ngok Tavak Group <>

Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2010 4:41 PM

My name is Dave Ebbitt. My father was George Ebbitt LtCol USMC who served with HMH-463 from 4/66-5/67 as a CH-53 pilot. My parents split up shortly after this tour was over when I was 5 years old. He died 6 months after he retired and I never really got to know him or hear about any of his experiences. I spent time with the USMC as a Battalion Surgeon with 1st LAR and then 2 years as an ER physician at Camp Pendleton. Just now putting a shadow box together of my Dads items but really have no understanding of the experiences behind them. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who served with my father.

David M. Ebbitt LCDR USNR


Anyone wishing to contact LCdr Ebbitt, please contact the WebMaster for contact information. <>

Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The daughter of Captain James "Rex" Riley (KIA, Feb 22, 1968) is looking for anyone who knew her daddy. She was just 3 when he was killed at Khe Sanh while manoeuvring an urgent resupply in a CH 53. The tail hinge pylon was evidently struck and upon lift off the airframe became severely unstable. The main rotor obviously failed and the blades sheared through the cockpit. He and his 2P were mortally wounded. She's hoping to learn more about her father, not just the day of the crash. Anything someone could recommend would be nice for this lady.


MSgt Jeff Johnson, USMC, retired



Anyone wishing to contact Capt. Riley's daughter, please contact the WebMaster for contact information. <>

Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 4:26 PM

Raul Bustamante a pilot with HMH-463 during the Vietnam War died on 30 Non 2008. Services will be held on 8 Dec,2008 at 10 AM, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 909 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85304


Larry Groah

Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 5:39 AM

Subject: Ronald D. Mac Kinnon

I am not sure if this will get to anyone. Ron died January 2005 in Virginia.

I would love to hear from anyone who remembered him.

Barbara Mac Kinnon Salvadore


Barb Salvadore <

----- We now have 1971 pics! -----

Thanks to Bill Beardall,we now have nearly two pages of 1971 pics;

Mike Amtower <>
Lake Jackson, TX USA - Sun 14-Oct-2007 5:48 AM

I have quite a few pictures from 1971 mainly during Lam Son 719 also known as Operation Dewey Canyon II. I was sent to Khe Sanh to be the Liaison between the 463 and the US 101st and the ARVN 101st Airborne. The Operation was to be an ARVN one supported by US forces. We were no longer 'allowed ' to be on the ground anywhere but Vietnam. However I do , recall hearing an American sounding voice directing me where to put my load. The mission was to destroy the NVA's supply routes to the south. From the beginning it was obvious that good intelligence was lacking,. The level of the speed and fury of the NVA counterattack was grossly underestimated; the number of high caliber weapons, missiles, Russian Tiger tanks, WWII style AA were never anticipated. We, HMH -463, did get briefed on the multiple number of high caliber weaponary but not at the level we encountered it. There was a noise, that I still hear, that makes my heart beat faster that I found out during the mission was a missile being launched. We probably were the first Marine Helo unit to practice missile evasion. The mission was declared a success by the Army, a disaster by the press. I was happy to get out alive.

Bill Beardall
Dimmer 11

Most of these pictures are mine some are 'found' ones from the Combat Photographers files at Marble. They were generous in their sharing of these.

----- NOTE! -----


We have a request pending. Does anyone out there have any 1971 time frame pictures of 463 operations in Vietnam.

This portion of our photo gallery has been devoid of pics for a very long time.

If anyone has any, please send them to the WebMaster at the above e-mail addy.

Thanks, in advance.

Mike Amtower <>
Lake Jackson, TX USA - Thur 14-June-2007 3:40 PM

Hiya, guys! I was also a member of the Pineapple Squadron in '74 and '75, and had the priviledge of attending the Frequent Wind and Eagle Pull excursions. I was Sgt. Jim Murphy then, in charge of the Ground Support Equipment shop. I got out in Feb. '76, and have lived back here in Ct. for the last 19 yrs. I am still in contact with Sgt. Roger Sperry, your former grunt armorer, who is still in the gun business at Hoffman's Guns, (Guns for the good guys!), in Newington, Ct. He says hi, btw...I'm still married to the same gal. Diane, 33yrs. this past Jan. 19th. Our son, James C. was born at Tripler, 12/23/75, and our daughter , Heather, a native turkey-herder from Massachusetts, still live close by. No grandkids yet. (Dammit). I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of then-Captain Ken Macphee and his wife Nancy several years ago, but understand they are divorced now. That's about it for familiar faces after 31-plus years. If anybody wants to drop me an e-mail , feel free. It's Yeah, that's my favorite hobbie. I promise I'll answer you and relay anything to Roger. OOORAH! Jim

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 13:12:38 -0800 (PST)

--------------- 5 January, 2007 ---------------

2006 has been archived at the link below. If you are interested, you can follow it for previous postings.
Mike Amtower <>
Lake Jackson, TX USA - Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 2:47 PM (CST)
photo 1973 first one the unknown marine is me, Sgt. m troescher
mitchell troescher <>
new orleans, la USA -

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