Lineage of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463
1944 - 1946:
1958 - 1959:
- Activated 20 July 1944 at Cherry Point, North Carolina as Marine Bombing Squadron 463 and assigned to Marine Air Group-62, 9th Marine Air Wing.
[This should come as no surprise to any of us that "bombing" was in our squadron's blood - those of us who dropped PX Conex Boxes, fire trucks, bliffits -
fuel containers, water buffalo, and 6x6 trucks through the clouds enroute to Khe Sanh, and many other items can relate to this. There is even a Beeler's Bombers Patch to that effect!]
- Reassigned during Nov 1944 to Marine Air Group -34
- Reassigned during Feb 1945 to Marine Operational Training Group 81
- Deactivated 28 Feb 1945
- Reactivated 15 Jul 1945 at Santa Barbara, California, as Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 463 and assigned to Marine Air Group -51. [We now progressed to torpedoes which is why we dropped so much stuff in the water!]
- Deactivated 20 Mar 1946
1966 - 1975:
- Reactivated 1 Sept 1958 at Santa Ana, California as Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron 463 and assigned to Marine Air Group - 36, 3rd Marine Air Wing
- Deactivated 30 June 1959
- Reactivated 1 Mar 1966 at Santa Ana, CA as Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 and assigned to MWSG-37, 3rd Marine Air Wing
- Four plane HMH-463 Det deployed to Marble Mountain, Vietnam in Dec 1966 and assigned to Marine Air Group -16, 1st Marine Air Wing
- Remainder of squadron deployed during May 1967 to Marble Mountain, Vietnam assigned to Marine Air Group -16, 1st Marine Air Wing
- Relocated during May 1971 to Kaneohe Bay, HI and reassigned to Marine Air Group - 24, 1st Marine Brigade
- Participated in mine sweeping operations in the Haiphong/Hon Gai Area of North Vietnam Feb - Jul 1973
- Participated in Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind during evacuation of Cambodia and Saigon Mar - May 1975
There are many operations and activities not listed during Vietnam (Dumbo Drop being one that made the movies!) and other periods. For example, HMH-463 supported operations such as: Dewey Canyon, Khe Sanh, Battle of Hue, and many, many others.
1975 - 2000:
2000 - 2004:
- Participated in Operation Desert Shield in SW Asia Area of Saudi Arabia Aug 1990 - Jan 1991
- Participated in Operation Desert Storm in SW Asia Area of Saudi Arabia Jan 1991 - Mar 1991
- Participated in Operation Garden Isle Hurricane Iniki Relief on Island of Kauai in Sep 1992
- Participated in Joint Task Force - Full Accounting Cambodia Sep - Nov 1993
- Participated in Joint Task Force - Full Accounting Cambodia Apr - May 1995
- Currently stationed at Marine Corps Air Base, Hawaii
Brief History of HMH-463 from 2005-2011:
- In the summer of 2000, Pegasus participated in Operation Natural Fire in Kenya and then returned to participate in RIMPAC 00 with HMH-366 (LtCol Marquardt)
- In the summer of 2001, Pegasus participated in Exercise Koa Thunder from Andersen AFB, Guam during which 1stMAW validated the 'long range raid' concept (2x 53s over water from Guam to Peileilu) that was used extensively in Afganistan. (LtCol Sempf)
- September 2001 was the catalyst to open up Japan to a new UDP cycle involving the 53D for the first time since all 53D's were relocated to Hawaii in 1996. (LtCol Sempf)
- In the summer of 2002, RIMPAC 02 on board USS Tarawa and then September 2002 UDP to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan during which we were part of Exercise Talon Vision with the Philippino Marines on Luzon, Korean Incremental Training Program (KITP) with ROK Marines on the DMZ and Philippine Interoperability Exercise (PIX) again with Philippino Marines on Luzon. (LtCol Kerchner)
- 2003 was pretty uneventful
- Now we're UDP back to Japan, we've been part of Cobra Gold '04 in Thailand and Fuji Incremental Training Program (FITP) with 2/23 and 2/25 (4th MARDIV out of New York). (LtCol Mathews)
- The previous updates courtesy of Capt. Gregory T. Baker
Brief History of HMH-463 from 2011-2014:
- Change of Command from LtCol Mathews to LtCol Randy 'Junior' Parker in May 2005.
- Participated in Exercise Desert Talon 1-06 in November of 2005.
- Squadron deployed to Al Asad, Iraq from February 2006 to October 2006 with 11 CH-53D aircraft, marking the first unit deployment of the CH-53D in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- Change of Command from LtCol Parker to LtCol Frank 'Homer' Wendling in November 2006.
- Squadron deployed to Futenma MCAS on Okinawa, Japan from November 2007 to June 2008. While on UPD squadron supported exercises Freedom Banner, Foal Eagle and Key Resolve.
- Change of Command from LtCol Wendling to LtCol Chris 'Snoop' Abrams in August of 2008.
- Squadron deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan in July of 2009 through March of 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This was the first full squadron rotation in support of OEF for the CH-53D. Squadron fell in on 11 aircraft that were transferred from OIF to OEF by HMH-362, which included upgraded -416 engines, moving map 'BFT' kneeboards, and upgraded aviation survivability equipment. Conducted operations RED THUNDER and COBRA'S ANGER During February and March 2011, squadron was lead element for OPERATION MOSHTARAK, the largest Marine Heliborne Assault since Vietnam.
- Change of Command from LtCol Abrams to LtCol Pete 'Zilla' Gadd in March 2010.
- Participated in exercise Rim of the Pacific 2010 from June to August 2010. Deployed 6 aircraft aboard USS Bonhomme Richard and was acted as the USMC ACE Command Element. During exercise 12 X FA-18, 6 X CH-46 aircraft, 4 X UH-1 and 4 X AH-1 were attached to squadron in what became the largest Marine Corps Aviation involvement in a RIMPAC exercise. During RIMPAC, HMH-463 conducted multiple Rapid Ground Refueling evolutions with H-1 aircraft, re-validating an old concept that squadron would later use in support of OEF.
- Squadron deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan in February 2011 until September 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 11-1. Squadron conducted AeroHunter Mission set with 2 X AH-1, MC-12 and H-3 assets to deny drug trafficking. On multiple occasions unit seized millions of dollars of illegal drugs and weapons, as well as drug trafficking vehicles that were internally loaded into helicopter.
- In September 2011, squadron accepted first four CH-53 'E' aircraft as the squadron began a transition from the Delta to the Echo model as their heavy lift platform.
- Change of Command from LtCol Gadd to LtCol Jeff 'Kingpin' Davis in October of 2011.
- The previous updates courtesy of Capt. David 'SamBam' Hill
- February 2012 CH-53 Delta Sundown Ceremony at Kaneohe Bay, completing the transition to the CH-53 Echo.
- From July to August 2012 participated in exercise Rim of the Pacific 2012. The squadron deployed 6 aircraft aboard the USS ESSEX in addition to aircraft from HMLA-169, VMFA-225 and VMGR-152 in order to form the Aviation Combat Element for the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force.
- January 2013 participated in exercise Lava Viper 13.1.
- Change of Command from LtCol Davis to LtCol Richard "Maytag" Matyskiela in April 2013.
- May 2013 HMH-463 provides air assets for 31st MEU 13.2.
- July 2013 Participated in exercise Lava Viper 13.2.
- November 2013 HMH-463 provides air assets for 31st MEU 14.1.
- January 2014 participated in exercise Lava Viper 14.1.
- March 2014 HMH-463 deploys 4 CH-53E Super Stallions to Australia's Northern territory as part of Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D). This historic deployment marked the first time that such an Aviation Combat Element had been part of MRF-D.
- The previous updates courtesy of 1stLt Daniel Ouellette the current S-5 for Pegasus.
Our thanks to Pete Starn, who initiated the above investigation with the help of Col. Mike L. Olson and CWO3 Michael R. Haesaert.