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Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367
HMLA 367 insignia.png
HMLA-367 insignia
Active
  • December 1, 1943 - August 20, 1949
  • August 1, 1966 - present
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Attack
Role Close air support
Air interdiction
Aerial reconnaissance
Part of Marine Aircraft Group 24
1st Marine Aircraft Wing
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay
Nickname(s) Scarface
Oakgate (Vietnam War)
Motto(s)

"When you are out of Scarface, you are out of guns" (Vietnam)

"Hover Cover"
Tail Code VT
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Peleliu
* Battle of Okinawa
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
* Operation Moshtarak
Commanders
Current
commander
LtCol Victor Maduka

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters. The squadron is based at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW).[1]

MissionEdit

Support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force commander by providing offensive air support, utility support, armed escort and airborne supporting arms coordination, day or night under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint or combined operations.

HistoryEdit

Origins during WWIIEdit

HMLA-367 has a long and distinguished record in the United States Marine Corps. Its historical lineage can be traced back to December 1, 1943 when it was activated at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia as Marine Observation Squadron 351 (VMO-351) which was assigned to the Artillery Spotting Division. In January 1944, the squadron was re-designated as and deployed to Marine Aircraft Group 11 on the island of Espiritu Santo whereupon it took part in the campaigns on Peleliu and Okinawa. The squadron participated in the occupation of North China from October 1945 through June 1947 and was relocated in 1949 to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina and assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The Squadron, having served honorably throughout the Pacific Theater, was deactivated on August 20, 1949.

Vietnam WarEdit

As the United States increased its presence in the Republic of Vietnam, the Marine Corps reactivated VMO-3 at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton on August 1, 1966 and assigned it to Marine Wing Support Group 37. The squadron arrived in Vietnam in December 1966 and were now flying the UH-1E. VMO-3 became fully operational at Huế/Phu Bai on 16 January 1967. In 1966 and for the first half of 1967, the squadron's radio call sign was "Oakgate," which sometimes got confused for the term OK. Major Bill Murphy is credited with first using the call "Scarface" while on TAD, and lobbied to have the substantially more macho Scarface designation adopted as VMO-3's signature when all Marine squadrons in-country changed call signs during the summer of 1967. On November 14, 1967) Major General Bruno Hochmuth, then commanding general of the 3rd Marine Division was killed when a UH-1E Huey from VMO-3 exploded and crashed 5 miles northwest of Huế. Four others also died in this crash.

The squadron assumed a new identity in March 1968 when VMO-3 was re-designated HML-367 and immediately began operations in direct support of ground combat units. Based at Hue and Phu Bai, the squadron flew the Bell UH1E Huey throughout I Corps in support of the 1st and 3rd Marine Divisions, the United States Army, and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. In addition to the countless other missions flown they most notably supported Operations Medina, Fortress Ridge, Prairie Fire, Project Delta, Sparrow Hawk, Dewey Canyon, Apache Snow, Swift Saber and Lam Son 719.

In addition to participating in the above operations, the Scarface crews also flew near daily missions in support of MACV-SOG on what were then top secret reconnaissance missions deep into Laos.

Squadron assets quickly grew from eighteen aircraft (UH-1E) to twenty five. In 1969, HML-367 exceeded 2000 flight hours for the month of June. October 1969 saw the departure of Marine Air Group 36 from the Republic of Vietnam. Due to the continued necessity for armed helicopter support, HML-367 remained in Vietnam and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Forward) at Phu Bai. In December 1969, HML-367 began flying the AH-1G Cobra, thus becoming the first operational "Cobra" Squadron in the Marine Corps. Soon after, all the squadron's Hueys were transferred to another squadron (HML-167) and replaced with the Bell AH-1G Cobra. On April 24, 1970, in another show of maintenance magic, the Squadron had all of their twenty five aircraft in an "Up" status. This was the first time a Helicopter Squadron had attained 100% aircraft availability in Vietnam. To celebrate the event, a 25-plane "fly-over" of Marble Mountain was conducted with Plane Captains called on to fill the front seats of all 25 Cobras. Total flight time for Fiscal Year 1970 was 22,378 hours. HML-367 completed its combat tour in Vietnam in June 1971, and relocated to MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, rejoining MAG-36. Once established, the Squadron began peacetime operations using the UH-1E.

1970sEdit

In April 1975, HML-367(REIN), with nine UH-1E's and twelve CH-46's deployed aboard the USS Midway, the USS Hancock, and to NAS Cubi Point in support of Operations Eagle Pull, Talon Vise and Frequent Wind. The Squadron participated in the evacuation of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees from the mainland during both April and May. In June 1975, HML-367 returned to Okinawa and resumed normal operations. In 1976, the squadron took receipt of the new UH-1N and, in 1977, AH-1J's Cobra gunships. After more than eight years on the island of Okinawa, HML-367 was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39), MAW, at Camp Pendleton.

1980s and 1990sEdit

In November 1979, after more than eight years on Okinawa, HML-367 was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 at MCB Camp Pendleton. The majority of squadron personnel stayed behind, having been transferred to other units of the 1st Marine Air Wing. New personnel were selected from the parent command, and by August 1981, unit strength was up to 165 men and 16 aircraft. Another milestone was the conversion of the squadron to its present status as a composite squadron.

The squadron typically spent six of each eighteen months in Okinawa rotating with two other squadrons. While at Camp Pendleton, they supported major exercises and deployed for training frequently to Twenty-nine Palms, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Nellis Air Force Base. While in Okinawa, the squadron visited such places as Cubi Point in the Philippines, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, and Camp Butler, Korea, for training and to support major exercises. HMLA-367 also frequently supported higher headquarters by transporting VIP's, and assists both the military and civilian communities with its med-evac capability.

Global War on TerrorEdit

With the ongoing War on Terrorism, the squadron has shared seven-month rotations with two other squadrons (HMLA-169 and HMLA-369) to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 2009 deployed to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan to support operations in Helmand Province. The seven-month deployment was the first combat deployment of the UH-1Y.

Unit awardsEdit

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. HMLA-367 has been presented with the following awards:

RibbonUnit Award
US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation with three Bronze Stars
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Meritorious Unit Commendation with two Bronze Stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon
  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal ribbon
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon
National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Stars
China Service Medal ribbon
China Service Medal
Vietnam Service Ribbon
Vietnam Service Medal with two Silver Stars and one Bronze Star
VNCivilActionsRibbon-2
Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action Medal
Iraq Campaign ribbon
Iraq Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign ribbon
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global war terrorism service ribbon
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
Bibliography
  • Plaster, John L. (2000). SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press. ISBN 1-58160-058-5. 
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle - Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939 - 1945.’’. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  • Sherrod, Robert (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Combat Forces Press. 
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