Back Sikorsky S-56 / CH-37 Mojave / HR2S

Sikorsky S-56

The Sikorsky S-56 came into being as an assault transport for the U.S. Marine Corps, although some 60 per cent of those eventually built were to meet U.S. Army orders. The original requirement was for an assault transport helicopter capable of air-lifting 26 troops and their equipment. The S-56 was Sikorsky's first twin-engined helicopter, although the traditional single main rotor layout was retained, this being a 5-blade unit designed to be able to sustain the aircraft in flight with one blade shot away. For several years the S-56 was the western world's largest and fastest military helicopter, and held two height-with-payload records from 1956-59. It was also the first production helicopter to have a retractable main undercarriage, this being housed at the extremities of the small stub wings in the pods containing the engines. Loading of the aircraft was via clamshell nose doors, giving access beneath the flight deck to the 53.80m3 cabin in a similar manner to the fixed-wing Bristol 170 Freighter. A winch capable of hoisting 907kg at a time was fitted in the cabin roof to assist the loading of cargo.

The U.S. Navy placed an order in May 1951 for a prototype XHR2S-1, which was flown for the first time on 18 December 1953. The first of sixty HR2S-1's was flown on 25 October 1955, deliveries to Marine Corps Squadron HMX-1 starting in July 1956. A small batch of these aircraft were modified as HR2S-1W patrol aircraft with a huge AN/APS-20E search radar under the nose and additional crew members for radar picket duties. In 1954 an HR2S-1, redesignated YH-37, was evaluated by the U.S. Army, from which followed orders for ninety-four similar aircraft as H-37A Mojave for general transport duties.

Production of the S-56 ended in May 1960, but Sikorsky were engaged until the end of 1962 in converting all but four of the H-37A's to H-37B (later CH-37B) standard. Improvements in this version included the installation of Lear auto-stabilisation equipment and the ability to load and unload while the helicopter was hovering. The Navy and Marine S-56's became CH-37C's under the 1962 designation system. Some later production S-56's had 2100hp R-2800-54 engines.

The S-56's rotor and transmission systems were utilised in the development of the abortive Westland Westminster and Sikorsky's own S-60 and S-64 crane helicopters, but hopes of selling the S-56 on the commercial market were not realised, due mainly to the high operating costs of a piston-engined machine of this size, and a proposal to fit Lycoming T55 gas turbines was not adopted.

K.Munson "Helicopters And Other Rotorcraft Since 1907", 1968

Sikorsky S-56 / CH-37 Mojave / HR2S

Immediately after the S-55 had entered production, Sikorsky began working on the design of a larger helicopter, intended as an assault transport for the Marines. A twin-engine solution was chosen, and to save cabin space, it was decided to house the two large radial engines in outboard nacelles, from which two drive shafts linked up directly with the reduction gear assembly which drove the big five-blade metal rotor. The large cargo bay had a hoist capable of lifting a one tonne load. The main landing gear wheels retracted, but the tailwheel was fixed.

Some of the 60 aircraft ordered by the Marine Corps were converted into radar patrol craft (military designation HR2S-1W), with a bulbous dielectric radome under the nose, but this transformation was unsuccessful. The Army ordered 91 aircraft, designated H-37A "Mojave".

G.Apostolo "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters", 1984

Sikorsky S-56 / CH-37 Mojave / HR2S

Sikorsky originally developed the Model S-56 twin-engined heavy lift helicopter in response to a 1950 Marine Corps requirement for an assault transport able to carry twenty-three fully equipped troops. In 1951 the Navy ordered four XHR2S-1 prototypes for USMC evaluation, and the first of these made its maiden flight in December 1953. In 1954 the Army borrowed one of these preproduction machines, designated it the YH-37, and subjected it to rigorous operational and maintenance evaluations before returning it to the Marines. On the basis of the large helicopter's excellent showing during the Army evaluation, Sikorsky was in late 1954 awarded a contract for nine production H-37A Mojaves. The first of these reached Fort Rucker during the summer of 1956, at about the same time the HR2S-1 naval variant was entering regular Marine squadron service. The Army subsequently placed orders for a further 85 H-37As, and all ninety-four aircraft were delivered by June of 1960.

At the time of its introduction into the Army inventory the H-37A was the largest helicopter in U.S. military service. It was also Sikorsky's first multi-engined helicopter, and in developing it the company chose to break with then-current industry practice by using a single five-bladed main rotor instead of two fore- and aft-mounted tandem rotors. The Mojave's designers chose not to locate the aircraft's engines in the upper section of the fuselage, as was common with most other contemporary heavy lift helicopters, but instead placed the 1900hp Pratt & Whitney radials in nacelles fixed to the ends of short shoulder-mounted stub wings; the engine nacelles also accommodated the machine's fully retractable, twin-wheeled main landing gear legs. The H-37's innovative engine arrangement gave the craft an unobstructed cargo bay of nearly 1500 cubic feet, large enough to carry three Jeeps, twenty-four stretchers, or up to twenty-six fully-equipped troops. The Mojave's nose section was equipped with large clam-shell doors which allowed vehicles to be driven straight into the cargo area, with the cockpit placed above and slightly to the rear of the doors to ensure good visibility forward and to the sides. The H-37's tailboom was very similar in appearance to that of the H-34, in that it sloped downward toward the tailwheel and ended in a sharply upswept vertical tail unit carrying a four-bladed anti-torque rotor.

In 1961 Sikorsky began converting the Army's H-37As to -B model standard by installing automatic flight stabilization systems, crash-resistant fuel cells and modified nose doors. All but four -A model aircraft were eventually converted; in 1962 these were redesignated CH-37A, while the modified machines became CH-37B. Records indicate that the Army also evaluated one of the Navy's two radar-equipped HR2S-1W airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. This machine (BuNo 141646) retained the AEW variant's large chin-mounted radome and AN/APS-20E search radar, and was operated in Army markings and two-tone 'Arctic' paint scheme.

The CH-37 was developed just prior to the widespread adoption of the turbine engine as a standard helicopter powerplant and, as a result, the type was forced to rely on larger, heavier and less powerful pistons. This did not prove to be an insuperable handicap, however, for the Mojave ultimately proved to be a more than capable heavy lifter when properly employed. Perhaps the best illustration of such employment occurred in Southeast Asia during the summer and fall of 1963. In June of that year four CH-37Bs were temporarily deployed to Vietnam to assist in the recovery of downed U.S. aircraft. By the following December the Mojaves had recovered an estimated $7.5 million worth of equipment, most of which was sling-lifted out of enemy-dominated areas virtually inaccessible by any other means. That the CH-37 did not see more extensive service in Vietnam is primarily the result of its replacement in the Army inventory by the turbine-powered Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe, a machine that weighed slightly less than the CH-37 but which could carry nearly four times as many troops or five times as much cargo. The last CH-37 was withdrawn from Army service in the late 1960s.

S.Harding "U.S.Army Aircraft since 1947", 1990

Sikorsky S-56 / CH-37 Mojave / HR2S

Developed to meet a US Marine Corps requirement for a large assault helicopter to carry 26 troops or military vehicles, for which clamshell nose-opening doors were provided, the Sikorsky S-56 was the first Sikorsky twin-engined helicopter. Two 1417kW Pratt & Whitney R-2800-50 Double Wasp engines (1566kW R-280054s on late production aircraft) were mounted on stub wings, and the nacelles also housed the main legs of the retractable landing gear, the first application of this feature in a production helicopter. The prototype XHR2S-1 flew on 18 December 1953 and 60 production machines were delivered from July 1956. Two HR2S-1W . helicopters were converted for US Navy early warning operations with AN/APS-20E radar under the nose. US Army evaluation of an HR2S-1, under the designation YH-37, resulted in orders for 94 H-37A Mojave helicopters which went into service, initially with 4th Medium Helicopter Transportation Company, in February 1958. Modernised H-37As redesignated H-37B (later CH-37B), were redelivered to the US Army from 1961.

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Photo Gallery 

An Army H-37 sits in the Arizona desert with its clamshell nose doors open and a jeep 4x4 light truck driving out. The Marines were able to operate these relatively large aircraft from helicopter carriers as well as from shore bases and in the field.

A U.S. Marine Corps HR2S-1 twin-engine helicopter lifts an experimental automatic artillery weapon weighing 3,000 pounds. Twin external drop tanks are also fitted. This was Sikorsky's first helicopter with twin engines, which, mounted externally, allowed for maximum internal cargo space.

Sikorsky S-56

Technical data for S-56

Engine: 2 x Pratt & WHitney R-2800-54 turboshaft, rated at 1565kW, main rotor diameter: 21.95m, fuselage length: 26.80m, height: 6.71m, take-off weight: 14074kg, empty weight: 9457kg, max speed: 209km/h, service ceiling: 2652m, range: 235km

H D Cotta, e-mail, 12.03.2018

I flew CH-37B in the 4th AVN from late 69 until we flew the last one on active duty to Coleman Barracks where it was turned in Sept/Oct 70. Great old aircraft, and some nice people.

Bob Walker, e-mail, 03.02.2018

19th Avn Co 66-68 Flight line driver part time dispatch mail room clerk mess clerk 2 1/2 driver for mess hall. CWO Kanode and CWO Cox were guys I would do anything for. Still fond memories of my 18 mo in country.

Lynn Miller Sp 4, e-mail, 28.12.2017

Worked the flight line off an on from 1962-1964. 54th Tans Co. 154th Det. Ft. Sill, Ok. Much air time. also Drove jeep for HQ. 1st Sgt. Orr. Have been looking for Sp 5 Robert "shorty" Sanders Crew chief from Georgia. Sp 4 Sam Stamper, from Ky or Tn?? We flew to Texas to pick up Air Force wrecked air planes in the desert. Remember war game near Darlington NC we were working with blue army and the red army to trasport eather or. Many other great times.

gary haas, e-mail, 17.11.2017

I was in the 4th 1964 to 1966 1st Drunckenenmiller CO major Nichols,Hanau Dachau,Schliesheim ,Munich,Germany were different towns we billet.On flight status flew alot on the 37 never let us down !

James P Landers, e-mail, 28.08.2017

I was stationed in Hanau Germany, Fligerhorst,I was a company clerk serving under SGT 1st Class Perry R Druckenmiller & Major Roland Nichols. I was in the 4th Avaitation Company / 152 Detatchment & the 8th Aviation Battalion. We moved the company & H27 Mohjaibe aircraft to Schliesheim air field, Munich Germany. Our company was transferred to Vietnam and anyone with 90 days of duty left went to Vietnam and anyone with less than 90 days went stateside. I had 62 days left in my tour. I roomed with Keer and Guy McCabe & had a fried name Felton Joshua. I shipped over and back on the General Darby with Charles Taucer from LA and we became great friends. I had many other great and dear friends. I stayed in contact with SGT Druckenmiller who lived in Emmaus PA and we stayed in contact until his death. We had 18 H37's and two Bells in the company. I opened the hanger every morning, made coffee for all the Warrant Officers, did morning reports, made sure that every soldier in the company got a Good Conduct Metal when he left our unit and went stateside. I did the duty roster for KP and Air Field Guard etc. etc,

Bob Craig, e-mail, 20.02.2017

I was in 19th Trans at Ft Benning, Korea 1962 o via the Core. Mr Gatewood was a pilot during this time. Rotated back in 1963. Great period.

doug menzhuber, e-mail, 18.09.2016

Worked on the ch-37 will I was stationed in Germany from 1963 to 1965.

otis richardson, e-mail, 05.04.2016

ch 37 995

russell gilbert, e-mail, 08.03.2016

served /army /4th avn co nellingen germany nov 65to nov.68 looking for other crew chief/flight engineers ch37 have hearing loss/looking for e-mails &names of other-crew members w /same problem. applied for disability /turned down 1time /reason given -not servise connected. thanks russ gilbert @

Joe Boyko, jr., e-mail, 28.02.2016

I just found a large photo album from when my father was stationed in Bamberg Germany, 1958-63, 100th lt truck company (road-runners). Several photos of H-37's with my father, one, with standing on the landing gear. My father passed away when I was 11 years old, so I never got to hear anything from his years in Germany. My mother just went into a retirement apartment, so she gave me the album she discovered while moving from her house. we'll thanks to this site, I know what model bird it is.

william r kinstler, e-mail, 27.02.2016

I was a crew chief on the h-37 b mojave at the 19 th transportation co. 1964 and part of 1965 tail no was 655 Flight engineer was jim holzer we recovered the remains of the two crew members grahm and ely whos chopper tail no 640 crashed they bunked in the same hut that i did it was a sad day for sure . After korea i was stationsed at fort bliss texas but lived and worked at Holloman air force base started out as crew chief them was flight engineerwe recovered missels that were launches ad landed in dessert White Sands Missel Range hung out in town outside base ALAMOGORDO New Mexico. Got discharged got married then moved back to ohio Had the pleasure of meeting alot of great people and seeing alot of places.

Russell Gilbert, e-mail, 12.02.2016

I was in Germany (Nellingen Concern) 4th AV from 1966-68. I was Crew chief and also flight engineer on CH 37's. Looking to find other who was in during that time frame. I have a serious hearing problem and need some info as well. Thank you!!

Antonio Mariscal, e-mail, 05.01.2016


We are direct provider for BG, SBLC and MTN which are specifically for lease with the best workable procedures. Our BG ranges from MT799, MT760,(Both two way confirmation), MT103/23, MT103 (Both can be one way confirmation and two way confirmation) in USD and EUROS. Issuing Bank ranges from Top world 25 banks with face value ranging from 5M EUROS/USD to IB EUROS/USD

Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and cases to our attention and in complete confidence we will work together for the benefits of all parties involve

For further details contact us with the below information Thank you.

Mr.Antonio Mariscal
For further inquiries:
Contact Email :
Skype: broker.mariscal

Antonio Mariscal, e-mail, 29.12.2015


We are direct provider for BG, SBLC and MTN which are specifically for lease with the best workable procedures. Our BG ranges from MT799, MT760,(Both two way confirmation), MT103/23, MT103 (Both can be one way confirmation and two way confirmation) in USD and EUROS. Issuing Bank ranges from Top world 25 banks with face value ranging from 5M EUROS/USD to IB EUROS/USD

Intermediaries/Consultants/Brokers are welcome to bring their clients and cases to our attention and in complete confidence we will work together for the benefits of all parties involve

For further details contact us with the below information Thank you.

Mr.Antonio Mariscal
For further inquiries:
Contact Email :
Skype: broker.mariscal

Jim Bailey, e-mail, 27.12.2015

Spent some time as crew on "Deuce" at HMX-1 in 1961. Crew Chief I think was a Sgt. Gustin? Lot's of fun, good crew, several unanticipated stops at various times due to "warning lights". Changing plugs was always fun! Best memory was landing on USS Constellation..Anyway, lots of memories!

Antonio Mariscal, e-mail, 11.11.2015

Sir/Madam,Do you need Financial Service like BG/SBLC MTN? Our Bank Instrument can be engage into Outright Discount. Feel free to write us as our terms and conditions are very reasonable. Email us so we can send you our Terms and procedure. or Skype: broker.mariscal

Dick Ferry, e-mail, 06.11.2015

I joined 19th Trans Co on Christmas Eve, 1963. As ranking Sp4 with a Commo MOS, I was given the vacant Commo Chief's job. A Sp4 w/more time in grade soon arrived & took over & I took over for the departing Trng NCO. I got lots of air time in both jobs taking radio equipment for repair & back-then picking-up and returning trng equipment & films. On 8/14/64 we lost #640 & 4 good men. CWO J.L. Lewis-pilot; CWO Ron Thomas-co-pilot; Sp4 Will Graham & Pfc Jim Ely.
Except for that, loved flying those big birds.

Randy Wunsch, e-mail, 06.11.2015

I was stationed at Illesheim,Germany and Hanau in 1967 and 1968.I loved the Ch -37 but they were sure noisy.I remember Tony and CW-4 Gatewood when i was there.I still keep in touch
with Norbert Bushmann who was in the 90th aviation also.To who
it matters my hearing is shot also.I guess we pay for what we do when we are young and do not no any better.

Paul Sanders, e-mail, 05.05.2015

Good old 90th Avn Co. I was a flight engineer on the famous CH 37 Mojave Tired Dude...I painted the name on the nose btw and it is now in the Pima Air Museum in Tucson AZ. Hello to Tony, Jim, Dan and to several guy that rotated out of Illesheim before I got there! Btw you can but a model of CH 37 and just by chance it has the Tired Dude and Bavrian strips on it! Great old memories of my time with the 90th but how many of you guys have a high frequency hearing loss as I do? It was one loud flying dude for sure. Drop me a line and chat about old times. I contacted Jon Middleton was a ATC for 90th Avn Co this week was so great to hear from my old running around buddy...5-3-2015! paulnpatrice@

Raymond L. Penepent, e-mail, 27.04.2015

I spent 3 years flying and working on these Birds at New River, N.C.. Loved every minute of it.If anyone knows where too get or buy a model of the CH-37c I would be very appreciative. You can E-Mail me at

Mike Blacksher, e-mail, 24.04.2015

I was in the 90th aviation co. from 65 to 68 in Illesheim, Germany. I saw Tony Soares name. I flew with him and would like to get in touch with him if possible. 005 with the blue and white checkerboard around the nose is at pima air in AZ.

Bud Cherry, e-mail, 03.04.2015

I was stationed At Fort Sill, OK from 1961 to 1963 we were known as the 54th Trans Co, Medium Helicopter. as I recall we had 12 to 14 CH 37 Helicopters. In early 1961 almost half of our company was shipped to Nam on mag assignment. If anyone has info on anyone else from that time please contact me by email

henry diamond, e-mail, 02.02.2015

i was with 149th (chfm)when it frist started in 1958 at ft.knox till 1959

Don Clarke, e-mail, 16.10.2014

Wonderful site!!

My dad, Donald Clarke, flew the 37 when it first came out of production at Sikorsky. He was the first person to "fly it over the fence" to both branches Army and Marine Corps. I have a newspaper clipping of the mountain rescue of a Boy scout some time around 58. He was doing testing at White Sands and Pikes Peak (altitude record), when a call came out about a Boy Scout, L.O. Kunz, from Wyoming fell from a tree, breaking his back. It would have been 2 days out by pack mule because the troop ws so far back....Dad was able to make the rescue.

Dad passed away 3 years ago. I am trying to find anything more about him as I am writing/editing his memoirs. can you help?

Richard Becker, e-mail, 10.08.2014

I had the pleaser to work on and fly in the 37 in korea 1964 to 1965 they were being sent to vie nam when I came back to the states company 593rd transportation

Bob Cox, e-mail, 22.06.2014

Would anyone have known my father Thomas C. (Kip) Cox?
He died with his mother in a car crash ten years ago and I've found done things recently he never spoke of.
He apparently flew " extraction detail"- based out of El Toro, overseas Marble Mountain in '66.
You guys are my heroes!

Glen Price, e-mail, 09.06.2014

I was in the 90th Aviation Company from 1967 to 1968. I was station in Illesheim Germany, help get all CH37 Mojaves out of mothball storage and make ready to fly and we the 90th Avn. Co. moved to Hanau. I had to work in my class A uniform because that was all I had, my first tour was Vietnam, B Co.1st. Avn. Bn. 1st.INFANTY DIVISION.I was a crewchief I remember Tony Soares, Dan DeStefano drove VW inside and I straping it down for the last time, after that we could only haul military jeep on missioms. I also was company amateur photographer for a very short time.

RONALD E. MAYER, e-mail, 15.04.2014


Jim Boyle, e-mail, 13.11.2013

I was stationed at Nelligen from Jan 70 to 71. 10th Avn Co. We had about 4 37's but only one was usually flyable. Most of our time was penciled in at the time. Chinooks were on the way over and they replaced the aging 37's. Jim Reynolds was the chief pilot and flew most of the nuclear warhead replacement missions. VietNam was in winddown and Warrant officers like me were offered and early release. I took and early out but have often wonderd what staying on and flying Chinooks would have wrought.

cements. We put my V.W. thru the clam shells so we'd have a car at the Canadian fly-in.

Jim Boyle, e-mail, 13.11.2013

I was stationed at Nelligen from Jan 70 to 71. 10th Avn Co. We had about 4 37's but only one was usually flyable. Most of our time was penciled in at the time. Chinooks were on the way over and they replaced the aging 37's. Jim Reynolds was the chief pilot and flew most of the nuclear warhead replacement missions. VietNam was in winddown and Warrant officers like me were offered and early release. I took and early out but have often wonderd what staying on and flying Chinooks would have wrought.

cements. We put my V.W. thru the clam shells so we'd have a car at the Canadian fly-in.

Joe Gwizdak, e-mail, 10.09.2013

I am looking for any pictures and history of CH-37B tail number 0-71646. I volunteer at Classic Rotors Rotorcraft Museum in Ramona, CA. We just received this helicopter for restoration to airworthy condition. I am a former Army OH-6A helicopter crewchief and served in Viet Nam with the 101st.

Bob Dashiell, e-mail, 09.07.2013

I too flew crew chief/Gunner on 998 out of natrang 1964/65

Jerry Ogles, e-mail, 27.06.2013

I, too, was checked out on the CH 37 at Ft. Rucker, graduating from the transition course April 11, 1968. Was assigned to Camp Humphreys, Korea with the 19th Avn Co from June 1968 to February 1970. I was involved in flying the last CH-387's out of Korea to Tokyo Bay in 1969. CW2 Brian Arsenault, a neighbor today, flew the last CH 37 out of Korea, and I was the last CH 37 pilot left in the unit. I have a plaque to prove it. (*__~)

jack peal, 07.05.2013

Great reading comments/ was looking for a model- was in 461
in 1956 when helio was experimental, we used to fly it to Brooklyn on weekends from New River NC.

Bob Taylor, e-mail, 28.04.2013

The most memorable of my days piloting the HR2S at MCAF Santa Ana, was when I was given an assignment to pick two flight crews and fly two planes to Camp Pendleton for several days of making a training film for Pathfinders. Most memorable of these flights were when our two planes, one loaded with Pathfinders, the other with cameras, climbed to about 8000 feet to film free-falls. As the jumpers prepared to jump, the camera plane began autorotation, and continued down to about 1500 feet. Those were breath-taking rides.

Savino [sam] Carrieri, e-mail, 19.01.2013

As a CPL.E4 [went from Cpl.E3 to Cpl E4 that was a disappointment as wanted the 3 Buck Sgt. stripes]was with HMR 462 Santa Ana CA aka LTA in 61-62. Left the USMC in March 1962 spent the next 35+ years as a licensed airline mech. Working on the HR2S was am experience i will never forget a maintenance nightmare. Will never forget the practice auto rotations with the main gear box above shaking itself to death when the pilot pulled up on the collective & i bent over & kissed my ass goodbye. . Couldn't believe that the HR2S went to Vietnam. Missed out on that war always wondered what happened to the troops from LTA after i got out in 1962. Sorry to abandon you troops. It was fun. But glad i got out when i did married a great lady she gave me 3 daughters & 6 grandkids am a 73 year old gimp now how did i ever get thru Parris Island? Was also with HMR 163 Oppama Japan we were known as "cheap Oppama Marines as the bar girls would rather deal with the sailors coming" into port who didn't care how much they spent. After a year+ @ sea any mama san looked good.

Raymond L. Penepent, e-mail, 07.01.2013

I was stationed at New River,NC. 1961-1964 Was crew chief for a bit till my enlistment ended in USMC. I loved flying in this helicopter.We were aboard the USS Boxer on crusies and even went to Cape Canaveral at that time as stand-by to pick up the space capsuel. did Steel Pike and spent time at Roosevelt Roads,PR. flew back and fourth to Cherry Point and did many night training flights.Have a LOT of good memories of this time and Very Good Friends i made during this time. Was a Great helo. THANKS:

david, e-mail, 02.11.2012

I worked on this big bird for two years until it left out to be refitted for nam i was the compass and radio repair person so i had it all to my self while i was working then i go to flight test with them

Lt.Moon Mullen, e-mail, 29.10.2012

I was one of the 8 pilots that took 4 H37B to Vung Tau, Nam
in 1963. It was a difficult year...the A/C was a hugh target! Now am VP of Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn.
If you flew in Nam, click me and join VHPA...time is
running short, great group of 8,400 members.
Welcome Home, Moon

Dan DeStefano, e-mail, 08.07.2012

To Donald Gatewood: Star Elton & I were pilots in 90th from Nov 67 to Dec 68. We both flew with your dad "Cal" and deeply admired him, along with Paul Shaw, and John Banks. They were in my opinion, icons of Army Aviation. I met my wife Susan in Hanau, who worked as a hostess for the service club at Fliegerhost. I remember having dinner at your house, where your mom made Mexican food that was so good, it would make you cry.

Of all the aircraft I piloted in the Army, the Mojave was my favorite. Your dad & I would sneak my VW beetle into the cargo compartment so that we'd have a way for the crew to get to a town nearby town for a better room and food than the local Army base. I last spoke to Cal by phone around 2000. He was the best.

Dan DeStefano

Bill Davenport, e-mail, 29.06.2012

I served in Santa Ana Ca. 1957-58-59 with hmr462, we had about 20 planes of the S-56 , flew them across county from Conn. An old man now but that was a good time to look back on.

Anthony Gargani, e-mail, 26.02.2012

The HR2S-1 (We called it the Cross Eye) was used to take us from Cherry Point to Bomb Target 11 in 1960 to 1962 when we had to take boats, motors and fuel. It was good duty. Sargeant Bill Baucom was the greatest. The Cross Eye was a fun ride. Some of my Buddies were: Sgt Ray (Distinguished Life Expert Team Shooter) who helped us with M-1 trigger housing groups to improve our marksmanship. Sgt Baucom let us shoot all day when we could get the ammo. Cpl Gates, Cpl Victor G Vanous, Fred Davis, Hollis, Fuzullo seem to be the only guys I remember. As I said IT WAS GOOD DUTY: Hunting,fishing, wild ponies and all. Semper Fi.

Douglas H Muenzhuber, e-mail, 05.01.2012

I was with the 90 trans Illeshiem Germany from 1963 to 1965 when I went to fort benning Ga to the 610th. I was schooled on the chinook & went to veitnam with the unit.
Glad to see some 90 guys out there. I remember 1st sargent Bantugan. My platoon sargent was sgt shaw. Give me a line anytime.

nunya, 30.12.2011

n1959/62ew river flew on @of the boxer to vieges ,rosy roads san juan through the mountains that bird did not like mountains lots of noise lots of maint autorotatin was an experiance not to be forgoten out

Joseph L. Mills, e-mail, 01.12.2011

30 November 2011 - I grew up on the CH-37. I served with the CH-37's from Mar 1959 early 1965. I was age 17 when I joined the 152nd Trans Detachnment (H-37 Maint Det for the 4th Trans Co.) at Ft. Benning, GA in March 1959. Deployed to Hanau Germany in July 1959 with the unit. Returned to the U.S. and joined the CH-37 unit (47th Trans/329th Maint Det)at Ft. Riley, Kansas in Nov 1962. The unit moved to Ft. Benning in Mar 63 and was assigned to 10th Air Tranport Bde, supporting the 11th Air Assault Div (Test). The unit was redesignated as the 188th Trans or Hel Co? The CH-37's were reassigned and replaced with the Chinooks. The Mojave helped to pioneer Army Aviation and Air Mobility as we know it today. It was a great helicopter in its day! I retired after 21.5 years of service in Army Aviation in 1980.

The 4th Trans Co (CH-37) and 152d Tran Det has been having an annual reunion since about 1990. Anyone who served in the 4th or 152nd is welcome to join. If interested, contact me an my email address

Bill Peukert, e-mail, 28.09.2011

Went through Rucker in the spring/summer 62 then Ft. Riley, 47th trans. then Ft. Benning. 188th Transport Hel Co. attached to 1st Air Calv. Most of the Grads from Rucker stayed together though at least 1/2 went to OCS or WO school. Most of the time was spent w new pilots or in the field in S.C. and Ft. Stewert GA. Squirrel hunting production droppe and wound up with hearing aid. Love to touch base with a great bunch of guys.....b

Walter Kern(Zych), e-mail, 04.09.2011

During the time, 1962 thru 1964, that I was in the 90th, Master Sargent Beneford M. Rushing, was the first sargent. Before I left, he was promoted to Sargent Major.

ron hodges, e-mail, 26.07.2011

I was in the 19th trans co at camp humphrey,s. korea and was with them in vietnam in 1963-64.And returned to korea with the 19th.

RBONCZEWSKI, e-mail, 09.07.2011

need an s-56 pylon for restoration of a s-60 skycrane. it will be a static display in a museum. thankyou!

soccer, e-mail, 17.06.2011

How can I get a model of the HR2S that is showen in the write up.

A. Wayne Ward, e-mail, 11.05.2011

Seems I should call most of you guys 'whippersnappers' except we share some unique experiences tho years apart. I piloted HUS (261)and HR2S (461)in '56-'60 at New River. Remember the night training and carrier exploits? Although no combat service one recalls flying the HUS and HR2S with Aircraft Carriers as base with certain memories of feeling one had just been through a war each at-sea ops!

francis j oconnor, e-mail, 20.03.2011

I served with the 90th transportation co. from 1961 to 1964 in Illeshiem germany willy permansu was the company cleark Billy mynahan was in the motor pool sargant bantugun was the 1st sargent they called me shorty if anyone remembers contact me at

Tony Soares, e-mail, 31.01.2011

I was with the 90th Aviation Company in Germany from Nov 1966 to April 1969. It was located in Illeshein and later moved to Hanau in 1968. I was a crew chief then flight engineer on "615". Another member of the unit, Jim Pimental, posted above and I remember pilot Clarence Gatewood, Donald Gatewoods father who posted above also. I might even have some old orders with Gatewood on them. Any others from the unit please contact me.

Neal A. Graziano, e-mail, 26.01.2011

How can I get a model of the HR2S that is showen in the write up.

Lee Ritter, e-mail, 24.10.2010

My cousin, Norman Ritter, was the company clerk with the 4th/152nd in Germany in the 60's. He is looking for info on the unit/old friends. The reunion link is SNAFU'd.
Please drop me a line if you can help.

Frank G Ferry, e-mail, 07.10.2010

I was a mechanic/Door Gunner on Waynes Workhorse, tail 998, CH37 Mojave in Vietnam 1964/65. One eng burned the normal 3 gallons of oil p/hr, and the other 7 gallons p/hr. On gear retracted in 3 sec. and the other about 10 sec. We recovered many shot down aircraft. It was a grand old workhorse. Don Kaye contact me.

Don Kaye, e-mail, 08.09.2010

I was with the 339 trans c. out of natrang Vietnam,i was flight engineer on Igors #1 in 1964 left in 1965.i was on "operation Blue Spring" out of Danang, we brought back $ of the birds that were controled from Monkey mont. I spent 14 months basedin Natrang but flew all over Vietnam, I was only shot down 3 times but always got back,I only lot one engine in Soctrang.

nike air max 90, e-mail, 09.07.2010

There are multifarious Nike Air Max 90 shoes are available for you now. Nike Air Max 90 shoes are sold so well on best and cheapest nike shoes sell on are absolutely needed because of their comfortable and smart.And these Nike Air Max 90 shoes sneakers are the perfect partner for your favorite jeans.The best and cheapest nike shoes sell on

Pete Zielenski, e-mail, 07.06.2010

I was serving as a FA advisor to the Vietnamese in June 1965. We used the CH37 to internally load and move two stripped down 105 MM howitzers into Dong Xoai to replace two that were damaged during the battle of Dong Xaoi. As I recall I heard that one of those two blew an engine after
off loading the weapons. I remained on the ground with the weapons. Checkout the new book "Dong Xoai Vietnam 1965" by Joe Kubert. Amazon has the book. The book doesn't ref the move but I was there.

Charley Kollman, e-mail, 17.03.2010

Served in the 91 st. from 12-1959 to 3-3 1963 then the 91st. became A CO. 8TH. AV. BN. 8TH. Div. rotated to the states 24-5-63

Jim Pimental, e-mail, 12.03.2010

I spent one and half years at Illeshiem Army Airfield, Germany in the 90th Transportation Company, H-37 Mojave. May of 1966 thru November 1967 as crew chief. We had 16 CH-37's in storage when we got there. About 20 of us were trained as CH-46 Crew Chiefs @ Ft. Eustis, what a surprise to get there and find Mojave's. I had a great time there.
Does anyone have a picture of the wall in the flight platoon breakroom of the chopper cartoon "Mud Valley"?

Billy, e-mail, 03.02.2010

I am looking for anyone that were stationed at Nellingen Army Air Field with the 4th Avn./152nd Transportation Det.
that still has Photos. I would load these Photos up to my historically Website of the History of Nellingen Barracks which you can view under
Welcome to email me.

Auf Wiedersehen and you all take care
Billy Nellingen Germany

Walter, e-mail, 01.02.2010

I spent two and half years at Illeshiem Army Airfield, Germany in the 90th Transportation Company, H-37 Mojave. June of 1962 thru December 1964 as the company clerk. We had 16 H-37 and 1 small bell. Major Fredrick Dawson was in command.

Ben Lemons, e-mail, 30.01.2010

I was in the 90th Trans in Fort Knox KY and our unit rotated to germany in 1961 with 18 of these birds. Loved every Min in the company had I not lost hearing I would have been flying one or its replcament. Marvilouis bird.

Dan Cook, e-mail, 25.01.2010

Stationed at Schliessheim Sept 1966 to Jan 1967, then to Nellingen until Jan 1969. Ran the Engine Shop for the R-2800's. We had a dozen aircraft and infact one day in 1968 we had all of them flyable at the same time although we left one on the ground for static display, and I believe two were grounded following the flight. I heard that one crashed in the spring of 1969 after I left, believe it was 448, but not sure.Still in touch with about a half dozen guys from the 152nd and the 4th.

Donald Gatewood, e-mail, 22.01.2010

My father was a U. S. Army helicopter pilot in the CH-37 Mojave at Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico from 1962 - 1964 where he was involved in the retrival of various missiles fired from the test range. The CH-37 he flew was rigged with extendable hooks out the front open doors of the helicopter during flight and as the fired missiles descended by parachute, he would fly in to catch the missile in mid air. I have not heard of any other pilots who flew during this period. I was a young boy at the and did not know any of my father's fellow pilots if there were any others. Other helicopters he flew were the Bell 47 (H-13), H-19, H-34, CH-37, CH-47 (1st Vietnam tour), and CH-54 (2nd Vietnam tour). He was stationed as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, Illeshiem and Hanua Army Bases, Germany, Ft. Eustis, VA., and Ft Wainwright, Alaska before he retired. I was honored to fly with my father once in the CH-37 Mojave in New Mexico and I'll never forget the experience. My father was CW4 Clarence N. Gatewood, 1947-1977. He died in 2004, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Markus, e-mail, 21.01.2010

The CH-37 Mojave/Deuce helicopter is my favorite!
I have an small collection of H-37 parts, and i am looking for photos of the H-37 in action, for display together with the parts.
Also i am looking for contact with people who flew this helicopter in Germany.
I am looking forward to your mails!:-)

AJ Kraus, e-mail, 06.01.2010

AJ Kraus, Bavaria
I saw, and for the first I heard an incredible sound in the air. That was my first meeting with the ‘Mojave’ in southern Germany. A meet that never gone after 45 years, to today.
I work now since 35y for a great helicopter plant, but the ‘Big Deuce’ is allways my favorite.
I had a question to the men who flew or working on the H/CH-37A/B in Germany. I have a patch from the 54th Trans Co, Medium Helicopter. Its nearly dark-red with an olve H-37A (stabilizer on tail fuselage, not on a position opposite the tail rotor), letter in yellow. Its maybe
produced bevor 1962. If you have any information about the unit please mail me.

tom tesmar, e-mail, 25.12.2009

I do have a vacu-formed fuselage and engine nacelles scale model that I bought many years ago. I never put it together. Many of the parts were common with the CH53 "Flying Crane". The blades were identical except that there were only 5. The prototye Crane had R2800 engines. Originally, the 37 was designed for turbine engines, but the Army made a deal with the Air Force. The Air Force was politicing for the Army to give up all of it's fixed wing aircraft. They also wanted to get away from piston driven aircraft. The Army deal was to base it's newest helicopter on the R2800's and take over the excessive number of these engines that was stockpiled in the Air Force. Then the Air Force could transition to jets and the Army would keep it's piston driven Caribou's Beavers, and the rest.


tom tesmar, e-mail, 25.12.2009

I was one of the last pilots to be checked out in the CH37 School at Fort Rucker, Alabama in March of 1968. Unfortunately, when I got to Germany my orders were flagged to a Cav unit and I had to fly 0H13,s. Anyone who ever crewed a Mojave will remember "Gear Down, Mixture Rich, Boost pumps to Emergency". Somewhere I still have a copy of the checlist. I talked to the museum in Arizona and they let me climb back up in the pilots seat. It was a pleasure to fly as long as you don't lose the "Slop Eliminator - Bypass Activator". I checked mine on every pre-flight. Mechanics can remember standing behind those big R2800's while they were running and charting out the exhaust stacks that were not running white hot. I can't remember, but we were allowed to have a certain number of pistons that weren't developing power. Changing 76 spark plugs took all day long. 36 per engine and the auxillary power unit.

Robert Dashiell, e-mail, 29.11.2008

I was crew chief and gunner on 998 out of NaTrang, Viet Nam 1964-65. Flew out of Danang on operation " Blue Spring " missions, she always brought us back. Does anyone know if they make a model of the "37"? If so how can I get one?

mike, e-mail, 24.10.2008

to anyone that has any interest i live in ct and have come accroos two complete roter head assbemlies with transmissions that arestill in orginal storage and packing if any out thier has a use or knows some one that does please e-mail, the rotor hubs aregoing to the scrapyard in ten days give or take 11/3/08 unless they find a home.

thanks mike

Mike Musso, e-mail, 15.10.2008

I never saw this bird when I arrived at Marble Mountain in June of 1966. I must say it is a strange looking helicopter, but then so was the "46" when I first laid eyes on her. I did see one 46 split in half while I stood in the chow line at Mag 16. Then I was attached to them and the "34" as a gunner.
Thanks guys for the education.
Mike M.

Brandon hill, e-mail, 13.10.2008

why is my great grandfather not there(first man to break sound barrier and inventor of the cable lift on the helicopter and !!! president isanhowers personal helicopter piolit)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Terry Thomas, e-mail, 21.09.2008

I was in Nellingen,Germany from August 1968 to July 1970 we had the ch-37's.I think we had 8 that were servicable and one that was cannabalised for parts and was hauled away under a flying crane,I still have the pictures.We flew many missions all over Germany, as a flight engineer I had over 200 hours flying in 18 months.We only lost one aircraft but that was doe to pilot error even though the Army said no.

James Glasow, e-mail, 04.04.2008

When stationed at Fort Sam Houston, 47th Field Hospital, 1958-1960, H-37's were used in our "war games" to evacuate "patients". Souded like a twin-engined airliner at take-off.

Tom Walker, e-mail, 04.03.2008

I had the honor of servinc 2 tours in Germany with the 4th Avn Co. as both crew chief and Flt engineer. Of the 16 A/C we had we only had one 1 crash with fatalities. many hours many flights.

JOE PERCHETTI, e-mail, 06.11.2007


Ken Nicks, e-mail, 20.09.2007

I was with MAG-16 at Marble Mountain, South Viet Nam when we retired the CH-37C's. We did the standard "mothball routine", folded the rotors & tail so they could be shipped back to the states & stored. There were 8 CH-37C' in service at their time of retirement in 1966. I still have some of the articles concerning the retirement and shutting down the squadron. I flew 210 Combat missions in CH-37's and never had one "let me down".

Ed Johnson, e-mail, 02.09.2007

We enjoy diving on an old Sikorsky S-56 helicopter at Dutch Springs Quarry in Bethlehem PA. It was submerged there several years ago as an attraction and training aid for scuba divers. It's suspended from floatation platforms in 75' of water. See the link and scroll down to the bottom.

Do you have any comments concerning this aircraft ?

Name   E-mail


© Mojaves were replaced by the CH-54 Tarhe, which weighed less but could lift five times as much cargo as the CH-37.

© In all, 150 S-56s were built; a prototype, 55 for the USMC and 94 for the Army.

© 1959 saw the first overseas H-37 deployment, by the Army to Germany.

© Army H-37As entered service with the 4th Medium Helicopter Transportation Company in February 1958.

© The H-37A had a fuselage capacity large enough to hold three Army jeeps.

© The Army briefly evaluated one of the two HR2S-1Ws in 'Arctic' colours.


All the World's Rotorcraft

Virtual Aircraft Museum