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Home > Museum News > HH-3 'Jolly Green Giant' exhibit opens at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
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 HH-3 now on display in Southeast Asia War exhibit area
 Museum's HH-3 has distinguished combat history
 Aircraft will help museum showcase combat search and rescue during Southeast Asia War
 
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HH-3 Exhibit Opening
DAYTON, Ohio -- Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, who began his career as an HH-3 pilot, speaks during the opening of the HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant" exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Dec. 14, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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 Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
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HH-3 'Jolly Green Giant' exhibit opens at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Posted 12/14/2010   Updated 12/17/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Sarah Swan
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force


12/14/2010 - DAYTON, Ohio -- U.S. Air Force and industry officials joined personnel from the National Museum of the United States Air Force for the opening of the museum's new HH-3 "Jolly Green Giant" exhibit on Dec. 14.

The U.S. Air Force developed the Sikorsky HH-3E helicopter, nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant," to perform combat search and rescue (CSAR) to recover downed Airmen during the Southeast Asia War. A highly modified version of Sikorsky's CH-3 transport helicopter, the HH-3E carried both armor plating and armament to protect it from hostile forces during rescues of aircrews in a combat area.

The museum's HH-3 has a distinguished combat history, which showcases the missions and achievements of Air Force search and rescue teams during the war in Southeast Asia. Tail number 67-14709 served in combat for 32 months with the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam. During this time, crewman assigned to '709 were awarded one Air Force Cross and 14 Silver Stars for heroism. '709 crews were also credited with the rescue of 27 American Airmen during the war.

Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, who began his Air Force career as an HH-3 pilot, was on hand for the ceremony.

"It is a privilege for me to be here today. You guys are my heroes," he told the audience. "The thing that you leave behind, that you don't even realize, are your attitudes and perceptions. I think you would be proud of the Jolly Greens who are continuing the tradition today."

After the war, '709 was attached to rescue units at Osan Air Base, Korea, where it continued to be a part of notable achievements. While assigned to the 33rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, then Major James E. McArdle, Jr., and the crew of '709 was credited with the night time saving of 28 Taiwanese sailors from a sinking ship in the Yellow Sea. For this action in 1979, Major McArdle, Jr. was awarded the prestigious MacKay Trophy.

The HH-3 is on display in the Southeast Asia War exhibit area in the museum's Modern Flight Gallery. This exhibit area is undergoing a complete renovation in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Air Force campaign during the Southeast Asia War. The improved exhibit space will reopen in three phases, with the final phase scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.

"The feats of airmanship and heroism using the HH-3 are legendary and the 'Jolly Green Giants' have become an integral part of our Air Force history," said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Charles D. Metcalf, museum director. "This HH-3 and its impressive history help us expand our presentation of combat search and rescue during the Southeast Asia War."

For additional information about the HH-3, visit http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=17538.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.



tabComments
12/15/2010 8:27:32 AM ET
I hope the Coast Guard pilots who flew Jolly Green's in Vietnam are mentioned in the exhibit. The contributions of those Coasties wereare often overlooked.
Joe Landwehr, Lima OH
 
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