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  Location of Apollo recovery helicopter 66? (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Location of Apollo recovery helicopter 66?
alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-01-2013 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought I read somewhere there had been an attempt to photograph and/or raise the wreck of the Sea King Number 66 which was involved in the majority of the Apollo recovery operations? Did this ever in fact happen? Or was there ever any attempt to photograph the wreck?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

LM-12
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From: Ontario, Canada
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 04-01-2013 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM-12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was a dark Navy helicopter numbered "66" at the Gemini 12 splashdown. Same helicopter, or just a coincidence?

ivorwilliams
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From: Welwyn Garden City, UK
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 04-14-2013 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ivorwilliams     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same type of helicopter, a Sea King but apart from the 66 marking, not the same as that used in the Apollo recoveries.

Helo 66 belonged to the navy's Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Four (HS-4). The number 66 was painted on purely for the Apollo missions for public relations reasons, the usual code being 740.

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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posted 04-15-2013 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Helicopter BuNo 152711 "Old 66" was officially assigned the 66 side number as for Apollo 8, 10 and 11. After which the Navy went to three digit side numbers and "Old 66" was given the number 740 for normal operations flying with HS4. The number was changed back to the two digit 66 only for Apollo 12 and 13 recovery operations.

ea757grrl
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From: South Carolina
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posted 04-15-2013 03:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The three-digit modex (side number) came in sometime between Apollo 11 and Apollo 12. HS-4 still had the two-digit numbers on Apollo 11, but on the Apollo 12 deployment HS-4 aircraft carried a 300-range modex (this from the Apollo 12 recovery report), and a 400-range modex on Apollo 13. 152711 had the "66" painted over the new modex for PR purposes - on Apollo 12 it's easy to see where the side of the helo was painted white so the (smaller) "66" could be applied, while for Apollo 13 the white parts of the fuselage appear to have been repainted (somewhat crudely, with non-standard stencils), and the "66" on Apollo 13 looks distinctly different.

I've found a handful of pictures of 152711 after Apollo 13. HS-4 subsequently deployed about USS Ticonderoga (in 1971, IIRC), and 152711 carried the modex 401. When HS-4 was assigned to USS Kitty Hawk 152711 wore the numbers 040 (there's a picture of this on the gonavy.jp website) and 740 (there's a picture of this in the Squadron/Signal "H-3 Sea King In Action" book). At some point the helicopter was fitted with the extended sponsons (with smoke marker tubes and MAD bird housing) and longer horizontal stabilizer with the brace. And, according to the pictures I've seen, 152711 apparently wore five little Apollo spacecraft markings on either side of the forward fuselage until the end.

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
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posted 04-15-2013 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
David Weeks, the acclaimed model builder and space researcher, has an excellent PowerPoint presentation with a great deal of information on the Apollo recovery aircraft and spacecraft for anyone really interested in an in-depth including marking schemes for all the recovery helicopters and the spacecraft at time of splashdown.

cfreeze79
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Posts: 307
From: Martinez, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 04-18-2013 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The David Weeks piece focuses on the Apollo 9 recovery, and not the entire program - just to clarify.

The merged thread carries some the the history (including an attempt by Curt Newport to interest the Navy in a possible location op for Old 66), but it short: no. The wreck site has not been definitely located or documented.

The grassroots effort you probably came across is/was this.

Like many such projects, the effort has stalled from to lack of organization and funding. But, with the recent success of the Apollo F-1 engines and the improved economy, perhaps the interests and funds may be out there now...

alanh_7
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From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 04-18-2013 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you click on David Weeks' presentation called Apollo Recovery Ops and click through the deck it goes through the entire manned Apollo recovery with photos beginning with AS201, AS202, Apollo 4 and Apollo 6 through the manned missions, including photos of the helicopters used.

cfreeze79
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From: Martinez, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 04-18-2013 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stand corrected... Thanks! It is a great link!

moorouge
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From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 03-14-2014 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A Michael Caine "not many people know that".

The helicopter used to represent #66 in the film 'Apollo 13' had been used in the recovery of Gemini 4. This is the one that I believe is currently on display at the USS Hornet Museum painted as #66.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 03-14-2014 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Navy is notorious for it's view of, "We don't want it, but YOU can't have it either." Unlike the USAF and Army, The Navy lays claim to all their abandoned aircraft, wherever they are, for all eternity. Salvage laws mean nothing in this regard.

So, this historic eggbeater sits in Davey Jone's locker, and if someone tries to pull it out of the water, the Navy WILL show up and say, "Hey, thanks for pulling our chopper out of the water, see ya later," and drive off with their property in tow. Seriously, it's happened exactly like that many times before.

That said, maybe they'd do something with it if someone pulled it out of the water for them, but I doubt many people would pay the money to recover anything for someone else for free...


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