Who is "Winged" and do you wear them on your jackets?

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Crew Chief/SMO/'Loady' roles:
Pre-flight, draw weapons and ammo. Prepare/secure internal and external loads. Brief passengers. Assist with spatial awareness during taxi and flight. Scan arcs for threats. Engage threats as required.

Pass forward juice boxes for pilots.

Harrass Ground Crew...
Here the ground crew will refuel, equip and prepare the helicopter/plane for flight, hand it over to the commander and flight engineer, and after it is their job. On large copters, in addition to the flight engineer, there is a flight operator who controls the loading, cargo on board, or manages the cargo on an external sling.
In my crew on a cargo plane, these functions are also performed by a flight operator, there is built-in equipment for loading and unloading.
But here "crew chief"sitting on the ground with his ground team and waiting when crew return to continue servicing the aircraft after landing.
 

airfrogusmc

Well-Known Member
The Marine Corps is not very large compared to other branches so NCOs do a lot. Large CH 53s still had a Crew Chief and a first mech if lucky. Hueys the same and cobras a plane capt (non flying). Built in equipment was flight crew ha ha.
 

Monsoon

Active Member
In the USAF the crew chiefs usually don't fly. There was a "Flying Crew Chief" position for a while, but I'm not sure if squadrons still use it. We sometimes flew with them, sometimes it was just a standard crew chief.

Loadmasters are busy in airlift, but in my squadron they didn't do too much since our equipment was fixed to the aircraft. We use to kid that during an Emergency Procedure, Line One was "Wake Loadmaster".

They cut flying orders for you, you can wear wings, but they aren't permanent until after X number of years and hours.

I do remember reading the reasons why wings can be rescinded from an individual (CEA is "Career Enlisted Aviator"):

" 7.8.1. Commanders at any review level may recommend prohibiting wear of a rated, CEA, or non-rated/non-CEA aviation or parachutist badge if an aircrew member is disqualified from aviation service as a result of failure to maintain professional standards or substantiated drug abuse. In all cases, prohibit a member from wearing the aviation badge if he or she is administratively disqualified for fear of flying, refuses to fly, or exhibits cowardice in combat."

That's some old school military discipline right there.
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
Yeah, they can take away your wings, even for pilots, if you screw up or are a slug. It’s rare, though. It can happen if someone chickens out on a jump or three. I’m sure it happened more in WWII.


In the USAF the crew chiefs usually don't fly. There was a "Flying Crew Chief" position for a while, but I'm not sure if squadrons still use it. We sometimes flew with them, sometimes it was just a standard crew chief.

Loadmasters are busy in airlift, but in my squadron they didn't do too much since our equipment was fixed to the aircraft. We use to kid that during an Emergency Procedure, Line One was "Wake Loadmaster".

They cut flying orders for you, you can wear wings, but they aren't permanent until after X number of years and hours.

I do remember reading the reasons why wings can be rescinded from an individual (CEA is "Career Enlisted Aviator"):

" 7.8.1. Commanders at any review level may recommend prohibiting wear of a rated, CEA, or non-rated/non-CEA aviation or parachutist badge if an aircrew member is disqualified from aviation service as a result of failure to maintain professional standards or substantiated drug abuse. In all cases, prohibit a member from wearing the aviation badge if he or she is administratively disqualified for fear of flying, refuses to fly, or exhibits cowardice in combat."

That's some old school military discipline right there.
 

airfrogusmc

Well-Known Member
Jeeze with all those folks involved a CH 46 or a Huey wouldn't be able to carry many Marines or much equipment because of all the flight crew ha ha. Marines are quick and nimble.
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
Ar 95-1, starting on page 27, details all of the flight crew stations and duties. Crew Chief is coded as CE, Flight Engineer is FE and so forth. One interesting thing that I just caught, as an Aeroscout Observer on OH-58s, I would log my time as "AO". Since Aeroscout Observers are no longer a thing, they changed that code to "Aircraft Operator" for unmanned aircraft.


AR 600-106 details how many non-rated crewmembers may crew an aircraft:

...the following crewmember limits per assigned aircraft apply:

(1) CH–47, Medium Helicopter—Two.
(2) MH–47, Medium Helicopter—Four and one-half.
(3) UH–1, Utility Helicopter—One, except Special Operations—Two.
(4) UH–72, Light Utility Helicopter—One, except aeromedical evacuation units—One and one-half crew chiefs per aircraft.
(5) UH/HH–60, Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter; aeromedical evacuation units–per positions designated with SQI “F” on the unit’s authorization document; all others–Two.
(6) MH–60, Tactical Transport Helicopter—Three.
(7) AH–6/MH–6, Observer Helicopter—One.
(8) C–20/37, Gulfstream Jet—Three (One flight engineer, two cabin attendants).
(9) VC–23/ C–27, Large Fixed Wing Transport Airplane—One
(10) C–12/C–26, Medium Fixed Wing Transport Airplane—One (RC only in peacetime).
(11) MI–17, Medium Helicopter—Two.

In the old days it was 1.5 for the OH-58, so if we flew with a pilot and 2 observers, the guy in the back logged 1/2 the hours - Useful if he needed some time for flight pay.
 

airfrogusmc

Well-Known Member
With Marines you were either on flight pay or not. When in the far east we also received hazardous duty pay as well as our flight pay. When in the US only flight pay if you were on flight status. When on the LPH (I am shellback BTW old Corps you old salts know what I am talking about)) we lived in our flight gear. If we were wearing flight gear we could go to the head of the chow line. HMM 165 when I was in it was a composite operational squadron. That means we had CH 46 Ds, CH 53s and we were the last squadron to go from single engine model E Hueys to the dual engine N models and we had Cobras for our own close air support. Our home port was Subic Bay and we were at the old sea plane ramp at Cubi point and the LPHs we were on were the USS Tripoli and the USS Okinawa.

So a Crew Chief in the Marines is really a Flight Engineer so the Marines and the Navy are much different from what you described on pg 27. Also flight status in the Marines was all volunteer so unless you were removed from flight status for sone reason like disciplinary reasons you had earned your wings so those could not be taken away. You could quit flying for any reason though mess and guard duty would probably await you ha ha.

BTW that's me in the photo in flight gear just after post flight inspection on my bird HMM 165 Yankee Whiskey O6 and tie down somewhere north east of Australia in the South Pacific. BTW HMM 165 and the helicopter Yankee Whiskey Lady Ace 09 was the helicopter and squadron that got out Ambassador Graham Martin from Saigon during Frequent Wind in 75 just 8 months before i joined HMM 165. I was lucky I missed all of it. But knew Marines and had frineds that were involved.

And being old Corps for enlisted ranks your stripes, blood stripes, wings etc were all pinned on as well as being very hard earned. In the Corps everything is earned. And as already mentioned we went through real shellback. Keep your head down wogs ha ha. Those are old traditions that are probably gone now.
 
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Monsoon

Active Member
And being old Corps for enlisted ranks your stripes, blood stripes, wings etc were all pinned on as well as being very hard earned. In the Corps everything is earned. And as already mentioned we went through real shellback. Keep your head down wogs ha ha. Those are old traditions that are probably gone now.
You'll be surprised. Some traditions are long gone but new ones are in their place. I know we did Blood Wings on new kids. That was done behind closed doors, tho, so we didn't upset the tender hearts of the non fliers.
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
I saw a biker* in Iowa City last week who had combat aircrew wings painted on his helmet, next to a USMC logo.


*Rich guy who can afford a nice Harley.
 

galvestonokie

Active Member
Airfrog: i know you knew this, but in Vietnam, the Ch-46 crews (enlisted) were crew chief and 2 door gunners. As you mentioned, the CC was quite busy helping the pilots manage the aircraft loads, and keeping the rotors out of the trees, and maintaining some kind of order in the back. I flew with VMO-6 in Vietnam (UH-1E guns). HMM-161 and HMM-262 made up MAG-39 with us. A CH-46 crew chief earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam for carrying wounded Marines through a mine field into the bird. Raymond Clausen, who served with HMM-263. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.

At that time (1969), to qualify for USMC Combat Aircrew Wings, you had to successfully complete gunner school on the M-60. Since Marines already trained as riflemen, learning more about the M-60 wasn't a big challenge. The learning challenge was managing the 2 external, fixed mount M-60s and rocket pods while covering your side of the bird with the crew-served gun. After gunner school, you had to participate in three combat air strikes (in an attack helo squadron, don't know about the lift squadrons) to earn your Combat Aircrew Wings. Basically, a qualifying strike meant you took fire during the air strike. Compared to the lift squadrons, especially CH-46s, this was not too bad. Going low and slow into a zone (like the CH-46 lift ships) with someone shooting at you held no interest for me. PS I was a Huey electrician in my day job. bob
 
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ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Ar 95-1, starting on page 27, details all of the flight crew stations and duties. Crew Chief is coded as CE, Flight Engineer is FE and so forth. One interesting thing that I just caught, as an Aeroscout Observer on OH-58s, I would log my time as "AO". Since Aeroscout Observers are no longer a thing, they changed that code to "Aircraft Operator" for unmanned aircraft.


AR 600-106 details how many non-rated crewmembers may crew an aircraft:

...the following crewmember limits per assigned aircraft apply:

MH–47, Medium Helicopter—Four and one-half.
I knew that 1/2 guy..... ;)
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
Airfrog: i know you knew this, but in Vietnam, the Ch-46 crews (enlisted) were crew chief and 2 door gunners. As you mentioned, the CC was quite busy helping the pilots manage the aircraft loads, and keeping the rotors out of the trees, and maintaining some kind of order in the back. I flew with VMO-6 in Vietnam (UH-1E guns). HMM-161 and HMM-262 made up MAG-39 with us. A CH-46 crew chief earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam for carrying wounded Marines through a mine field into the bird. Raymond Clausen, who served with HMM-263. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.

At that time (1969), to qualify for USMC Combat Aircrew Wings, you had to successfully complete gunner school on the M-60. Since Marines already trained as riflemen, learning more about the M-60 wasn't a big challenge. The learning challenge was managing the 2 external, fixed mount M-60s and rocket pods while covering your side of the bird with the crew-served gun. After gunner school, you had to participate in three combat air strikes (in an attack helo squadron, don't know about the lift squadrons) to earn your Combat Aircrew Wings. Basically, a qualifying strike meant you took fire during the air strike. Compared to the lift squadrons, especially CH-46s, this was not too bad. Going low and slow into a zone (like the CH-46 lift ships) with someone shooting at you held no interest for me. PS I was a Huey electrician in my day job. bob

Ok, so if a guy had the regular gold AC wings, and then earned Combat Aircrew, would he wear them both on the dress uniform? The Army has something now called the combat Action Badge, which is a bayonet surrounded by a wreath (like they put on your grave), for any non-infantry types who actually get shot at, so you would have your crew wings and a CAB if you were a combat veteran crewmember. Pilots get the CAB, too. Everyone wants a shiny badge. If you don't have one, you look like you work in the mess hall or recruiting.

In the Army, we qualified on the M-16A1 Rifle in basic training, then shot familiarization with the M-60, M-203 Grenade Launcher and the M-72 LAW. Later on I qual'd with the M-60 when I became a crew chief. Nothing announces its presence with authority like the M-60.....Well, maybe an A-10.
 

galvestonokie

Active Member
as i recall, if you have earned both type USMC/Navy wings, you can wear your choice, but not both. during Vietnam, the Naval services began awarding the Combat Action Ribbon, earned in ground combat.
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
Apparently they sit on the ramp and look for missiles.

On the old C models, that would earn your butt a soaking from hydraulic fluid.
 

airfrogusmc

Well-Known Member
To earn combat wings and the stars that came with them your aircraft had to take place in combat missions. So many times for each star and there were gold stars and siver stars and if you earned combat wings you wore those. Can't remember how many times for each star and hew many more to go from gold to silver. I have a shot of me loading 50 cals in the side hatches somewhere. We had to qualify with those. CC and first mechs. Heres a link I found.
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
To earn combat wings and the stars that came with them your aircraft had to take place in combat missions. So many times for each star and there were gold stars and siver stars and if you earned combat wings you wore those. Can't remember how many times for each star and hew many more to go from gold to silver. I have a shot of me loading 50 cals in the side hatches somewhere. We had to qualify with those. CC and first mechs. Heres a link I found.
Ok, how about simultaneous wear of the CAC badge and the Enlisted Air Warfare Badge?
 

Ed Rooney

Active Member
Here’s a famous winged airman with a CAC badge.

 
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