Mid Air Retrieval by Helicopter

CH-3 Mid-Air Retrieval (MARS) version with AQM-34 drone from 432nd Tactical Drone Group.

My name is Larry Wielgosz.  I took the photo of the MARS bird CH-3E #687 carrying the drone. The date of the photo is April 1978 taken at Nellis AFB, Nevada during Red Flag 78-5 and Brave Shield 17 exercise.  Maj. Gerry Moore was the Detachment 1 Commander.  The photo was taken just as the aircraft was returning with the drone and ready to unload it. The exercise lasted from March 30, 1978 to April 18, 1978 and 24 helicopter
sorties were launched on time. The unit was the 432nd Tactical Drone Group based at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ.  I was a helicopter mechanic in the USAF and was assigned to the 432nd TDG for 2 years. 

I have photos from the 432nd TDG, 33rd ARRS (HH-53C), 302nd SOS (CH/HH-3E).  I was assigned to all these units.  I currently work for the DOD at Sikorsky Aircraft inspecting & accepting helos for the U.S. & foreign military.  Including a couple of HH-60Gs.

Thanks Larry.

The following photos are from John Dorgan taken at Danang AB, South Vietman

Ops officer on the left Mark Tarbet,  Lt. Ira Barilleaux, 2 Uknowns With John Dorgan on Right . Celebrating the 600th MARS mission. Stencil says “FLYING OIL SLICK”

This is SAC crew E-85 in 1970. Duane Fletcher pilot, Rick Davis CP , FE Johnny Johnson, and John Dorgan as Winch operator

Nogales Pad Danang

Taxi out

Outbound for retrieval

Ready for retrieval

There it is

Ready for retrieval, the helicopter grabs the smaller chute above the main chute.

View from inside

Good Catch!

Drone retrieved and stowed

Drone on the ground awaiting upload to C-130

Coming Home

Taxiing In

Monkey Mountain, Danang

If anyone has more info or pictures of this unit, please contact Don or K.V.