HMLA-469 Vengeance Patch – Plastic Backing
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 (HMLA-469) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters, AH-1Z Attack helicopters (As of November of 2016) and UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters. The squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW). The squadron was activated on June 30, 2009.
The stand-up of HMLA-469 is part of the Commandant’s plan to “grow the force” to better meet the demands of the War on Terror and the complexities of an evolving global threat.
True to the necessity for the creation of the squadron, the unit’s insignia and call sign are inspired by a 29 September 2001 quotation from President George W. Bush summing up the nation’s sentiments in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks: “Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” In the spirit of these words, the HMLA-469 callsign is “Vengeance,” which is defined as “punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense; retribution with great force or vehemence.” The Squadron patch is Scarlet and Black with a winged warrior holding a sword and shield. The warrior signifies the Marine Corps as an institution, dedicated to the defense of freedom and the protection of those unable to defend themselves in the face of tyranny. His wings represent the unit’s identity as a Light Attack Helicopter Squadron. The sword signifies that the squadron is an instrument of destruction for the enemies of the United States and the shield with its scales of justice indicates the squadron’s readiness to repulse attack and deliver a measured, just, and victorious response. Each helicopter in the squadron has the tailcode SE, for September Eleventh, inscribed on the tail boom to pay tribute to those who lost their lives that day.
On October 29, 2009 a US Coast Guard HC-130 aircraft with seven crewmembers collided with an HMLA-469 AH-1 Cobra helicopter with two crewmembers 15 miles east of San Clemente Island. Both aircraft crashed into the ocean and all nine crewmembers in both aircraft were killed. The C-130 was searching for a missing boater while the USMC aircraft was heading towards a military training area in company with another Cobra and two CH-53E Super Stallions from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.