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HMM-262 Smokin’ Tiger PVC Patch – With Hook and Loop


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HMM-262 Smokin’ Tiger PVC Patch – With Hook and Loop

A 4″ inch with Hook and Loop PVC patch of the HMM-262 Smokin’ Tiger.

Early years
A green helicopter hovers low over the water, with the Mercury capsule suspended below. The helicopter has “Marines” written on it, and the number “44”
Marine Corps HUS-1 helicopter from HMR-262 retrieves Freedom 7 from the Atlantic
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 was activated in September 1951 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and designated Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron 262 (HMR-262). Although activated during the Korean War, the squadron remained on the U.S. east coast providing helicopter support for the Fleet Marine Force units of that area. In February 1952, the Squadron was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 26. During July 1954, the Squadron was relocated to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina where it remained until 1966.

On February 1, 1962, the Squadron’s designation was changed to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 and, in April through June 1965, HMM-262 participated in Operation Powerpack in the Dominican Republic.

HMM-262 was deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in December 1966 and subsequently reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. The squadron supported operation during the Vietnam War and operated from Kỳ Hà, Marble Mountain, Quảng Trị, Phu Bai and USS Tripoli while participating in numerous operations throughout the country.

Post Vietnam
With the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, HMM-262 relocated to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii during 1971 and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 24.

While stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, HMM-262 provided helicopter support to the 1st Marine Amphibious Brigade, FMF. In December 1976, HMM-262 was designated as the first Hawaii-based helicopter squadron to deploy to the western Pacific as a composite squadron. The squadron deployed aboard USS Tripoli on November 17 and remained the “Cutting Edge” of the 31st MAU for the next eight months.

The Flying Tigers boarded USS Belleau Wood in March 1990 to become the first Hawaii-based helicopter squadron to deploy aboard ship since 1985. In August 1990, HMM-262 deployed to Okinawa, Japan on UDP (Unit Deployment Plan) and re-positioned its flag in September 1990 to NAS Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines, to become the ACE (air combat element) in support of Marine Air-Ground Task Force 4-90 (MAGTF 4-90). The squadron participated in emergency flood/earthquake relief efforts and was extended overseas due to Operation Desert Shield/Storm and returned to Hawaii on June 4, 1991.

In September 1992, the Flying Tigers once again embarked aboard USS Belleau Wood and participated in Hurricane Iniki relief efforts on the island of Kauai. On September 27, 1992, the Squadron transferred its home base to MCAS Futenma, MAG-36, 1st MAW, Okinawa. This effectively transitioned the Flying Tigers to become the first permanently assigned HMM squadron in the region since 1978.

Since 2000
In October 2001, HMM-262 (REIN) sent a detachment of personnel and aircraft aboard USS Harpers Ferry to the new nation of East Timor for humanitarian assistance operations. As all Unit Deployment Program personnel were frozen in December 2001, the squadron concluded the year with a “Be Prepared To” order to remain the ACE for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and to prepare for potential contingency operations. After 18 months as the ACE of the 31st MEU, the Squadron was again reassigned to MAG-36 and was named a Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award winner for calendar year 2002.

In December 2004, HMM-262 deployed to the Philippines as part of Joint Task Force-535 in support of its Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) mission. In only nine days of flying, the Squadron delivered over 204,800 pounds (92,900 kg) of food, water, and supplies to an isolated area that had been devastated by flooding and mudslides resulting from a succession of typhoons.

A CH-46 from HMM-262 takes off from a field in Leyte as part of the humanitarian operations following the 2006 mudslides
From January through March 2005, HMM-262 deployed aboard USS Fort McHenry and USS Essex as part of Joint Task Force-536 in support of Operation Unified Assistance, the HA/DR effort following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami. Operating off the northwestern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, HMM-262 supported the effort by delivering aid and supplies to the victims of the massive tsunamis. During the period from January 14 to February 9, the Squadron delivered over 493,755 pounds (223,964 kg) of food, water, and other supplies to an area that spanned over 120 miles (190 km) of coastline. At the conclusion of this effort the squadron was selected to provide helicopter lift on 19 & 20 February 2005 for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush during their tour of the tsunami-devastated areas of Thailand and Indonesia.

In February 2006, the squadron was again on board USS Essex as part of the 31st MEU when called to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the 2006 Southern Leyte mudslide.[3]

In January 2007, HMM-262 deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This marked the first combat deployment of the squadron since the Vietnam War.[4] The squadron was based at Al Taqaddum Air Base and their mission was to provide assault support for II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) units in Al Anbar Province. From February to May 2007 the squadron flew 1,574 sorties totaling 2,532 flight hours. They also had one Marine killed in action[5]

On September 30, 2013, the CH-46E Sea Knights from HMM-262 made their final flight from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and were retired to make way for the MV-22B Ospreys. HMM-262’s CH-46Es were the last of their type in Okinawa, and the Pacific. The unit was re-designated as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (VMM-262).[1]

In November of 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest recorded typhoon in history, struck the Philippines. VMM-262 deployed a detachment of four Ospreys in support of Operation Damayan, carrying supplies and personnel throughout the damaged areas. The vast size of the affected area plus the lack of runways for traditional fixed wing aircraft made the Osprey the perfect platform for disaster relief. [6]

When a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the inland country Nepal in May 2015, VMM-262 self-deployed a detachment of MV-22B Ospreys from Okinawa to Kathmandu in order to support aid operations during Operation SAHAYOGI HAAT. Along with Joint Task Force 505, the Tigers delivered shelter material and food to disaster-stricken areas throughout the Himalayan mountains. [7] [8]

While attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in the fall of 2018, VMM-262 Reinforced responded to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands following Super Typhoon Yutu. V-22s and CH-53s from the Flying Tigers carried FEMA personnel, supplies, and Marines ashore to help provide relief to the stricken islands. [9]

In February 2020, VMM-262 was tasked with supporting the Singapore Air Show. The 10 hour transit, piloted by Major Scott Wood, Capts John Brown, James Nardi, and Christopher Syrowik and supported by a KC-130 of VMGR-152, was the longest duration flight flown in the MV-22.[10]


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