HS-5 Nightdippers H-3 Sea King Model
Fly with the HS-5 Nightdippers again with the wooden carved H-3 Sea King model. This 16 inch model is carefully carved from wood and and hand painted to provide a unique piece of art.
Length – 16 inches
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FIVE (HSC-5) (previously Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FIVE (HS-5)), also known as the Nightdippers, is a helicopter squadron of the United States Navy based at Naval Station Norfolk operating the Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk. The Nightdippers are a part of Carrier Air Wing Seven and deploy aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) to provide anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, Combat Search and Rescue and Naval Special Warfare Support capabilities to the carrier strike group.
In 1978, HS-5 and CVW-7 were assigned to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), at the time the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Following an extended deployment to the Mediterranean Sea which ended in 1979, HS-5 transitioned to the SH-3H Sea King, which incorporated the latest in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) technological advances.
In 1986, an extended turnaround-training involved operations on four aircraft carriers: USS Coral Sea (CV-43), USS Saratoga (CV 60), USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Subsequently, An extensive work-up cycle prepared HS-5 and Eisenhower for a 1988 Mediterranean deployment. With a single helicopter embarked in USS Peterson (DD 969), the community had its first-ever six-month detachment of a single SH-3H for ASW. The venerable “Sea King” again proved its mettle during numerous multi-national exercises and sensitive Black Sea operations. Well-recognized for its outstanding performance in 1988, the squadron received its fourth Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy, sixth CNO Safely Award, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Following a successful turnaround cycle highlighted by two successive HSWING ONE Maintenance Trophies, HS-5 deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in March 1990, once again aboard Eisenhower. Referred to as the “Centennial Cruise” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, this deployment included an unusual mid-deployment journey to the English Channel for participation in ceremonies in remembrance of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. In August 1990, IKE left the Mediterranean again, transiting the Suez Canal and taking position in the Red Sea to deter possible Iraqi aggression against Saudi Arabia at the beginning of Operation Desert Shield.
HS-5 SH-3As from USS Essex operating with HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, in 1967
In July 1992, HS-5 and CVW-7 were assigned to USS George Washington (CVN 73) and transited through the Suez Canal to the Persian Gulf twice, first to participate in Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and again to counter Iraqi aggression near the Kuwaiti border in Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR. During the deployment, HS-5 surpassed 14 years and 44,000 hours of mishap-free flying.
The Nightdippers marked the end of an era when the last of their SH-3H Sea King helicopters was transferred from NAS Jacksonville in January 1995. Although the Sea Kings were older than the personnel maintaining them, several upgrades, modifications, and service life extensions had kept the H-3 up-to-date with the latest technological advances in ASW, electronics, and power plant systems. The squadron kept their vintage helicopters aloft for a total of 108,661 hours and in ready-to-launch, around-the-clock status for over three decades. The Sea Kings were flown to different parts of the country and one is displayed at the Quonset Point Air Museum in Rhode Island.