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CH-3 Jolly Green Giant Helicopter

In 1962 the Sikorsky CH-3 (civilian Model S-61) was introduced, developed for the U.S. Navy as the SH-3, a twin-engine, heavy lift helicopter. The USAF initially operated six Navy HSS-2 (SH-3A) versions of the S-61 in 1962, eventually designating them CH-3A/Bs. Successful operations led the USAF to order 75 CH-3Cs, featuring a new rear fuselage design with a ramp for vehicles and other cargo. The CH-3C was updated with more powerful engines in 1966, redesignated as CH-3E.

The HH-3E / HH-3F helicopter is a modified version of the CH-3E Sea King, developed for aircrew rescue missions deep into enemy-held territory during the Vietnam War where the helicopter was best known as the "Jolly Green Giant". The first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight by a helicopter was made by two Jolly Green Giants between 30 May and 1 June 1967, flying from New York City to the Paris air show. During that 4,270-mile (6,832-kilometer) flight, which took 30 hours and 46 minutes, each aircraft was aerially refueled nine times, another innovation.

Beginning in the late 1960s, the CH-3 and HH-3 models were superseded by the CH-53 / HH-53 Super Stallion helicopters which were also called the Super Jolly Green Giant. The CH-3/HH-3 remained in service into the 1990s and even flew 251 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm.

The CH-3 could carry 25 combat-equipped troops, 15 litter patients for MedEvac or 5,000 pounds of cargo. Its crew consisted of pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer with a pararescue specialist and/or flight surgeon depending on mission.

Today in WW II: 18 Apr 1941 As German troops approach Athens, the Greek Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis commits suicide.  More 
18 Apr 1942 Doolittle Raid takes American bombers to Tokyo.
18 Apr 1943 Japanese Combined Fleet Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto killed when intercepted and shot down over Bougainville by 18 P-38 aircraft, the longest such mission of the war.
18 Apr 1945 Esteemed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle killed by Japanese machine gun fire, island of Ie Shima off Okinawa.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

CH-3 Sea King / Jolly Green Giant Helicopter Specifications and Performance

Rotor diameter62 ft.
Length72 ft. 10 in.
Height18 ft. 1 in.
Width15 ft. 3 in.
Weight22,050 max
ArmamentTwo 7.62mm or .50 cal. mg
EngineTwo 1,500 shp General Electric T58-GE-5 turboshaft
Maximum speed177 mph
Cruising speed154 mph
Range779 mi. w/external tanks
Service ceiling21,000 ft.

USAF CH-3E helicopter approaching landing zone in Vietnam jungle, Operation Pony Express, June 1968
USAF CH-3E helicopter approaching landing zone in Vietnam jungle, Operation Pony Express, June 1968.

U.S. Air Force CH-3 Sea King helicopter parked on the apron at Andrews AFB, MD, 1981
U.S. Air Force CH-3 Sea King helicopter parked on the apron at Andrews AFB, MD, 1981.

SH-3 Sea King of the Royal Air Force, during NATO exercise
SH-3 Sea King of the Royal Air Force, during NATO exercise.

HH-3E Jolly Green Giant
HH-3E Jolly Green Giant.

CH-3E Jolly Green Giant Helicopter
CH-3E Jolly Green Giant Helicopter.

CH-3E Jolly Green Giant Helicopter
CH-3E Jolly Green Giant Helicopter.

Thanks to r3dduk3 for proper id of several photos.

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