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nental helicopter trip from Lakehurst, NJ to San Diego, CA. Marcy was so successful in convinc- ing the senior Navy leadership of the need for helicopters that on April 1, 1948 VX-3 was disestab- lished and two new Helicopter Utility Squadrons were created. The new squadrons were HU-1 and HU-2. Captain Marcy briefly com- manded HU-2 which stayed on the east coast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, NJ. HU-1 was set up on the west coast at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA (Grossnick, R., 1997). Following his departure from HU-2, Captain Marcy returned to sea as the Commanding Officer of both the USS Floyds Bay (AVP-40) and the USS Point Cruz (CVE- 119). He also completed several staff tours before retiring as a Captain in 1959 (Captain Clayton Clifton Marcy Official Service Record, n.d.). Today the U.S. Navy is the largest and most powerful in the world. A crucial component in all of this is the Navy’s helicopter fleet which Captain Clayton Marcy played a major role in developing.

General Keith B. McCutcheon, USMC

Very few people can say that they’ve been able to champion a program at all levels of an organiza- tion the way General Keith McCutcheon championed helicop- ters in the Marine Corps. McCutcheon was one of the first to develop Marine Corps helicopter tactics. Then he was one of the first to implement and revise them in combat. As a senior officer, McCutcheon later commanded major combat operations during the Vietnam War.


McCutcheon eventually became the head of all Marine Corps Aviation and led the charge for more train- ing and better aircraft. All of this has led some to call him the “Father


of the Marine Corps helicopter”. Keith Barr McCutcheon was born in East Liverpool, OH in 1915. McCutcheon enrolled in the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA in 1933. In 1937, he graduated with a degree in Management Engineering and was an honor graduate of the Army ROTC program. McCutcheon started his military career as a sec- ond lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.

However, he later

resigned his Army commission to accept one in the Marine Corps. After completing The Basic School and a tour as an infantry officer McCutcheon began flight training in Pensacola, FL in 1939. His first aviation tour was as a fixed wing avi-


ator with Marine Observation Squadron One. McCutcheon was recognized early in his career as an officer of the highest caliber and received several promotions in a short period.

In 1944, Lieutenant Colonel McCutcheon completed a Master of Science Degree at MIT. McCutcheon returned to opera- tional flying assignments in the fall of 1944 and saw action during World War II. While in the Pacific Theatre, he held the positions of Executive Officer and Operations Officer in several Marine Aircraft Groups. After World War II, McCutcheon was assigned as an instructor in the Aviation Section of the Marine Corps Schools at

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