US Marine Corps Disables 463rd Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron > United States Marine Corps Flagship > News Display
Marine Aircraft Group 24’s oldest flying squadron, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, “Pegasus”, donned its colors and decommissioned in a ceremony here today.
HMH-463 was first activated on July 20, 1944, at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, as Marine Bombing Squadron 463. Since initial activation, the squadron has operated on both coasts of the continental United States and Hawaii. He also served in all three Marine Corps Aircraft Wings. After three deactivations, the last occurring June 30, 1959, the squadron has remained active since March 1, 1966. In 1971, HMH-463 moved to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Since then, and for the past 51 years, it has provided unparalleled air support to Marine Ground Forces, Joint Force, and allies and partners throughout the Pacific.
“Marines, sailors, families and Pegasus alumni, tonight is about you and what you have been able to accomplish,” said Col. Brian T. Koch, commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 24. “What you’ve demonstrated over the past two years with deactivation on the horizon, working day in and day out and seeing what you’ve been able to accomplish is truly amazing.
Pegasus has fought in all climates and locations, from Vietnam and Cambodia to Saudi Arabia in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Most recently, the squadron returned from a 9-month rotation with the Japan-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in May 2021.
“What you have demonstrated over the past two years with deactivation on the horizon, operating day in and day out and seeing what you have been able to accomplish is truly amazing.” Col. Brian T. Koch, commanding officer, Marine Aircraft Group 24
“When you think of every climate and location, you have to think of the Marines and Sailors of Pegasus,” said Maj. Gen. Brian W. Cavanaugh, commanding general of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. “During my time in 1st MAW, which spans three decades, I have witnessed HMH-463 operate across the full spectrum of military operations.”
HMH-463 honors include Presidential Unit Citation Streamer, Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with three Bronze Stars, Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with one Silver Star and two Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Streamer, National Defense Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer, Vietnam Service Streamer with two Silver and one Bronze Stars, Southwest Asia Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer and the Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer.
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Kelly B. Allen, commanding officer of HMH-463, addressed the audience, “As our time here at Pegasus may come to an end, the bonds, the memories and the accomplishments we have live forever.. Be proud of all that we have done, because I know the Marine Corps is.
The squadron is decommissioning in accordance with Force Design 2030, the Marine Corps’ current modernization effort to build a leaner, more lethal force to compete, deter, and fight in contested maritime spaces. The deactivation sees 12 Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters leaving Hawaii for other aviation units across the Corps.
Going forward, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing will continue to evolve to be ready to “fight now” as part of the III Marine Expeditionary Force. This implementation demonstrates the Marine Corps’ continued effort to maintain the ability of Marines to improvise, adapt, and overcome in order to continue to fight and win on the battlefields of the future, should the need arise. feel.