The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will honor the 50-year-plus legacy of the CH-46 Sea Knight tomorrow when it receives one of the last U.S. Marine Corps “Phrogs” at facilities outside Washington.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin Cuaron
A crew from the Marine Corps Reserve’s Medium Helicopter Squadron 774 (HMM-774, “Wild Goose”) is set to fly CH-46 No. 400 (Bureau Number 153369) to the Smithsonian museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The tandem-rotor Boeing CH-46 will be joined in a flyover of that center by its replacement, the Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey. After the pair land, a retirement ceremony will be hosted jointly by the Smithsonian, the Marine Corps and the National Museum of the U.S. Marine Corps. HMM-774, based at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va., is transitioning from the CH-46 to the Osprey. The squadron is to be redesignated Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 774 (VMM-774) in October; that will mark the end of the CH-46’s USMC service. The aircraft is on loan to the Smithsonian. Plans call for it to move to the Marine Corps museum when an expansion of that facility near Quantico, Va. is completed in 2017.