HISTORY OF THE
The 295th Avn Co. (HH) started out at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It was the Mother Company to the 355th Avn Co. and the 273rd Avn Co. that were deployed to Viet Nam in 1967-1968. About December 1969 the 295th was deployed to the Federal Republic Of Germany, at a place called Finthen AAF near Mainz Germany, leaving behind the newly designated 291st Avn Co. at Ft. Sill. The Commander was James E. Rogers. The unit was assigned 10 Sikorsky CH-54-A helicopters, and was designated as a Heavy Helicopter unit (HH). The unit also had a UH-1H administrative aircraft and later an OH-58 joined the unit.
The Commanders of the 295th while in Germany were:
James E. Rogers: In Front row (Second from left) Group picture 1969. Have heard from his son, was uprooted for the move to Germany.
Lee P. Biggs Jr.: Have heard from his son, says was here when his Dad was here.
Kenneth Loveless: Was there when I arrived
Jerry Varnon: Was there when I left
Tom Slye: Possibly the last Skycrane Commander of the 295th.
Arno Herley: Commander during the transition.
This Unit was in support of US forces in Germany, the 7th Army and USAREUR. The Unit transformed into the CH-47 (Chinook) helicopter in 1977 after Reforger 77, and moved to Coleman Barrack's in Mannheim, Germany. From info I' m receiving, I am guessing that the 180th Avn Co. (Big Windy) at Schwaebisch Hall was instrumental in the transition. In April 1984, Headquarters Company, 12th Aviation Group moved to Wiesbaden Air Base, there it was joined in August 1984 by Headquarters Company, 11th Aviation Battalion. In October 1987, under Army-wide restructuring, the 12th Aviation Group was redesignated as the 12th Aviation Brigade, the 11th Aviation Battalion became the 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment. Also redesignated were the 48th Aviation Company, which became Charlie Company, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, and the 295th Aviation Company became Bravo Company, 6th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment. Finthen AAF was finally deactivated by the U.S. Government in 1992/93, after the Gulf War. The 295th was deactivated in 94-95. It fell to revamping of the U.S. Army reorganization and became Co. B, 6th/158th Avn , before it's current designation of F Company, 159th Aviation Regiment (Heavy Lift Helicopter Company - attached to 3-158th Aviation Regiment).. stationed in Giebelstadt, Germany. This is part of the 12th Avn Brigade.
The information is coming in on the transition to the Chinook CH-47 helicopter. Evidently this was a very strange transition to the new aircraft and the move from Finthen and the change of personnel was a strained affair.
Looking for MORE INFO!!!!!!!
Ok here is some more. I have heard from a Loraine Green. Seems he was there during the transition. Says one of the ex-crane Jocks found out all too well what happens when the Blades come out of phase while taxiing for takeoff. This was in 1977-1978?
Click On The Crane for pictures I've found on the web of this massive Helicopter.
Click on the pic, see if you know any of these people.
Or these guy's
Or any of these folks from 1969
Max Torrence found this interesting story in the November 1976 issue of U.S. Army Aviation Digest. Author unknown.
Here is a compilation of the SKYCRANES LEGACY