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HELSEACOMBATRON EIGHT


 
 

HSC-8

     Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight (HSC-8) "Eightballers" is a United States Navy helicopter squadron based at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California.  HSC-8 is attached to Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN (CVW-11) and deploys aboard USS NIMITZ (CVN-68).  HSC-8 was redesignated from HS-8 on 28 September 2007.

Squadron History

     The original HS-8 was established at Naval Auxiliary Air Station Ream Field, Imperial Beach, California on June 1, 1956.  The first helicopters employed by the command were the HSS-1 (H-34) Sea Bat.  The squadron performed eight Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployments between 1957 and 1968 including combat tours in Vietnam.  Notable achievements included a 1,200 mile medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) made by helicopter, the longest in history.  Other squadron achievements included participation in the Apollo VI space vehicle/crew recovery and performing more than 30 Combat Search and Rescue missions in North Vietnam.

     The squadron was decommissioned in November 1968 only to be recommissioned a year later on November 1, 1969.  Although the Navy does not officially recognize lineage between the two squadrons, the newly established squadron resumed the insignia and traditions of the former squadron.  With the new commissioning came new helicopters, namely the SH-3D.  Notable achievements during the next decade included site surveys for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, a study of blue whale migration patterns, supporting President Nixon during his working vacation aboard the USS New Orleans and deploying in response to the Iranian hostage crisis.  In 1976 the American Bicentennial Committee honored HS-8 as a bicentennial command.  The squadron's 19th deployment came in response to Desert Shield/Desert Storm in December 1990.  This deployment was the last for HS-8 in the SH-3.

     On April 2, 1993 HS-8 completed the transition from the SH-3H into the new SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawk helicopter.  The squadron's 20th WESTPAC deployment was from February to August 1994.  HS-8 was a member of Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW-14) aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).  The 21st WESTPAC was concluded in May 1996 followed in September 1997 by an "Around the World Cruise" with the USS Nimitz.  Deployments after this were routine until September 11, 2001.

     From November 2001 to May 2002 HS-8 and Carrier Air Wing Nine deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom.  There they played a vital role in the campaign that ended with the removal of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

     HS-8 made another WESTPAC deployment from January to September 2003 followed by their second "Around the World Cruise" from January to August of 2005 aboard the USS Carl Vinson.  The Squadron earned the Carrier Air Wing Nine Golden Wrench Award for superior maintenance and mission completion percentages as well as the Battle E Device (Navy Battle Efficiency Award) for the 2005 World Cruise.

     Following the 2007 deployment of HS-8 the squadron was disestablished at NAS North Island after 51 years of service.  The squadron was redesignated Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight on September 28, 2007 and received the first MH-60S Armed Helicopters.

     As the Navy's first Carrier-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron, HSC-8 immediately employed the new Armed Helicopter in highly lauded HARP and Air Wing Fallon exercises, resulting in the employment of the first MH-60S LINK 16 systems and the institution of four-gun configuration validated gun patterns in support of Strike Group Force Protection.

     On July 6, 2009 HSC-8 returned from a ground breaking WESTPAC Cruise on board USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) which resulted in the first ever integration between HSC and HSM squadrons operating on a single flight deck per the Helicopter Master Plan.     

Former Commanding Officers

     - Jun 1956 - Jul 1956 LCDR R. G. West

     - Jul 1956 - Jan 1958 CDR Louis F. Knight

     - Jan 1958 - Jan 1959 CDR Alton W. Payne

     - Jan 1959 - Feb 1960 CDR Alvin F. Emig

     - Feb 1960 - Feb 1961 CDR William C. Butler 

     - Feb 1961 - Apr 1962 CDR William L. Aydelott 

     - Apr 1962 - Mar 1963 CDR Carl H. Klindworth 

     - Mar 1963 - Mar 1964 CDR Jack R. Evans 

     - Mar 1964 - Mar 1965 CDR Bryan R. Eagan

     - Mar 1965 - Dec 1965 CDR George E. Smith 

     - Dec 1965 - Oct 1966 CDR Nathan F. Mcdonald 

     - Oct 1966 - Jul 1967 CDR David L. Hughes 

     - Jul 1967 - Jul 1968 CDR Emiddio Massa

    - Jul 1968 - Dec 1968 CDR Robert R. Zastrow

     - Nov 1969 - Oct 1970 CDR Frank M. Suzan 

     - Oct 1970 - Oct 1971 CDR Thomas D. Eyres

     - Oct 1971 - Nov 1972 CDR Orville Wright Jr.

     - Nov 1972 - Oct 1973 CDR Paul E. Caine   

     - Oct 1973 - Oct 1974 CDR Charles P. Silvia   

     - Oct 1974 - Nov 1975 CDR Barry W. Coats 

     - Nov 1975 - Jan 1977 CDR Dale L. Larson

     - Jan 1977 - May 1978 CDR Charles E. Brooks

     - May 1978 - Jul 1979 CDR William E. Terry

     - Jul 1079 - Oct 1980 CDR Robert Parkinson

     - Oct 1980 - Dec 1981 CDR Joseph S. Walker

     - Dec 1981 - Jun 1983 CDR Mack Thomas Jr.

     - Jun 1983 - Jep 1984 CDR Robert A Schottle

     - Sep 1984 - 1986 CDR Randall O. Abshier

     - 1986 - 1988 CDR Douglas Yesensky

     - 1988 - 1990 CDR William A. Cain

     - 1990 - 1991 CDR Donald Steuer 

     - 1991 - 1992 CDR Al Haefner 

     - 1992 - 1993 CDR Lars Wallis 

     - 1993 - 1994 CDR Henry Dosker 

     - 1994 - 1996 CDR Terry Doyle

     - 2002 - 2003 CDR Nosenzo

    

   - 2003 - 2004 CDR Thom Burke 

     - 2004 - 2006 CDR Marc Homan

     - 2006 - 2007 CDR Joey Tynch

     - 2007 - 2008 CDR Lawrence Vincent

     - 2008 - 2009 CDR Mike Ruth

     - 2009 - 2011 CDR Eric Soderberg

     -2011- 2013 CDR Lawrence Meehan

  

Ships Deployed Aboard

     - USS Princeton (CVS-37) 1958 - 1968

     - USS Hornet (CVS-12) 1958 - 1968 

     - USS Bennington (CVS-20) 1960 - 1974

     - USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14)

     - USS New Orleans (LPH-11) 1970

     - USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)

     - USS Ranger (CV-61) 1983 - 1984

     - USS Constellation (CV-64) 1984 - 1990 

     - USS Independence (CV-62) 1990 - 1993

    - USS Nimitz (CVN-68) 1995 - 2000

     - USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) 1993 - 1994, 2003 - 2005

     - USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) 2000 - 2003, 2006 - Present

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squadron Awards

     National Bicentennial Command  

     - 1976

      Navy Unit Commendation    

     - 1990

     Meritorious Unit Commendation 

     - 1985

     - 1987

     - 1996

     - 2003

     Battle E Device (Navy Battle Efficiency Award)

     - 1980

     - 1983

     - 1986

     - 1995

     - 2005

     - 2009

      Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for Antisubmarine Warfare Excellence

     - Eight Awards

     - 2006

     Admiral Jimmy Thach Award for  Best Carrier Antisubmarine Warfare Squadron in the Navy

     - Five Awards

     - 2006

      Top Torpedo Award for Antisubmarine Warfare Excellence

     - 1982

     - 1983

     - 1984

     - 1991

     - 1992

     Sikorsky Superior Maintenance Award

     - 1983

     - 1984

     - 1985

     - 2003

      Navy Golden Anchor Award

     - 1991

     - 1997

      Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award

     - 1983

     - 1985

     - 1986

     - 1990

     - 1994

     - 2002 "for 22 years and 72,000 flight hours without a class 'A'   mishap."

 

Squadron Aircraft

H-34 Choctaw (redesignated SH-34 in 1962)

          -1956 - 1960

 

H-3 Sea King

          -SH-3A 1962 - 1969

          -SH-3D 1969 - 1993

          -SH-3H 1969 - 1993 

 

H-60 Seahawk

          -SH-60F 1993 - 2007

          

       -HH-60H 1993 - 2007

H-60 Knighthawk

          -MH-60S 2007 - Present