Marines and Helicopters 1962-1973
By USMC Lieutenant Colonel William R.Fails
Publisher: History and Museum Division Headquarters, US Marine Corps 1978 275 Pages
PDF 9 MB
One of the most pervasive characteristics of man is hindsight. It masquerades under many guises: Monday morning quarterbacking, second guessing, and historical writing. When viewed through time, the past becomes distorted. Problems seem simpler, the choices more clear, and the conditions less complex than those of the present. The men who played a part become more heroic or more villainous than they were in life.
This volume is an attempt to portray accurately the difficulties faced and the obstacles conquered by the men who developed helicopters in the Marine Corps, so that the Marines of today and the future may meet the challenges of their own times with the same dedication as their predecessors.
The men who developed helicopters in the Marine Corps had nothing more to rely on than their knowledge of what had preceded them, intelligence liberally used, and both mental and physical courage. The present-day Marine will be well served if he applies nothing more.
This volume is no more the product of one man than is the development of helicopters in the Marine Corps. While the final responsibility must rest squarely on the shoulders of the author, many others were involved. It is impossible to acknowledge all who gave assistance, but special mention has to be made of a few. First there was Henry I. Shaw, Jr, Chief Historian of the Histories and Museums Division at Headquarters Marine Corps. His many hours of counsel, advice, and encouragement in large measure determined the form and thrust of the book. Dr. Graham A. Cosmas, who edited the book for publication and, with me, incorporated the comments of reviewers, was a welcome and expert colleague. Lee M. Pearson, Historian for the Naval Air Systems Command, and his able assistant, M. Frances Mattingly, provided a large amount of material. So did Elsie L. T. Goins of the Aviation History Office, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare). Major John C. Short and his staff of the division's Historical Reference Section had unlimited patience as I researched through their files.