The white and orange helicopters of the U.S. Coast Guard have been a welcome sight along the coasts and waterways of the United States since the 1960’s. From 1967 to 1994, the HH-3F Pelican served as the primary long-range search and rescue helicopter for the Coast Guard. The HH-3 was developed by Sikorsky as a private venture from its H-3 Sea King in 1962. The fuselage was completely redesigned to incorporate a rear cargo ramp. It was adopted first by the U.S. Air Force and later by the Coast Guard. Both used the aircraft primarily for search and rescue duties. The Pelican is basically identical to the U.S. Air Force’s HH-3E, except for the deletion of armor and the aerial refueling probe. During their service with the Coast Guard, the Pelicans saved more than 23,000 lives and helped over 65,000 more.
United States Coast Guard, Air Station Borinquen, Aguadilla, Pureto Rico, 1984
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