Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) is a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron consisting of AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1N Huey utility helicopters. The squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).
In January 1944, the squadron was re-designated as and deployed to Marine Aircraft Group 11 on the island of Espiritu Santo whereupon it took part in the campaigns on Peleliu and Okinawa. The squadron participated in the occupation of North China from October 1945 through June 1947 and was relocated in 1949 to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina and assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The Squadron, having served honorably throughout the Pacific Theater, was deactivated on August 20 1949.
In 1966 and for the first half of 1967, the squadron's radio call sign was "Oakgate," which sometimes got confused for the term OK. Major Bill Murphy is credited with first using the call "Scarface" while on TAD, and lobbied to have the substantially more macho Scarface designation adopted as VMO-3's signature when all Marine squadrons in-country changed call signs during the summer of 1967.
The Squadron assumed a new identity in March 1968 when VMO-3 was re-designated HML-367 and immediately began operations in direct support of ground combat units. Based at Hue, Phu Bai, the squadron flew the Bell UH1E Huey throughout I Corps in support of the First and 3rd Marine Divisions, the United States Army, and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. In addition to the countless other missions flown they most notably supported Operations Medina, Fortress Ridge, Prairie Fire, Project Delta, Sparrow Hawk, Dewey Canyon, Apache Snow, Swift Saber and Lam Son 719.
In addition to participating in the above operations, the Scarface crews also flew near daily missions in support of MACV-SOG on what were then top secret reconnaissance missions deep into Laos. On one of these missions on 9 August 1969, a UH-1E from HMLA-367 was shot down near Tchepone, resulting in the loss of Lt. Ronald J. Janousek and Cpl. Bruce E. Kane.
Squadron assets quickly grew from eighteen aircraft (UH-1E) to twenty five. In 1969, HML-367 exceeded 2000 flight hours for the month of June. October 1969 saw the departure of Marine Air Group 36 from the Republic of South Vietnam. Due to the continued necessity for armed helicopter support, HML-367 remained in Vietnam and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Forward) at Phu Bai.
In December 1969, HML-367 began flying the AH-1G Cobra, thus becoming the first operational "Cobra" Squadron in the Marine Corps. Soon after, all the squadron's Hueys were transferred to another squadron (HML-167) and replaced with the Bell AH-1G Cobra.
On April 24, 1970, in another show of maintenance magic, the Squadron had all of their twenty five aircraft in an "Up" status. This was the first time a Helicopter Squadron had attained 100% aircraft availability in Vietnam. To celebrate the event, a 25-plane "fly-over" of Marble Mountain was conducted with Plane Captains called on to fill the front seats of all 25 Cobras. Total flight time for Fiscal Year 1970 was 22,378 hours.
In April 1975, HML-367(REIN), with nine UH-1E's and twelve CH-46's deployed aboard the USS Midway, the USS Hancock, and to NAS Cubi Point in support of Operations Eagle Pull, Talon Vise and Frequent Wind. The Squadron participated in the evacuation of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees from the mainland during both April and May. In June 1975, HML-367 returned to Okinawa and resumed normal operations. In 1976, the squadron took receipt of the new UH-1N and, in 1977, AH-1J's Cobra gunships. After more than eight years on the island of Okinawa, HML-367 was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39), MAW, at Camp Pendleton.
HMLA-367's history continues with participation in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and numerous other missions and actions. As of today HMLA-367, located at MCAS Camp Pendleton, is a combination of 9 UH-1N Hueys and 18 AH-1W SuperCobras all with the Night Targeting System (NTS). Those airframes will be replaced in 2 to 4 years with 4 bladed versions, the UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper.
A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. HMLA-367 has been presented with the following awards:
|Presidential Unit Citation with three Bronze Stars|
|Navy Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star|
|Meritorious Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star|
|Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars|
|World War II Victory Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Stars|
|China Service Medal|
|Vietnam Service Medal with two Silver Stars and one Bronze Star|
|Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action Medal|
|Iraq Campaign Medal|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|