6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK)

Marine Hawk Missile Battalion's

Light Antiaircraft Missile Battalion (LAAM Bn) USMC
USMC HAWK Battalion Patches

Vietnam 1965 - 1967

The HAWK missile system was first introduced in South Vietnam in 1965 by the 1st LAAM Bn of the USMC. The 1st LAAM Battalion was based on a plateau and some hill tops at the Hai Van Pass north of Da Nang to protect the south against attacks by North Vietnames aircraft.

Vietnam 1965 - 1968

September 1968 in a combined sealift and airlift the 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (US Army) (-C Battery), conducted a relief of the 2nd LAAM Bn (USMC), establishing command and cntrol responsibility for low and medium altitude air defense of the Chu Lai area.

Participated in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm
August 1990 - February 1991

The Cuban Missile Crisis and Marine Corps Hawk missiles at Guantánamo Bay Cuba 1962

 On October 18, 1962 CINCLANT had requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff to transfer a light antiaircraft missile Battalion from the Pacific Command to the Atlantic Command. The 3rd Light Anti-aircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion at Twenty-nine Palms equipped with HAWK surface to air missiles was designated and the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed on October 20, 1962 that this unit deployed to Guantanamo Bay Cuba. The Battalion staged at George Air Force Base and, in 92 Military Air Transport Service (MATS) sorties, 522 personnel, and 2,539,500 pounds of cargo were transported beginning n October 23, 1962 and ending with the last aircraft landing at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina on October 25, 1962. A review of maps of the Guantanamo area showed that only one battery of HAWK missiles could effectively utilize the small area of the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Charlie Battery of the 3rd LAAM Battalion was selected to go on to Guantanamo Bay and was airlifted in 24 sorties of KC-130F’s along with 48 HAWK missiles. Upon arrival it was attached to Marine Aircraft Group -32 (MAG 32) and emplaced on John Paul Jones Hill. John Paul Jones Hill is the highest point on Guantanamo Bay:

 Elevation: 150 meters, 492 feet - Latitude/Longitude: 19° 54' 19'' N; 75° 7' 48'' W 19.905402, -75.13011 (Dec Deg) 486382E 2201018N Zone 18 (UTM)

Charlie Battery 3rd LAAM Battalion John Paul Jones Hill Guantanamo Bay Cuba 1962


USMC Air Defense Forces on Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Cuban Missile Crisis:

The USMC air defense forces for Guantanamo Bay Cuba:

Four VMA aircraft were in place at Leeward Point with a detachment of VU-10. And Charlie Battery, 3rd LAAM Battalion (HAWK) emplaced on John Paul jones Hill. The foregoing defense forces maintained equivalent of DEFCON THREE at all times.

VMA-331 Guantanamo (Leeward Point), Cuba

VMA-331 deployed to Guantanamo (Leeward Point), Cuba during the Bay of Pigs and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico during the blockade of Cuba. 10 aircraft deployed to Gitmo and 10 to Roosevelt Roads during each incident

Leeward Point Field Guantanamo Cuba

Marine Attack Squadron 331 (VMA-331) was an attack squadron in the United States Marine Corps. The squadron, also known as the “Doodlebugs” and “Bumblebees,” was part of Marine Aircraft Group 32, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and were based out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. They squadron fought in World War II, the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. They were deactivated as part of the post Cold War drawdown of the US Military on October 1, 1992.

Utility Squadron 10 (VU-10) Guantanamo Bay Cuba

VC-10 began 25 October 1943 as Utility Squadron SIXTEEN or VU-16 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On 16 August 1946, VU-16 was redesignated as Utility Squadron TEN (VU-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Then on, 1 July 1965, VU-10 was redesignated as Fleet Composite Squadron TEN (VC-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Finally on 1 July 1 1993, VC-10 was decommissioned at Guantanamo Bay.

                 UV-10 Patch Cuba

                                                   UV-10 over Cuba 1962
VU-10 (JH 22) JD-1 (BuNo 77417) in-flight near NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 27 March 1962. Photo from the TailHook Association http://www.tailhook.org/..." Contributed by Mahlon K. Miller mkwsmiller@cox.net [24JUL2003] 






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