Huey Helicopter Challenge Coin
The Huey helicopter is the most successful rotary-wing aircraft in aviation history, with more than 16,000 produced over a five-decade span, used by all five branches of United States forces, and by hundreds of civilian agencies. The Huey has been used for almost every mission: troop transport, gunship, airborne battlefield command and control, troop insertion/extraction, medical evacuation, and search and rescue.
Matching its namesake, the Huey Helicopter challenge coin is bold and memorable, capturing the Huey as a lethal gunship wreaking havoc on the Viet Cong. The Marine Corps used the Huey as armed escort helicopters for suppressing enemy fire in landing zones. Able to haul up to 5,000 pounds of cargo and 13 Marines, the Huey has served the Corps well since they first teamed in 1971.
The Huey was enormously successful because of its ideal mix of cabin room, speed, lifting capacity, ruggedness, and service reliability. The HU-1A had an 850-shaft-horsepower (shp) gas turbine engine and was configured for six seats or two stretchers. The HU-1B increased power to 960shp and was configured for eight passengers or three stretchers. With the addition of a 1,000-shp engine, the HU-1C came into its role as the dominant gunship in Vietnam. The UH-1D further increased horsepower up to either 1100 shp or 1400 shp. A distinguishing characteristic of that model was the larger cabin, with larger cargo doors and twin cabin windows on each side. The UH-1D was redesigned to carry up to twelve troops, plus a crew of two. A twin-turbine model, the UH-1N, was later developed, and remains in use with the US Air Force, US Navy, and the US Marine Corps, and well as with more than 60 foreign governments.
This challenge coin salutes a helicopter that has served the nation well for more than 50 years, and the courageous warriors who served aboard with pride in defense of freedom. Displaying incredible detail, the obverse of the USMC Huey Helicopter coin shows the “B” Model Huey Gunship in attack mode, with profiles of the “D” model in the background. Struck using special "splash" dies for exceptionally deep relief and beautiful detail, this challenge coin is brushed with an antique bronze finish. The obverse is ringed with the three Marine Corps values – honor, courage, commitment – accented in red enamel. There is an open area suitable for engraving a name or personal message. The coin is 1 3/4 inches (44mm) Round.