GHHF Projects

    The Gyrodyne Foundation has had many projects that have been completed within the last few years of significant value to the saving of Gyrodyne History as well as the saving of U.S. Naval and Aeronautical history as well. We are proud to present our GHHF Completed Projects here, with the most recent, listed first.

On occasion, the Gyrodyne Foundation sometimes works outside its scope to save related weapon systems that served aboard the same class of naval destroyers as Gyrodyne's DASH did.  Thus was the case on January 19, 2007 when three volunteers from the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation deployed to northern Washington state to rescue 2 Anti-Submarine Rockets (ASROC) (seen right) and a single HARPOON missile that were destined to be scrapped. Instead of that fate, the Gyrodyne Foundation worked with the Navy-owner to find a suitable home for the missiles, that being the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum in Hawthorne Nevada. The Foundation then went, picked up the missiles and delivered them to Hawthorne where they were immediately put on display per the below where they will represent the way a destroyer deployed a MK-44/46 torpedo (1 to 3 mile) in the mid 1960's just as DASH did for the 3-mile to 22 mile range window.

        These "Blue-Shapes" are commonly referred to as "Blue-Birds" and are training shapes only to teach young Navy Gunners Mates the art of taking care of these weapons without having them handle missiles that contain both HBX explosives and volatile rocket motors.  Actual  ASROCs were fired from the MK-112 "Matchbox" launcher using the MK-114 Fire Control System.  Make sure to stop by Hawthorne and take a look at a "Blue Bird" ! Courtesy, of the Gyrodyne Foundation.

On August 14, 2006, The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation continued its program of deploying restored Mk-44 inert Torpedoes to the historic QH-50 fleet by installing a set of airborne-drop equipped MK-44 units on the QH-50C onboard the DASH-equipped destroyer, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850) berthed at Fall River, Massachusetts and part of the historic vessel-collection at Battleship Cove.

This mission made a milestone by the re-arming of the ONLY QH-50C DASH drone, to be located still on ship, as it was during the DASH deployment of 1962-1970. A Gyrodyne Foundation volunteer and former destroyerman, came to the MK-44 Torpedo shop in Reno, Nevada and banded the torpedoes and then took them to the KENNEDY, a trip alone of over 3000 miles.

The photo at above-right, shows our Gyrodyne Foundation-volunteer getting one MK-44 ready to hook up to the MK-8 Bomb Release Unit (BRU). When the Foundation does any Torpedo installation, we supply all new or restored sway braces and operating MK-8 Bomb Release Units (BRU's) with pins and all-new hardware so there is a 100% chance of success and none of this "Oh crap, you guys are missing this part and so forth........." So this effort, is not just about the Banded, Air droppable-MK-44s, but the armament section of each QH-50 which invariably, is mostly incomplete.........Our volunteer install all the new parts on the helicopter, and then installs the restore MK-44 Torpedoes to them and makes safe the BRU from dropping the torpedo. Note our volunteer is even wearing his Gyrodyne T-shirt ! OUTSTANDING!

     Now at upper-left, to complete the authentic-exterior of the MK-44 weapon, our volunteer is applying the historical placards from the Naval Ordnance facility at Forest Park, Illinois which closed in the 1970's. Creating new NOPF placards was made possible by retired Master Chief Len Barrett who happened to be a former crewman on the J.P. KENNEDY JR.. We here at the Gyrodyne Foundation continue the work that the now closed NOPF facility performed on the MK-44..........See that nice shiny MK-44 head?  Takes days of stripping and repaint work to get it to look like that........

And there you have it... at right, QH-50C DS-1284 is now the only QH-50C in the world, to have the complete AIR DROPPABLE- MK-44 Torpedoes with Mk-24 parapaks (saftied) system installed......and the KENNEDY is the only U.S. Naval Warship in the U.S. Navy with a armed UAV aboard ship!!  Make sure to drop by and pay DS-1284 a visit ! Thanks to all those ARMY and NAVY program offices that helped and allowed this effort to proceed! We still have other helicopters to do.....more to follow. Thanks to Steve Whynot of the KENNEDY Restoration crew for these photos.

   On July 6, 2006, The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation continued its program of deploying restored Mk-44 inert Torpedoes to the historic QH-50 fleet by installing a set of airborne-drop equipped MK-44 units on the Carolina Aviation Museum QH-50C, Bu No. DS-1355. The Carolina Aviation Museum is located at the Charlotte / Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina.  From the time the Torpedoes were acquired from the U.S. Army to their restoration, to the installation of the correct suspension bands to the complete restoration of a set of QH-50C sway braces and Bomb Release Units to the transportation of the completed torpedoes from our Reno Nevada facility to a secured holding facility in St. Louis Mo. to the final installation of the armament section and MK-44 units on the QH-50C, it took approximately three years to accomplish this effort. Please stop by and visit this historic aircraft that flew from the Navy destroyers, USS COLLETT (DD-730), USS STORMES (DD-780) and the USS MASSEY (DD-778).

On May 7, 2006, the Gyrodyne Foundation's MK-44 Torpedo restoration crew picked up two specially selected MK-44s from the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum. In the following three days, these two MK-44s were restored and modified into "Air-drop" versions by the installation of the Mk-64 suspension bands and other components. Then, on May 10, 2006, that same GHHF crew traveled back to the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum where a special training class took place where a GHHF volunteer was trained in the installation of the MK-44s onto the QH-50D we had on-loan to that museum. Although a training class in the installation of the QH-50 Sway Braces, Mk-8 Bomb Release Units as well as making safe all these components, what we left behind was truly historic: For the First time in 36 years, a QH-50D DASH had Mk-44 Torpedoes hanging from its shackles, in the authentic manner it was done so long ago. The only place on Earth you can see a complete QH-50D and also weaponized, is at the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum, Hawthorne, Nevada.

QH-50D, DS-1914 with Twin MK-44 Exercise Torpedoes, MK-64 Suspension Bands, Mk-24 Mod 2 Parapaks all connected to the QH-50 with the MK-8 Bomb Release Units.

On March 30, 2005, after a year of coordinating a needs request by the two remaining destroyer escorts in the United States, that being the USS SLATER (DE-766) of Albany, New York and USS STEWART (DE-238) of Galveston, Texas, the Gyrodyne Foundation executed a series of trips to the Hawthorne Army Ordnance Depot (HWAD) to remove approximately 70 rounds of 3"/50 caliber shells for each ship. These shells were crated/boxed and then palletized in order to be shipped with the Hedgehog Depth Charges we then procured for each ship on May 11, 2005. On that trip, the Gyrodyne Foundation got about 25 Hedgehog-heads and 1 complete round for each ship so that the museum-ships could use the complete round as an example to complete these historic depth charges to their original configuration. Please support these non-DASH ships!  All of this inert-Ordnance was shipped out in 2005.

On December 6, 2004, the Gyrodyne Foundation working with the U.S. Army's Target Management Office (TMO), traveled to White Sands Missile Range, NM to seek assistance in freeing up the engine of a QH-50-equipped-museum's engine. The seized engine prevented the rotors from being turned and therefore caused problems with the display.

    Working with some great technicians from Lockheed-Martin Flight Services, the engine was "un-seized" in no time at all.  During this mission, we were also allowed to obtain parts from bone-yard QH-50s and in so doing discovered the camera mount at right. Eventually, this special "SNOOPY" mount was released to Gyrodyne Foundation for our future SNOOPY display showing the reconnaissance capability of the QH-50 drone.

A Lockheed-Martin Flight Services Technician working on the Gyrodyne Foundation's Boeing T50-BO12 turbine engine. This engine was later installed on a QH-50 Drone exhibit.

    It would be impossible to not mention the  achievements of the many volunteers the Gyrodyne Foundation has had the pleasure of working with. While most are former U.S. Naval Officers and Crewman, we have had active-Navy as well as active-Army personnel assist us in our historical work. Here is a sample of some missions the Gyrodyne Foundation ran in the third quarter of 2004 with some of our great volunteers........

  On September 27, 2004, the Gyrodyne Foundation coordinated and directed another strip trip to the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Benicia, Ca., for the benefit of the Battleship, USS MASSACHUSETTS (BB-59) and destroyer, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850).   On this mission, we removed specific model toilets used on Navy-Cruisers for a remodel project on the battleship. Also, acquired were special blast-proof lights and engine room parts to restore the forward engine room's throttle board on the KENNEDY (seen below in J. Ferguson's hands).

   Duration of this mission was 5 days. All assets were moved to the GHHF facility using our own trailer to Reno for packing and palletizing.


Volunteer and former Navy Crewman B. Miller shows one of the Navy-style toilets we pulled so that a new "head" or restroom on the battleship, USS MASSACHUSETTS  can be installed so additional Boy and Girl scout-overnights on the battleship could be accommodated.

Volunteer and former Navy Crewman B. Mack removes a blast-proof light from the former Navy Cruiser, EX-HORNE to help restore the USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY Jr.(DD-850).

A row of vessels at Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet (SBRF). An anchorage of the Maritime Administration, it is a place where surplus vessels are stored until either needed or it becomes economically viable to scrap them. SBRF has the capacity to moor several hundred ships if needed. In the late 1950sí to early 1960ís, there were in excess of 500 ships moored at SBRF. As of July 21, 2005,  there were 84 ships anchored at the site, 61 of which are eventually expected to be cut into scrap metal as part of a program that salvages old war supply vessels. While these ships await their fate, the Gyrodyne Foundation has been leading strip-trips to get historic items to restore the U.S. Naval vessels of Battleship Cove.


    On August 9, 2004, the Gyrodyne Foundation coordinated and directed a strip trip to the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Benicia, Ca., for the benefit of Battleship Cove and chiefly, the DASH Destroyer, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850). On this mission, we removed approximately 3000 lbs worth of ship assets from the former U.S. Navy Cruiser HORNE. These assets ranged from sound powered phones to speakers to brass parts missing on the KENNEDY. Duration of this mission was 5 days. All assets were moved to the GHHF facility using our own trailer to Reno for packing and palletizing. Many thanks to the U.S. Navy in authorizing this removal of assets for the restoration of the KENNEDY.

Former U.S. Navy Chiefs Ferguson and Barrett remove the bridge Alarm switches from ex-HORNE.

Former U.S. Navy crewman B. Millsap shows the "Howler" Sound powered phone he removed from the CIC on HORNE. This will be used to restore the bridge on the KENNEDY and get the sound powered phone system operational again ! Good Work!

   On July 23, 2004, the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) shipped a complete SRM-2 Command and Control Station to the American Helicopter Museum and Educational Center (AHMEC) of West Chester, PA.
    This complete station was used to calibrate, test and operate DASH Drones from U.S. Navy Destroyer Tenders. With only .9 hours of use since new, on the entire system, it was found by the GHHF, crated and sitting in a storage building at White Sands Missile Range, NM in 2002. With the cooperation of the U.S. ARMY TMO, it was provided to the GHHF.  The SRM-2 will be situated next to AHMEC's QH-50C DASH so that the public can better appreciate the sophistication the DASH system was for its day.

    During the transportation of these cabinets, the trucking company handling the load essentially went out of business. Many thanks to the truck driver who kept our cabinets from becoming assets to be sold !

    Eventually, the Gyrodyne Foundation was able to enlist the assistance of USS J.P. KENNEDY JR (DD-850) Volunteer Coordinator, Steve Whynot in getting these cabinets to the American Helicopter Museum. On June 30, 2005, this became a reality when Steve personally delivered the cabinets to the Museum, having driven to Indiana to get them. Steve, the Gyrodyne Foundation cannot thank you enough!

    On July 5 through the 11th, 2004, The Gyrodyne Foundation traveled, with truck and trailer to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) at Keyport, Washington in support of the DASH-equipped destroyer, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850).
     After a three year effort, working with NUWC-KPT, the Naval Ammunition Logistics Center (NALC) and the U.S. Navy's PMS-333 Inactive Ship's Program Office, the Gyrodyne Foundation coordinated with all these commands to make sure that not just DASH is restored on KENNEDY, but the other MK-44/46 Torpedo delivery weapon systems as well, and that included the 1-3 mile companion to DASH, that being the Anti-Submarine Rocket called ASROC.

   Pictured at left, from left to right: The Blue round is a ASROC loading round to practice loading procedures, the center unit is a MK-46 warshot torpedo and the unit label "AFWTF" is a "real unit", but used for technician training which is MK-46 armed. ASROC was nothing more than the taking of a torpedo and the installation of rocket body so that it could be launched from a MK-112 launcher group of 8 cells.

   This display will allow the KENNEDY to show what a regular MK-46 Torpedo looked like next to the ASROC variant carrying the same torpedo. Much appreciation is due to Puliz Moving and Storage-Reno, NV for donating their flat-bed trailer for this archive retrieval mission and to the "Old Sailor" of NUWC-KPT who asked not be named. These units will be shipped to the J.P. KENNEDY Jr. in September 2004.


    From May 10 to May 12, 2004, GHHF began to palletize the items we had accumulated over the last several years, for the restoration of several vessels of Battleship Cove, Massachusetts. As seen at right, are the stabile elements for the guns of the battleship MASSACHUSETTS (BB-59) as well as a restored master compass repeater panel; left of the forklift. At far left is a 20 mm gun mount for the PT Boats National museum located at the Cove.

   Our Truck Driver, Mike Hiner of EASTON Transportation, was a former plane-handler on the aircraft carrier, USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64) and had a special affinity for all the Naval assets we had to ship. Here, at right, the wrapped pallets of everything from URC-32 radios, to 1960's era food trays to life jackets to signal lights to general ship parts were beginning to fill up the 48' trailer!
    From over 20 pallets supplied to 50 cardboard boxes used to 3 rolls of shrink wrap to wrapping paper for glass items to the use of a steel banding machine, Tim Puliz's of Puliz Moving and Storage donation to this effort cannot be overestimated. Tim's continued contributions will help restore the ships of Battleship Cove and will be a lasting legacy to those volunteers whose "behind-the-scenes" assistance will forever be appreciated in the many ships they helped get parts to so they could be restored. Thank, Tim!

    Load-up began on May 12 and by the 13th, the 5"/38 caliber shells were getting loaded.

    These inert-practice rounds are filled with crushed-wheat to simulate a correct weapon weight. Over 300 of these rounds were received; 192 of which went to Battleship Cove - 96 shells for the battleship, USS MASSACHUSETTS (BB-59) and 96 shells for the destroyer, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850).   Both have the same MK-38 twin 5" gun mount. These rounds were donated by the Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot (HWAD) to the GHHF for placement in the National historic fleet for the museum-ships that needed them.  At 57 lbs each, each pallet of shells weighed (steel pallet included) over 3000 lbs each.   
     The GHHF can't thank Alby Redick and Aviation Classics enough for loaning us his forklift for this and all our other projects!

    As seen at right, are PT Boat masts that the GHHF acquired from a scrap yard that was closing in Oceanside, California due to the death of the owner. The grandson, in clearing out the yard found these masts that were identified by Rich Pekelney of the USS PAMPANITO submarine museum of San Francisco. Thought to not have survived WWII, the GHHF picked up these masts in Nov. 2003 and stored them until they could be transported to Battleship Cove. There, PT Boat curator, Don Shannon will restore them and install them on the two PTs that are on display.

    The final items to load up, were the GHHF-owned MK-44 Torpedoes.

   After having been a museum ship for close to 40 years, the GHHF filled the empty torpedo magazine of the J.P. KENNEDY Jr, in one day with 13 practice MK-44 Torpedoes, 1 wood and 1 steel training MK-44 shape as well as a single MK-46 training shape. The shapes are in the steel cans and were acquired by the GHHF, on behalf of the KENNEDY, from the NAVY at HWAD on August 21, 2003. The shapes are to simulate a real torpedo's size and weight (around 700 lbs) so the torpedo-crew on-ship can experience moving a torpedo without the possibility of damaging a $ 50,000 real-unit (1965 cost). The GHHF's Exercise Torpedoes are internally empty of components and only weigh 140 lbs each while still looking like real fish!

   Ready for the tarp-cover, we filled up the truck with 31,000 lbs of DASH weapon materials (blade cans, generators, radios and test sets) ship equipment, torpedoes, 5-inch shells, PT Boat masts and Battleship parts. We even had "left-over" test sets we had no room left for.....perhaps the next truck load.........

   A HUGE Thanks to Terry Miller, Executive Director of Tin Can Sailors and to the late, Tom Peltin. Tom and Terry set up a special fund at Tin Can Sailors to pay for shipping of historical assets so that these assets would not be scrapped due to a ship not being able to afford the final shipping cost. TCS paid the entire shipping cost for this effort, allowing Gyrodyne to spend its resources on obtaining these priceless artifacts. Thanks, Terry and Tom!

    And Finally, the end result: The Torpedoes and associated equipment off-loaded, onto the destroyer, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850) at Fall River, Massachusetts, where generations to come will see this great warship in its original, armed manner, in the way it was in its sailing days !

If you stop by, make sure to see the Torpedo Magazine on the destroyer, J.P. KENNEDY Jr.. And tell the volunteers you appreciate their restoration work!

On April 27, 2004, the GHHF provided to the USS ORLECK (DD-868), berthed in Orange Texas, 11 practice MK-44 torpedoes along with a wooden training shape. We also provided them 96, 5"/38 caliber shells to load their magazines with.  The truck driver, George, was donating the driving of these archives to the ORLECK as his Mother had worked in the Office of Consolidated Steel when the ORLECK was being built there, at Orange.

    As George showed up at night, all these shots are rather dark!

   Also provided were two authentic QH-50 Blade cans for the ORLECK's DASH hangar, which we hope they restore soon as the Gyrodyne QH-50 sits outside in the elements.

   All these assets, from Torpedoes to shells to Blade cans were provided to the ORLECK, on a indefinite-loan basis from the Gyrodyne Foundation. 

  We Know that they got the torpedoes, because they sent us this shot, at right, from their torpedo magazine.....which appears mostly full !

  Best of Luck to the ORLECK as they continue their restoration of that fine ship. Please visit it, at Orange Texas, if you are in the neighborhood!


   In December 2003, the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) was contacted by the Hawthorne Munitions Museum, Hawthorne Nevada, requesting assistance in obtaining an air-raid siren for its Pearl Harbor Day observances.
   We were able to secure two units by January 2004 and work was completed by the Gyrodyne Restoration Shop in April 2004 in the restoration of the better and unseized unit, seen at left with a red nose. The original condition can be seen in the unit at right.

   Removing the paint from a 30-year-old engine alarm from a former Navy destroyer is no small task, but all components were stripped down to bare metal, all working parts were repaired and rewired with current 115-volt parts. 

   On May 25, 2004, we presented the Siren to Herman Millsap of the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum.  Good luck to those nice folks and Happy noisemaking! 

Gyrodyne Foundation subsequently provided a WWII Diving Alarm (seen at left) as well, restored and operating.

Hawthorne will never be the same!

   In August 2003, the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) was contacted to assist in the restorations of three QH-50C's in 3 separate nation-wide museums. They were:

  1. DS-1320 at the New England Air Museum

  2. DS-1355 at the Carolina Air Museum

  3. and DS-1284 (tail seen at right) on the museum ship, USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR. (DD-850)

 After many years of sea duty, the aircraft were now due new paint and lettering.  The GHHF made a request to our long-term donor, Puliz Moving and Storage and they in turn created the vinyl lettering and chevrons for all three sets of tail assemblies. While the Carolina and New England Air museum had their lettering sets shipped to them, the GHHF sent the KENNEDY's tail to the GHHF restoration shop and painstakingly restored those tails........

From stripping off the original 40-year old paint............

To re-painting the original Gray...........

    To painting the original "yellow" per the NAVAIR manual for correct color....... the painting of both the green and red.....and using the former tails of DS-1220, in the GHHF archives as our guide for correct paint borders and letter spacing, we were able to obtain.........

...These absolutely beautiful tails for QH-50C DS-1284.  

    Puliz Moving and Storage not only provided the exact letter size, font and color but the exact letter spacing as well!  On top of that, they provided the correct words "DANGER" and "KEEP AWAY" as well as the red arrow and red chevrons you see here.  Certainly this and the other tail-restoration projects would not have been possible without Tim Puliz's assistance!


   As a surviving archive, the GHHF did keep the old DS-1284 tail and instead used the tails of an aircraft that had been lost while being used as a target-tow at White Sands Missile Range. Here you can see the original tail and the newly restored tail -at right-that came from DS-1368.  Quite a difference.....all made possible from the boys at the GHHF restoration shop.

QH-50C, Bu No. DS-1284 shown with her new "Tails" installed during GHHF's Mk-44 Torpedo fit and installation work on 14-Aug-2006.

 Navy Accepted on 07-July-1965 by Bureau of Weapons Rep., Fleet Rep.-Bethpage NY, DS-1284 was transferred to the destroyer tender, USS BRYCE CANYON (AD-36) on 19-July-65 and placed in "unassigned" status to be used as a drone replacement for the destroyer fleet. DS-1284 was then transferred to the destroyer, USS NICHOLAS (DD-449) on 31-Aug-65 where the drone operated for the next three years. Additional information is being researched on this historic aircraft that now calls the USS J.P. KENNEDY JR home.

Home Up GHHF Projects MK-44 Torpedo Shop

Helicopter Historical Foundation
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The Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) is a private foundation incorporated in the State of Nevada as a Non-profit organization. 

GHHF is dedicated to the advancement of the education and preservation of the history of the Ships, the Men and the Company that built, operated and flew the U.S. Navy's QH-50 Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) System and to the preservation of the history of the U.S. Army's past use of DASH.
Your support will allow for that work to continue.