MK-44 Magazine

   In October 2003, the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) received approval by the U.S. Army to obtain several Mk-44 torpedo parts and components, then being dismantled and scrapped, for historical purposes. As seen at left, the mission to scrap out over 3000, MK-44 torpedoes was enormous but the dedicated crews of Day-Zimmerman Hawthorne Corporation, the contractor, accomplished this feat. At right are the tails of MK-44s at the scrap yard; an unfortunate end to a great weapon.

    All these units were gone within a year. However, during this period, the Commanding Officer, Col. Dornblaser, of the Hawthorne Depot allowed the GHHF to obtain enough MK-44s for all our participating nation-wide exhibits. Col. Dornblaser later went on to serve in IRAQ in order to eliminate that nation's huge stockpile of obsolete weapons and ordnance. Col. Dornblaser, our prayers are with you.


As pictured below, the "Demil Crew" of Day-Zimmerman HC, for our MK-44s. While we cannot name them for security reasons, we certainly thank them for this historic work.

   By May 2004, the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) had shipped to the museum ships, USS ORLECK (27-Apr-04) and USS JOSEPH P. KENNEDY JR., approximately 13, MK-44 Torpedoes each.

These Units were inspected and cleaned but because of the quantity involved, their restorations were left to the individual ships that planned to store them in their own ship's Torpedo Magazine

Not every MK-44 recovered is a beautiful museum piece. These are "Wooden Training Shapes" that crewman on ship used to train with to practice loading Mk-32 Triple Torpedo Launchers as well as practice loading the QH-50 DASH. These wooden shapes were much cheaper then a practice MK-44 Torpedo which cost in 1967, $50,000 a piece!  Both ORLECK and KENNEDY each received a single training shape is 2004.

     By the Middle of 2005, the Gyrodyne MK-44 Magazine had shrunk considerably, but we assembled all the units we had and donated the excess aft ends with propellers to other museums for display.

    All these MK-44s are for the QH-50s on display in the United States and they will be deployed, after they are carefully restored.

By December 2005, the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation (GHHF) had set up a test rig to start setting our MK-44 torpedoes to our MK-8 Bomb Release Units (BRU). This involved the restoration of a complete set of QH-50C sway braces and pair of MK-8 BRUs and beginning the restoration of a single MK-44 to the correct paint specifications. That was no easy task.


    The head of the MK-44 first had to be cleaned with lacquer thinner to remove the old and very toxic Navy paint and yet the rubber housing needed to be protected. The rubber sonar cover was restored using a completely separate process as well.

After several tests, A single paint system only available from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Company was selected as the authentic color and paint system. is the MK-44 head in white primer; required for the correct fluorescent color effect to occur.........

...after a coat of Tempo Florescent RED and a coat of Clear Gloss the head takes on the color the Navy used to spot the exercise torpedo when used in Exercises in the Sea.


  After Cleaning, inspection, painting and prior to band installation, a GHHF MK-44 nears ready for deployment to a nationwide museum. March 2006.


With MK-64 Suspension Bands installed along with the proper nut for MK-24 Parachute installation, this MK-44 is ready to be hung from a QH-50 DASH!


The Gyrodyne Foundation wishes to recognize the talented Torpedomen at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) at Keyport, Washington who have gone on beyond the MK-44 and onto more sophisticated systems whose "system art" is displayed below.


Home Up MK-44 Magazine Sway Braces and BRUs MK-64 Suspension Bands

Helicopter Historical Foundation
P.O. Box 3838, Reno, Nevada USA 89505

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All Photographs, technical specifications, and content are herein copyrighted and owned exclusively by Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation, unless otherwise stated.  All Rights Reserved 2013.

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.
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