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THE EXECUTIVE FLIGHT DETACHMENT

     The US Army Executive Flight Detachment was activated in 1958, and along with the Executive Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1), had the primary mission of emergency evacuation of the President, his family, and other key officials.  Their secondary, more visible mission was the transportation of the President and others.

   Two Bell UH-13-J helicopters were purchased, and President Eisenhower became the first chief executive to be transported by helicopter.

 President Eisenhower disembarks from Army One

President Eisenhower disembarks
from Army One

 

 Pres eisenhower and Senator John Kennedy in front of Army One

President Eisenhower and Senator John Kennedy in front of Army One

 

 Marilyn Monroe entering Army One

Marilyn Monroe climbing into
Army One.

   The Bells were replaced by the larger and more capable Sikorsky CH-34 Choctaw. Modified for VIP comfort and safety, they were redesignated VH-34s.

VH-34 with flotation evice VH-34 with flotation device -- inflated

   Above, the VH-34 with flotation device attached instead of skids; at right the devices are inflated for water landing.   The executive VH-34 was the only Army helicopter fitted with flotation devices for emergency landings on water. 

   The VH-34 helicopters served as 'Army One' from 1958 through 1963 when the Sikorsky CH-3 was introduced.  The Army Executive Flight Detachment carried Presidents from Eisenhower through Ford until the Detachment was disbanded in July 1976. 

   The VH-34 on exhibit in the Aviation Pavilion of the Transportation Museum served as 'Army One' for President John F. Kennedy.

Pilot of Army One to crew of Army One after last flight for President Ford

 

 

 

 

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