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Origins of Callsigns

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  • Origins of Callsigns

    Submitter:
    Dave <david.swan@gdit.com>

    Message:

    I'm exploring the possibility of research leading to a book on the origin of callsigns. Perhaps two volumes would be required: one for individuals and one for units.

    Does anyone you know have information on when callsigns started in the Corps? I am familiar with squadron callsigns since Viet Nam and the history of most squadrons contain a "callsign legacy". But, individual callsigns are another matter. I suspect they started with the ACM crowd and were part of the brevity codes that transpired to increase efficiency during intense combat engagements. I proposed doing a couple of pieces on the history of callsigns for a contract proposal to write the 100 year history of USMC aviation but we didn't win the contract. Too bad, because it would have been timely. Now, I'm thinking of doing it on my own dime and as my contribution to the 100th anniversary.

    Appreciate any help you can offer. By the way, please add the squadron callsign - Wolfpack, to HMH-466. I was the 2nd CO of that squadron (87-88).

  • #2
    An article in the Oct 1961 issue of Naval Aviation News has HMR(L)-361 using TARBUSH. The article says 261, but the photos are of 361.

    Some squadrons in Iraq seem to have used "theater" callsigns. HMLA-367 used BARBARIAN during their last deployment (Apr-Oct 08). HMLA-169 used MISFIT (2004-5, 2006)

    Comment


    • #3
      I was in HMR (L) 361 until September 1961 and Tarbush was the call sign for the squadron. I transferred to HMR (L) 163 at that time and 163 used the call sign Superchief. I was in HMM 161 in Hawaii and its call sign was Barrelhouse. After the build-up in Viet Nam in 1965 some squadron call signs were changed.

      Comment


      • #4
        I was with HMM-161 (7-66 to10-66) and the call sign was also Barrelhouse.
        We were replaced by Hmm-163 in Oct 66.

        Tom Knowles

        Comment


        • #5
          The earliest USMC squadron call signs I've found are
          PASSPORT - VMO-4
          SHUTTER - VMO-5
          These were used during the Iwo Jima campaign.

          Comment


          • #6
            when i was i there HMM-165 was Lady Ace
            non illigitimus carborundumMAF gripe ... deadbugs on windshield...action taken...R&R with live bugs!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by beddoe View Post
              Submitter:
              Dave <david.swan@gdit.com>

              Message:

              I'm exploring the possibility of research leading to a book on the origin of callsigns. Perhaps two volumes would be required: one for individuals and one for units.

              Does anyone you know have information on when callsigns started in the Corps? I am familiar with squadron callsigns since Viet Nam and the history of most squadrons contain a "callsign legacy". But, individual callsigns are another matter. I suspect they started with the ACM crowd and were part of the brevity codes that transpired to increase efficiency during intense combat engagements. I proposed doing a couple of pieces on the history of callsigns for a contract proposal to write the 100 year history of USMC aviation but we didn't win the contract. Too bad, because it would have been timely. Now, I'm thinking of doing it on my own dime and as my contribution to the 100th anniversary.

              Appreciate any help you can offer. By the way, please add the squadron callsign - Wolfpack, to HMH-466. I was the 2nd CO of that squadron (87-88).
              I'm sure that you have "googled" "military call signs"! - a lot of information there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Momma's advice for daughters and sisters

                #6: " Men are all the same, - they just have different faces, so that you can tell them apart! "
                #7: " Definition of a batchelor: A man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable!"
                #8: " Women don't make fools of men, - most of them are the "do-it-yourself" type!!"
                #9: "The best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it!!"
                #10: " Love is blind, but marriage is real eye-opener!!"

                Comment

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