Make your own free website on Tripod.com

This is not an official USMC website!

USMC HELICOPTER/OBSERVATION SQUADRON
TAILCODES AND CALLSIGNS


Tailcodes

In 1946 the Navy started assigning Visual Identification codes to squadrons in order to make it easier to identify aircraft assigned to each particular squadron. Marine Corps squadrons, being part of Naval Aviation, also use these codes. In 1950 Marine codes were assigned according to the location of the squadron: A - Asia; L - East Coast (Atlantic); W - West Coast. HMX-1, being a test and development squadron, was assigned a code starting with X (XM).

OPNAV Instruction 3561.2A (Visual Identification System for Naval Aircraft) dated 24 July 1956 reorganized the code assignments according to Command. Each squadron would be assigned a two-letter code reflecting its current assignment:

Command 1st Letter 2nd Letter
COMAIRLANT (E.Coast) A - M
A - Z
COMAIRPAC (W.Coast) N - Z
A - Z
CNATR (Training Cmnd) 2 - 9
A - Z

New Marine codes are not assigned by location, rather they are usually assigned because they aren't in use by Navy units. Once assigned, the code is used only by that squadron until it is deactivated. The code then becomes available for a new user. A few squadrons have been reactivated with new codes assigned, but usually the old code is retained if available.

The first codes used by USMC helicopter squadrons were in the "H" series, except for HMX-1 which used XC. With the 1956 changes, West Coast squadrons changed to "Y" codes and East Coast units used "E". The use of "I" and "O" was prohibited due to the ease of confusion with "1" and "0". New squadrons formed since about 1964 are assigned whatever codes are available, making it impossible to tell where a squadron was first activated.

Reserve squadrons didn't use individual squadron codes until 1972. Prior to this they used the ID code of which ever base they were assigned to. This meant that all Navy and Marine Reserve squadrons at the same location had the same code (either 6x or 7x). Marine Reserve squadrons began using codes starting with "5" in 1968, and then switched to individual codes in 1972.


CODE SQUADRON YEARS COMMENTS
* H&MS/MALS squadrons were no longer operating aircraft after about 1980 (?), though they were still assigned codes as late as 1998.
AA VMO-3 1946-48
AA VMO-3 1948-9
AB VMO-6 1946-8
BL HML-268 1972-77
BR VMO-1 1946-8
BZ HqSqn Air FMFLant 1968-73 Operated 1 VH-34D
CA HML/A-467 2008-
CJ HMR(M)-461 1957-62
HMH-461 1962-
CZ* H&MS-27 1962 CH-19E and UH-34D
EG HMR(L)-263 1956; 57-62
HMR(C)-263 1955-57
HMM-263 1962-2006
VMM-263 2006-
EH HMR(L)-264 1956-62
HMM-264 1962-2009
VMM-264 2009-
EL* H&MS-26 1956-88
MALS-26 1988-
EM HMR(L)-261 1956-62
HMM-261 1962-2008
VMM-261 2008-
EN HMH-464 1984-
EP HMM-265 1964-70; 1978-2013
VMM-265 2013-
ER VMO-1 1958-94
ES HMM-266 1988-2007
VMM-266 2007-
ET HMR(L)-262 1956-62
HMM-262 1962-2013
VMM-262 2013-
FK * H&MS-29 1972-88
MALS-29 1988-
GX HMT-204 1972-99
VMMT-204 1999-
HF HMA-269 1971-87
HML/A-269 1987-
HH HMH-366 1994-99; 2008-
HL HMR-362 1952-56
HM HMR-261 1951-56
HN HMR-361 1951-56
HP HMR-163 1951-56
HMHT-401 1969-72 re-use of code
HQ HMMT-402 1969-72
HR HMR-161 1951-56
H&MS-40 1969-72 re-use of code
HS HMR-162 1951-56
HT HMR-262 1951-56
HZ HMR-363 1952-56
IL HMR-263 1952-56
LR VMO-1 1948-56
LS VMO-2 1951-56
ML H&HS MAG-26 1952-54
H&MS-26 1954-56
HMM-764 1972-2013 re-use of code
VMM-764 2013- Re-designation
MM HML-767 1972-93
HMLA-775 Det A 1993-2000 redesignation
HMLA-773 Det A 2000- re-designation
MN HMM-770 1972-77
HML-770 1977-80
MP HMA-773 1972-94
HMLA-773 1994-
MQ HMM-774 1972-
MR HML-765 1972-76
MS HMH-769 1972-80; 93-2008
HMH-772 Det A 1980-93 re-designation
MT HMH-772 1972-
MU VMO-4 1972-94
MX HMX-1 1959-
PF HMM-364 1988-2013
VMM-364 2013-
PH VMM-561 2011 -2012
QF* H&MS-37 1962?-
SAR helos assigned
QJ HML-770 1972-79  
QK HML-771 1972-94
QL HML-776 1972-94
QM HMH-777 1972-80
HMH-772 Det B 1980-93 re-designation
QN VMO-8 1972-6
QT HMT-303 1982-2009
HMLAT-303 2009- re-designation
QY * H&MS-46 1972-88
MALS-46 1988-
SE HMLA-469 2009-
SM HMA-369 1972-87
HMLA-369 1987-
SN HMA-169 1971-86
HMLA-169 1986-
SP HMMT-301 1966-68
HMHT-301 1968-72
SQ HMMT-302 1966-72
SR* H&MS-30 1966-72
SU HMT-301 1972-94; 95-2005
SZ* H&MS-17 1956-68
TM* H&MS-11 1956
TV HML-167 1968-86
HML/A-167 1986-
UT HMT-302 1987-
UV VMO-5 1966-68
HML-267 1968-87 re-designation
HMLA-267 1987-
VS VMO-2 1956-74
VT VMO-3 1966-68
HML-367 1968-88 re-designation
HMLA-367 1988-
VX HMM-561 1967-69
VZ* H&MS-56 1967-71
WA* H&MS-12 1956
WB VMO-6 1947-76
WG HMLA-773 Det A 1997-2000
HMLA-775 Det A 2000-09 redesignation
HMLA-773 Det B 2009- redesignation
WR HMA-775 1989-95
HMLA-775 1995-2009
WW* H&HS MAG-16 1951-54
H&MS-16 1954-88
MALS-16 1988-
WX* H&HS MAG-36 1952-54
H&MS-36 1954-88
MALS-36 1988-
WZ HQSqn AirFMFPac 1970-71 UH/VH-34D
XM HMX-1 1947-59
YF HMR(M)-462 1958-62
HMH-462 1962-
YG HMR(M)-463 1958-59
YH HMH-463 1966-
YJ HMH-465 1988-
YK HMR(L)-364 1961-62
HMM-364 1962-71
HMH-466 1984- re-use of code
YL HMR(L)-362 1956-62
HMM-362 1962-69
HMH-362 1969-2013
YM HMM-365 1963-71; 80-
YN HMR(L)-361 1956-62
HMM-361 1962-68
HMH-361 1968-
YP HMR(L)-163 1956-62
HMM-163 1962-
VMM-163 2011-
YQ HMM-268 1979-2010
VMM-268 2010-
YR HMR(L)-161 1956-57;58-62
HMR(C)-161 1957-58
HMM-161 1962-2009
VMM-161 2009
YS HMR(L)-162 1956-62
HMM-162 1962-2005
VMM-162 2006-
YT HMM-164 1964-99
HMM(T)-164 1999-
YU * H&MS-13 1960s
YV H&MS-15 * 1969 SU#1 Futenma
YW HMM-165 1965-
VMM-165 2011-
YX HMM-166 1985-
YZ HMR(L)-363 1956-57; 58-62
HMR(C)-363 1957-58
HMM-363 1962-69
HMH-363 1969-2012
VMM-363 2012-  
ZY HMM-562 1967-69 never activated

USMC RESERVE HELICOPTER SQUADRON TAILCODES 1958-72

Until 1972, when they were assigned individual squadron tailcodes, all USMCR squadrons used the Base/Station ID of the NAS/MCAS they were assigned to.

Code Base Dates
5B MARTD Atlanta,GA 1968-72
5D MARTD Dallas,TX 1968-72
5G MARTD Alameda,CA 1968-72
5L MARTD Los Alamitos, CA 1968-70
MARTD El Toro, CA 1970-72
5N MARTD Lakehurst, NJ 1968-72
5S MARTD Norfolk, VA 1968-72
5T MARTD Seattle, WA 1968-71
MARTD Whidbey Island, WA 1971-72
5V MARTD Glenview, IL 1968-72
5W MARTD Willow Grove, PA 1968-72
5X MARTD New Orleans, LA 1968-72
5Y MARTD Detroit, MI 1968-72
5Z MARTD South Weymouth, MA 1968-72
6F MARTD Jacksonville, FL 1958-72
6G MARTD/ NAS Oakland, CA 1958-62
MARTD/ NAS Alameda, CA 1962-68
6N MARTD/NAS Lakehurst, NJ 1958-68
7D MARTD/NAS Dallas, TX 1958-68
7E MARTD/NAS Minneapolis, MN 1958-66
MARTD/NAS Twin Cities, MN 1966-68
7H MARTD Niagara Falls, NY 1958-59
7L MARTD/NAS Los Alamitos, CA 1958-68
7R MARTD/NAS New York, NY 1958-62
7T MARTD/NAS Seattle, WA 1958-68
7V MARTD/NAS Glenview, IL 1958-68
7W MARTD/NAS Willow Grove, PA 1958-68
7X MARTD/NAS New Orleans, LA 1958-68
7Y MARTD/NAS Grosse Ile, MI 1958-68
7Z MARTD/NAS South Weymouth, MA 1958-68

Callsigns

Callsigns page has moved here