HMM-165 was the second West Coast squadron to equip with the CH-46. The squadron made three combat deployments to Vietnam between 1966 and 1969, then relocated to Okinawa. From 1969 to 1973, the White Knights served as one of the two composite helicopter squadrons assigned to the Special Landing Force. HMM-165 deployed to the Philippines during July and August 1972 to provide humanitarian assistance after severe flooding hit that country. For this service, the White Knights were awarded the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. In 1973 HMM-165 participated in Operation Clean Sweep, the sweeping of mines in North Vietnamese waters.
During April 1975 HMM-165 participated in both Operation Eagle Pull (Phnomh Penh evacuation)and Operation Frequent Wind (Saigon evacuation). A squadron CH-46 ("Lady Ace 09") brought out the US Ambassador, and a CH-53 from the squadron retrieved the last of the ground force.
HMM-165 relocated to Hawaii during 1977 and joined MAG-24. In 1983, while deployed with the 31st MAU, HMM-165 was sent to Lebanon to assist with peacekeeping efforts there.
During OperationDesert Shield/Storm HMM-165 was deployed to Kuwait with MAG-16.
After several years in Hawaii, the squadron was attached to MAG-16 and made the move from Tustin to El Toro, and finally, to Miramar. Since thaen HMM-165 has made numerous WestPac deployments, as well as combat tours in Iraq. In 2010, the "White Knights" deployed with the 15th MEU. during this tour they were diverted to Pakistan to assist in humanitarian efforts following severe flooding. This marked the final deployment for HMM-165. On their return home in December 2010, the White Knights began preparations to transition to the MV-22B "Osprey". The redesignation to VMM-165 took place on 11 April 2011.
Activated 1 July 1965 at Santa Ana, CA, as
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165, Marine Aircraft Group 36,
3d Marine Aircraft Wing.
Reassigned during August 1965 to Marine Wing Service Group 37.
Deployed during September - October 1966 to the Republic of Vietnam and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
Participated in the war in Vietnam, October 1966 - August 1969, operating from
USS Valley Forge
Redeployed during August 1969 to Futenma, Okinawa, and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 15, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade.
Reassigned during December 1969 to Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
Participated in Philippine Flood Relief, July and August 1972.
Participated as part of the Special Landing Force in support of the war in Vietnam, and with the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit, attached to the Seventh Fleet during the 1970s.
Participated in the evacuation of Saigon, Republic of Vietnam, April 1975.
Relocated during November 1977 to Kaneohe Bay,
Hawaii, and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine
Participated in support of the Multinational Peace-Keeping Force, Lebanon, September - October 1983.
Participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Southwest Asia, August 1990 - March 1991.
Element participated in Joint Task Force Full Accounting, Cambodia,
September - October 1992 and March - April 1993.
Participated in numerous training exercises during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Reassigned during September 1994 to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Aviation Support Element.
Relocated 1996 to MCAS El Toro and reassigned
to Marine Aircraft Group 16.
Relocated during 1999 to MCAS Miramar, California.
Redesignated 11 April 2011 as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 (VMM-165).
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION STREAMER with one
1966 - 1967
NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER with four bronze stars
1990 - 1991
MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER with 4 bronze stars
1989 - 1990
COAST GUARD MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION
1998 - 1999
MARINE CORPS EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE STREAMER with 2 bronze stars
ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER
VIETNAM SERVICE STREAMER with 2 silver and 3 bronze stars
SOUTHWEST ASIA SERVICE STREAMER with 2 bronze stars
VIETNAM CROSS of GALLANTRY with PALM STREAMER
PHILIPPINE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION STREAMER