Artwork featuring the Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican
The Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican was introduced to the US Coast Guard air fleet in November 1967. The use of this medium range recovery helicopter extended the reach of the Coast Guard's SAR capabilities to 300 miles off shore. Other missions of the Pelican included maritime environment protection, law enforcement, drug interdiction, and logistic and reconnaissance support. At peak usage, the Coast Guard operated 40 HH-3Fs it acquired through direct purchase, and nine surplus CH-3Es and HH-3Es obtained from the US Air Force.
With its water-landing capability, the HH-3F Pelican was superbly fitted for water rescue operations and participated in many during its tenure with the Coast Guard. A common phrase used in connection with the Pelican was "Only God has saved more lives." This ability was showcased in 1980, when Pelican's were involved in the rescue of hundreds of passengers from the cruise ship Prinsendam, 200 miles out in the Gulf of Alaska. In the aftermath of the sinking of the Maritime Electric in 1983, the Coast Guard's Rescue Swimmer program was developed. This obviated the need for a water-landing-capable helo, and in the early 1990s, the venerable Pelican was replaced by the HH-60J Jayhawk. The last Pelican was retired from the Coast Guard on 6 May 1994.
HH-3F Pelican Profile Drawings by George Bieda
George Bieda has produced profile drawings of Pelicans from each Coast Guard Air Station from which they operated. Some examples are shown below -
For a larger view, click on either drawing, then click your browser's BACK button to return here.
When composing your drawing, Mr. Bieda can add a good amount of customization, such as CGAS at which you served, aircraft number, and up to 3 lines of personalization as shown in the examples above. These touches make your drawing truly unique! Have a special request? We can accommodate most of them - just give us a call on our toll-free number (888-465-5389) to discuss what you have in mind!
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