HT-8

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Helicopter Training Squadron 8
Helicopter Training Squadron 8 (US Navy - Insignia).jpg
HT-8 Insignia
Active July, 1960 - Present
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Role Training
Size Approximately 225 (55 Instructor Pilots/170 Students)
Part of Training Air Wing 5
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Whiting Field
Nickname "Eightballers"
Motto "America's Squadron"
Colors Red, Blue, and White
Mascot 8-Ball
Anniversaries July 2, 1960
Commanders
Predecessor CDR Matt "MAYOR" Bowen, USN
Commanding CDR Robert Sinram, USN
Successor CDR John MCbryde, USN

Helicopter Training Squadron 8 (HT-8) is a United States Navy helicopter training squadron based at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, FL.[1] The squadron's mission is Advanced Helicopter Training. HT-8 flies the TH-57 Bell 206 JetRanger. The unit generally uses the call sign "Eight Ball" over the radio.

Insignia[edit]

The three basic colors of HT-8’s patch - red, white and blue - represent the colors of the U.S. flag, and are indicative of HT-8’s nickname, "America's Squadron", created in the 1980s. The three colors also commemorate the universality of our squadron's students, instructors and staff hailing from all parts of the United States. The overall field is sectored into three equal portions to symbolize training for the three sea services of the US Navy, the US Marine Corps and the US Coast Guard.

A helicopter profile at the patch’s center symbolizes advanced rotary training, and is orange to reflect the traditional color of orange on all Navy training aircraft. Interestingly, there are three versions of the tail rotor on the right side of the helicopter profile. The original version is a simple cross to indicate the blades of a tail rotor. Common lore is that a squadron commanding officer changed the tail rotor design during the Vietnam War to a peace sign, as a silent protest to the war. Then in the 1990s, another commanding officer devised yet a third design, a script-like 'S', this time reflecting the Sikorsky aircraft "S," probably reflecting his preference for Sikorsky aircraft - despite the fact that the squadron had by then transitioned to the TH-57 Sea Ranger, a Bell company product. All three versions of the patch are worn by squadron pilots to this day.

The cloud shape (some say it resembles the state of Georgia, backwards) and storm in the upper left quadrant are superimposed by helicopter turn needle and ball instruments, and indicate that students at HT-8 are trained in instrument flight. The orange helicopter profile is facing as if it is flying into the cloud, signifying the confidence HT-8's students have in their ability to fly in all weather conditions.

The 18 stars in the upper right quadrant - in the shape of an '8' - reflect the fact that advanced rotary flight students originally began their training at HT-8, completing only familiarization training (now known as 'contact' training) in this squadron. Following their fam solo at HT-8 the students would then transfer to HT-18 to complete the rest of their training (therefore HT-18 was "in the stars" for HT-8 students). In 1986 both HT-8 and HT-18 became "mirror image" squadrons, training students from contact flying through advanced tactics.

The gold wings in the lower quadrant symbolize the goal of all students who enter advanced rotary wing training at HT-8 - designation as an "unrestricted" naval aviator.[2]

Commanding Officers[edit]

Name Rank Service Date Notes
Ben MOORE, Jr           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
Francis R. DRAKE         Commander USN              TBD
William A. HUDSPETH         Commander USN              TBD
Robert C. LEFEVER         Commander USN              TBD
Archie R. FIELDS         Commander USN              TBD
John J. HILTON, Jr.           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
Joseph T. WATSON           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
John F. WUNDERLICH         Commander USN              TBD
William G. STEARNS, Jr.           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
Eugene H. MOYER         Commander USN              TBD
William C. DIXON           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
Wilson R. GAWTHROP         Commander USN              TBD
George L. BLISS           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
Robert Q. WALLACE           CAPTAIN USN              TBD
Henry BIPPUS         Commander USN              TBD
Conrad J. JABURG         Commander USN              TBD
Charles N. OSBORNE         Commander USN              TBD
Leo H. KEIFFER         Commander USN              TBD
George J. TARRICO         Commander USN              TBD
Leon L. SMITH         Commander USN              TBD
Edward R. KIRK         Commander USN              TBD
Thomas A. FITZGERALD         Commander USN              TBD
Gary N. WAX         Commander USN              TBD
Richard W. YOUMAN         Commander USN              TBD
John P. GANDER, Jr.         Commander USN              TBD
Vincent C. SECADES         Commander USN              TBD
Clyde E. LASSEN         Commander USN              TBD **Medal of Honor Recipient**
Orrin B. POWELL, III         Commander USN              TBD
Loring B. NICHOLS         Commander USN              TBD
Horatio W. TURNER, IV         Commander USN              TBD
John H. YOUNG         Commander USN              TBD
Ludvig K. TANDE         Commander USN              TBD
James F. MADER         Commander USN              TBD
John B. MCGILL         Commander USN              TBD
Richard M. EUBANKS         Commander USN              TBD
Steven T. WEIR         Commander USN              TBD
Jeffrey D. LINSCOTT         Commander USN              TBD
Brooks O. BOATWRIGHT, Jr.         Commander USN              TBD
William C. HUGHES, Jr.         Commander USN              TBD
Catherine H. OSMAN         Commander USN              TBD
Walter B. WATSON, Jr.         Commander USN              TBD
James R. SICKMIER         Commander USN              TBD
Steven K. NOCE         Commander USN              TBD
Patrick J. DOUGHERTY         Commander USN              TBD
Mark C. FEALLOCK         Commander USN              TBD
Charles W. LAINGEN         Commander USN              TBD
Sally deGOZZALDI         Commander USN              TBD
James D. ALGER         Commander USN              TBD
Michael S. STEINER         Commander USN              TBD
Kevin F. KROPP         Commander USN              TBD
Christopher H. HEANEY         Commander USN              TBD
Michael D. FISHER         Commander USN              TBD
Hans E. SHOLLEY         Commander USN    OCT 2011 - DEC 2012
Paul D. BOWDICH         Commander USN    DEC 2012 - APR 2013
Matthew J. BOWEN         Commander USN    APR 2013 - MAY 2014
Robert G. SINRAM         Commander USN    MAY 2014 - PRESENT

References[edit]

See also[edit]