HH-52 "Love Ma'chine's" crew
I've attached a few photos of my proudest CG art project, done during a March 1981 Caribbean LE deployment aboard CGC ALERT. AM2 Dave Moynihan found some purple ball fringe while we did a Key West port call on the way down. AvDet OIC LT Larry "Bright Idea Fairy" Hall immediately came up with a low-rider conversion project for our H-52 (hey, we were there from Brooklyn, after all...), which Dave magnificently executed. Note the fringed windows and chin bubbles. The newly minted "Love Ma'chine" (pronounced with a hard "ch" and our callsign for the remainder of the deployment) was a huge morale booster for ALERT's crew, and we made a 7-ton marijuana bust in the Yucatan Channel based on our initial airborne sighting of the smuggler's vessel. I gotta think that our helo's name made the difference... In the flight deck takeoff photo, I'm in the left seat, with the big "USCG" on my helmet visor cover. The ball fringe shows up pretty well! When we returned to CGAS Brooklyn, the crew believed that our Aviation Engineering Officer, LCDR Bruce "Don't Screw with My Aircraft" Washburn might look dimly on our decorative project, and asked my permission to remove all evidence. I said, "nope, we're flying Love Ma'chine home in its full glory!" As we pulled into the parking spot on Brooklyn's ramp, Bruce walked out to welcome us home. I could see his jaw drop to the tarmac about 10 yards out, then he actually smiled. The Brooklyn crew was ecstatic, as was our CO, CAPT Bobby Wilks. Photos all around (never made it to Navy Times, though), and our reputation sealed among that generation at the Air Station. We got away with it because we brought the 1391 home in otherwise outstanding condition, which Bruce acknowledged. 3 days later, Bruce put out the word to all pilots and crew - "DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN"! Scan & information provided by CAPT Larry Hall, USCG (Ret.)

Photo by: CAPT Larry Hall, USCG (Ret.) & U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office |  VIRIN: 220811-G-G0000-1003.JPG