A Philippine child watches as a U.S. Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter lands at a drop site in Real, Republic of the Philippines.
Real, Republic of the Philippines (Dec. 10, 2004) A Philippine child watches as a U.S. Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter assigned to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Okinawa, Japan, lands at a drop site in Real, Republic of the Philippines. Marines and Sailors assigned to Joint Task Force Five Three Five (JTF-535) are providing immediate lifesaving support to flood devastated areas of the Philippines. Successive tropical storms killed more than 650 people, left more than 400 missing and displaced at least 168,000 local residents in the past week. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joel Abshier File# 041210-M-1188A-001
Known as the "Phrog", the Sea Knight was used in all U.S. Marine operational environments between its introduction during the Vietnam War. The type's longevity and reputation for reliability led to mantras such as "phrogs phorever" and "never trust a helicopter under 30". During the 1940s and 1950s, American rotorcraft manufacturer Piasecki Helicopter emerged as a pioneering developer of tandem-rotor helicopters; perhaps the most famous of these being the piston-powered H-21 "Flying Banana", an early utility and transport helicopter. During 1955, Piasecki was officially renamed as Vertol Corporation (standing for vertical take-off and landing); it was around this time that work commenced on the development of a new generation of tandem rotor helicopter. During 1956, the new design received the internal company designation of Vertol Model 107, or simply V-107; this rotorcraft differed from its predecessors by harnessing the newly developed turboshaft engine instead of piston-based counterparts. In 1960, American Boeing acquired Vertol and in 1961, it was announced that Boeing Vertol had been selected to manufacture its model 107M for the U.S. Marine Corps. Following the Sea Knight's first flight in August 1962, the military designation was changed to CH-46A.