10/31/2010. This all-weather medium-lift assault transport helicopter was produced as a CH-46D for the USMC under BuNo. 154803. It was accepted on February 19, 1968 and served with a number of USMC squadrons until July 1973, when it was transferred to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 (HMM-165).
"Operation Frequent Wind", the USMC's largest helicopter evacuation ever, was performed on the last two days of the Vietnam War, April 29-30, 1975. In 19 hours 6,968 people, including 1,373 Americans were air-lifted from Saigon to American ships at sea.
Over 80 helicopters were used, including 61 USMC CH-46s and CH-53s (556 sorties), 10 USAF HH/CH-53s (82 sorties) and Air America UH-1s. Air cover and escort was provided by 325 aircraft, including USMC AH-1 Cobras, USN F-14 Tomcats, and USAF F-4 Phantoms and F-105 Wild Weasels.
BuNo. 154803, call sign "Lady Ace 09" was flown non-stop for 18.3 hours by USMC Colonel Gerald L. Berry, performing 34 sorties, including the one in which the US Ambassador Graham Martin was lifted from the embassy roof top at 4.59 a.m. April 30. The one-but-last sortie was also made by "Lady Ace 09", the last by a CH-46D from HMM-164 (call sign "Swift 2-2") at 7:53 a.m.
BuNo. 154803 was converted to a CH-46E and served with the USMC till it was withdrawn from use at Norfolk, Virginia in 2004. Struck off charge on June 15, 2006, it subsequently was transferred to the Flying Leatherneck Museum at Miramar, California, where it is preserved painted as "Lady Ace 09" in April 1975.