Wonderful Flying Machines: A History of U.S. Coast Guard Helicopters

By Noble, Denis L | Naval War College Review, Spring 1997 | Go to article overview

Wonderful Flying Machines: A History of U.S. Coast Guard Helicopters


Noble, Denis L, Naval War College Review


Beard, Barrett Thomas. Wonderful Flying Machines: A History of US. Coast Guard Helicopters. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1996. 304pp. $32.95

On 7 December 1941, a U.S. Coast Guard aviator, Lieutenant Frank A. Erickson, ran to his General Quarters station, a control tower on Ford Island. His post gave a vast panorama of the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor. As Erickson watched, he saw there was no method for rapidly recovering the large number of sailors floundering helplessly in the water. Some months earlier, Erickson had read an article by Igor Sikorsky describing a small helicopter he had developed. Erickson felt that here was the ideal rescue tool for U.S. Coast Guard aviators to help those in distress. From this time forward, Erickson was consumed-and this word does not adequately convey his fervor-by an effort to bring the U.S. Coast Guard to adopt the strange machine as a rescue tool.

Barrett T. ("Tom") Beard, a retired U.S. Coast Guard fixed-wing and helicopter pilot with a master's degree in history, uses Erickson's unpublished papers to trace the struggle for acceptance of the rescue in the U.S. Coast Guard. Most readers of naval history do not know the Coast Guard can rightfully claim that "they created the helicopter envisioned by Sikorsky. . . and Erickson. The other military services . . . reaped the benefits of this early development and expanded on it." This book, however, is much more than the recounting of the difficulties of making a military organization accept a strange new technology. How a machine can go from being labeled a "flying palm tree" to becoming one of the service's betterknown resources is indeed an interesting story, one that Beard tells very well. There are, however, two additional currents running through this book.

The first involves the inner workings of the United States' smallest armed force, little known to most readers of naval history, or even to members of the other four, larger armed forces. Wonderful Flying Machines brings out the very divisive arguments between those who felt the Coast Guard's aviation arm should consist only of fixed-wing aircraft and those, led by the strong personality of Erickson, who saw rotary-wing craft as the only logical means of rescuing those in distress at sea. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wonderful Flying Machines: A History of U.S. Coast Guard Helicopters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.