Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

July 2022

Artifact of the Month

CH-37 Mojave

The Army’s Sikorsky CH-37 had its origins in a helicopter developed to serve as an assault helicopter for the Marine Corps. The first prototype flew in 1953 with the Marines purchasing sixty aircraft known as the HR2S. The Army evaluated the prototype in 1954 and soon ordered ninety-four CH-37s.

At the time of its delivery, the CH-37 was the largest helicopter in the Western world. The two 2100 hp piston engines were mounted in outboard pods that also contained the retractable landing gear. The fuselage was thus left free for cargo, which could be loaded and unloaded through large clamshell doors in the nose.

The CH-37s cargo compartment could accommodate two jeeps, or a 105 mm howitzer. It could also carry twenty-six troops or twenty-four litters. Several CH-37s deployed to Vietnam where their primary role was aircraft recovery.

The CH-37s were replaced in the late 1960s by the new CH-54 Tarhe and subsequent CH-47 Chinooks both employing the newer turboshaft engines rendering the larger and heavier piston engines obsolete.

The CH-37B “Mojave” helicopter on display is a combination of parts from several helicopters. The helicopter was assembled in Arizona and then flown to Fort Eustis, as it was too large to ship by truck. The helicopter was later given the markings of the 4th Transportation Company, which in 1958 became the Army’s first medium helicopter company when it fielded the CH-37.