HS-85 “Golden Gater’s” Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Home » NAS Units » HS-85 “Golden Gater’s” Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron

hs-85-patchHS-85 was established as Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Eight Five on 1 July 1970 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Alameda, CA.

In 1993, HS-85 moved from NAS Alameda to NAS North Island to assume the Target Launch and Target/Torpedo Recovery mission at Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) San Clemente Island, CA upon the decommissioning of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron ONE.

HS-85 became HC-85 on 1 October 1994, reflecting a change in squadron mission from ASW to Combat Support.

— provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri

87 thoughts on “HS-85 “Golden Gater’s” Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron

    1. I was an AMH2 RESERVE from 1979 to 1981.
      I had a great time, specially when we went to Hawaii?

  1. HS-85 was my first duty station when I was in the NAVY. I had good times and worked with great people there. I remember when they moved to NAS North Island. To who all served with me from 1990 to 1993. I wish you all the luck in the world. AZ2 William Holmes

    1. I served from 90-94, was the designated plane captain on a converted h3 from Florida to California… Five days, flying visual, Texas took two days.. Memories for life. Name’s AMS Trinh. Hit me up guys, if we served together.

    2. I was in HS-85 During those same years 90 to Sep. 93 as an Aviation Electrician. I was in the AE/AT shop. I got Temporary Assigned Duty (TAD) to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) from like 92-93. I remember you, Holmes, you worked upstairs I believe. Looking back a pretty good group of guys.

    1. Jeff, been trying to track you down. ASW pipeline through HelWingRes in San Diego. Mark Mcd from NY. Hope all is well. m

  2. I served in HS-85 as a Mech from 1979 – 1983 with some of the best guys I have ever known – Damn good times! AFCM James Jackson was without a doubt the finest leader I ever had in my 24 year naval career. God bless him where ever he is!

  3. I served as a reserve airman with HS-85 from 1976- 1981. Some of my fondest memories were serving on “ACDUTRA” with my friends Mike Carillo and Bill Pierra. Over the years I’ve been to the decommissioned NAS and driven past the old hanger. A life changing experience for sure.

      1. This is Bill Perreira and Mike Carrillo and myself have been trying to locate Bobby more for the last few years for annual Acdutra. Bobby Moore my phone number is 925-325-4003 I will be awaiting your call so please call ASAP

    1. Hello Bobby! Bill and I have been looking for you for a few years now. My phone number is 510.612.0213, and Bill’s is 925.325.4003. I hope we don’t get written-up, we’ve missed quite a few yearly drills! Give us a call the first chance you get. I look forward to talking to you.

    2. Hello Bobby! Bill and I have been looking for you for a few years now. I hope we don’t get written-up for missing so many yearly drills! My phone number is 510.612.0213, and Bill’s number is 925.325.4003. Give us a call the first chance you get. I look forward to hearing from you!

    3. Hi Bobby. Please call me at 510-612-0213. Bill and I have been looking for you for years.

    4. Bobby Moore this is Bill Perreira I’ve been trying to find your whereabouts with Mike Carrillo also searching for you if you get this message look us up on Facebook we are waiting to reunite with you and talk about the old days with the squadron

  4. I served as a reserve ASW from 1971 – 1974. Really loved the job and flying in the H3’s.
    Still fly smaller aircraft as a commercial rated pilot and have a shop and flight school at the Reno Tahoe international airport.

    1. Hi Steve, we kind of knew each other, school in Memphis, then we were in HS-85 but I was a TAR and you a weekend guy. Just saying hi but I see this post is from Oct. 2017. Would love to hear from you, maybe even stop by your airport next time I’m out there. Perry Ritter, AT3, Willow Grove PA (where you went to AW school)

      1. Hi Perry,
        I remember you, it has been a lot of years since Memphis and Willow Grove.
        Since I wrote that in 2017 I have sold my portion of the flight school and shop in 2019 and now just enjoying retirement with my beautiful wife of 47 years.

  5. .I was the original plank holder for HS 85. I designed the units naval insigia with trident and crown. YN Leonard Bendgen

  6. I have come across an APH-6C that say “Hellwingers” on it. As a retired USAF MH-53 J/M, UH-1H/N, and MI-8/17 helicopter gunner I would love to see this Helmet go to a fellow helicopter guy that served in your unit. Let me know by replying to this post. Take care.

  7. The Commanding Officet of HS-85 in the late 1970s was Commander Frazziet. I was the squadron Maintenance Chief. I would like to be in contact with Cdr Frazzier. Any leads will be appreciated.

  8. The Commanding Officer of HS-85 in the late 1970s was Commander Frazziet. I was the squadron Maintenance Chief. I would like to be in contact with Cdr Frazzier. Any leads will be appreciated.

  9. I have a blog, Memoirs of a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer. Much of it covers my years at NAS Alameda on the VP-26 line, in VA-303, and HS-85. The blog can be found by typing the title in Google.

  10. served in hs 85 from sept 1971 to 1974. had a great time with lots of great guys, flew a bunch. detachments on the canadian ship Provider. went to hawaii with them. lots of schools in imperial beach and trips to tijuana when you could get out alive. fishing in the estuary, was a lunch time regular. finished as wc supervisor in 110, i think that is me in the helo picture doing an engine turnup for a systrms check, ADJ2 Brian T. Wrigley.

    1. Brian, we were all working the line under Mike Singelton (SP) back around 1972. Ross B and Jim R. . I’ve been in touch with Ross and Jim as well as our CO Larry Elson (very interesting story, we even talked on the phone) Gus passed away but I’m in touch with his son, Dave Keeler has been to my house in PA a few times. I did time in VP64 and 65 1974-75…Hated it, at least HS 85 as a TAR was somewhat fun. I was discharged from active (HS85) January of 74, they gave me an early out for college no thanks to Justet the warrent officer in the squadron. I saw Cheif Raye has passed on. I look back at my years at Alameda fondly, yet back then couldn’t wait to get on and start my life. Oh, I almost forgot, Vince Lodice (SP), saw him back in my VP 66 days, nothing after that, he was always an interesting guy… were you there when he started putting entries in the log book about spotting TPM which stood for The Phantom Mouse. Little did we know we look back and think, wow, we really had it easy. Perry Ritter AT3

      1. I lived with Vince for a while. He was quite the character. I remember Dave Keeler always had this amazing long hair all tucked up in his hat. The first time I saw it out I was astonished. Remember Bassoni and Glover from the line with Chief Paulsen. You are right, when you are there, you count the days till you get out. Now looking back, you know it was the time of your life.

        1. Sad to say Larry Elson who was the C/O back in 1973-1976 ? died July 4th 2021. Larry and I were hoping to make it to a 50th reunion that had to be delayed several times. I was so looking forward to hanging out with him, I really liked him. Dave Keeler was going to meet us there (at the Hancock) for the reunion. I have two copies of the Anatomy Coloring Book which he wrote along with several other books. Here is his obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/napavalleyregister/name/lawrence-elson-obituary?id=11050272

      2. I arrived at HS85 as a TAR AW1 just after it was created. I was notified shortly after arriving that I had made Chief Petty Officer AWHC backdated to November 1970. It was fun even though it was not laughable all the time. There was no housing available in Alameda so Chief Raye said come on down to Livermore and buy a house. We carpooled from there for a few years. We moved to Alameda base housing when it came available and rented our house to Ross Bassoni . When we found a Victorian house for sale in Alameda we bought and restored it working for years. I was moved to HS 84 1976 and retired from there in 1977. I participated in the my last detachment aboard the Canadian ship Provider during this period. I missed all my crewman when I left HS85. A bunch of them made CPO and it was well deserved. I went back to college and ended up working for the Department of the Navy (NARF) and finishing up in Washington, DC working for SSP (Trident/ Polaris Program) and last at BUMED. Retired 1995 with 40 years service . Nice to see shipmates names again. Sorry to miss CDR Elson’s notice. I remember him saying about haircuts ” I don’t care about whats on their head, but whats in it.”

  11. I was honored to serve with HS-85 from 1977 to about 1985. Great bunch of dedicated navy folks to deploy and fly with. Gordon Thomas, Captain, retired.

  12. I served in HS-85 from 1990-1993 as an Aviation Electrician. Was Temporary Assigned Duty (TAD) to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Dept (AIMD) for 1993. Have some great memories looking back and met good people in the squadron. AE2 Jon Knutson

  13. I was in HS-85 from 4/83 to 6/86 AT3 was mainly a night check supervisor for the line division I trained all the plane captains for the squadron work with a great bunch there had some good time to my email if an one wants to contact me quetzalcoatlnathan@gmail.com love to hear from anyone I served with

  14. AE1 David Kane, I had a real good 4 years from from 1985 to 1989. Was in QA with At1 Dickey, ran into ATCS Dickey in 1993 with VP30. Does anyone remember Inky? reconnected with him recently, we had some fun times. Wish I hadn’t taken those orders to NAF Detroit after, what a Hell Hole and 4 years digging snow, guess that’s why I live in Florida now.

  15. My father chief Joseph Larsen served in HS 85, unfortunately he passed away in 2017, he has fond memories in Alameda. feel free to contact me if you remember him

    1. Jennifer,
      I worked with your dad in HS-85 IN Maintenance control in the 80s. He was a damn good Chief and I am proud to have served with him. It is extremely sad for me to hear that he has passed. He taught me many things and I will never forget him. Thank you for posting.

    2. Hi Jennifer, sorry to hear about your dad. He was the Maintenance Chief when I was there. I will never forget that bushy mustache. lol I remember the one time he kicked everyone out of M/C and proceeded to chew my ass over some firebottle cads. Which I was correct on the installation of them, I was cocky about it. But over all Chief Larsen was a good man. We had good people there when I was there.

  16. Aw1 Roger England, I served from HS-85 inception from 1970-1974. Was a great squadron to serve with. I was involved in Aircrew training from the Squadron’s beginnings, and also was part of the Squadron’s deployment on CVS14 – USS Ticonderoga. I was one of the first to transition from the AX rating to the AW rating when it was created. I had qualified as an Aircrewman as an AX, and it was a lateral shift at that time. Also was a qualified Aircrew Instructor after training with RASWTAC West at NAS Los Alimitos & NAS Imperial Beach.

    1. Good to see you are still upright Roger! I didn’t know you went to ASTACWEST? I was an instructor there from 1965-1968 when we trained the Brazilian Navy to fly our old Helo’s with dipping Sonar. Do you ever hear from the AW’s from Utah? Lot’s of water under the bridge since then.
      Doug Racine AWHC Retired, GS-13 DON Retired.

  17. AX2 Vaujin. 76 to 81

    I was the guy that organized the pig roast / party on Kauai.

    Seconded to the base intermediate facility my last year.

    Better at the squadron.

    Anyone know what happened to Ltc Perkins and Fuller?

  18. Hi Kurt, this is Rich Vandepels. I was in
    hs85 from 1975 to 1979. Got out join the Coast Guard and retired from there after 23 years. Call me 239 989 898 6. Love to hear from you

  19. I served in H-S 85 from 76-78 as an electrician, electronics Repairman. Some of the best memories and most unique situations.

    1. Hello Keith, you were my roomie above the chow hall. I served in HS 85 from 75-78 as an AX but all I did was plane captain, very little electronics. Firefighter during the HMCS Provider deployment. I am still in contact with Gary Garcia who was in HS 85 in those years.

  20. I served from 1971 to 1977. My commander was Larry Elson. Truly a great guy. I was on the line and became an expert on grease guns and safety-wire. Really enjoyed the entire experience. Highlight was a two-week summer cruise on the Ticonderoga, CVS 14 in, I think, in 1973 just before it was decommissioned.

    Wish I could remember the names of all my shipmates. A great group of guys.

    One of my sons is in pilot training at Pensacola. He’s an Ensign in the Coast Guard. He is training with The Navy and the Marine Corp.

    My best regards to all of you.

    Steve Block

  21. YN2 Yates ~ served in HS-85 from 10/84 to 3/88. Recognize some names here (Aragon, Rauch, Kane, Stiarwalt, MacIndoe. A great bunch of guys to work with.

  22. Hi all. I found a picture of my dad Ken Holeman with 4 others receiving certificates. My dad was wearing a HS-85 hat. Did a quick search and wound up here. Pix is from the early 70’s wish I could share pix to find out if anyone remembers anything about anyone in photo or my dad Ken Holeman. In picture he is a 3rd class petty officer.

    Here’s and thanks for serving
    Paul Holeman

    1. Hello, I was on active duty with HS-85 from early 1971 through mid-1973. If you have a photo, if you would like to attach a scan maybe I could help figure out who is in it, although I confess I do not recall the Holeman name. Michael Schwartz, Grants Pass, OR

      1. Michael, I think I remember you, were you in the AE shop as a 2nd class. I was an AT3, Rick Ridge handled all the complicated stuff. I was best friends with Dave Keeler AE3. He and I are from the same town in PA. He’s in CA these days but has stopped by over the years. I saw Glasscock the AT chief has passed on, I’m in touch with our one time CO, Larry Elson, we’ve even talked on the phone. I was lesser know because I spent a year in NARTU supply before coming to HS and got an early out for college Jan 74. Spent 6 months on the line thus I had been in two years before I touched a black box. I was probably only in the shop just over six months… Justet tried to screw me when it came to an early out, lucky for me Gus and Elson told him to stop picking on the kid…Gus is dead but I’m in touch with his son. Today I look back at my Navy days and smile, life was so easy then, I was just too youg to know it, I finished high school and a month later was in Boot Camp in Millington TN. Peace. Perry C. Ritter

  23. Lots of great memories! I was a TAR active duty AE2 from early 1971 through April 1973; then stayed as a reservist through 1977. I loved that unit. We were at NAS Alameda, in hanger 22. Now that Alameda is in the hands of civilians, you should see what they’ve done with hanger 22– it’s a brew pub, and it looks fantastic! I worked for AEC Sid Damstra. Other folks I met– AT Rick Ridge, AE2 Ted Alcorn, Chief Glasscock, Chief Doug Racine, AE1 Pete Wohl, AE1 “Sonny” Brightman, LCDR Gustaveson, CWO Justet, Chief Lenny Raye, Chief Charlie Moore, CDR K.C. Crandall, LT Duncan, ADJ1 Jackson, Chief Paulsen, PR1 Lovelace, AW1 Mike Singleton, AE Mike Kremper, AMS2 “Anvil” Davis, PO3 Montague, LT Lambert, LCDR “Snake” Salisbury, and CDR Larry Elson, Cruises: 1971, USS Ticonderoga; 1972, Imperial Beach and HMCS Provider. I had flight skins for several years including my reserve time and did many a “Real Estate 1 & 2.” All in all, a great experience and unforgettable times.

    1. One of the funniest things I ever saw was at North Island.We are entering the base.There must have been 8 guys in the car and we
      Were off that day but we were drunk.Chief Glasscock was always ahead of us in line.The Marines on the gate were ordered to stop every other car.We are drunk get waved through.Glasscock is with his wife and his parents.As we go by we,re yelling Hey crystal dick.He was so red.Were you there for the end of cruise baroque at ImperialBeach ?

    2. I just saw this second post of yours, I mentioned Gus died about four years ago, Glasscock and Raye (My favorite Chief) are goen, I think Singleton was dead soon after I left, a massive heart attack. Larry Elson and I have talked on the phone and emailed each other. He’s authored several medical books and done really well in life, as in really really well. I’m sure you would remember my best bud Dave Keeler, we got busted for smoking grass in the Imperial Beach barracks, we got a slap on the wrist, Stupidist thing I ever did, as I mentioned, I was a kid right out of high school. Fun to see all those names again in your post. Ross B has complained about “Real Estate 1 & 2”. Guess that would get boring, then again sitting on the ground trying to look busy and got old. Do you remember an AT2 named Ridiger (I killed the spellin), he drove an old Porsche, red in color. He came along after I did, I’ve always wondered if he stayed in. I was gone by January 10th, 1974, ended up working for Eastman Kodak, really nice job in their microfilm division. Took my son back to our old hanger, what a flashback. Who would imagine our avionics spaces were no the gift shop for Hanger 1 Vodka. Perry Ritter AT3

    3. Hi Mike,
      I retired from Hewlett Packard Co. in ’05 and now report to Cycle Folsom on a regular basis as an avid cyclist. I was in contact with Sid Damstra, but haven’t heard from him in a year. I heard you are a dentist? I’ve certainly contributed to that profession over the years. What ever happened to Peppy, Jim Labelle? Did a 4 year hitch with Air Force reserve at McClellan 74-78.
      Mike Kremper
      Cameron Park, Ca.

      1. If I remember right didn’t you drive a dark green Ford Pinto? I was an AT3 in the avionics shop. My best friend was Dave Keeler AE3. We are both from a small town in PA and our dad’s knew each other. Dave was last at my home around 12 years ago but we email each other and if our squadron does a 50th reunion Dave and I plan to go to it. It keeps getting delayed due to Covid. I was also going to pick up Commander Elson, our one time C/O. I had stayed in touch with him but sadly he died last July 4th. The three of us had planned on going together, never would have guessed that 45 years ago. I got out January 10, 1974 and moved back to PA where I worked for Eastman Kodak’s microfilm division. I was only in 85 for 2 years, I had been in the NARTU tool room for ten months before 85. On top of that I got a three month early out for college, so many were surprised when I got out after just 2 years in 85… I remember your Chief Damstra, fixing kiddie rides on the side. Where was Sid living when you were in touch with him?

  24. I worked in supply 71-77 with Moore and Mosier.When I left reservest I went to Australia and played basketball.On my last day in the Navy
    They took me upstairs .I had been in the squadron six years.I worked hard.When the squadron changed hangers they asked for help.I came in.On my last afternoon I think hey a hat and a handshake and I am gone.No,I got an XO mast. There was a chief who was formerly a marine who was put in charge of retention of the reserves.He said I was telling them all to get out.I wasn’t. It was not my business and I really did not care.Also I missed the day of the change of command.That chief was trying to get me a general discharge.Thank god two pilots heard what was going on.They called the XO outside but the door was open.I heard them tell the XO hey what are you doing ?Bob is a great guy,Don’t listen to that chief he is a dick.The pilots knew me from playing basketball on Sunday pm.The XO came in said honorable ,you. Can go,chief I want to talk. To you.

    1. Are you sure that wasn’t Warrant Officer Justet that tried to screw you? He tried to deny my a 2.5 month early out (I was a TAR) and Elson stepped in and let me out early. Justet said they couldn’t spare me. Lucky for me I said fine, I have 59 days leave on the books, and to quote Dylan, I ain’t going to work on Maggies Farm No More. They let me out early and paid me over $1,000 for the 59 days leave. Why some guys got off on being a prick just because they could is beyond me. I was at that party at Imperial Beach, the one they brought in five “girls” for. July of 72, I still have the cruise book they made up. Perry Ritter

  25. AX-3 and 2. TAR 81-84.Best memory for me was the trip on the HMS Provider. Made E-5 went active, then off to Moffett Field and VP-9.

  26. AW2 Fred Struck. I feel privileged to have served as a member of HS-85 from 1971 to 1976. The first time I fly in a helicopter was aboard the USS Ticonderoga, CVS14 in 1971. I also was deployed aboard the HMCS Provider in 1972. We sailed to Hawaii and the participated in RIMPAC72. A few members of our squadron and I spent a week aboard the USS Cleveland, flying with HS-84.

  27. 1980-81 i did flying time with the squadron i was army anyone rember cmd.jhonson was co. fun time for me

  28. Served from April 86 to May of 89. See a lot of guys I know commenting. Had some of the best and for sure, most of the worst times in my life in Alameda. But my time at HS-85 left a positive impact on me for a lifetime. I just didn’t know it then. Mac, Raush, Dorsey, “Inkster”, Kane, Yates. All great guys. So many more. Loved the action, carrier deployments, being a Plane Captain/LSE and ferrying the helo’s to Florida. Hated haircuts and personnel inspections. Never made sense to me at the time as Mech. Seems like yesterday. I’ll never forget my Plane Captain indoctrination of getting taped to a chair, “greased” and getting hung and swung from the maintenance hoist with pink wings. Thanks Mac.

    Sorry to hear about Chief Larson. I looked up to him.

  29. Reports of Chief Racine being dead are pure B.S. It’s been nice to read all the names of people still upright. HS 85 1970- !976 then down to HS 84 for my final year. Retired 1977 dispite an offer of E8 if I stayed in. Back to Alameda to restore our 1894 Victorian house. Just got off the phone with chief Sid Damstra in California. He is upright also. Still looking for people from Utah (John Thomson) that were in the squadron. Sorry to hear about Larry Elson. I now live outside the beltway near Washington, D.C. Retired from the Department of the Navy with forty years of service as a GS-13. Hope to hear from some of you guys. P.S. I. found Snake Salisbury’s obit from2020 to late to talk to him. A true friend and great pilot.

  30. Michael, Sid and I are still alive and kicking, but not so high! still have the pictures you sent. Still working on the house and with antique lighting. Still interested in Helo’s and the NHA. Keep in touch.
    Doug Racine AWHC Retired

    1. Hi Doug

      Also alive and kicking. Many fond memories of HS-85. Hope all is well with you.

      Roger England AW1

    2. Hi Doug. Have many fond memories of you, Mike Singleton and all the guys during my time in the squadron (1970-1974). Saw John Thomson at the 2016 reunion on the Hornet. Had a good time talking to him. We we in A-School (1966) together. Sorry to hear about Larry Eason and “Snake”. Flew a lot of hours with those guys. Great pilots both go them. Hope all is well with you.
      Roger England AW-1

      1. Does John Thomson still work in Utah park service? I couldn’t find him anywhere. All is well here except for getting old, but better then the alternative. Lot of good people are gone but not forgotten in our house. Don’t go to any of the ships reunions USS Remy DD688, USS Dupont DD941 all scrapped. I didn’t get my plank from Dupont before they scrapped her. Stay healthy and enjoy the time you have.
        Doug Racine

  31. Interesting to read the remarks. I was shopping for past squadron decals and got the guys at Military Graphics to recreate the original HS-85 decal which is now in their catalog if any are interested (no, I don’t work for them). I went on to be a plankowner at HM-19 before early retirement due to BRAC shutting that squadron down and folding it into HM-15. Great memories of flying out of Alameda, like that ACCDUTRA cruise on the Enterprise when she bent her rudder showing off for visiting VIPs! Best to all.

  32. I retired from HS-85 in1975, having put 20 years total in the Navy, the last 8 as a reservist, flying H-3’s. I think I was the first reserve pilot to get 1000+ hours in that bird. Before that i flew in 872. Prior to that I flew H34, until the H-3 was sent there. On active duty I flew H-25 (HUP), H-19 (HRS, H-34 HSS-1 &1N, H-13 Ellison Field (instructing)
    A lot of great memories.

  33. We just had our reunion this last weekend 11 through 13 August. Did not know that this was one of the middle of getting home of our people
    I encourage you to contact Brent Strom at Bsflt@yahoo.com.
    He is the keeper of the master roster for the Squadron. Give him complete information including address, phone number and email and you will get updates or anything that happens with us. We are shooting for probably a 2026 reunion next time I’m at USS Hornet Museum.

  34. HS 85 was the shortest tour in a squadron I reported to, but not allowed to sign in when reporting. Upon “checking in” the day after I received my PCS orders from NARU I was told “We just got off the phone with the personnel Chief at NARU, he asked us to send you back over to see him when you got here. I went back and knowing the Chief pretty well from the time we were both at NARTU in the 60s he says to me “I have a favor to ask of you, would you mind if we revoke your orders and publish new ones assigning you to VA-303?”. It seems my former supervisor had orders published at the same time I did, assigning him to VA-303, only problem being when he reported to the squadron they refused to accept him and called NARU telling the Chief they would not take him into the unit under any circumstances and asked for me by name in lieu of, wanting no part of my former supervisor. Hence I told Chief Gallops at NARU that I was OK with it but I always wondered “what if” had I said no. It turned out OK in the long run, over 40 years service and retiring as an Army CW5 with 23 for active duty, all under the then new pay tables, in 2008. Life is good.

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