During the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1975, helicopter crews were able to locate their fellow Marines on the ground by asking them to "pop a smoke" in the landing zone . The brightly colored smoke grenade identified the ground unit location, and provided landing zone wind information to the pilot. The primary Mission of our Association is to maintain the camaraderie of the Marine combat helicopter/tilt-rotor flight crews and support personnel who served together. Those direct support personnel importantly include Corpsmen and Flight Surgeons. Our biannual reunion offers all our members an opportunity to renew, in person, the bonds formed with squadron mates and other Marines with whom they served or supported in combat. The "POP A SMOKE" in our logo signifies a location to muster or an "LZ" where these great reunions are held
This organization, previously known as the USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association, is now known as the USMC/Combat Helicopter Association with REGULAR or ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIPs available. Through our organization's newsletter "POPASMOKE", and the popasmoke.com website, we are establishing and maintaining contact with all former and current Marine helicopter/tilt-rotor crews, including pilots, crew-chiefs, gunners, air observers, maintenance, corpsmen (USN), flight surgeons (USN), chaplains (USN) and all other support personnel.
Every two years (during even years), we get together in a different region of the country to have a reunion. Our numbers are growing, with 5700+ current and former members. We're glad you found us. Feel free to join us, or just stop in at www.popasmoke.com often to "check things out". We have an e-mail MAILING LIST which is free (sign yourself up online).