Sikorsky R-4 Project Ivory Soap

okikuma

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Operation Ivory Soap was a Top Secret program during WW2 to convert 6 Liberty Ships as floating Aircraft Repair Units, and 18 smaller ships as floating Aircraft Maintenance Units, mainly in support of B-29s on their Island Bases in the Pacific Theater of Operation. As with many new ideas in the Military, the mission often expands and takes on a new role, not originally intended.

The newest piece of technology and equipment that was loaded on the ships were Sikorsky R-4B Helicopters. The original role for these helicopters was to ferry aircraft parts to and from the ships and the airfields. The mission soon expanded into Combat Medivac of wounded soldiers during combat operations with the Japanese out in the "Bundoks" (a Tagalog word for "mountains") on the Island of Luzon, Philippines. For years, the official DoD statement was that no US Military helicopters were operated in combat, "while under fire" until the Korean War. As you will read, that statement is not factual.

Sit back and read the following accounts of Operation Ivory Soap.

Wayne





 

Aerofoam

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Operation Ivory Soap was a Top Secret program during WW2 to convert 6 Liberty Ships as floating Aircraft Repair Units, and 18 smaller ships as floating Aircraft Maintenance Units, mainly in support of B-29s on their Island Bases in the Pacific Theater of Operation. As with many new ideas in the Military, the mission often expands and takes on a new role, not originally intended.

The newest piece of technology and equipment that was loaded on the ships were Sikorsky R-4B Helicopters. The original role for these helicopters was to ferry aircraft parts to and from the ships and the airfields. The mission soon expanded into Combat Medivac of wounded soldiers during combat operations with the Japanese out in the "Bundoks" (a Tagalog word for "mountains") on the Island of Luzon, Philippines. For years, the official DoD statement was that no US Military helicopters were operated in combat, "while under fire" until the Korean War. As you will read, that statement is not factual.

Sit back and read the following accounts of Operation Ivory Soap.

Wayne





Blown away!
I have been privy to a lot of interesting war stories, worked with people who were cutting edge and researched a lot of former aircraft designs that were shades of black. I have never heard anything about this!!!! It is awesome!!
 

Smack

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That was a fascinating read on something I had heard NOTHING about.
Thanks for posting.
 

okikuma

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Santa Clarita, CA
The film below is a record of R-4B of one type of operation during Operation Ivory Soap off the island of Iwo Jima with a clear view of Mt Suribachi in the background.

Sikorsky R-4B of the 2nd Aircraft Repair Unit (Floating)


The following photos are various R-4s during Operation Ivory Soap

Wayne
 

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okikuma

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Santa Clarita, CA
Additional Photos of R-4s in the Pacific Theater of Operation. I've also added some museum photos of an R-4 with the fabric removed. Then one photo of Mr. Igor Sikorsky with his trademark Fedora test flying an R-4. Note that he's flying from the right seat.

Wayne
 

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