What is the Scroll of Honor? Who is eligible? How are awards determined? William H. Weaver, KAC Awards Administrator, Customer Service department, supplies the answers and also explains the newly initiated “Kaman Mission Award”
The Kaman Scroll of Honor is awarded in recognition of outstanding pilot and crew performance while conducting a rescue or mission of mercy with a Kaman helicopter. Since its inception in 1955, more than 300 military pilots and crewmen (as well as several civilians) have been awarded this honor. As most readers know, each recipient receives a framed plaque and a Scroll of Honor Rescue lapel pin. In addition, the names of the pilots are inscribed on the permanent Scroll of Honor prominently displayed at Kaman Aircraft’s Bloomfield, Conn. facility.
Attaining a place on the Scroll of Honor is not a routine accomplishment, for the Scroll was originated with the express purpose of paying homage to those men who have performed outstanding missions. Participation in a rescue or mission of mercy is not, by itself, sufficient qualification since such a mission is considered to be the fulfillment of one of the primary roles for which the pilot and crew were trained.
More specifically, a review board at Kaman appraises each mission nominated for the Award in terms of certain criteria. First of all, the mission must be a rescue mission or mission of mercy. In addition, the mission must call for an “unusually high degree of skill, courage and judgment” on the part of the pilot and crew while operating under difficult or hazardous conditions. In determining if accomplishment of a given mission qualifies for the Scroll of Honor, the review board takes into consideration many factors, among which are the following: night or restricted visibility en route; difficult or hazardous terrain en route; hovering with rotor blades in close proximity to trees, terrain, buildings, or other obstacles; required doppler approach to hover; extreme altitude and/or temperature where pilot technique and procedures are paramount; unusual weather conditions including high winds or severe wind gusts. The copilot will also be awarded the pilot Scroll when it is determined that he was as necessary to the success of the mission as was the pilot. Crew members, of course, will receive the crew Scroll on qualifying missions.
Kaman Aircraft has now instituted a new award called a “Kaman Mission Award” in recognition of the humanitarian service performed when any rescues or missions of mercy are accomplished. Effective July 1st, 1964 pilots and crew members participating in a routine rescue or mission of mercy will be eligible to receive a Kaman Mission Award which verifies that the named individual “has served meritoriously in a Kaman helicopter participating on a mission of mercy.” Upon qualifying for this Award, the nominee will receive a plasticized wallet certificate, a rescue pin, and a place on the Kaman Mission Award list.
Nominations for either the Kaman Mission Award or the Kaman Scroll of Honor can be made through a Kaman Service Representative, the Commanding Officer, or by writing to the Director of Customer Service, Kaman Aircraft Corp., Old Windsor Road, Bloomfield, Conn. To insure an adequate and comprehensive review, complete details of the mission must accompany each recommendation for an award. K
A Very Special USAF ROTORHEADS thanks to Johan Ragay for providing the information on this page and the attachments at the links below. Johan was kind enough to go through the many issues of the Kaman “Rotor Tips” and extract this valuable part of our helicopter history.