Click on the NHA Icon to search for your Naval Helicopter Pilot Designator Number, R List. You will need your NHA member digital user name and pass word to access the Naval Helicopter Pilot Designator Number, R List record.
Naval Helicopter Pilot Designator Numbers, R List Numbers, were/are issued by the Navy Helicopter Training Units/Squadrons beginning in 1944, continuing today issued by HT-8 on behalf of all rotary wingers in the three HTs, 8, 18 and 28. They were never issued by CNATRA but your Naval Helicopter Pilot Designator Number, R List Number many times appears on certain records which CNATRA receives from the training squadrons. If you are old enough to hold a CNATRA Naval Aviator Pilot Designator Number or T List number, that information is different. The numbers are in sequential order, but not the same. CNATRA T List numbers were only issued between 1949 through 1972 to all Naval Aviators, both fixed and rotary wing. CNATRA stopped issuing T numbers during 1972 and no longer issues any kind of pilot designator number. Only Naval Helicopter Pilots still receive Naval Helicopter Pilot Designator Numbers from the R List today and have since 1944.
The R List between 1944 and 2020 used the letter “R” before the sequential number between November 1962 through September 1984. At all other times, the R list shows strictly the number and does so today. The NHAHS/NHA searchable DB above of all 35,000 plus R List numbers does not require the use of the letter “R” for simplicity purposes. If searching by number, just use the number. If you only know your T List number simply search by your last name or winging date and you will find yourself on the list. Early on till September, 1971, only Navy and Marine Corps Helicopter pilots were assigned R Numbers. USCG/Foreign rotary wingers were not. They are all on the list but do not have numbers. This changed beginning October, 1971 and now all helicopter pilots designated in the HTs receive designator numbers.
Last bit of information is there are and have been lots of mistakes. If a name on our early R Listing could be misspelled it was regularly. So if you do not find yourself by last name, search by winging date using a range so you will see all of the folks who winged with you. If your name was misspelled you are probably still there. The HTs made lots of mistakes in the R Number assigned on the small wallet sized card your winging squadron issued you. They gave wallet sized cards with the R number which did not match the master list. If you find an error etc.. email firstname.lastname@example.org and NHAHS/NHA can fix your DB listing and pen and ink our master paper copy of all 35,000 rotary wingers. The three huge binders holding paper copies of the R List are in the NHA office and we always bring them to symposium.
Welcome to Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHT and congratulations for successfully completing your Primary Flight Training Syllabus. As you enter the squadron, you will walk under the words “The Best Helicopter Pilots in the World are Trained Here”. This has been true since 1950 and we are here to train you in the challenging syllabus of Advanced Rotary Wing Aviation. I can think of no greater way to begin your day than to realize that upon successful completion of this program, you will have the coveted Wings of Gold pinned on your chest. At the same time you will be designated an Unrestricted Naval Aviator, able to fly fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Your instructors come from every community in United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard rotary wing aviation. Some may even come from our allied partners. They have vast experience in their respective careers and will share that experience with you. Whether they have flown multiple combat missions, daring all-weather rescues or crucial logistical support to civilian and military units, the reason they are here is to make you more than just a helicopter pilot. When they succeed in accomplishing HT-8’s mission, you will be a confident and capable pilot who they would be proud to fly with in the fleet. I need you to look forward to your time here and use all of HT-8’s resources to your advantage. It will be my pleasure to welcome you aboard upon your arrival.
This personal copy of a original “Unrestricted Naval Aviator” card handed out to LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.) when he received his wings at HT-8 in 1970.
THE HISTORY OF NAVAL AVIATOR AND NAVAL AVIATION PILOT DESIGNATIONS AND NUMBERS, TRAINING OF NAVAL AVIATORS AND THE NUMBER TRAINED (DESIGNATED)
Thanks to CAPT Tom Ford, USN (Ret.) of CNATRA Staff for sharing this history of designations.