DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 186

55-3319
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c/n 186

55-3319

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 55-3319 United States Army. Delivered 19-Dec-1956. Designated U-1A.

Initially at Quantico Marine Corps Air Station, VA, on loan to the Marine Corps.

Assigned back with the US Army and 3rd Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Jul-1957. Deployed with the unit to Illesheim, Germany until disbanded in Nov-1959.

Nov-1959. US Army Special Forces Detachment (Airborne) Europe (Aviation Section), Bad Tolz, Germany until Apr-1962.

Apr-1962: Short storage at, Mannheim Barracks depot.

Oct-1962. 2nd Aviation Company in France. Actual location unknown until Feb-1967.

Feb-1967. Aviation Section, 3rd Brigade, Germany.

Oct-1967 Returned to the Depot at Mannheim to be prepared to be shipped back to the United States and on to Vietnam.

Mar-1968. 18th Aviation Company. Pleiku, Vietnam.

Incident: Beach, east of Phu Bai, Vietnam, 26-Apr-1969. Forced landing following engine failure. Airlifted by Chinook to Marble. Mountain, Da Nang, but, as so often happened, was dropped on arrival and effectively wrecked.

May-1969. Handed over to the 142nd Transportation Company, Da Nang and scrapped.

Written off

Otter 186 was delivered to the United States Army on 19th December 1956 with serial 55-3319 (tail number 53319). It was delivered from Downsview, together with 53320, to Quantico Marine Corps Air Station, Virginia where for a time both Otters went on loan to the Marine Corps.  Both Otters were painted in standard Army olive drab colours but carried Marines titles. 53319 then joined the 3rd Aviation Company at Fort Riley, Kansas and moved with the unit when it deployed to Germany in July 1957, establishing at Illesheim. The 3rd Aviation Company disbanded in November 1959.

53319 was then assigned to the Army's Special Forces Detachment (Airborne) Europe (Aviation Section) at Bad Tolz, Germany until April 1962 and after a few months at the depot at Mannheim, it joined the 2nd Aviation Company in France in October '62. After the 2nd Aviation Company disbanded in February 1967, the Otter was assigned to the Aviation Section, 3rd Brigade, Germany until October 1967 when it returned to the Depot at Mannheim to be prepared to be shipped back to the United States. From there it continued on to Vietnam, where it joined the 18th Aviation Company in March 1968.

On 26th April 1969, 53319 experienced engine failure and made a perfectly executed forced landing on the beach east of Phu Bai. The Otter was airlifted from this location by a Chinook helicopter, but sadly “Reliable 319” (its radio call sign with the 18th Aviation Company) was not to fly again as it was dropped on the runway at Marble Mountain air base, Da Nang when the recovery operation went wrong and was completely destroyed. The wreckage was handed over to the 142nd Transportation Company at Da Nang and scrapped.

Full history courtesy of Karl E. Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter: A History (CD ROM 2005).