DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 259

57-6123 at SABCA, Gosselies, Belgium.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 1959
57-6123 at Wheelus AFB., Tripoli, Libya.
Photo: Unknown photographer © 1961 - Roberts Collection

c/n 259

57-6123

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• 57-6123 United States Army. Delivered 01-May-1958. Designated U-1A.

Initially delivered to Addison, TX., for work to be done by Collins Radio Corporation with the installation of a radio package suitable for European operations.

1958.Delivered to a Unit in Europe but early details unknown.

!959. Attached to 572nd Engineer Platoon (Topographic Aviation) based at Wheelus Air Base, Tripoli, Libya.

Jan-1972. Operating with Corps of Engineers in Iran.

Accident: In Iran Apr-1967. See below.

Apr-1968. Removed from US Army inventory.

Destroyed on location

Otter 259 was delivered to the United States Army on 1 May 1958 with serial 57-6123 (tail number 76123). It was one of sixteen Army Otters flown from Downsview to Addison, Texas for the installation of avionics by the Collins Radio Corp, which would equip them for service overseas. It was assigned to the 572nd Engineer Platoon (Topographic Aviation) based at Wheelus AFB., Libya, supporting survey work in Libya. The Otter was shipped to Libya and re-assembled at Wheelus and entered service.

By January 1962 it had been transferred to the Topographic Training Team, 64th Engineer Battalion based at Tehran in Iran. Despite the unit’s name it was not a training unit, but was conducting survey work in Iran. The unit had three Otters, which supported Hiller helicopters, flying supplies and fuel into remote camps from where the survey activity was conducted. Each of the unit’s aircraft was given a name, which it also used as its radio call-sign. 76123 was named “Redwood”.

76123 continued flying in Iran until an accident in April 1967. The Otter was deployed to a survey camp at Chah-Bahar in the very south of the country, on the Gulf Coast in Baluchestan Province near the border with Pakistan. On the day of the accident the Otter was flying top cover for one of the unit’s OH-23F Hiller helicopters. This was necessary due to the proximity of the Pakistan border. The Otter suffered engine failure and made a dead-stick landing in rough terrain sixty miles north-east of the camp at Chah-Bahar. The two crew were uninjured but damage had been done to the Otter. The undercarriage had collapsed and the propeller was bent. This damage could easily have been repaired were it not for the remote location and inhospitable terrain.

The crew were flown back to the camp in the Hiller and later flown back to base in Tehran in the unit’s U-8 Seminole. The Otter was later assessed but judged to be beyond repair at the crash site and incapable of being trucked out on a low loader from the region where it had crashed. The decision was made to destroy the Otter and it was burned to destruction.

Full history up to 2005 courtesy of Karl E Hayes © from DHC-3 Otter - A History (CD-ROM 2005), now with added and updated information which Karl has supplied for the benefit of the website.