DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 322

58-1707 visits Port Clinton - PCW, Ohio.
Photo: Jack Phpps © August 1961 - Kenneth I. Swartz Collection - Aird Archives

c/n 322


0-81707 (Unconfirmed)


• 58-1707 US Army. Delivered 02-Apr-1959. Designated as U-1A..

Initially assigned to the 18th Aviation Company at Fort Riley, KS

Jan-1962. Deployed to Vietnam with the 18th Aviation Company.

Feb-1966 Returned to USA to the Army Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Centre ARADMAC Depot, Corpus Christi, TX, for overhaul.

Apr-1966. Returned to Vietnam with the 18th Aviation Company.

Oct-1966. To the 79th Transportation Company for repair work. (See incident detailed below).

Mar-1967. Re-joined the 18th Aviation Company.

Aug-1968 To the 79th Transportation Company.

Nov-1968. Returned to the US, where it arrived at the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, CA.

Mar-1970. Returned again to Vietnam and attached to 388th Transportation Company, Vung Tau.

Apr-1970.  54th Aviation Company.

Jan-1971. 56th Transportation Company.

Feb-1971. Placed into storage with the 388th Transportation Company, Vung Tau. where it remained until Nov 1971

• 0-81707 (Unconfirmed) Government of Cambodia, under a Foreign Military Program. For the Khmer Air Force.

Incident: Pochentong Airbase. 05-May-1972, Destroyed after it took a direct hit from a Khmer Rouge 122mm rocket.


Otter 322 was delivered to the United States Army on 2 April 1959 with serial 58-1707 (tail number 81707). It was assigned to the 18th Aviation Company at Fort Riley, Kansas and delivered that day from Downsview via Decatur, Illinois to Fort Riley.  It deployed to Vietnam with the Company during December 1961 / January 1962 and  continued in service with the Company until February 1966 when it was returned to the United States for depot level maintenance at the ARADMAC depot, Corpus Christi, Texas. On completion of this work in April 1966 the Otter was returned to Vietnam, re-joining the 18th Aviation Company.

It is mentioned in the Unit’s history the following month, May 1966: “Failure of a propeller seal on 81707 resulted in instant IFR for Lt Douglas Keithly, who had been flying out of Nha Trang since his return from Bangkok. He had the situation well in hand and made a successful precautionary landing at Nha Trang without further incident”. The Otter is again mentioned in the Unit history during October 1966: “The Da Nang platoon had additional excitement on 27 October 1966 as a result of an engine seizure on 81707. The aircraft with CWO Mac Phee and CWO Dumas at the controls was making a simulated instrument approach to Da Nang Main when the propeller surged and failed and subsequent engine seizure occurred. Fortunately an adjusted altimeter setting was used for the approach and the aircraft was at 2,500 feet MSL when the dangerous situation developed. Through superb pilot techniques and extra-ordinary judgement, a successful forced landing was accomplished at Da Nang East without further damage to the aircraft. Upon inspection of the aircraft on the ground, it was discovered that the Otter had come extremely close to actual loss of the engine by separation from the airframe”.

The Otter was entrusted to the 79th Transportation Company for repair and re-joined the 18th Aviation Company in March 1967 on completion of the work. It continued to fly for the 18th until August 1968 when it went back to the 79th Transportation Company, who prepared it to be shipped back to the United States, where it arrived at the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California in November 1968. After depot level overhaul there it was returned to Vietnam, being received by the 388th Transportation Company in March 1970, who prepared it for service with the 54th Aviation Company, which it joined the following month. It continued to fly for the 54th Aviation Company until January 1971, and was taken in charge by the 56th Transportation Company that month, going into storage with the 388th Transportation Company, Vung Tau in February 1971 where it remained until November 1971. The following month it was handed over to the Government of Cambodia, one of 18 Otters transferred to that country, for operation by the Khmer Air Force, based at Pochentong Air Base, near the capital Phnom Penh.

81707 was destroyed at Pochentong Air Base on 5 May 1972 after it took a direct hit from a 122mm rocket from attacking Khmer Rouge forces. There was nothing left of the Otter apart from the engine and tail section.

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.