DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 341

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c/n 341

59-2204

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59-2204.United States Army. Delivered 18-Sep-1959. Designated U-1A.

18th Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.

Unknown date. Aircraft not sent to Vietnam, taken over by the 1063rd Aviation Company, a unit of the Iowa National Guard, based at Waterloo, IA.

Oct-1961. 1063rd Aviation Company moved to Fort Riley, KS.

Aug-1962. Returned to Waterloo, IA.

Jul-1962 Remained at Fort Riley as an operational support aircraft.

Sep-1962. Aviation Section at Fort Ord, CA

Oct-1962 It joined the 17th Aviation Company, also at Fort Ord, CA.

Jun-1964 Attached to the Aviation School at Fort Ord, CA.

Feb-1965. Shipped to Vietnam for the 54th Aviation Company.

Jul-1966. Returned to the US at Army Aeronautical Depot Maintenance Centre ARADMAC Depot, Corpus Christi, TX.

Oct-1966. Returned to Vietnam and re-joined the 54th Aviation Company.

Incident. Two kilometres due east of Don Phouc. 03 Mar-1969. While flying the Border Special Forces Mission the aircraft experienced an engine failure which necessitated a forced landing in a dry rice paddy.  No damage to aircraft and all on board uninjured. Eventually returned to service. The story of the recovery is recounted below.

Feb-1971. Passed to 388th Transportation Company at Vung Tau. It remained in storage until July 1971 when it was deleted from the inventory and scrapped.

Scrapped

Otter 341 was delivered to the United States Army on 18th September 1959 with serial 59-2204 (tail number 92204). It was assigned to the 18th Aviation Company, Fort Riley, Kansas. When that Company departed from Fort Riley in December 1961 to deploy to Vietnam, a number of its Otters which were not then fit to travel remained at Fort Riley, including 92204. The operation of these Otters was taken over by the 1063rd Aviation Company, a unit of the Iowa National Guard, based at Waterloo, Iowa. In October 1961 this unit was upgraded to Active Duty status and sent to Fort Riley to operate the Otters which the 18th Aviation Company were leaving behind.

When the 1063rd took over 92204 at Fort Riley, it was without engine and rear doors, but was soon made airworthy. It continued to be flown by the 1063rd until August 1962, when the unit was released from active duty and returned to Waterloo, Iowa. At that stage, in September 1962, 92204 headed west and joined the Aviation Section at Fort Ord, California and the following month it joined the 17th Aviation Company, also at Fort Ord. In June 1964 it was assigned to the Aviation School at Fort Ord and continued to serve there until February 1966 when it was sent to Vietnam and joined the 54th Aviation Company.

In July 1966 it returned to the United States, to the ARADMAC Depot at Corpus Christi, Texas for overhaul and then returned to Vietnam in October '66 and re-joined the 54th Aviation Company. It is mentioned in the unit's history for September 1968, helping to evacuate wounded from Long Hai on 18th September. It received much more extensive mention in the unit's history following a forced landing on 3rd The following is the statement of Lawrence E. Cunningham, the pilot: “On 3 March 1969 while flying the Border Special Forces Mission in 92204 I experienced an engine failure which necessitated a forced landing at an area approximately two kilometres due east of Don Phouc in a dry rice paddy.

After an hour and thirty minutes and a take off from Can Tho, Chau Doc, Thoung Thoi and Don Phouc and at an altitude of 600 feet and indicated airspeed of 75 knots at METO power (33” MP and 2200 RPM) I felt the aircraft shudder. I reduced power after bringing the flaps to cruise, to climb power (30” MP and 2000 RPM) the engine began to run rough and vibrate. After making a 180 degree turn back toward the airstrip at Don Phouc, the engine began to shudder and then failed. I switched fuel cells and the engine began to run rough again and then failed again. The engine began to run again after twenty seconds. The engine repeated this two more times and I picked a dry rice paddy to execute the forced landing. Landing to the east on short final with land flaps the engine failed completely. I executed the forced landing with no damage to the aircraft or injuries to the personnel on board”. “After the aircraft stopped rolling, the Special Forces personnel and one Mike Force VN set up security around the aircraft. Lt. Dennis W. Braiden who was my co-pilot on this flight, continued to make radio calls from the aircraft while I activated the emergency radio. No positive radio contact was made for approximately 15 minutes, at which time both Lt. Braiden and myself contacted a C- 123, callsign 'BOOKIE 104' on frequency 243.0 UHF. About five minutes later an Air Force 0-1E Bird Dog 'BOMBER 44' arrived overhead and at the same time we received small arms and automatic weapons fire from one thousand metres to the south. The Bird Dog aircraft said he saw an estimated company of VC in the area.”

“Ten minutes later an Army UH-1D 'TIGER 013' landed at our location and extracted all passengers and crew to Don Phouc. Upon arrival at Don Phouc, 'TIGER 013' flown by 1LT Durrah and WO1 Costillo volunteered to lift in a company of regional force VN. At the same time, another UH-1D extracted all radios and equipment aboard the downed Otter. The regional force company secured the aircraft and a recovery crew from the 611th Transportation Company rigged the Otter for sling load and 'INNKEEPER 098' a CH-47B Chinook from the 147th Aviation Company, recovered the Otter to Vinh Long. 'TIGER 013' delivered crew and passengers to Cad Lanh then returned at 18:00 hours to return crew and equipment to Can Tho”.

92204 was repaired and returned to service, and continued to fly for the 54th Aviation Company until February 1971, as the Company was disbanding. It was entrusted to the 388th Transportation Company at Vung Tau, the unit responsible for disposing of all Army Otters in Vietnam. It remained in storage at Vung Tau until July 1971 when it was deleted from the inventory and scrapped.

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