DHC-3 Otter Archive Master Index

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c/n 93

55-3253
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Photo:

c/n 93

55-3253

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• 55-3253 United States Army. Delivered on 12th March 1956. Designated U-1A

It was allocated to the 14th Army Aviation Company, Fort Riley, KS.

Re-designated the 1st Aviation Company, moved to Fort Benning, GA until 1961.

57th Aviation Company at Fort Sill, OK., until March 1963.

It joined the 937th Engineer Company, Panama Canal Zone for use on the Inter American Geodetic Survey (IAGS), February 1966 until early 1968.

It was then flown to the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, CA  in April 1968 for overhaul and was transported from there to Vietnam, where in October 1968 it joined the 54th Aviation Company.

Unit stood down in Jan-1971 and placed into storage with the 56th Transportation Company at Long Thanh North.

Feb 1971 flown to Vung Tau and handed over to the 388th Transportation Company for disposal.

• Serial unknown Government of Cambodia between Jul and Dec-1971.

Destroyed

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Otter 93 was delivered to the United States Army on 12 March 1956 with serial 55-3253 (tail number 53253). It was allocated to the 14th Army Aviation Company at Fort Riley, Kansas. It was one of seven Otters which departed from Downsview together on 12 March 1956 headed to Fort Riley. In August 1956 the 14th was re-designated the 1st Aviation Company and moved to Fort Benning, Georgia where it continued to fly the Otter until 1961, when it converted to the Caribou, relinquishing its Otters to other units.

53253 then joined the 57th Aviation Company at Fort Sill, Oklahoma until March 1963. Its next operating location was a unit in the Panama Canal Zone and in February 1966 it joined the 937th Engineer Company (Aviation) for use on the Inter American Geodetic Survey (IAGS), based at Howard AFB., Panama. It was painted into the all white colour scheme with red tail and wing tips. It continued to fly on the IAGS until early 1968 when it was one of six Otters withdrawn from the IAGS for service in Vietnam. It went to the Sharpe Army Depot, Stockton, California in April 1968 for overhaul and repaint into olive drab and was transported from there to Vietnam where in October 1968 it joined the 54th Aviation Company.

53253 was one of sixteen Otters still in use with the 54th Aviation Company when the unit stood down in January 1971 and placed its Otters into storage with the 56th Transportation Company at Long Thanh North. The following month they were all flown to Vung Tau and handed over to the 388th Transportation Company for disposal. This unit received all the Army Otters in Vietnam for disposal. 53253 was selected as one of eighteen Otters to be transferred to the Government of Cambodia, under a Military Aid Program called “Project Flycatcher”. 53253 was handed over to Cambodia’s Khmer Air Force in September 1972.

After some training for the Khmer Air Force crews at Vung Tau, the Otters were flown to Pochentong Air Base, outside of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. 53253 suffered a landing accident in June 1973, causing damage to the underside of the fuselage, which was repaired. By July 1973 sixteen of the Otters supplied to the Khmer Air Force were in a derelict condition at Pochentong, with only 53253 and 81709 (325) flyable, and both of these succumbed not long afterwards. All the Otters remained derelict at Pochentong until the base was over-run by communist forces in April 1975, when what was left of them were destroyed.

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.

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