Piasecki HRP-1 “Flying Banana” (1948)

Piasecki HRP-1  "Flying Banana" The Coast Guard acquired three HRP-1 twin-rotor helicopters from the Navy beginning in November 1948. All three helicopters were stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City along the North Carolina coast. At least one was assigned to the Rotary Wing Development Unit based out of Elizabeth City. Here they participated in numerous experiments, including on-the-water landings with newly invented flotation gear and the testing of various types of hoists, rescue baskets, and rescue harnesses. Helicopter landings were tested and evaluated on board the USCGC Mackinaw in Buffalo, New York,  by CDR Frank Erikson, Commanding Officer the Rotary Wing Development Unit,  ’Erickson also participated in flood relief experiments in the Second Coast Guard District in 1949 as well, using HRP CG-111826. The experiments included testing various hoisting methods and equipment at various points along the Mississippi River, beginning in St. Louis, Missouri. Many of the current Coast Guard helicopter rescue procedures in use today owe their development to Erickson and the HRP experiments he, along [...]

Piasecki HRP-1 “Flying Banana” (1948)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

Stinson OY-1/2 “Sentinel” (1948)

Stinson OY-1/2 "Sentinel" In 1948 the Coast Guard was called upon to provide aviation support for agents of the Treasury’s Alcohol Tax Unit. In order to avoid detection, the manufacture of illicit whiskey, commonly referred to as ‘Moonshine,” typically took place in hard to reach remote areas. Most common locations were the deep woods or a swamp. One method used by law enforcement to address this was aerial surveillance. From the air, the difference between growing bushes and those cut and put over a still could be seen. The still, whether in the deep woods or a swamp, had to be reached and if specific routes to a still were used these quite often could be detected from the air. The type of aircraft needed for this function was small, lightweight, slow-flying, and capable of making tight turns. One of the many World War II light aircraft meeting these requirements was the US Marine Corps OY-1 Sentinel. The Coast Guard obtained seven OY-1 aircraft in 1948. Four were operational [...]

Stinson OY-1/2 “Sentinel” (1948)2021-11-12T14:02:17+00:00

Bell HTL 1/4/5/7 (1947)

Bell HTL 1/4/5/7 A total of eight Bell HTL series helicopters were used by the U.S. Coast Guard for a wide variety of duties. Beginning in May of 1947, the service received a HTL-1 from the Navy which had ordered an initial batch of ten aircraft. The last HTL-1 from the Navy order was transferred to the Coast Guard in June of 1947. This aircraft operated under the Captain Port of New York, to survey the harbor area, usually with floats attached, seeking out smugglers, saboteurs, maritime offenders, and harbor pollution.  A single HTL-4  was transferred from the Navy. Fitted with float gear, the helicopter was used for ice reconnaissance, search and rescue, and also operated from the cutter STORIS off Nome, Alaska during Distant Early Warning (DEW) line operations.. Three HTL-5s were purchased by the Coast Guard and delivered in February of 1952. They were used for scouting passage through ice, and transporting personnel and cargo from ship to shore over ice-blocked areas. They also saw service with [...]

Bell HTL 1/4/5/7 (1947)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

Curtiss R5C-1 (1947)

Curtiss R5C-1 Ten R5C-1's were delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard on mid 1947 and based at Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Elizabeth City, North Carolina to support the Coast Guards Aircraft Repair and Supply Center. Of the 10 aircraft received one was returned and four were declared surplus to the Coast Guard’s needs and were returned to the War assets Administration for disposal. In 1948 an additional R-5C was transferred to the Navy. Of the four remaining aircraft, Two were used as spares and two were fully operational. These aircraft were used for logistic and personnel transportation to Coast Guard facilities. The R-5C-1 had a reinforced floor to accommodate 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg) of cargo and a large two-segment cargo door on the port side aft of the wing opening outward and upward With the outbreak of the Korea hostilities in 1950 the  R5Cs were transferred to the USAF.

Curtiss R5C-1 (1947)2021-11-12T14:07:24+00:00

Sikorsky HO3S-1G (1946)

Sikorsky HO3S-1G Four Sikorsky S-51 helicopters, which had been sold to small commercial operators after WWII, were returned to Sikorsky. Sikorsky had originally designed the S-51 with rescue utilization in mind. They were offered to the Coast Guard. CAPT Richard Burke, who had been responsible for sending the helicopters up to Newfoundland for the Sabena rescue, had been assigned as the Chief of the Coast Guard Aviation Division at Headquarters.  Money was found for the purchase and the Coast Guard acquired four S-51 helicopters which were designated as HO3S-1G. An additional five HO3S-1Gs were purchased in 1949/1950. Each of the HO3S-1G was fitted with a rescue hoist and the Coast Guard's Rotary Wing Development Unit based out of Elizabeth City, N.C., experimented with a number of other innovations that enhanced the helicopters' versatility, including a rescue basket and emergency flotation bags that were fitted around the landing gear. The size of the rescue basket, however, and the limited room within the HO3S's cabin precluded its use until the introduction [...]

Sikorsky HO3S-1G (1946)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

R4D-5 “Skytrain” (1946)

R4D-5 “Skytrain” The Coast Guard acquire eight Douglas R4D-5 transport from the Navy between October 5 1946 and Jan 31, 1947.. They were used for search and rescue duties, as transports, and logistic support work. Note the wide cargo door and the search blister forward of the cargo door. All but four R4D-5's were removed from service by 1956 and only one, Bureau Number 12446, remained in service until 1961. Interviews with WWII personnel and pilot log books show that Coast Guard pilots flew R4D-4/5 aircraft prior to 1946. These were USN aircraft. During WWII, when required, aircraft were "borrowed" from the nearest NAS for brief periods - a week to as long as 90 days and used by the Coast Guard. When a Coast Guard aviation facility was co-based with an active NAS, the desired aircraft were provided the same way - drawn from what was termed "pool aircraft". These machines remained property of the USN Pool they came from. They were returned when their service was no longer [...]

R4D-5 “Skytrain” (1946)2021-11-23T07:41:02+00:00

Boeing (Stearman) N2S-3 “Kaydet” (1946)

Boeing (Stearman) N2S-3 “Kaydet” The Boeing (Stearman) Model 75 was a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which 9.700 plus were built during the 1930s and 1940s.Stearman became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. It continued to be widely known as the “Stearman.”  It served as a basic trainer for the USN designated as a N2S, It was known colloquially as the “yellow Peril due to its predominately yellow paint scheme. During WWII, when required, N2S aircraft were "borrowed" from the nearest NAS for brief period - a week to as long as 90 days and used in the CG pre-flight introduction and evaluation of individuals desiring to become Coast Guard aviators and Naval Aviation Pilots. (APs). When a Coast Guard aviation facility was co-based with an active NAS, the desired aircraft were provided the same way - drawn from what was termed "pool aircraft". These machines remained property of the USN Pool they came from. and were returned When their service was no longer required they were [...]

Boeing (Stearman) N2S-3 “Kaydet” (1946)2021-11-12T14:18:21+00:00

Sikorsky HO2S-1 (1946)

Sikorsky HO2S-1 The Coast used two HO2S-1s to test and develop helicopter dipping Sonar for ASW operations. In January of 1946 LT. Stewart Graham reported to Commander Anti-Submarine Development Detachment VX-1 for temporary duty. A LST fitted with a platform served as a helicopter carrier, a destroyer served as the control station, two smaller vessels took underwater sound measurements and several submarines – including a captured German U-boat – served as targets. Actual testing began on 22 March using a U.S. Submarine between Key West and Cuba. Success was immediate. The final test was conducted using the German U-boat, the newer type, capable of a sustained 15 knots underwater.  The sonar worked very well. Graham later wrote “that once the helicopter sonar tests were analyzed even the most skeptical decision-makers were convinced that the helicopter mounted sonar was a very anti-submarine warfare program.”

Sikorsky HO2S-1 (1946)2021-11-12T14:20:01+00:00

Boeing PB-1G (1946)

Boeing PB-1G During the last year of World War II and shortly thereafter, the US Navy acquired 48 former USAAF B-17s for ASW patrol work. Initially these aircraft operated under their original USAAF designations but at the end of July they were given a Navy designation of PB-1W. The B stood for Boeing and the W stood for anti-submarine warfare. This was actually a misnomer as the B-17s in question were built either by Douglas or Lockheed but Boeing had been the primary designer. Eighteen B-17Gs were set aside by the USAAF for transfer via the US Navy to the Coast Guard to be used as search and rescue aircraft. Rework began to convert the aircraft in question for search and rescue duties. On 1 January 1946, the Coast Guard was returned to the Treasury Department, but nevertheless, the Navy continued to rework the B-17s and transferred the first of 18 to the Coast Guard in July of 1946.  These aircraft were Lockheed-Vega and carried Navy serial numbers. An [...]

Boeing PB-1G (1946)2021-11-23T07:41:03+00:00

Sikorsky HOS-1 (R-6) (1945)

Sikorsky HOS-1 (R-6) Sikorsky designed the HOS-1(R-6) as a follow on to his fabric covered HNS-1 (R-4). While retaining the R-4's rotor and transmission system, the R-6 had an all-metal fuselage. In October 1944 the first of three XHOS-1 were delivered to the US Navy and transferred to the US Coast Guard Air Station Floyd Bennett Field for test and evaluation. One of these crashed. The Navy then acquired 36 HOS-1 (R-6A) from the Army Air Force which were purchased by the Coast Guard between January 1945 and January 1946. Of these, two were destroyed in crashes (no fatalities), and the majority of the remaining helicopters   were returned to the Navy or disposed of with the closing of the helicopter training school On 18 June 1946 CDR Erickson was moved to the Coast Guard Elizabeth City air station. His downsized Helicopter Test and Development Unit consisted of a small group of dedicated personnel, one hangar, one HNS and two HOS helicopters. This was the thread that kept the [...]

Sikorsky HOS-1 (R-6) (1945)2021-11-23T07:41:03+00:00