Back Piasecki H-21 Workhorse / Shawnee

Piasecki H-21C

From the all-metal PV-17 built in 1948, the following year Piasecki derived the HRP-2 Rescuer and an improved version of the Rescuer, the H-21 Workhorse. The USAF acquired 214 of the latter, and 334 of a similar model, the H-21 Shawnee, were built for the US Army. The B and C variants of the H-21 were used in Vietnam, equipped with 12.7 or 7.62mm light machine guns which were fired through the cabin doors. The H-21 used the classic single engine formula with tandem three-blade rotors. While the Navy's helicopters had a 600hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine, those for the Army had a Wright R-1820. Thirty-three of the H-21A were assigned to SAR units in the Arctic and another five were sent to Canada. Foreign operators of the H-21 included the German Army (26), French Army (98), French Navy (10), Japanese armed forces (10) and Swedish Navy (11).

G.Apostolo "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters", 1984

Vertol CH-21C

Developed from the US Navy's HRP-2, the Piasecki PD-22 tandem-rotor helicopter prototype (US Air Force designation XH-21) was first flown on 11 April 1952. Eighteen YH-21 helicopters had been ordered in 1949 for USAF evaluation, these being followed by an initial production batch of 32 H-21A helicopters, named Workhorse in USAF service. For use by the Military Air Transport Service Air Rescue Service, the H-21As were each powered by a derated 932kW Wright R-1820-103 engine; the first flew in October 1953. Six more were built to USAF contract but supplied to Canada under the Military Assistance Program.

The second production variant was the H-21B, which used the full power of the 1063kW R-1820-103 to cover an increase in maximum take-off weight from 5216kg to 6804kg. Some 163 were built, mainly for Troop Carrier Command, and these had autopilots, could carry external auxiliary fuel tanks, and were provided with some protective armour. They could carry 20 troops in the assault role.

The US Army's equivalent was the H-21C Shawnee, of which 334 were built. This total included 98 for the French army, 10 for the French navy and six for Canada; 32 Shawnees were supplied to West Germany, serving with the army's Heeresfliegerbataillon 300. The H-21C, redesignated CH-21C in July 1962, had an underfuselage sling hook for loads of up to 1814kg. Production deliveries were made between September 1954 and March 1959, later helicopters acquiring the company designation Model 43 when the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation became the Vertol Aircraft Corporation in 1956. The H-21 A and H-21B retrospectively became the Model 42.

Two turboshaft conversions of H-21C airframes were the Model 71 (H-21D), with two General Electric T58 engines first flown in September 1957, and the Model 105 which had two Avco Lycoming T53s. From the latter was designed the Vertol 107 (Boeing Vertol H-46 series).

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Piasecki H-21

On April 11, 1952, the YH-21 Work Horse — Piasecki's best helicopter yet — took to the air with Len LaVassar and Marty Johnson at the controls. Winner of a USAF competition for an arctic transport helicopter, the new craft looked almost like the HRP-2, but weighed 6630kg fully loaded, more than twice the earlier machine. A 1425hp Wright R-1820 engine (derated in early models to 1150hp) and a 0.9m increase in rotor diameter to 13.4m gave it much better performance than the HRP-2. Structurally, it was a new aircraft.

The company had come up with a winner. The Work Horse could carry fourteen fully equipped troops or an equivalent weight of cargo. Features included a rescue hoist and inflatable donut-shaped floats around its wheels for landings even on marshy tundra. Winterized to support Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line radar stations far to the north, it was just the aircraft the Air Force had wanted. Extensive cold-weather testing was performed atop Mount Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire's beautiful White Mountains, as well as in the climate hangar at Eglin Air Force Base.

J.P.Spencer "Whirlybirds: A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers", 1998

The only airworthy Piasecki H-21 gets its first wheel into the air as it departed for Ramona near San Diego

In 1949 the U.S. Air Force ordered eighteen examples of the Piasecki Model PD-22 single-engined, tandem-motor helicopter for evaluation in the SAR and general transport roles. The YH-21 Work Horse, as the type was designated, made its maiden flight in April 1952. The Air Force was quite pleased with the YH-21, and eventually purchased thirty-two production H-21A SAR models and 163 of the more powerful H-21B assault transports.

The Army became aware of the H-21's potential as a medium utility helicopter soon after the type's maiden flight, and in 1952 awarded Piasecki a contract for the production of the H-21C variant. This aircraft retained the H-21B's extensive armor plating and ability to carry two external fuel tanks, but had such additional features as increased troop capacity and a 4000-pound capacity belly sling hook. The Army procured 334 H-21C Shawnees, with deliveries beginning in August 1954. In addition, the Army obtained at least sixteen H-21B aircraft from the USAF; the majority of these machines were ultimately brought up to H-21C standard, and all were known as Shawnees despite their origins as Work Horses. The Army also funded Vertol's development of the XH-21D, which was essentially a standard H-21C whose single piston engine had been replaced by two General Electric T58 shaft turbines. Two H-21Cs were so modified and flight tested in 1957 and 1958, but the variant was not adopted for production. In 1962 the H-21B and H-21C were redesignated as, respectively, the CH-21B and CH-21C.

Despite its rather ungainly appearance the H-21 Shawnee was a very capable and well-liked machine, and the type ultimately secured for itself a unique place in post-World War II Army aviation history. It was a Shawnee dubbed 'Amblin' Annie that made the first non-stop helicopter flight from one coast of the United States to the other, being refuelled in flight from a U-1A Otter. More significantly, the H-21 was the first American military helicopter type to be deployed in appreciable numbers to South Vietnam: the first four Shawnee units arrived in that country between December 1961 and September 1962. Inevitably, perhaps, the H-21 also gained the dubious distinction of being the aircraft in which America's first Vietnam casualties were killed; four Army aviators died in July 1962 when their Shawnee was shot down near the Laotian-Vietnamese border. The machine gun-equipped H-21s used in Vietnam were also, of necessity, the first American military helicopters to be fitted with door-mounted defensive weapons as a matter of course. Several additional aircraft were experimentally fitted with a variety of offensive weaponry and used as interim gunships pending the arrival in Southeast Asia of the first units of armed UH-1 Iroquois in the summer of 1963. The H-21 remained the backbone of the Army's aviation effort in South Vietnam until finally supplanted by the UH-1 in 1964, and most Shawnees were withdrawn from the active inventory within the following year.

S.Harding "U.S.Army Aircraft since 1947", 1990

Photo Gallery 

Piasecki H-21

Piasecki H-21

Piasecki H-21

Piasecki CH-21C Shawnee

Technical data for Piasecki H-21C "Shawnee"

Engine: 1 x Wright R-1820-103 Cyclone radial pistone engine, rated at 1063kW, rotor diameter: 13.41m, length with rotors turning: 26.31m, height: 4.7m, take-off weight: 6668kg, empty weight: 3629kg, max speed: 211km/h, service ceiling: 2360m, range: 644km

Frank Lurz, e-mail, 06.05.2017

Rode "flying bananas" in Alaska, Fort Wainwright, 1962 - 63. "Shake, rattle, and roll!" If they had heaters, they never worked. Then again, they never worked in our tanks or APCs either.

Tom Beamon, e-mail, 22.03.2017

I am trying to contact Ken Boltz or anyone that served with CH-21'S in Korea.

Jake Jacobson, e-mail, 04.02.2017

Any one know of a pilot name Bladock, flying H21's out of Tan Son Nhut 1962

Dale Olson, e-mail, 23.01.2017

I served from Oct 63 to Oct 66.
63-64 Fort Rucker Al. schools Aircraft Mechanic.
64-65 Fort Wainwright Alaska 65th Aviation, CH-21 flight Mechanic, Got to fly quit a bit on flight time training.
65-66 Fort Belvoir Va. Crew chief CH-21. 62406 ship not sure if that number is correct it's been awiale. Assigned to White House and Pentagon.
I enjoyed flying and seeing the land in a Alaska and also DC.

James Rowell, e-mail, 26.11.2016

Served with 80th transportation company, light helicopter H21C from August 1958 to June of 1960. ATTN: Jess Browning, please email me at if you see this.

Phillip Newton 1SG Ret., e-mail, 06.11.2016

Good day all. The dates above are a little off, because I was working on and flying in H-21's in 1967, Fort Wainwright Alaska, Transportation Medium Helicopter Co. 19th Aviation Battalion. I was just a PFC back then and received orders for Vietnam halfway through my tour there, but I loved those old birds and it was a great company with good leadership and good sergeants. I retired from active service in 1994, but I never got back to Alaska.

Todd Benton, e-mail, 19.09.2016

I am trying to find any spare parts for a H-21B we are restoring for the vintage flying museum. Specifically the front lower left cockpit glass # 2258002-105, and the reserve external fuel tanks. As well as several other small items. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Richard Tortora, e-mail, 18.06.2016

Piloted CH21 first in A company 7th Div. Korea 1965. Then Davison Army Airfield Until 1968. Virtually all my flight hours were spent in this old bird.

Dale Olson, e-mail, 29.05.2016

US Army
School Fort Rucher Al 63-64
CH21 Helicopters 65th aviation Fort Wainwright Alaska Oct
64-65 18 mounths
Served CH 21 Crew Chief Fort Belvoir Va 65-66

Larry Coppala, e-mail, 14.05.2016

I was in a H-21 Crash at Camp Stanley Korea in April 1961 due to complete engine failure in flight. Assigned to the 13th Trans & TDY to the 151st Maint(CHFM) from Mar '61 thru Jun '62. Trying to find anyone in that crash with me. Have names of people in my Unit Group Photos. Please get in touch. Have lots of photos. Please contact me via email or facebook. P.S. My nickname is "Link".

Eileen Bjorkman, e-mail, 28.03.2016

I am looking for Army aviators who participated in the recovery effort after the June 30, 1956 mid-air over the Grand Canyon (or anyone who might have known them). I am writing an article for Air&Space/Smithsonian Magazine. The 93d Helicopter Transportation Company out of Fort Devens and the 14th Aviation Company out of Fort Benning participated (they were TDY at Ft Huachuca at the time). I have interviewed a couple of Air Force pilots but have not been able to locate any of the Army individuals; I would love to talk to anyone who participated or people who might have known them and have some knowledge of their feats (I know at least some have passed away). From news articles, here are some names: CWO Jack J. Carey, Major Jerome B. Feldt, CWO Lowell D. Johnson, CWO Billy L. Pearson, CWO Howard L. Proctor, CWO James P. Spearman, Jr., Capt Walter E. Spriggs, Jr., 1LT Paul S. Walker, WO Robert J. Whatley, Jr. Please email me at if you have any information. Thank you!

dave dunstan, e-mail, 17.02.2016

dave dunstan-H21 Mech- Elmendorff anchorage Alaska 1960-1967

Chuck Calhoun, e-mail, 09.01.2016

I was in the 57th Trans. co Ft. Lewis Wa we were the first H-21 off the USNS core at the head of todo st. I belive it was Sgt Barlow who picked five of us to be the first door gunners in the 57th I think it was the ones he didnt like. I seen one name on this site I reconized Don Franklin. It would be interesting to see if there are any of that crew still around I am getting a little long in the tooth.

Michael Bower, e-mail, 04.08.2015

Jerry Jordan I just read your story about a man by the name of Charles Bramer and the man you described sounds exactly like my grandfather right down to the briefcase full of his favorite beverage...I'm guessing it was beer. He gave me my first taste of PBR when I was just a little shit and I've been hooked ever since. Could you please contact me if you see this? Thank you and thank all of you for your service and sacrifices for this great country.

Michael Bower, e-mail, 04.08.2015

looking for friends, army buddies of my grandfather...CWO W-2 Charles L Brameier.I know he flew the H-21 in Korea. I believe he was in one of the first company that were assigned to the region. Would love to hear from anyone who may remember him. I also have a couple of pictures I would like to share from his time in country. Thank you for your time.

Douglas Nelms, e-mail, 28.05.2015

I'm currently writing a feature for Professional Pilot magazine on the Army's VIP flight detachment (12th Avn. Bn) at Davison Army Airfield. Looking for any historical information I can find on the VH-21s that were there in 1968 when I arrived as a CW-2 straight out of Vietnam. We flew them out to Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona in 1969 to be replaced with Hueys. Did anyone fly the VH-21s at Davison who can provide a bit of history on them?

Jonathan Flowers, e-mail, 22.05.2015

05.21.2015 Drafted, 2/3 Dec 65, trained at Fort Rucker on UH-1 and Ch-21, arrived in Alaska, in the old 80th, became TMHC so, 19 Avn Bat. Enjoyed working on the aircraft. Served under 1st Sgt Lowery.

Albert, e-mail, 21.05.2015

I love this Chopper...I was in the 80th trans. co. Ft. Rich, Alaska, 11/62 - 10/64...WSMR, NM. 11/64 - 6/65...I enjoyed the "BIG BABY" !!!

Will OConnor, e-mail, 29.01.2015

The Vintage Flying Museum of Fort Worth Texas is currently restoring one of these fine aircraft for interactive static display. We received it from the former Pate Museum of Transportation in Cresson TX, where it sat in the elements for 41 years. The restoration is well under way, and is expected to be complete by 2017.

ADC William Fury, e-mail, 20.11.2014

In the 60s ,I worked for NYA (New York Airways) Just got out of the Navy, working on the S 55s and 58s ,Hups and Bells In NYAs we had the Vertol 44 ,Civilian Model ,She had a 1820-103 Engine ,flotation Gear and Airline cabin features , flew from Airport to Airport ,off the Pan Am building & west 40th st Manhattan helo port. We would Change a Engine in 4 hours,ready for Flight! We overhauled the Transmissions and Mid Gear box in our hanger . Installing the Clutch pack was a Dousey! trying to line up those outer Plates ,to the Bells Splines We had one go down on the Van Wyck expressway service Road ,Blew a Jug ,had to tow it back to National Airlines Hanger in JFK ,to change the Engine ,put a hole in the port access door, exchanged it for a Hanger Queen ,had five of them ,carried 25 passengers, We took all the seats out and installed Movie cameras for the Filming of West Side Story ,Opening Shots of New York Sky line ,into the Bronx ,took 6 wks to get it Right ,Boy ! that Natalie Wood was a pretty Woman . We flew them for a few yrs ,and went to the S 61 ,pan Am was surposed to buy our Company ,Both went Belly up . I have a picture of the V44 on togetherweserved,com on my Profile . Your E mails have these = marks in them .got to take them out for the Address to Work

Donald RAY FOSTER, e-mail, 14.11.2014

These plain are so amazing.

John Medau, e-mail, 26.12.2013

After helicopter maintenance school June to October 1962 Fort Rucker, Al, all of my class received orders to Vietnam. When we arrived in Vietnam we were split up between the four H-21 companies of the 45th trans bn.{later to become the 145th Av. Bn.) I was stationed with the 57th Trans. Co.(later to become the 120th Av. Co.) at Tan Son Nhut. I started flying in the H-21 as a gunner and later become a crew chief. My H-21 was destroyed on "Black Tuesday" by high winds that came through the airport shortly after we had left the flight line. 12 of our 21's were destroyed. Four of our air crew and 3 of the flight crew from the 93rd Trans. Co. were shot down and killed in Jan. 1963. Lost a friend Donald Braman, with the 93rd, in the "battle of Ap Bac" that was shot down and died before he could receive aid. Still can't match the excitement of air assaults in the 21. My favorite memories' of the 21 was tracking rotor blades, loved it. I left the 120th Av. Co., to go to training on the CH-47, in October 1963. On to the 11th Air Assault Div. and Chinooks.
Saw the CH-21 that belongs to the Classic Rotors Museum this October at an air show at Los Alamitos military base in Southern California. Still flying, can't keep the old girl down!!

Ken Boltz, e-mail, 05.12.2013

I served with Tom Beamon in A Co 2d inf Div in Korea. I crewed 55-4202 in Korea. I was involved with the flood rescue work during the monsoon in 66.Had my first engine failure in Aug or Sept 66 while on a test flight with SP6 John Beaty and Capt Edward D Collins in Ascom.

Joseph L. R. Pinard, e-mail, 17.09.2013

Here is a true historical Army Aviation accomplishment. As
ONE of the assigned Pilot to the 65th Helicopter COMPANY IN
early 1957 I was also the Unit supply office along with many other miscellanious additional duties. The army at that time did not have any Flight Helmets. I wrote a letter to the Post Safety office and a copy furnished to th
Quartermaster General at Fort Lee near Richmond for his input. Shortly thereafter we approval to get funds from the consolidated supply division at Fort Eutis Thru the safety office and approval from the Battalion Commander to
proceed to the Airforce Supply Depot in Mansfield Ohio to
pick up the FIRST ALLOTTMENT OF FLIGHT HELMETS TO BE ISSUED TO AN ARMY UNIT. I Personally flew there to pick up
our flight helmets and returned to Fort Eustis with the

Tom Garcia, e-mail, 13.03.2013

First flew YH-21 at San Marcos, 1956. Then at Luke AFB when it replaced the H-19. Then Goose Bay. Much later Alaska 1970-71 era. Those must have been about the last USAF ones flying. Crashed one on the side of a mountain up there and the blades were broken up into many little pieces of wood. Some of the hubs were marked YH-21. Blades were rebuilt (overhauled) from time to time over the years by Parson (or Parsons) Boat Co. in Mich. Flew blades up there in C-47 for overhaul and picked up overhauled ones at the same time (for A model birds at Luke.

Jon Stillman, e-mail, 14.01.2013

120th. Read Al DeMello's comments and it brought back a number of memories. I was a Lieutenant with first the 57th Trans Company that got redesignated to become the 120th. Tom Stewart and I arrived the same day in March of 1963. We had been in flight school together. Captain Bernie Quedens was our first boss as the operations officer. I remember the day that a server wind storm hit and knocked over a number of our H-21s. Remember another day when we were staging out of My Tho and we were shut down on the air strip waiting for orders to crank up. Along came this guy with two ammunition containers along with a couple of machine-gun belt of ammo over his shoulders. Came up to our ship , dropped the cans on the floor of the ship and and asked where do you want me? You may have guessed it - that guy was General Stillwell. So many great memories. Spent three tours in Vietnam but the one with the greatest memories was the first with super folks and the CH-21. Have a lot more stories.

Al DeMello, e-mail, 25.08.2012

120 th. May63-May 64 Was crew chief on H-21 # 56-02091. Yes a bit underpowered but always got me home to Tan Son Nhut
I sure do miss the old girl,wish I could fly in one 1 more time before I head to that hanger in the sky. Remember"Larry" Larioso,Lt.Bullard, Rodger Rogers,Major Donovan,General Stillwell. As a test we mounted M-60's under the nose of 56-02091 and Stillwell rode left seat and burned every barrel up,all 4 of them,still have pictures of that circus. Anybody out there to trade memories e-mail me at
Al DeMello

Larry Pitzer, e-mail, 02.08.2012

I served with the 6th trans co. lt. helicopter in Ota Japan, from nov56 to apr58. The company had h-19,s and transitioned to h-21's around aug56. We also had 2 h-13s and 1 L-19. Our h21s were 1955 models, and seemed a little under powered to me. Our ships had no armor and no weapons.

Scott Ward, e-mail, 08.06.2012

Does anyone know what the rotor blades were made from, i.e. composite, wood, aluminum/honeycomb construction? Working on a restoration and curious...any suggestions to make new blades...wood, what type?

Jim Fuss, e-mail, 31.05.2012

korea-- 1959-1960 151ST Maint Det to 13th Trans Co Camp Stanley Korea-- airframe repair. on H-21

oscar brooksby, e-mail, 12.02.2012

I was sent Soc Trang as Aircraft Engine Mechanic Nov 1962 to Nov 1963. Was in Sagon when VN Pres Knu was killed. I was on leave in Las Vegas when Prsident Kennedy was assinated. I served with the 80th Detachment 193 Transportation Co. My job was to try to keep 20 H21C in the air with almost no replacement parts. We flew combat support for the ARVN troops. Which means we loaded 20 VN soldiers all in combat gear, Two pilots, a crew cheif and 1 door 30 caliber machine gunner. Every time the VC would hit a village we would send 20 loaded H21s sometimes carring a artillery piece under on a sling. This makes harry take of since the aircraft had to get a run to gain airspeed, sometimes running out of runway before able to get airborne with a canal runnig along side the field.
We lost a lot of Men and Helicopters that year. Many times I had to go on this missions as a gunner, but just as many times I was sent to retreive downed craft which amounted to compete engine changes in the field or repair them to get them able to fly back to base. I would like to hear from any one from the 80th trans during that time.

Paul Garza, e-mail, 13.12.2011

Mechanic on H-21 Hill AFB, Utah. Need info on chemicals and hazardous materials that may have been used while maintaing the H-21

Shawn Kirscht, e-mail, 06.11.2011

Hi i'm with the Pueblo Aircraft Museum on the restoration team we are working on our H-21 it was in the 20th and 21st helicopter squadrons does anyone have pictures and unit markings of their helicopters? we want to put it back to her original markings.

James Arinella, e-mail, 05.11.2011

I was with the 13th trans. lt camp stanly wi jon bu south Korea.1959-1960home of lucifer

takashi, e-mail, 17.09.2011


發達國家從 HRP救助者

1956年,尋求一種方法來使用,在阿爾及利亞戰爭中對地攻擊直升機的作用,法國空軍和法國陸軍航空兵(ALAT集團軍 DE L'航空Légère漁村)嘗試用武裝的西科斯基S - 55,然後被在服務所取代更有能力皮亞塞茨基 H - 21和西科斯基H - 34直升機。一些法國空軍和陸軍航空H - 21C直升機與武裝隨後固定,向前發射火箭和機槍。甚至有少數的炸彈架,但隨後的測試確定的H - 21C,缺乏可操作性,並表現在對地攻擊的角色需要。而H - 21C是更成功的運兵船,而大多數服務 H - 21Cs最終與伸縮門安裝,如安裝的.50口徑槍。 (12.7毫米)勃朗寧機槍或(前德國)MG 151/2020毫米降落時使用的防守下火力突擊力量。[1] [2] [3]飛機大砲
雖然 H - 21已經從地面攻擊角色中刪除,評價當時的陸軍軍官表示,其實,類型更容易生存被地面火力擊中多比的西科斯基公司CH - 34,這是假設的後果的位置和CH - 34的油箱建設。到了阿爾及利亞戰爭結束時,部隊攜帶 H - 21C直升機正在使用中的演唱會與 H - 34對地攻擊大型反叛亂行動 HELOS [1] [2] [3]
而H - 21C廣泛看見的美國陸軍服務,主要用於運送部隊和物資的使用。 8月24日,1954年,與在空中加油的美國陸軍 U - 1A水獺提供,H - 21C已知Amblin“安妮成為第一架直升機穿越美國的直飛航班。[4]各種實驗援助由陸軍在與一些武裝 Shawnees武裝起來的武裝直升機,H - 21C是根據鼻子彎曲槍,而另一些則與門火砲裝置。其中一個實驗版進行了測試與波音B - 29超級 .50口徑美國本土。遠程安裝在機頭下方砲塔。而H - 21C(後來指定CH - 21C)是越南首次部署於 1961年12月與陸軍的& ...

takashi, e-mail, 17.09.2011


發達國家從 HRP救助者

1956年,尋求一種方法來使用,在阿爾及利亞戰爭中對地攻擊直升機的作用,法國空軍和法國陸軍航空兵(ALAT集團軍 DE L'航空Légère漁村)嘗試用武裝的西科斯基S - 55,然後被在服務所取代更有能力皮亞塞茨基 H - 21和西科斯基H - 34直升機。一些法國空軍和陸軍航空H - 21C直升機與武裝隨後固定,向前發射火箭和機槍。甚至有少數的炸彈架,但隨後的測試確定的H - 21C,缺乏可操作性,並表現在對地攻擊的角色需要。而H - 21C是更成功的運兵船,而大多數服務 H - 21Cs最終與伸縮門安裝,如安裝的.50口徑槍。 (12.7毫米)勃朗寧機槍或(前德國)MG 151/2020毫米降落時使用的防守下火力突擊力量。[1] [2] [3]飛機大砲
雖然 H - 21已經從地面攻擊角色中刪除,評價當時的陸軍軍官表示,其實,類型更容易生存被地面火力擊中多比的西科斯基公司CH - 34,這是假設的後果的位置和CH - 34的油箱建設。到了阿爾及利亞戰爭結束時,部隊攜帶 H - 21C直升機正在使用中的演唱會與 H - 34對地攻擊大型反叛亂行動 HELOS [1] [2] [3]
而H - 21C廣泛看見的美國陸軍服務,主要用於運送部隊和物資的使用。 8月24日,1954年,與在空中加油的美國陸軍 U - 1A水獺提供,H - 21C已知Amblin“安妮成為第一架直升機穿越美國的直飛航班。[4]各種實驗援助由陸軍在與一些武裝 Shawnees武裝起來的武裝直升機,H - 21C是根據鼻子彎曲槍,而另一些則與門火砲裝置。其中一個實驗版進行了測試與波音B - 29超級 .50口徑美國本土。遠程安裝在機頭下方砲塔。而H - 21C(後來指定CH - 21C)是越南首次部署於 1961年12月與陸軍的& ...

Charles Plumb, e-mail, 17.08.2011

I was trained as a powertrain specialist in the US Army 1960 at Ft Eustis, VA. I replaced alot of all three transmissions and balanced a number of rotor heads in H-21's at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska. I flew many times in the 21, one time rescuing a downed 21 crew. I was with the 568th heavy maintenance aviation company 1961 to 1962.

Bob Jenks, e-mail, 24.07.2011

I worked at Felker Field in 1961 to 1962 as ground crew with 65th Transportation Company (light Helicopter) (H21) until I was sent to Korea, Flew in the 21s every chance I had, A couple were fitted with floats,Did all the 21s go to Alaska and Nam,I only saw a couple in Korea and they were at Kimpo AFB.... Everthing else was L-19s and L-20s at A-1

alain janson, e-mail, 23.06.2011

I was on service in 1958/1959 in Algeria on a helicopter base in AIN ARNAT GH2 as a translator from english to french of technical manuals as an interpreter to the Vertol engineer vhose name I unfortunately do not recall.I still have good pictures of this famous banana helicopter taken in various situations in AlGERIA.

shoes, e-mail, 15.06.2011

Would like to know if any of these are in civilian hands?

gino canavari, e-mail, 12.04.2011

looking formembers of 8th trans helicopter ft bragg n.c.
from 9/1956 to 1/1959 major john sullivan comander and
m/sgt elton drumrite line chief m/sgt calvin burgess
section chief thank yougino

george gray, e-mail, 28.03.2011


Mark Honse, e-mail, 26.03.2011

I was trained at FT. Eustis, VA. July 1968 - Nov 1968, for H-19, H-34, H-21. I served with the 18 CHFM, FT Wainright, AK. Jan. 1969 - July 1970. WE had H-21 active till May 1970.

Sean Carroll, e-mail, 26.03.2011

I have the Quonset Air Museum’s CH-21C in my backyard for restoration.

Can anyone give me some information on S/N 51-15892.

The Army has given us as much information as they had but there is a lot of information missing.

Anything you wish to share will be appreciated by our Educational Group.



Project 892, “In Honor Of All Those Who Served”

Rick Schemel, e-mail, 25.03.2011

I was a tech inspector on the H-21 in the the 573rd trans. det. attached to the 33rd Helicopter Co. at Ft. Ord from 1959 to 1961. It was a pleasure to get to know and work with this old girl as well as all the men in our small detchment such as Capt. Stovall, Mr. Saylor, Sgt. Christlieb, Hammerschmidt, Harkin and Blythe. Great memories guys.

tom mcalpine, e-mail, 06.03.2011

foot eustis to fort richardson alaska 1964-1967,
334yh tran. det. 19th aviation bat.
phasing out h-21 so very few pilots' 19-20 ships & allways about90% ready,
good duty now it's over

robert c schenck, e-mail, 26.02.2011

crewed the h 21 c 1956 thru 1963

Jerry Thye, e-mail, 21.02.2011

Served with the 65th Transportation Company for about 20 months including the delivery of 25 H-21C to Ft. Wainwright, Fairbanks, AK. 1961-1963. This delivery, on the USS Card of WWII service, passed through the Panama Canal.

Larry C. Coppala, e-mail, 07.02.2011

I was at Camp Stanley Korea in the 13th Trans & 151st Maint from Mar '61 thru Jun '62. Have lots of photos and names of people in my Unit Group Photos. Please get in touch, and would love to swap photos via email or whatever. P.S. My nickname is "Link".

H. E. Kroiz, e-mail, 17.01.2011

The head of engineering for Piasecki, and then Boeing Vertol, L.L. Douglas, also was the head engineer for the development of the Chinook helicopter. Interestingly, on a service problem for the French H-21's, when they were in Indo China, he was forcibly impressed into the French Foreign Legion. They refused to let him leave until the problem was solved. He stayed there for a month with them. He thus became the only Boeing employee to have ever been impressed into a foreign army. He was decorated by the French, and became an honorary member of the French H-21 Helicopter Group.

Ed Lauria, e-mail, 16.01.2011

During the Viet Nam war I was a reservist in the New York City area and I was an Instructor pilot on the CH 21 that we had stationed at Miller field Staten Island. Since I was the only pilot in the area qualified to fly it I was called on to carry each and every dignitary that arrived. Many flights from Floyd Bennett to Governors Island. (We would also land fix wing on Governors Island). The most notable of my flights was the tour of NYC I flew with Robert Kennedy. I loved that machine and would love to lift it up one more time.

Marvin Ficklin, e-mail, 13.12.2010

I transitioned into the H21C in the spring of 1955 at Fort Riley Kansas. I was assigned to the 3rd Helicopter Company, Davidson Army Airfield, Va. Did the mission to Camp David with Pres. Eisenhowr and NSC 1 Dec 1955. Great aircraft.

William Fury, e-mail, 06.11.2010

we had the Civilian Version of the 121 ,We called it The Vertol 44B ,NY Airways Helicopter Service Operated these A/C for about 4 yrs .We Overhauled most of the A/C and Components . Kinda made a Mess when the R1820-103 blew a Jug out the Side of the A/C and the Cooling Fan lost its Blades on take off .We carried 25 passengers and Cargo She was a pretty reliable A/C Worked 2 yrs for them (A/C Mech)Note: I hated Installing those Mid Case Clutches .Pain in the Butt to Line up ,Sitting Backwards

Jess Browning, e-mail, 31.08.2010

I went through the Transportation School at Ft. Eustice, VA in 1957, joined the 545th Trans Det. at Ft. Riley, Kansas in the fall of 1957, and was there until fall of 58. While there, a group of us were transfered to the 334th Trans. Det. and followed a bunch of H-21's to Ft. Richardson Alaska in September of 1958. I was a mechanic in airframe maintenance and our crew was kept very busy repairing landing damage and vibration cracks. When the H-21 flight first arrived at Ft. Rich, and was landing, one of the craft drifted sideways tearing off the left main gear. The craft had not settled and had to hover until a cradle could be made for it to sit on without rolling over. The repair job should have been done at a depot in the States, but the powers to be couldn't work it out. To complicate the problem, a whole new belly skin with compound curves was needed but not available. We found an that Air Force H-21 had crashed in the boonies about 100 miles north of Anchorage several years earlier, so we loaded up an H-21 with air compressor and sheet metal tools and took off to salvage the part we needed. It was a successful and very interesting trip, especially flying low across the tundra. With the new skin, we had the damaged H-21 back in the air after a few months work. Another time, a H-21 crew fighting a forest fire in the mountains south of Anchorage landed hard due to fire induced down-drafts and lost a nose gear. Again we loaded up a H-21 with compressor and tools and spent several days in the field on the mountain side repairing the nose gear. During the winter of 1958-59, our detachment spent two weeks of survival training north of Palmer where the temperature dropped to 30 below for most of the time. We used a lot of gasoline for heating and used several H-21's for delivering 50 gallon barrels of fuel to outlying camps, dropping vertically through tall stands of trees with very little rotor blade clearance to land. One day we loaded up an H-21 with high explosives and flew several dozen miles away to a frozen lake to set off a blast that would resemble an atomic bomb. I have a color picture of the H-21 sitting on the ice in its arctic colors of white and orange that I took before we reloaded and got out of there. The explosives were detonated and the simulated atomic blast was successful - it was all an impressive sight.

I had a lot of respect for the H-21 and the people who worked on them and flew them. Although I was at Ft. Rich for two years from Sept. 58 to Sept 60, I lived off base with my wife and spent most of my spare time building a house, I didn't get to know the guys in my outfit as well as I should have and as a result haven't kept in touch. So if any of you were at Ft. Rich when I was, it would be great to hear from you.

Ronald A Stevick, e-mail, 09.08.2010

Iwas in the 33rd Transportation Co at Ft Riley & Ft Ord Calif. All of 1957 to Jan. 18th 1958.

Rich Bushno, e-mail, 31.07.2010

I was a crew chief on 62067 at Ft. Belvoir VA in 1966-67 I loved my banana. It was always reliable. I flew many missions out of Davidson Airfield VA. Even flew in and out of the pentagon.

FRED GROSS, e-mail, 26.07.2010

i was a door gunner in nam in in june of 63 we had 30.s mg,s mounted on a bar at both doors which swang at out to let the troops in or out..... it had no stops on the pindal so you had to watch out not to shoot the rotor tips off or the landing wheels as well it was with the 8 th trans which changed to 111or 115 117 air btn we had gutted the insides to get lift out of them as they were built for the cold weather the pilots put the flak jackets on the floor of the cocpit for protecton we sat on low stools covered with our flak jackets as well it was called camp goldberg in memorey of the pilot shot down quion noin on the coast north of sigion south of na trang the NAME WAS PINEAPPLE PRINCESS IT HAD 2 PINEAPPLES ON THE SIDE FORE KILLS

FRED GROSS, e-mail, 26.07.2010

i was a door gunner in nam in in june of 63 we had 30.s mg,s mounted on a bar at both doors which swang at out to let the troops in or out..... it had no stops on the pindal so you had to watch out not to shoot the rotor tips off or the landing wheels as well it was with the 8 th trans which changed to 111or 115 air btn we had gutted the insides to get lift out of them as they were built for the cold weather the pilots put the flak jackets on the floor of the cocpit for protecton we sat on low stools covered with our flak jackets as well it was called camp goldberg in memorey of the pilot shot down quion noin on the coast north of sigion south of na trang

Paul St Hilaire, e-mail, 19.07.2010

I arrived at Fort Devens in September 1957 with the 93 Transportation Co, after my training in Fort Rucker Alabama. I was with the 93rd trans co until i left for fliegohorst germany to the 503 trans co in October 1958. I mwas surprised to find some of my old buddies from Fort Devens in the late 1959. I still have fond memories of the H21, I still remember some of the tail numbers of the ships.

Tom Brushway, e-mail, 14.06.2010

Anyone with 80th Trans Det.of the 93rd 1958 thru Jan. 1960. Ft. Devens MA. I was an E-5 on a field maint. team, when I got out in Jan 60. Like to find some of the old gang.

Dale R Meneau, e-mail, 07.06.2010

I was a mechanic with the 80th Transportation Helicopter Co. in Alaska from March 1960 to July 1962. I still have contact with several of my fellow unit buddies form the 80th.

Lonnie Bryan, e-mail, 07.05.2010

For: L.H.Cutting
Have you found a model of a H-21 yet? If not,Italeri SPA, Via Pradazzo 6/B, Caladerara Di Reno(BO) Italy makes a 1:72 scale model. Maybe you can find an e-mail site for them. If you cannot locate a model, e-mail me. I might be able to
help you get one.

Joe Yaglinski, e-mail, 26.04.2010

My dad worked at Piasecki and then Boeing Vertol. He was a Rep in Southeast Asia from the late 50s to the 70s I have alot of pictures from H-21s up to the Chinooks. I have seen the H-21 flying out of Ramona Ca many times It has a very distintive sound long before you see it!!I also have an H-21 unbuilt model kit and have seen them on Ebay a few times.

Chuck Garabedian, e-mail, 06.04.2010

I was in the 2nd A&E class at Fort E in 1954. I was assigned to Ft. Bragg and the 82nd Airborne. I originally started out as a mechanic and rose to crew chief on a H-21. We were the first ship to try dropping airborne from a helicopter. Eventually we were named Sky Cav. I left the service in 1956 with many stories from those years

J.W. Johnson, e-mail, 03.03.2010

Learned to fly the H-21 at Ft. Rucker in 1961 as part of WOC Class 61-2W. Then assigned to 40th Artilary Big at the Presido of San Francisco. Wonderful aircraft and very forgiving.

H.G.McGuffey, e-mail, 22.02.2010

Joined the 80th.when it organised at Ft. Riley. Made the flight to Alaska. Crew chief on 62105 until sep.61 In 62 went to korea 13th Trans there when 7th div took over. Does any one have one of the 13th "Lucky Lucifer" patches? Would like a picture so I can have some made.

Robert Brandt, e-mail, 17.02.2010

There are two books telling the story of the H-21 helicopter. "Thunderbird Lounge" is the story of the 33rd Trans/118th in VN 1962-63 and the other book is the "Piase cki H-21 Helicopter." Both books can be ordered through Amazon, or Trafford Publishing.

L.H.Cutting, e-mail, 05.01.2010

WAS IN THE "3RD HERD"3RDTransportation CO.1957-1958 Stationed at Ft Richardson,AK when 80th TRANS arrived there from Ft RILEY in I guess about 1960 or 61 The 3rd was in FT Belvor VA. The American Helicpter Museum has an H-21 on display.Thats in West Chester,PA at the airport.I have a model of every Helicopter I worked on during my 20 years of ARMY service EXCEPT the H-21 have not been able to find one anywhere.

L.H.Cutting, e-mail, 05.01.2010

WAS IN THE "3RD HERD"3RDTransportation CO.1957-1958 Stationed at Ft Richardson,AK when 80th TRANS arrived there from Ft RILEY in I guess about 1960 or 61 The 3rd was in FT Belvor VA. The American Helicpter Museum has an H-21 on display.Thats in West Chester,PA at the airport.I have a model of every Helicopter I worked on during my 20 years of ARMY service EXCEPT the H-21 have not been able to find one anywhere.

Les Harrison, e-mail, 05.12.2009

Class comndr for a while in 2nd. student enlstmnt co. Ft. Eustis, Va. Tndm Rtr Sngl Eng Helicopter ( CH-21 )repair.Left there Dec.or Jan.1963,to Camp Stanley, Korea.Frwrd Suprt Pltn,
13th Trns Battn.I only worked on the A/C off and on.I was in charge of Special Tools, since none of the school trnd guys knew what they were doing or What the mchncs were doing and what they needed.some even went looking for CARB AIR. Anyone over there about that time?

Tom Beamon, e-mail, 13.10.2009

Arrived A Co. 2nd Aviation at Ascom, Korea late December 1965, A company had 25 CH-21C's assigned but this was reduced down to 8 aircraft by the summer of 1966. I was Crew Chief on 55-4183 until the end of 1967. The H-21 was a great helicopter and I feel very privilaged to have maintained and flown with these aircraft. I would like to hear form anyone that served with A company during those years.

JAMES PIATT, SR., e-mail, 02.10.2009


Al Adcock, e-mail, 13.09.2009

looking for photos of XH-21 D model 71 and also of ch-21 c
8th transco at Ban Me Thuot November 1963

L. Kerbs, e-mail, 14.07.2009

1. Am trying to make a video about my time in Vietnam flying the H-21. After rummaging through old footage and slides taken over there, have found out I really need some color H-21 footage from VN to complete the job. If you know where to locate some, please contact me. Thanks
2. Left Ft. Devans on 15 Dec. 1961 on the USNS Card with 20 mothballed on the deck. Through the Suez Canal and not knowing where we were going, landed at Subic Bay Philippines. Demothballed there, and reloaded flight ready on to a real navy ship (The Princeton). Sailed across to VN and flew the fully loaded H-21's into Danang. (93rd Trans Co). Had full Navy jet and destroyer escort and all battle stations manned. Believe we may have been the only 21's or even the only choppers ever to fly into VN.
3. After flying I Core for 8 months, had another distinction of pulling up stakes and flying and moving the company and the attached maintenance company to the other end of S.VN. That was IV Core, Soc Trang.
4. There was one H-21 still flying as of 2007 and it still may be. They claimed to be the only one in the U.S. and maybe the world still flying. It flies out of Ramona Airport about 100 clicks east of San Diego. Their biggest concern was locating spare wooden blades that may be buried somewhere in a warehouse. Even though the volenteer pilot and mechanics were Navy guys, some with H-46 Sea Knight experience, they loving painted and tagged it with perfect Army colors. You may be able to find them and their museum by typing Classic Rotars on your computer.

Bruce Gilmartin, e-mail, 09.06.2009

Cut my teeth with the 6th Trans in Korea 1960-61, back to Bragg and then to RVN on The Core, arriving 12/11/61. Moved up to Qui Nhon in 1/62 and we actually flew sometimes with only one ship! How naive we were. I was on the first trip out of Saigon and the first person rotated out of The 8th Trans.
I took a few weeks "leave" in Saigon, had the time of my life, and the Sea Patrol rounded me up and shipped me out
I loved the -21 and trusted it 100%. They weren't half the machine in RVN as they were in Korea, but I still went out as much as I could.
Fred Bells name above sounds familiar. I've spoken a number of times with Benny Goldberg, son of WO Joseph Goldberg, KIA
7/15/62, along with Harold Guthrie & James Lane (crew) in the first air fatalities of the war. I knew all 3 and they were great soldiers and nice people.
I can't locate anyone from the 6th or the 8th that I know.
Write if you feel like it...I'm right here, now in Maine.

Russ Planck, e-mail, 07.05.2009

Departed Fort Riley for Nam 11 Dec 1961 with a bunch of 21 loaded on the USNA Core. Ended up in Nahtrang. Got some pics of me working on the "christmas tree' under the cockpit. Anybody out there from those days. PS. After I left there I didn't see another 21 until I went Air Force at Langley VA.

Ken Garasz, e-mail, 09.03.2009

I was a crew chief on a Ch-21 in Ascom Korea,in 1967.Co A 2nd Aviation(The 1st helicopter company in ARMY AVIATION)Any former cheifs out there??

Tom Smith, e-mail, 05.03.2009

I flew H21 42's and 44's. All Canadian CF numbers. I would like to know where I could a flight manual?

NORMAN GARNES, e-mail, 08.02.2009

SERVED WITH 3rd Tans Co Lt Hel Ft belvoir 1961-1962
served with 6th Trans Co Lt Hel Korea 1962-1963 when all went Air Mobile from 8th Army to 1st Cav

Fred O. Bell, e-mail, 21.01.2009

I have fond memories of the old girl. Instructed in her at Ft. Rucker in '56, '57, '58 then transferred to Ft. Ord and flew her in the 33rd. Finished my last overseas tour flying her in the 8th Trans out of Qui Nhon, Vietnam. Great helicopter

Carl Norton, e-mail, 28.09.2008

I was trained as a helicopter repairman on the H-21 at Fort Eustis, Virgina, January 1964 through April 1964. Got my first ride in an H-21 then. Out of the 20 or so guys in my training class only two of us, Larry Black and I, were assigned to Viet Nam, both to the 120th Avn Co. I believe Larry later became a crew chief on UH-1s, can't remember if he flew in the 120th or the 145th Avn Bn. Of the other trainees, one was assigned to Hawaii, 3 or 4 to Alaska, and the rest went to Korea. Larry & I arrived in-country May 1, 1965 after being bumped from Pan Am at Clark AFB (Pan Am didn't want to get their plane shot up on the Commie holiday flying into Siagon) and flying the remainder of the flight via "Trans Wave Top" DC4 into Tan Son Nhut, Siagon (my fellow classmates bound for Korea were not so lucky, they went by troop ship both ways courtesy USN). By July 1964 all of us Helicopter Repairmen were retrained on the UH-1 and our H-21's were pickled for shipping stateside. We had two weeks of classroom training by Bell Tech Reps in our mess hall in the 120th Aviation Company compound at Tan Son Nhut and pronounced UH-1 qualified repairmen. My tour was concluded April 30, 1965 and my Army service was completed October 29, 1966. I didn't see another H-21 until I attended a 120th Avn Co. reunion in Springdale, Arkansas in 2000 and had the great fortune of flying in a fully restored H-21, courtesy of the late Max Hall (one of the original 120th Avn. Co. Razorback pilots). I missed this year's reunion but I beleive the aircraft is still flying. Maybe Bob Reinhard ( shed some light on that as well as Max's daughter, Robin Lundstrom ( . Mrs. Lundstrum keeps her father's memory alive and honors us Viet Nam vets by organizing and hosting the reunions. The H-21 was a neat aircraft to fly in but not an easy one to work on. One Sunday when our gunners were "unavailable" I was recruited by their Sergeant to fly as a gunner on a mission. We were a flight of two aircraft ferrying a Viet Namese Colonel and his troops around to various villages. Our pilots made a mistake of landing in a fenced in area in one village. When it came time to depart, it was midafternoon, hot and our pilots determined we couldn't make a normal takeoff. Since all suggestions to take down the fence were met with negative responses by the village chief we were stuck until our lead pilot decided we could possibly have enough room if we took off from corner to corner. So he fired-up the bird, lifted the backend up & backed over the fence post as far as he could, then raced toward the opposite corner on the nose wheel, yanked collective to pop over the the other fence post, came down on the ground on the other side & continued running on the nose wheel until he gained full flying speed. My pilot said , "If he can do it so can we." And we did. To this wannabe pilot it was exciting but to my pilot a lesson learned I'm sure. One of many they learned in their everyday struggle to bring their aircraft and cargo back safely. I tip my hat to all of you aircrew members who flew daily missions and survived and say a prayer for those who didn't.
Carl Norton, 98th Trans Detachment, 120th Avn. Co., 145th Avn. Bn., RVN May 1964 - April 1965.

Hiawatha Oakes, e-mail, 07.09.2008

Another fact; one of the first group of helicopters that departed the U.S. in December of 1961 heading to Viet Nam were from the 1st Infantry Div 1st Aviation Co Fort Riley Kansas. I shiped out from the 1st Av Co Fort Riley, in July 62 and arrived in country 3 August 62. I was so very dissapointed that the aircraft and peronel of the 1st Av Co of the Big Red One was renamed the 8th Trans; and then renamed the 117th in June or July of 63. Needles to say I was as proud as any one could be to have been a part of the "Big Red One". Also not to be forgoten is that personel of the 25th Inf Div. arrived in Viet Nam in 63 and some of them became door gunners for the 8th Trans, and other units in country. At first we crew chiefs were not happy to have our assistant crew chiefs (and Door gunners) replaced with the 25th folks however it all worked out in the long run, and we all became one big band of brothers. Please note that my memory of events have fadded, however anyone feeling that any of my statements are incorect please feel free to correct me. Thanks and my very best to all of my brothers in arms.

Hiawatha Oakes, e-mail, 07.09.2008

A fact of interest. The 8th Trans removed both Vertical stabilizers on all It's Helicopters. and 30 cal's in both doors with M-1 carbines as secondary weapon plus any thing else you could get yor hands on. I had a Tompson sub 45 cal great weapon but heavey.

Hiawatha Oakes, e-mail, 07.09.2008

8th Trans Aug 1962 July 63. Technical Insp & Crew chief. I named my chopper the Blue Angel I cannot remember the tail number. Is any one out there who served with the 8th who remembers me or the Blue Angel? please give me info about what the tail number was. Or better yet any Photo of my aircraft.

Herman Howard, e-mail, 28.07.2008

I was a airframe repairman on H-21 in the 18-CHFM attached to the 65th 06-60 to 09-62 We were at Ft Eustis,VA then shiped to Ft Wainwright,AK Our ships were painted white with day glow nose and tails in Alaska.Looked like they were Coast Guard. Any of the old crew out their? e-mail me

Jerry Jordan USARET, e-mail, 06.07.2008

Marley Johnson ,you crewed H-21 s in west tx 57-58.I wwas assgined to ACR out of Hunter Leggit CA assigned to Ft Rucker,al in 1958,we had a few H-13s,2 H-19s 1 H-34 and 1 H-21 we had ablacksmith shop that built all our weapon racks and had a heck of a lot of fun trying to kill our selves,I was just a 17 year old punk out of West Tx{Lubbock},we had our share of wreaks with a few fatalities,I started out as an assistant c/e. We had a tty trip coming up at Ft.Bliss,tx the h21 crewchief cann't think of his name came around a few days before we were to go and asked if I would like to take the flight,well guess what!Now we will find out who is lifers who ain't,The H-21 pilot was and is CW2 Charlie Bramar,he was an old pilot,so I'm not afraidof offending him,but unbeknown to a 17 yr old kid he travelled with a brief case well stocked with his favorite bevs.Now don't get me wrong Charlie was one of best and fairest H-21 Drivers I ever flew with and believe me I have known and flown with a lot of the best.Back the you could swap assignment with just about anyone ,a kid came up on orders to Korea,Iswapped with him and headed to Korea After a long cold boat ride we landed in Inchon as we were going a shore in LSTsonother was carrying troops out for return to the world,As we were going in we passes an old junk with pappason hanging his bare but for the whole world to see,scared the hell out of me,I really started to wonder just what this kid was in for.after processig at AScom city we was loaded on a troop train.I was assigned the 151st fld Maint Det.w/CW2 CRoul co.I spent 18 months there and was reasigned to 3rd Trans at Ft Belvior,Va.Igot the re insept 60 .I was assigned to 153dr Fld Maint I was a brightyoung sp5ssgned to a SFC Mitchell as shop foreman.He let me know in no uncertain terms that he would put me in jail.Needless to say that made up my mind to reup fast,I still have orders to the day reducing to e-3 reuping and permoted back toe-5 all on one order.Mitchell hsd s wall eyedfit I couldn't do that He was going to jail me bal bal.I went back to Korea assigned to the Lucky 13 Trans Co.Istarted crewing 162,I stayed at the 13th{Hotel1}until 61whenLaos got warm I was moved down south to hotel6 6Trans Co.I was there until thanksgiving day 1962 the 5 years at the 13th and 6th trans was probably the highlights of my 20 years.Icame back toFt Belvoir,Va,I could't get away fromthat place. In 1963 I meet and married my wife of 44 years.Just after getting married, afriend and I was talking one Morning Flight school had bustewide open so,we got our stuff to gather went took the test got boarded,go everything oked and boom we both busted the damd test on self evulation..Col Woods was the airfield co.He called us in and chewed till there was nothing left.Fred was a sp6 so he came up with the hair braine ieda to go to OCS no way He went and pulled 2-3 tours with big Red and retired about 1982.Late 1965 CWO Elmer Cook called me one morning at the break room and said"jerry,do you still want to go to flight school"Now that was like asking a kid if he wanted to be locked in a candy store.Itold him that I had flunked the test and couldn't take it again,He laughed and said you have a waver and to make arrangements for a physical,he phy surgon a davidsonhand carried me through with flying colors.I talked another kid from Lubbock into going to usaphs.Iwas assigned toclass66-17to start inMarch 66.I hate it but I didn't complete the course after the 6 weekon the line I started getting morning sickness,went to the meds and doc asked if my wife was pregnet,Not to my knowledge,I wnet back a flew for a few more days and couldn't make it.I was sure were I would go so when I field out my dream seet I asked for Alaska,knowing I would never get it,I DID.I went to Fairbanksfor 21/2 years.Got there and the unit had only on1 pilot a I became a plt sgt and my mainof function was left seat driver for the most my tour.that was my last connection with the 21 after a little over 15 years.For not having any idea as to what a helicopter was for,I can not think of any thing I could have done that would be more rewarding

Bob Reinhard, e-mail, 24.06.2008

Re "The H-21 remained the backbone of the Army's aviation effort in South Vietnam until finally supplanted by the UH-1 in 1964, and most Shawnees were withdrawn from the active inventory within the following year.", I was in the 120th Avn Co, stationed at Tan Son Nhut; we were the last helicopter company to utilize the 21's; we transitioned to the UH-1 in the Spring 0f 1964. There were no 21's flying in VietNam in 1965.

George F Beaston, e-mail, 08.06.2008

Would love to get my hands on a model of the H-21C Shawnee. Flew one from Morton PA. (Piasaki) to Ft. Ord, CA in 1957.(33rd Trans. Co. Lt Hel)

Luca Casamassima, e-mail, 25.03.2008

Can I correspond with former H 21 gunners / Crew chief that served in Vietnam ?
Very best,

Mick, 13.03.2008

Any Microsoft Flight Simulator users out there? I made an H-21C add-on that's available as a free download, compatible with FSX (the current version of MS Flight Sim). There's also a lesser-featured version that's compatible with FS9. You can get it at

Don Franklin, e-mail, 25.01.2008

Served with the 57th Lt Hel company in South Vietnam and
we were stationed at Tan Son Nhut airport (Saigon) This
aircraft was seriously underpowered in hot weather. Our
pilots called our alightment to earth"controlled crash landings." Hello out there Mr. Eakins, Mr. Dunbar, Capt. Rudd. I gunned this bird with a lot of these pilots. We
were first in and the weapons were old WWII 30 cal. mg.
firing .30-06 ammo..

Jack Robertson, e-mail, 02.01.2008

I would like to hear from anyone that was in the 80th. trans. co. or the 334th. trans. det. from 1957-61

Donald R. Fox, e-mail, 12.12.2007

Was a Crew Chief on H-21C. 93d Trans Co (Lt Hel) (H-21) organized at Fort Riley, Kansas. Temporary duty (6 months) at Douglas, Ariz. This unit particpated in recovery work Grand Canyon Collision, two comercial airliners, June 30, 1956.
Also, served with the old 13th Hel Company (H-21C) in Korea, 1959-1960.
Loved this ole aircraft. Regards, Donald R. Fox, retired US Army

Mike Killarney, 23.11.2007

The Classic Rotors Museum in S. California has a beautiful CH-21 that they were flying to west coast air shows. I saw it fly at the Hiller Museum Vertical Challenge show about six years ago. They had it make some passes accompanied by a CH-47D and a CH-46. I crewed a CH-47A back in the 60's so this was a thrill.

Olaf Bichel, e-mail, 22.09.2007

Hi friends,

the "soviet" H-21 are part from the soviet air force museum in Monino, Moscow area.

Morley Johnson, e-mail, 29.07.2007

I flew as a crewmman on H-21's in West Texas in '57-'58. Any of my flying buddies out there? Any of my girlfriends? All the best, Morley

Renato, e-mail, 16.06.2007

Somwhere I saw a photo of Piasecki H-21 (front angle) that president Nixon gave as a gift to Soviet president Krushev. Any more info about that particular machine?

Ben Kennedy, e-mail, 08.05.2007

A quick search of Faa site shows at least 14 H-21's flying under an N-number

Ben Kennedy, e-mail, 08.05.2007

There is at least one "Shawnee" with an N number (N6792). the FAA website has a link to track down "N" numbers, so you might try it. There may well be others, but I dont have any other N numbers right now.

LeRoy Boardman, e-mail, 05.05.2007

Would like to know if any of these are in civilian hands?

Do you have any comments concerning this aircraft ?

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© A few examples of the civil Piasecki PD-22 (Vertol 44) served with New York Airlines and other carriers.

© TYvo H-21Cs were re-engined with turboshafts, as XH-21Ds.

© Foreign H-21 operators included West Germany, France and Canada.

© Four US aviators killed in an H-21 In July 1962 are recognised by some sources as the first American fatalities in Vietnam.

© The YH-21 prototype for this series made its maiden flight on 11 April 1952.

© A total of 334 of these helicopters was produced for the United States Army.

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