Canadian Warplanes 7: Sikorsky H-19 and HO4S-3 Sea Horse helicopter

Sikorsky H-19 and HO4S-3 Sea Horse

(DND Photo via Luc Dubé)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9628).

Sikorsky S-55 Horse, RCAF H-19 Chickasaw Helicopter (15), (Serial Nos. 9597, 9598, 9599, 9600, 9619, 9620, 9621, 9622, 9623, 9624, 9625, 9626, 9627, 9628, 9629), RCN HO4S-2 Sea Horse Helicopter (1), (Serial Nos. 55144), RCN HO4S-3 Sea Horse (12), 55305, 55320, 55867, 55875, 55876, 55877, 55878, 55885, 55886, 55887, 55891, 55892), for a total of 28 helicopters.

The H-19 and HO4S-3 were multi-purpose utility helicopters flown by the RCAF and RCN.  The HO4S-2 was an air-sea rescue version powered by an R-1340 engine, derated to 550 hp (410 kW).  Three were built for the RCN, and two surviving helicopters were subsequently converted to HO4S-3 standard, powered by a 700 hp (522 kW) Wright R-1300-3 engine.

(RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw Helicopter, RCAF.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3585152)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9624), 11 Jun 1955.

(DND Photo via Francois Dutil)

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9622), Sikorsky CH-126 Choctaw (Serial No. 9632) and Vertol Canada CH-125 Workhorse (Serial No. 9639).  These helicopters are from No. 108 Communications Flight which was heavily involved during the construction of the DEW Line. On the 1st of June 1958 the Flight was re-designated as No. 5 (Helicopter) Operational Training Unit and was tasked with training H-21 and H-34 pilots. No. 108 Flight was based at Rockcliffe and Bagotville.

(Author Photo)

Sikorsky H-19 Horse Helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9620), C/N 55-213, Reg. No. C-GMFY.  This aircraft has been re-painted as (Serial No. 9632).  9620 is on display at the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia.

(RCAF Photo via James Craik)

Sikorsky H-19 Horse Helicopter, RCAF (Serial No. 9620), C/N 55-213..

(NAFMC Photo via Chris Charland)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 875), No. 3, with an RCAF Vertol CH-113A Labrador (Serial No. 10405), sometime after 1965 when the new flag came into use.  

(RCN photo via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3 helicopter formation, RCN Coded 305, 875, and 887).

(RCN phto via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 254).

(RCN Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 875), being prepared for flight.  875 was preparing for the Labrador forest fires in 1967.  At this point most of the RCN's HO4S-3 helicopters had been retired. Note the uniforms and the Bell HTL in the background.

(DND Photo via James Craik)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 222).

The large 3 digit code displayed by many RCN helicopters is usually a pennant number, and may or may not be based on the aircraft serial number.  Johan Visschedijk collated the following data:

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821305)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 226), ca 1957.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821412)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 228), 1956.

(DND Photo via Luc Dubé)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 250).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4821233)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 250), 5 April 1957.


(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4951096)

RCN Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 254), HS 50 Anti-Submarine Squadron off the coast of Florida, 5 April 1957.

(DND Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 886, 251 and 254), on board HMCS Bonaventure.

(RCN Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S, RCN (Coded 254), HS-50 Squadron,  being hosed down after hovering low over salt water.  

(Author Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 885), Shearwater Aviation Museum.  885 was taken on strength on 31 Aug 1955, and flew with Utility Squadron HU 21.  It was used to ferry emergency supplies to Springhill, Nova Scotia from 23 Oct to 1 Nov 1958, following a mine disaster.   On 8 May 1970 this helicopter was shipped to Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario, to replace 875 which had been shipped to Canadian Forces Base Penhold.  It was struck off strength on 15 Aug 1965 and stored.

(Author Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 877).  On display in the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.  877 participated in eight rescue missions and was credited with rescuing thirty-two people and four animals over its lifetime.  Eight maple leaves decorate the nose of the helicopter, one for each rescue mission.  Its most famous mission was its rescue of twenty-one crew members of the Liberian freighter Kismet II, along with the ship's dog and cat, which took place on 26 Nov 1955 off the coast of Cape Breton Island.  (CA&SM)

(RCN Photo via Fred Paradie and Mike Kaehler)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 55891).  891 was taken on strength by the RCN on 26 Jul 1955 and was struck off strength on 8 Jul 1974.

(Shearwater Air Museum Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 961).

(Shearwater Air Museum Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 222).

(Shearwater Air Museum Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 222).

(Shearwater Air Museum Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 222).

(Shearwater Air Museum Photo)

Sikorsky HO4S-3, RCN (Coded 228).